Team chase rule change - training v tack?

eatmoremincepies

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As in H&H this week - team chasing rules have been changed so that it will no longer be allowed to team chase in a headcollar, effectively banning the "bridleless not brainless" teams who have run in pink headcollars for the last few years, and this year have been raising money for Breast Cancer research.

The point of these teams (as I understand it from people I know who ride with/train them) is to demonstrate that with good old fashioned training, it is possible to team chase safely and in control, even without a bit. The teams' record speaks for itself, they have not had a faller yet I believe (in several years), and go round at a controlled speed, never the fastest of the day.

Shouldn't these people demonstrating both the horse welfare and safety aspects of good training be supported? IMHO it's very sad that they should be banned just because of a different approach, when their record shows they've had less falls than riders with bridles but with less training?

Insurance should not be the reason, since it is a condition of entry to have liability insurance, and insurers are starting to accept that horse do not need to be wearing a bitted bridle to be in proper control.

Also, is a well trained combination in a headcollar less safe than an insufficiently experienced/trained combination in eg a pelham?

I feel an email to the editor of H&H coming on. . .
 

Jo_x

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The thing that stood out to me, was that the rules now stipulate "all horses must be ridden in a bridle with reins directly attached to a bit", and then the article went on to quote James Buckle of the team chasing committee as saying "I cant think of any other discipline that would even let you warm up without a bridle". Now whilst that may well be the case, at BS at least (I know you cant BD, not sure what BE rules are) you are allowed to compete bitless.


I dont really understand the logic - the rider that died teamchasing wasnt riding without a bridle, the team of bridleless riders have a far better record of staying on - the evidence would seem to suggest that banning bridles would make sense (although obviously would not work in practice).
 

gunnergundog

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I was also disappointed to read in this report that they piggy-backed the ban on to the death of Jo Rugman, which had absolutely NOTHING to do with riding bitless/in a headcollar.

A combination of knee-jerk and health and safety going mad methinks. :mad:

As a kid I would do a whole XC course bareback and with just a headcollar with two leadropes attached. (Wish I could do it now!!)
 

zinzin

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This new rule is ridiculous. My mum's horse is a absolute tank, and he has a bit that I wouldn't dream of putting on any other horse. BUT, a Dr Cook bitless works a treat on him and is much kinder. I'm pretty sure BE allows bitless now too.
 

amandap

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Shouldn't these people demonstrating both the horse welfare and safety aspects of good training be supported? IMHO it's very sad that they should be banned just because of a different approach, when their record shows they've had less falls than riders with bridles but with less training?
Yes they should be supported! The record speaks for itself.
I haven't read the article but if insurance is the reason what has changed? Saying horses have to be bitted to be 'under control' is clearly ridiculous when I am forever reading about horses running off and bolting with riders, 99.9% of whom are wearing bits!
Control is down to training not brute force!
 

marmalade76

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I feel that this new rule is rather unfair, it's completely obvious that it's been brought in purely with this team in mind. Most unfair on anyone who's horse goes in a hackamore.

Jo_x - AFAIA BE allow you to SJ in a bitless bridle but not XC.
 

maggiesmum

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I agree - its totally ridiculous! Maybe we should all get on the case and kick up a fuss!
This rule change only reinforces the idea that horses should be controlled by force!
 

unbalanced

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The thing that stood out to me, was that the rules now stipulate "all horses must be ridden in a bridle with reins directly attached to a bit", and then the article went on to quote James Buckle of the team chasing committee as saying "I cant think of any other discipline that would even let you warm up without a bridle". Now whilst that may well be the case, at BS at least (I know you cant BD, not sure what BE rules are) you are allowed to compete bitless.
I've been allowed to compete unaffiliated showjumping without a bridle with just a neck string (nothing on her head, not even a halter). Not sure if BSJA would allow that, we've never done affiliated anything. I know BD wouldn't.
 
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The rules have been clarified to allow reins to be attached directly to a bit or a 'purpose-designed bitless bridle'. The great news is that they will be competing this weekend in pink Dr Cook Bitless Bridles in the Open at Kingsclere on Sunday, with a commentary from Clare Balding on TV.
 

maggiesmum

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YAY!!!! I should think so too, although it was ridiculous to start with! Surely team chasing in head collars shows what good training can achieve!
 

Feathered

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I saw them last Sunday at the Worcestershire, I was surprised to see them having read about this previously, but then saw they were wearing very fetching fluorescent pink bitless bridles instead of the headcollars.

Good on em I say! They look smoother and more in control than most teams.

I took a little video, here's a link.

http://i31.photobucket.com/albums/c366/PLord/4e5a8b76.mp4
 
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