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What type of tack to use?

What type of tack for the show ring?


What tack should my horse/ pony wear to compete in a showing class?


Whether you are competing in a class at your local show or looking to aim at the next level, you need to ensure your turnout is correct for the class to make that all important first impression to the judge(s).

General rules:

• Tack (saddle, bridle, girth and saddle pad) can be black or brown (havana)

• It should be clean and supple

• Pay attention to detail – make sure your tack fits correctly


Let’s look at Ridden classes first:

Bridles - A simple snaffle bridle should be worn in Novice classes.


Browbands -

Plain browbands:

• Show Hunter Ponies

• Hunters

• Cobs

• Coloured Horses/Ponies of Hunter type

• Mountain & Moorland ponies

Coloured browbands:

• Show Ponies

• Show Hacks

• Riding Horses

• Part Bred Horses/Ponies


Bits -

Snaffle bits are preferable for Novice classes. Double or Pelham bits should be worn for Open classes, BUT only if you and your horse/ pony are happy. If you are not sure ask the advice of a professional or speak to a Saddlers committee member.

Examples of some bits used in the show ring are –


Loose ring jointed snaffle




Eggbutt snaffle





Loose ring lozenge snaffle




Pelham Jointed Bit







Pelham French Link Rugby Bit







Weymouth Bradoon Bit









Nosebands -

As with browbands the style of noseband most suitable depends on your horse/ pony type.

• A flat, plain cavesson (often called Hunt) noseband will suit all types and is correct for Hunters, Cobs, Working Hunters, Show Hunter ponies and M&M (Native) ponies

• Finer head animals, such as a Hack, Riding Horse or Show Pony may suit a slimmer thickness or raised noseband


Saddles -

General purpose saddles can be used. Other types of saddles are:

• Dressage

• Straight cut showing saddles

• Jumping saddles (for Working Hunter classes)


In Hand classes -

General In Hand for Horses and Ponies –

• Choose a bridle which suits your type of horse/ pony,

i.e. flat plain browband and noseband for a Hunter, or coloured browband for a Show Pony

• Novice horse/pony should wear a snaffle bridle

• Open horse/pony should wear a Pelham or double bridle

• If using the same bridle as you use for riding the rein(s) must be taken over the head

• CONTROL is very important when showing in hand. Always think of safety and whether you can control your horse/pony

• White halter, rope halter, leather head collar or show bridle is correct for youngstock

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