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Required Equipment for Rally: Extra Equipment
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All teams must come to rally prepared for equipment breakage. Since all the equipment a competitor is going to use must be in the tack room at the beginning of the rally, any extra or replacement equipment must be there as well. This means that if a rider breaks a stirrup leather, or if a girth is found to be unsafe, each team must have with them enough extra equipment to replace the item. Since every piece of extra equipment could be called into use on a moments notice, everything should be turnout inspection clean.


  • One set of extra equipment per team (although individual riders may bring their own)
  • Sufficient to fit all team mounts/members - this means that if the team comprises several size mounts that there be a selection of girths, halters, etc to fit several mounts. One solution is for each team member to bring their own extra equipment, clearly labeled with their name or number, hung on separate hooks.
  • Cleaned to turnout inspection standards
  • Labeling: Everything should be labeled with team name or the name and/or number of any team member.

A note on storing extra equipment: Many clubs store extra equipment in airtight sealed plastic containers. While this is a good way to keep out dust and works well for bits, cotton lead ropes and stirrup irons, it can cause mildew in leather. A better suggestion is to store it in a zippered sports bag that can be hung on a hook by it's handles.

Two extra lead ropes, one with chain shank:

  • Should be: Cotton lead ropes are preferred and recommended for safety reasons (2010 Horse Management Rulebook, 10b).
  • Shouldn't be: Flat nylon lead ropes are not allowed to be used for tying, because nylon has a tendency to slip.
    • If the mount pulls back, the lead may slip and the knot may get too tight to untie.
    • Round nylon leads are discouraged for the same reason, but not forbidden.
    • If nylon leads are used, it is recommended that gloves are worn to protect the hands from 'burns' in case the lead is pulled through the hands.
    • If a lead rope with a chain shank is used, the chain must be threaded over the mount's nose or attached to the halter in some other safe, appropriate way, so neither the competitor nor the mount becomes tangled in the chain.

Halter(s) (should be adjustable): Make sure every mount on the team has an extra halter that fits. If mount sizes vary widely, bring more than one. A correctly fitting halter is defined as having a nose band that lies half way between the corner of the lips and the projecting cheekbone, and allows no more than the width of four adult fingers between the nose band and the nose band.

Halter rules: All halters used at rallies must have breakaway capability (2007 Horse Management Rulebook, Rule 8b); The mount's halter must have some form of identification on it at all times (2010 Horse Management Rulebook, Rule 8c)

Complete bridle(s) with bit(s): Extra bridles must be complete, assembled and include sufficient bit(s) to fit all mounts. If a team member can't ride with the bit on the extra bridle for safety reasons, they need to bring an extra one that they can use.

See 2010 Horse Management Rulebook, Rule 8e for exceptions to USEF tack requirements at USPC activities.

  • Should be: turnout inspection clean to the standard of the highest rated member of the team.

Girths: Make sure it will fit all horses, if not, either bring more than one girth, or see if it would fit with a girth extender. As with all the extra equipment, make sure it is clean and in good repair.

See 2010 Horse Management Rulebook, Rule 8e for exceptions to USEF tack requirements at USPC activities.

  • Should be: turnout inspection clean to the standard of the highest rated member of the team.

Pair stirrup leathers and stirrup irons: Stirrup leathers may be leather or synthetic. All stitching must be in good repair with no broken stitches. Any cracks in leather may not go through more than one-half the thickness of the leather. Fillis stirrup irons must have stirrup pads

See 2010 Horse Management Rulebook, Rule 8e for exceptions to USEF tack requirements at USPC activities.

  • Should be: Make sure the stitching on the extra leathers is in good repair. There's no use in exchanging a broken leather for another broken one. Also, take the time to place every member's foot in the extra stirrup irons, since there should be 1 inch of extra room (or 1/2 inch on each side) when the widest part of a rider's foot is placed across the stirrup iron. Should be turnout inspection clean to the standard of the highest rated member of the team.

Two rubber bands and Leather tabs for Peacock irons (if used): These are only required if one or more riders are using peacock safety stirrup irons. There are some rubber bands that are designed to be used without leather straps, these have an extra rubber tab that hooks to the bottom of the stirrup. Make sure that your extra rubber bands are in good repair, or replace them.

  • Should be: Rubber bands for safety stirrups (also called Peacock Irons) should be smooth and elastic.
  • Shouldn't be: office use rubber bands! Bands should be as pictured above, intended solely for use with peacock safety stirrups. They should not be cracked, brittle or stretched out.
  • Good tip: place extra rubber bands and leather tabs in a zip lock bag and label it.

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