Horse Power NEC Taupō NEC Christchurch

The Compensating Aids Library




SCA – Standard Compensating Aid.  Can be used by all classified profiles and not required on your Para Card.
PSCA  – Profile Specific Compensating Aid.  Profile specific aids that must be listed on your Para Card.
NSCA – Non Standard Compensating Aids.  Not described on the FEI Compensating Aids list and must be approved by the FEI Compensating Aids Panel.

Standard Compensating Aids


Stands for “Salute with head only”.  Is used by ALL grades.  Instead of the traditional dropping of your non-whip hand to your side and nodding your head.  As a Para you can just nod your head to the judge instead.






Use of Voice (SCA for Grades I, II III Only)

  • Riders is Grades I-III may use their voice within the competition arena without penalty.
  • Grades IV-V must have it stated on your Para Card as it is a “Profile Specific Compensating Aid”


Sitting or Rising Trot

All riders may sit or rise to the trot as they prefer



Are optional.  If worn they must be white, off-white, black or match your jacket.



Are optional and must comply with Dressage NZ Sport Rules (Offset spurs are a non-standard compensating aid).




Any type. (Any modification or adaptation to a saddle are considered non-standard compensating aids and must be noted on your Para Card).

A well fitting, well maintained saddle, suitable to the Horse and Athlete shall be used. Any modification or adaptation to a saddle must ensure the Athlete’s safety and must not affect the welfare of the horse, especially regarding size, shape and weight.







Soft Hand Hold 

Referred to as Monkey Straps.  (Maximum 10cm from pommel when held, and 30cm width)
Available from majority of tack shops and attach to the D rings of your saddle.


Deep Saddle

No saddle must be deeper in the seat than twelve centimetres (12cm) with the seat pressed down. This is measured from the seat to the middle of a line from top of pommel to top of cantle. Any modification or adaptation to the saddle must be noted on the Classification Master List as a Compensating Aid.



Elastic Bands on Stirrups

Large elastic bands are used to hold your foot into the stirrup by starting with placing the band around your ankle then come under the stirrup with a half twist then up over the toe of your boot.  Bands can be bought in $2 type stores or use Zilco tongue ties as used in harness racing.  All bands MUST be breakable.




Enclosed Stirrups

Screw onto your stirrup and stops you losing your stirrup and your foot sliding too far forward.  A good alternative to bands.



Magnetic Stirrups

Stirrups with magnets set into the treads and plates that are affixed to the soles of your boots so no need for bands or stirrup cages.






One Whip

Can be dressage or jumping but must be a maximum of 120cm length measured to the tail, with no modifications.  Whips may have wrist straps.  Curved or modified whips are NSCA and must be listed on your Para Card.




Breast plate and/or Neck Strap

Neck straps can also known as a Balancing Strap.  Breastplates can be either hunting, 5-point or racing 

Double Bridle

A double bridle must have a cavesson noseband, bridoon and curb with curb chain. A combined noseband may be used without the lower “flash” strap. The curb chain can be made of metal, leather or a combination. Lip strap and rubber, leather or sheepskin cover for curb chain are optional. Neither a cavesson nose band nor a curb chain may ever be as tightly fixed so as to harm the Horse.

Split reins for Double Bridle

Also known as Forked, Divided or Pelham Reins.  Available at most tack stores.



Elastic Inserts in Reins

Reins with elastic inserts to give a softer contact.







Knotted Reins

Safety Vest including inflatable

Non inflatable can be worn under or over your riding jacket.

Inflatables plug into your saddle and self-inflate as you fall when the cord pulls short.  Most popular in NZ is the Hit-Air available at





Profile Specific Compensating Aids

These are profile specific aids and can only be used if the Classifier has added them to your “Para Card”.


Raised Pommel or Cantle


Seat Saver



Rigid Hand-Hold

Also known as a Hard Hand Hold or Longden Grip.  Affixes to the front of the saddle. 

Profile specific and used by Grades I,II and III.


2 Whips

Foot Reins

Loop reins

Connecting Rein Bar

Rein Through Ring on Saddle

Strap from Stirrup Leather to Girth

Strap from Stirrup Iron to Girth

No Stirrups

Electronic Communication Device

Use of Sign Language


Beacon Beeper