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End Exclusion of Bitless Riders in Schooling and Skills Development Shows

This petition had 322 supporters

To our decision maker,

We come to you asking for the ability to be included in lower level events, schooling shows and skills development shows in the tack in which we train our horses. At the beginner levels of training many people start their horses in bitless bridles, for many reasons; to save their horse's mouth for the finer finesse training with a bit, to give their horse's confidence through a casual rein, to teach obedience and self control without the use of pain devices, to teach body aids first and foremost and so on. For all of these reasons and more; I ask why this is something to be pushed out of our equestrian showing community?

We understand at the higher levels the goal is a well trained horse which accepts the bit among other training goals. But I ask is there only one set path to that goal? Not every horse learns the same, and not every rider learns the same way. But if we are all headed towards the same end goal; should that not unite us?

Unfortunately right now, the EC rule book has many of us excluded from that goal. We are not allowed to show in the hunters or in dressage. Our only welcome place in the lower levels of English showing is in the jumpers. And while this is great for our jumpers; it affords little room to school over a quiet hunter course, and completely excludes any dressage riders from competing until they are riding in a bit.

Again, while the goal is to bring our horse's along confidently into harmony in a bit, there are many pathways to get to this point, and many of those include riding bitless. Even at the schooling show level. Whether it be to help a nervous rider find their confidence over fences without tensing up over a fence, saving our horse's mouth for their progression into a bit, or giving them confidence in a show ring with a casual rein to start; allowing bitless riders at the schooling level is a way to unite us all in a common goal. To train a horse into harmony with it's rider, in whichever discipline they choose, on the timeline and pathway they deem necessary for absolute success.

We are the many in Canada who believe we have a right to be included in your showing events. We are the many who would gladly support your local events, local equestrian parks and local equestrians. We are the many who would like to be represented by EC and it's provincial subcategories. We are the many bitless riders, trainers, handlers, caregivers, barn owners and supporters who know we have a cause which is worthy of your consideration.

Today: Jesse is counting on you

Jesse Cassidy-Skof needs your help with “Equine Canada, Ontario Equestrian Federation: End Exclusion of Bitless Riders in Schooling and Skills Development Shows”. Join Jesse and 321 supporters today.