USEA/USEF/Dressage Legal


I have a young coming 6 year old off-the-track TB that I am training to be my next eventing horse. I started him in a Herm Sprenger Duo Mullen Mouth D-ring bit, and the stability of that bit worked for a while. It helped teach him turning aids and acceptance of the bit. But he then used that bit as a sort of "safety" and learned to become heavy and traveled behind the vertical with his head down and his chin pointed in towards his chest. He was also always very mouthy, so I ride him in a Figure 8 bridle, but he still manages to chomp. I changed bits, and tried him in a Lorenzini D-ring Titanium Lozenge bit, a JP Korsteel Full Cheek Eggbutt Single Joint Snaffle bit, and have been riding him in a Herm Sprenger KK Ultra Aurigan Loose Ring Snaffle bit. He was very fussy in the Lorenzini bit (I used strictly for dressage/flatwork), but I liked how he went in the full cheek (I used strictly for show jumping and cross-country). I only liked the full cheek because he did not baulk or drift when turning, but there were no "brakes" let alone a half-halt. I have been riding in the loose ring snaffle to more or less start over, and on the flat he is doing well, but steering is still an issue especially when jumping, and he is still chomping and sometimes even grinding his teeth against the bit. Because he is still young, I want to use the right equipment for him to be comfortable and bring him up correctly. So I looked into your loose ring and fulmer loose ring options for dressage, but I am at a loss for what to try for jumping. What advice can you give me? What is the difference between the Ultra Comfy and the Lock Up? Is the Bomber Blue USEA/USEF legal? My horse regularly sees a chiropractor and gets his teeth done twice a year.

Thank you!

Posted in Starting Young Horses, asked by Julia Becker, one year 1. 614 hits.


Hi Julia,

There are two main differences between the Ultra Comfy and the Lock Up. First is that the Ultra Comfy has more bend in it than the Lock-Up generally does, this soften the pressure against the bars, secondly the Ultra Comfy is angled on the sides, so that it goes up and over the tongue, whereas the Lock Up goes straight across the tongue, angling the mouth piece up, reduces the tongue pressure. Sadly neither of these are legal under the USEF, at least not at present.

The Bomber Blue is legal under the USEF, it is also FEI legal, I believe that the USEA is going to be strictly following the FEI's rules, which would then make the Bomber Blue legal for Dressage under the USEA.

The Fulmer Loose Ring is a good choice for backing up the turning aids, and it will still give you a fast release from pressure, unlike the Fulmer, which has a slower release. A fast release is especially important for a young horse, as the reward is there so much faster when the are correct.

It sounds to me as though your horse is sensitive to tongue pressure, most of his resistances point to this.

For mouth piece, I do think the Bomber Blue would be a good choice for him. It will take the pressure off his tongue, which will allow him to respond correctly and softly, to the bit.


Claire @ Bombers
one year 1
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