Gear Check

New gear rules have come into effect as of December 2022. Please refer to the link for the latest gear rules

Gear checks take place at the start of every mounted rally day and at events, be they club, zone or state events. The gear check is to ensure safety, comfort and well being of both the horse and rider.

All pony club members are encouraged to ride in ordinary snaffle bridles. If they use other than an ordinary snaffle, they should know what it is called, how it works, and why it is necessary to use it.

All gear is checked for soundness of stitching, leather and holes. Nickel bits and stirrup irons are not recommended.

Note: Helmets must be one of the approved standards listed in the table below and are specifically designed for equestrian use or you will be unable to ride.

Checking the Horse

Head and Bridle

  • The head must be clear of dried sweat and mud, especially around the ears.
  • Soundness of stitching, leather, holes and keepers is checked.
  • Cheek pieces level, noseband at the correct height, level and tightness, browband and throat lash.
  • Bit right way up, correct size and height. Curb chain, if any, flat and correct length.
  • Mouth is checked for injury or soreness


  • The reins should be the correct length. They can often be too small on ponies so they can be knotted although a large loop can not be left (double knot or knot tightly and unbuckle the reins)
  • If a martingale is used, stops must be present


  • The saddle must fit the horse and rider
  • The saddle needs to be clear of the spine for its entire length and not pinching the withers (as a guide 3 fingers should fit between the horse’s back and the saddle).
  • Risers and gel pads are acceptable providing they are comfortable for the horse with rider mounted.
  • Pads and clogs may be used by riders under 8 years old.
  • Saddle blanket needs to be larger than the saddle, lifted up into the gullet without tucks or wrinkles.
  • Girth and straps are checked for safety with particular attention paid to the stitching and holes. The girth needs to have at least 2 buckles. If a 1 buckle girth is used, a surcingle should also be present. The surcingle must not restrict the release of the stirrup leathers from the bars. The girth should be tight.
  • Stirrup leathers are checked for overall soundness – stitching, holes, same level on both sides.
  • Stirrup leathers should hang free from the bar of the saddle and outside the flap.
  • Stirrup irons need to be the correct size (finger width between iron and boot each side) and on the correct way round. Rubber tread is recommended for safety.

Girth Area

  • Clean of dried sweat and mud liable to cause galls. The horse is checked for actual galls.

Martingale and Breastplate

  • Ensure non interference of breathing and action. Correct length. Stops at neck strap and on reins.

Horse’s Legs

  • The horse’s legs are checked for injuries. Bandages and boots are checked for correct fit. Loose shoes are checked and if the horse is not shod, the hooves should be trimmed.

Gear – General

  • Should be clean, clean of dirt, mud, sweat, saliva and show signs of regular care and reasonable oiling. Over oiling of gear can be as bad as no oil. Do not be concerned by the age of your gear, provided it will pass all of the checks above, the age of gear is irrevelant.

Checking the Rider


  • Correctly adjusted approved safety helmet See Chart below for accepted standards:


Australia New Zealand standard AS/NZS 3838 Marked SAI Global



Australia New Zealand standard ARB HS 2012 (racing helmets) Marked SAI Global



American standard ASTM F1163 Marked SEI or SNELL E2001



British standard PAS 015 (1998 or 2011) BSI Kitemarked



European standard (new, interim) VG01.040 (2014-12) This may be abbreviated as ‘VG1’ on the helmet label

Note that new helmets may carry both the EN1384 & VG01.040 marks

Helmets must not have aftermarket decals as this can affect their overall safety construction. Helmet tags on the harness showing currency are permitted, but they do not take the place of regular physical checks of helmets for condition.

Helmet covers should be in registered Club or Zone colours. Pom poms on helmet covers are permitted. Helmet peaks can be fixed or detachable. Detachable helmet sunshades and brims are permitted; they must be in neutral colours. In Mounted Games, the only hat cover permitted is the final rider in each team who wears a cover matching their lane colour. For helmet fitting and condition, see Appendix 1.

  A hairnet or plaited pigtails for members with long hair is advisable. 


  • Riders under 17 years have the option  of wearing short Jodpur boots defined as “elastic sided, reasonably smooth, fully soled and uppers that may in corporate a zipper but no laces or buckles.


  • Full uniform is only required at pony club gymkhanas or when representing Wamboin PC. Full uniform comprises fawn jodhpurs, white long sleeve shirt & club tie. A v-neck navy knitted jumper is optional. At a rally day, riders may wear our club polo shirt (navy) and fawn or black jodhpurs. Club jackets are also available and can be worn on those colder days. Any clothing worn by a rider should not be able to work loose or flap as this becomes a safety issue for both horse and rider as well as others.

  • If you do not have a pony club polo top, a collared top must be worn with sleeves that cover your shoulder.


  • The only jewellery permitted to be worn by riders when mounted are one stud per ear not exceeding 5mm in diameter and wristwatches, Medic-alert bracelets are permitted.
  • If gloves are not worn then the only ring to be worn is one flat band (ie: wedding) ring which must be taped.


  • Whips may not be weighted and the length is not to exceed 75cm for jumping or 1.2m for flatwork.


  • Junior members are discouraged from wearing any type of spur, unless they have established a steady leg. Spurs, if worn, must be blunt and must slope downward.