From Endurance to Dressage
Holy cow, people! Some big changes have occurred in the US Equestrian Rulebook, particularly in the Dressage Division. While I merely skimmed most of the rule changes, one in particular caught my eye - DR 121.8, the rule about fly hoods.
At a quick glance, it would seem that DR 121 Saddlery and Equipment has been rewritten in its entirety. This isn't true obviously, but the whole thing is written in red which suggests a lot of edits, some probably larger than others. The one that most affects me right now is the rule pertaining to fly hoods/ear covers. Ear covers that are noise cancelling are now permitted!
You may or may not have noticed that Izzy has been sporting a fly bonnet of late. After the show in October where the wind howled and the roof of the Earl Warren Dome creaked and groaned and threatened to fall in on us, I've been experimenting with a couple of different fly bonnets to see if they might block some of the noises that cause him to be tense and spooky.
Until just this month, noise cancelling ear bonnets have been strictly prohibited by US Equestrian, and I know because I checked before ordering one. In fact, I've been messaging someone back and forth in an effort to have a custom bonnet created that was of a thick enough fabric to be at least somewhat effective while still being legal.
Now that they're legal, I don't have to have one custom made. Over the weekend, I ordered an actual noise cancelling bonnet, and not just one with thicker fabric. Since my new addiction is all things Lemieux, I chose their Acoustic Noise Reduction Ear Bonnet in navy. While I like the overall look, its sound cancelling features are what really appealed to me. Instead of just being lined with neoprene which can be hot, Lemieux's fly hood has a sound-proof micro-foam that is sandwiched between a layer of soft bamboo and a lycra covering.
Since I would have had to pay shipping otherwise, I also tossed in another LeMieux saddle pad. I recently bought the LeMieux Merino+ Dressage Square Half Lined Saddle Pad, but I am "saving" it for shows and clinics. I also have the LeMieux X-Grip Silicone Square Dressage Saddle Pad on my Christmas/Birthday wish lists, but you never know if Santa's actually listening. <cough, cough> So, on its way to me now is the LeMieux ProSport Cotton Square Dressage Saddle Pad, in navy to match the fly bonnet.
If I like the ear bonnet well enough, I'll also have to get one in black for the days when coats are waived and I wear my burgundy show shirt. I also need to order a black helmet as I haven't really liked wearing the burgundy shirt with my navy helmet. One rule change, and suddenly my whole show attire needs a redo. Izzy's too!
I don't know who this girl is ... fly hoods and matching pads? Speedy is probably shaking his head in disgust.
About the Writer and Rider
I am a lifelong rider.
I began endurance riding in 1996 where I ultimately completed five, one-day 100 mile races, the 200-mile Death Valley Encounter, and numerous other 50, 65, and 75 mile races. I began showing dressage in 2010.
Welcome to my dressage journey.
About Speedy G
Speedy went from endurance horse to dressage horse. After helping me earn a USDF Bronze medal in the summer of 2020, he is now semi-retired. Speedy is a 2004, 15'1 hand, purebred Arabian gelding. His Arabian Horse Registry name is G Ima Starr FA.
Izzy was started as a four-year old and then spent the next 18 months in pasture growing up. I bought him as a six-year old, and together, we are showing at the lower levels. He is a 2008, 16'3 hand warmblood gelding. His Rheinland Pfalz-saar International (RPSI) name is Imperioso.
National Rider Awards
State Rider Awards
State Horse Awards
CDS Sapphire Rider Award
Third Level: 63.514%
Third Level: 62.105%
2023 Show Season
(r) Ride-a-Test Clinic
2023 Show Schedule
2023 Completed …
2023 Qualifying Scores
Regional Adult Amateur Competition (RAAC)
Qualifying Training Level
3 Scores/2 Judges/60%: