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Equipment Rules

Review the AQHA equipment and animal welfare policies before heading to an upcoming championship show.

American Quarter Horse Association
September 20, 2013

AQHA equipment rules reminders

All exhibitors, trainers and owners are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the equipment policies, and the resources regarding them, at www.aqha.com/welfare. (Journal photo)

Last fall, the American Quarter Horse Association put into effect new policies to address equipment allowed at AQHA shows, and the AQHA Executive Committee further defined the Association’s stance on animal welfare.

Because the Association wants exhibitors to have a positive experience and be able to have resources to ask questions of, AQHA stewards and AQHA Professional Horsemen will be on hand at the AQHA Novice Championship shows, All American Quarter Horse Congress and AQHA World Championship Show to answer questions and educate exhibitors, trainers and owners about the new equipment and animal welfare policies.

A valuable resource to exhibitors, trainers and owners is available at www.aqha.com/welfare. There, you can view a list of training tack, as well as photos depicting permitted and non-permitted uses of the tack. Highlighted tack includes curb straps, draw reins, metal bosals, chambons, metal cavessons and tie-downs, bumper bits, slip (gag) bits, German martingales, curb bits used with running martingales and headstalls.

The Web page www.aqha.com/welfare also makes available, the structure of fines and penalties regarding abuse and unsportsmanlike conduct, which are in the AQHA Official Handbook of Rules and Regulations as Rules VIO204 and VIO220.  While the AQHA Animal Welfare Commission hopes to avoid levying fines and penalties, they are there and designed to protect the very animal to which we are all devoted – our horses.

“Today, expectations have changed and threats from outside influences are very real. Because it is the right thing to do – not because well-intentioned, misguided people might be forcing us, we need to seek the common ground between trainers and where this industry needs to head, “said AQHA Executive Vice President Don Treadway. “The vast majority of trainers and exhibitors are good people who have the best interest of the horse in mind – and  I think we all know we can do better – we’ve already proven that over the last year and our hope is to continue this positive direction.”

All exhibitors, trainers and owners are encouraged to familiarize themselves with the equipment policies, and the resources regarding them, at www.aqha.com/welfare.

AQHA News and information is a service of the American Quarter Horse Association. For more news and information, follow @AQHAnews on Twitter, watch the AQHA Newscast and visit www.aqha.com/news.