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Ask the Judge: black stirrups, breastplates, open mouths and more

How do you feel about black stirrups in an equitation class? I don't like them, because it's difficult to see where the foot is positioned due to the black boot. A stirrup could be lost and because there is no contrast, I could miss it. What are your thoughts on a hunter wearing a breastplate that obviously serves no purpose? Be careful about assuming it obviously serves no purpose. Without a standing martingale it may appear to serve no purpose, but some riders use the breastplate to prevent the saddle from sliding back. I don't like the look of it, but it is allowed and it can definitely be useful. In your opinion which is worse: adding a stride, or leaving one out? I always hedge on the side of safety. A good and safe jump with an extra stride will trump a scary, sloppy jump that has dropped a…

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