Anything is possible! Claire Bourne long-reins her small pony team in the Cones&Obstacle competition.
What equipment do I need?
You can choose to compete using set of harness or lunging/long-reining equipment with a riding bridle. Most people use two lunge lines as reins, but make sure that the reins are not so long that you have the reins trailing on the ground causing you to trip or they become tangled around your legs. Those with smaller ponies are probably better using a set of driving reins of a suitable length because the loops of the lunge reins will be bulky in the hand causing you to loose the delicate contact with the horse. Of course a set of leather long-reins of the correct length are perfect!
Those using harness tend to use the blinkered bridle, a harness pad (or saddle) and may use a crupper to stop the pad sliding forward. Another option is for full harness to be used, complete with breast collar and breeching. On a single harness you can use the breeching strap from a Pairs harness to secure the breastplate and breeching (the pairs breeching strap is connected to the buckle on the breastplate and the ring of the breeching seat). The long-reins pass through the tugs on the saddle, providing a straight line with the handler; although some people with smaller ponies may choose to pass the reins through the terrets on the saddle to obtain the straight line from bit to hands. An alternative to the tugs is the use of Tandem/Team Leader trace keepers which attach to the saddle, and most modern synthetic harnesses can be easily adapted with a few extra pieces or removing the tugs and attaching two Extensions which comprise a clip and ring. Those using lunging equipment tend to use a riding bridle with a lunging roller. The long-reins are passed through one of the rings on the roller. Whichever type of equipment you use, it must fit the horse correctly and be in good condition. There is a presentation mark (10 marks) in the Dressage and Agility competitions, so using clean and well fitting equipment will score well.
Artificial aids such as side-reins and training aids are not permitted in Dressage or Reinmanship.
Boots and bandages are not permitted in the long-reining Dressage, but can be used in other long-reining competitions.
A suitable whip may be carried. A dressage schooling whip that is long enough to reach just behind the lunge roller or driving pad is advisable. Lunging whips and Driving whips with long tails are not suitable.
Equipment suitable for long-reining, riding bridle and lunging roller.
Workmanlike 'warm' clothing with sturdy shoes and a secured Safety hat. Dress for the weather conditions!
Do I need a Groom/Assistant?
Ideally you will have a groom or assistant with you, especially if you have a young horse competing for the first time. It is not compulsory to have a groom. If you need someone to help you, please let the club know in advance and we will try and find someone to help you on the day. Junior handlers under the age of 18 must have an competent adult groom available at the ringside to assist as needed or for very young handlers the groom may 'shadow' the handler in the ring which is particularly useful in the Cones&Obstacle and Agility competitions. Any assistance by a groom does incur penalties.
Those competing in the Dressage may have a person call the test. The caller remains at a centre marker outside the dressage arena as directed by the Judge or Steward.