As of February 1st, the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) officially legalized the 04, 06 and 36 Myler Bits mouth pieces for riding dressage. This is great news! Thank you to the USEF for taking the time to consider the welfare of the horse and review current research on the need for tongue relief. This amendment effects the United States Dressage Federation (USDF) events.
For the whole story, here is how it transpired:
A delegate from the USEF visited the Toklat booth at AETA 2012 and gave them a copy of the new bitting rules for USDF to be published.
Effective Feb 1, 2012 (in summary):
- Snaffle bits that offer tongue relief will now be permitted in US shows, training level to fourth level. “Bits that offer tongue relief” means “ported” in our terminology but they will not be called ported bits in the rules. This is to distinguish them from mouthpieces like the segunda, which looks like a port but doesn’t allow the tongue to pass under it (and therefore does not offer tongue relief).
- The rotating barrel is also legal (as long as it’s not a roller and does not have any moving parts—for example, the 03 is not legal because it has the copper roller).
- The bit can have a “deviation” (port) of up to 30mm from the surface of the tongue to the top of the mouthpiece. 30mm is a little over 1”. This means that the following mouthpieces will now be legal in dressage: 04, 06, 36
- The following is a list of what is now legal: 01, 02, 09, 10, 32, and now the 04, 06, 36
- There is no change to the cheek piece rules, so the eggbutt, dee and full cheek (WITHOUT hooks); the loose ring and the Baucher.
- This rule change only affects 4th level and below, so Prix St George to Grand Prix, will continue to use the double bridle.
- This rule change only affects US shows.
- International shows follow FEI rules, which have not changed to the best of our knowledge. So the only approved mouthpieces for FEI-sanctioned shows will continue to be: 01, 02, 09, 10 in eggbutt, dees and full cheeks (WITHOUT hooks), loose ring and Baucher.
Toklat will be reviewing and working on adding additional cheekpieces to their collection. As soon as they are added, Action Rider Tack will carry the new Myler Bits.
These changes came about because of a highly respected member of the USDF committee. When she was elected to the USDF committee, she took it upon herself to research bits. She also collected independent studies that corroborated what the Mylers have been saying for years: horse not only deserve tongue relief, they physically have to have it.
If you have any questions or comments, please feel free to comment below, talk with us on our Action Rider Tack Facebook page or give us a call. We’re more than happy to help!