AQHA Rule changes concerning the use of curb chains, draw reins and other equipment at shows will be in place from November to coincide with the 2012 AQHA World Championship Show. The following training equipment, in addition to that listed in the AQHA rulebook, will not be allowed at any AQHA show:
1. Prohibited training equipment at all AQHA shows include riding in a curb bit without a curb strap, wire or solid metal curb straps no matter how padded; wire cavessons; wire or cable tie-downs; bumper bits; metal bosals, no matter how padded; chambons; headstalls made of metal (even if encased in a protective material); twisted rawhide; or rope (3/8-inch rope may be used with a slip (gag) bit with a smooth mouth piece only); running martingales with curb bits; or draw reins attached between or around the front legs.
2. No one is allowed to ride a horse with a curb bit without a properly adjusted, approved curb strap or curb chain.
3. A running martingale may be used with a snaffle bit only.
4. Draw reins may be used on the show grounds as a training device so long as they are attached no lower than the elbow of the horse.
'The greatest danger to our industry is the inhumane treatment of our horses during their training and the resulting appearance in the show ring,' said Jim Heird, executive professor and coordinator of the equine sciences initiative at Texas A&M University, and chairman of the AQHA Animal Welfare Commission.
For full AQHA equipment rules, click here