Edward Allan Buck Advocating Bitless Bridle in Competition in the U.S.A.

Wed, 02/09/2011 - 21:02
American Dressage News

Between 16-18 May 2011 American Bitless Bridle activist Edward Allan Buck will be presenting arguments regarding enforcement of the health and welfare rules, regulations and Mission Statement of the United States Equestrian Federation predicated upon refusal

to allow bitless bridle competitors.  Buck is allowed to submit affidavits on behalf of supporting the grievance and relief sought.

While in The Netherlands the bitless bridle in competition has been tested and is so far allowed in special classes from training to first/second level,  in the United States it is not so. The Dutch Equestrian Federation is the second in the world to allow bitless bridles at shows. South Africa is the first.

According to Buck, "mandated USEF requirements 'force’ a competitor to use a bit in the horse’s mouth and ‘force‘ the competitor to use specific bits."

Buck believes there is a paradoxical non-compliance of the USEF rules and objectives. He uses the USEF Vision Statement as stepping stone for his argument:

  • The vision of the Federation is to provide leadership for equestrian sport in the United States of America, promoting the pursuit of excellence from the grass roots to the Olympic Games, based on a foundation of fair, safe competition and the welfare of its human and equine athletes, and embracing this vision, to be the best national equestrian federation in the world.

Buck recites the object and general principles of dressage as formulated by USEF:

  • 1. The object of Dressage is the harmonious development of the physique and ability of the horse. As a result it makes the horse calm, supple, loose and flexible
  • 3. The horse thus gives the impression of doing of his own accord what is required of him. 
  • 6. In all his work even at the halt the horse must be on the bit. A horse is said to be on the bit when the neck is more or less raised and arched according to the stage of training and the extension or collection of the gait and he accepts the bridle with a light and soft contact and submissiveness throughout. The head should remain in a steady position as a rule slightly in front of the vertical with a supple poll as the highest point of the neck and no resistance should be offered to the rider.

The principle relief that Buck seeks is  "for all competition horses and athletes" to have "the right to compete in any equine venue under the auspices of USEF in the bitless format, which means any form of bitless bridle, including but not limited to, cross under the jaw rein bridles, side pull bridles, hackamores, and mechanical hackamores. The relief sought does not include the use of a halter in competition. The relief being sought is for the institution of the bitless bridle authorization, to go in effect immediately and not to be delayed for any period of time."

If any one wishes to support our horses and would so choose to submit such an affidavit [include full name, address] please email me the
affidavit in PDF format to spiritbridle@yahoo.com

Read Buck's complete USEF Grievance here

Related Links
Dutch Equestrian Federation: Bitless Bridle in Competition (in Dutch)
Bitless Competition Tested by the Dutch Equestrian Federation
E. Allen Buck's Spirit Bitless Bridle
The Truth About Dr. Cook's Bitless Bridle
Tack Guru: Dr. Cook's Bitless Bridle Tested
Bitless Bridle Training