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Ask the Judge: black stirrup irons, standing martingales, puddles and more

What would happen to a rider who entered the ring for an equitation class with black stirrup irons? The rider would automatically be eliminated. Black irons are not permitted in equitation classes, either in Canada or the US. In the Children's Pony Hunter, the pony jumps the first jump perfectly, canters through the corner and stops to poop. The pony then carries on and completes the course perfectly. How would you score this? Sorry, but a poop stop is not allowed! The stop would be scored as a refusal, even though the rest was a good round. How do you feel about a standing martingale that is adjusted so loosely that it does nothing? No points are lost, but sloppy, ill-fitting tack is distracting to the overall picture. It is better to take it off, as it is of no use. Can a rider leave the ring without first asking…

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