Wednesday, 6 March 2013
The horse world today has many rules and regulations that over time have become more important than the welfare of the horse and encouraged the ridicule of riders for not wearing this years fashionable garment.
The first thing that really doesn't make sense is the rule about what coloured jodhpurs can be worn at competitions. What does it matter what colour jodhpurs you wear, white or cream ones don't make you a better rider and as long as you turn out neat and tidy what does it matter. Tradition is clinging to an upper class style that has outgrown itself. When people used to wear this sort of outfit for riding it was fashionable, nowadays some horsey folk cling to those traditions and it's like a uniform...no originality at all.
In some horse exams, by level two you have to have a hacking jacket worn with white shirt and tie...WHY? As long as you are wearing jodhpurs and a hat of the right standard, if you wear sensible, non-flapping garments what does it matter. Some people have to go out and buy these hacking jackets (not cheap) just for this one event. Never to be worn again, what a waste of money.
Like with training, people should be able to do any horse event from racing to driving in their own method. The welfare of the horse should be top of the list and if someone has a bitless, barefooted horse who is fit and healthy why can't they go on to do well in any event they choose. Maybe the authorities are worried that that particular horse might just win! I even see absurd rules in driving, like the reins should be brown only, or with black harness brown reins must be used and vice versa.
We don't need whips, spurs, bits, double bridles or shoes to have beautifully disciplined horses. Usually when people worry about a bitless horse being hard to control in a competitive environment it's the bitted horse people who seem to have the trouble with their mounts. I also hate how they make all sorts of whips, plain and coloured, in fact any colour you want. They've made buying a whip for a horse a normal thing nowadays, like it's acceptable to HIT your horse and if you do it with a fancy, funny, coloured whip it's okay! It's illegal to hit a dog like this, why not a horse? I find this double standard of acceptable behaviour very worrying, what are we teaching our children?
I know some events will turn away anyone trying to compete without a bit or without shoes, also people who are not allowed to do show jumping unless they have the correct outfit on! It really is time things changed in the horse world. Welfare FIRST, good riding FIRST, happy horses FIRST.