Ask the Judge: over-bitted ponies, lame horses, class eligibility and more

How do you feel about over-bitted ponies? I don't like to see over-bitted ponies - or horses - with novice riders. A lot of times you'll see a pelham with a converter or a kimberwick. I would hope that isn't necessary for an undersaddle class; it's simply too much tack. In a ride-off, you call four back, but one decides not to return. Do you pin that one with fourth place, or can you bring back another one for further testing? What happens to the one that didn't return if you select a replacement horse? Selecting a replacement is not allowed. The one electing not to return is automatically placed fourth and I test the remaining three. As a judge, do you like it when a course designer confers with you about the course and how it is riding? Yes, I do like it, and most course designers do ask…

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