A number of Rule Amendments were passed at the Dressage NZ Conference to come into effect 1/8/18

The link to the pdf file :  Rule Changes Effective 1 August 2018

Summary Only below : Please read full document 

Article 473.4.1 Arena Familiarisation                                   

4.1    The OC may permit riders to work, ride in or around the competition arena at such times and on such terms as the OC sees fit.  All riders in the same class must be given the same opportunity to work in or around the arena.

Article 477.4.12

4.12       A horse may have its mane and tail plaited for competition but may not be decorated with extravagant decorations.  A horse may wear a ribbon in its tail as follows;

4.12.      1a.  A green ribbon to indicate that the horse is inexperienced at competitions and the rider would appreciate if other competitors and spectators moved quietly around that horse; and

               1b. A red ribbon to indicate that the horse is prone to kicking and caution should be taken around that horse.

4.12.2    False tails may be worn, but must not contain any metal parts.


4.10       No noseband may ever be so tightly fixed that it will harm the horse.  It must be possible to place one finger comfortably between the noseband and the nasal planum (front of the nose).

Article 454 Lameness, Blood or Welfare Concerns

  1. Any horse that shows lameness while competing will be eliminated. The Judge or Chief Judge will ring the bell to stop the test and explain the reason for the elimination to the rider.  There is no appeal from this decision.
  2. (as per existing clause 3 re blood & lameness )
  3. New para: The Chief Judge may stop a test at any point and eliminate the rider if for any reason the Judge believes it is contrary to the best interests of the horse and/or rider to continue the test.

Article 453: Use of Voice 

453: The use of the voice or clicking of the tongue is prohibited and will be penalised by the loss of two marks from those that would have been awarded for the movement in which this occurred.

Article 451.12 Commencement of test 

451.12   The rider has 45 seconds from the sounding of the bell to commence the test.  The test    commences from the point the horse proceeds on the centre line. 

If the test is not commenced within 45 seconds of the sounding of the bell the rider will be penalised 2 points per judge.

If the test is not commenced within 60 seconds of the sounding of the bell the rider will be eliminated.

Article 451.15 Horse Leaving the Arena 

451.15   A horse leaving the arena with all 4 feet between the time of commencement of the test and the time of exit from the arena will be eliminated.  The only exception to this rule is when a horse is required to recommence a test pursuant to article 451(4).

Article 441.2 Placement of Judges 

441.2     The Judge(s) should sit between 3 and 5 metres from the outside of the arena.  If the dimensions of the competition area do not permit the Judge to sit at least 3 metres from the edge of the arena then the Judge should sit as far from the edge of the arena as possible.