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Bridle numbers go by the wayside

Food for thought…
FHP has announced they will be doing away with bridle numbers to cut costs….

First thought that came to mind was that is very European… no big deal, we all have pinny holders…

Second thought, shame really, our jackets are so cute, you won’t get to see them… oh well

Third thought, and this got me a little worried…. If you no longer receive a bridle number, what are we going to identify a horse with if the horse gets loose ( loose on xc ) because I always put my bridle number on for this specific reason. I feel for this reason alone- this may be a bad decision. People won’t be able to identify the horse that is loose quickly.

Yes, they make number holders you can stick on a saddle pad, but the shaped saddle pads won’t allow for them to be placed on the saddle pads.
Then you have the plastic/ leather number holders you can maybe put on a bridle? I haven’t found one that I particularly felt was easy to put on…. Maybe I haven’t found the right one?

Side note- does anyone have any good recommendations for a place to buy these bridle numbers/ saddle pad numbers online?

How do y’all feel?

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I actually use the kind that can pin as well as Velcro to either the pad (for dressage) and my breastplate for jumping. I bought at a horse show, but you can find them easily online.

Editing to add just a suggested site, you can Google search them
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Just google bridle numbers, lots of places sell them. I got mine from Dressage Extensions. Not a bad idea, one less piece of trash. Or order a set of cardboard bridle numbers for your barn!


Pic of one on the bridle of friends horse


That is a very handsome ( or beautiful if she is a mare) bay horse

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Are they not going to require bridle numbers or are they just not giving them out? I went to an event earlier this year where to everyone’s surprise we did not receive bridle numbers but were still expected to have them. People who don’t have reusable ones were running around looking for old ones to repurpose (bend them inside out and write the number on them). I keep a bunch of old bridle numbers in my trailer for schooling shows and I handed a few out to other competitors.

I’m kind of okay with not being provided a bridle number but it should be in the prize list or omnibus, not a surprise right before dressage.


A lot of shows in MD/SE PA are discontinuing them as well. The one I have just has elastic loops so I need to figure out a better way to attach to the breastplate since I prefer that anyway.

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There shouldn’t be so many lose horses running around a show site that identifying which horse could be a problem!

BE requires number bibs on riders but only stallions must wear a disc on their bridle.

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Trust me the jump judges will know exactly who’s horse it is and will track it as it zooms around the course and make sure it doesn’t run anyone over and is re-united with it’s owners. You are always being watched on xc and numerous people note over the radio when you pass them- a minimum of one for each fence.

More people need to volunteer if this comes as a surprise.


Several of the MD venues made you bring your own bridle numbers during the height of COVID when they were trying to limit interactions/competitor packets/etc. I guess they figured that it saved money and they might as well keep doing it.

I bought the type that pins to the saddle pad, which I prefer to having it on the bridle anyway.

I just went and read the announcement, it seems the controversy is less about having to supply your own bridle number and more about requiring a pinney to be worn for all phases. You can also add your own bridle number but you will have to wear your pinney in dressage and SJ.

This is exactly what we’ve done in Ontario. Most if not all of the venues have continued with the paperless method. Bridle and pinney numbers are posted online and the competitors print them off themselves, along with the XC maps. It does save a lot of money and waste on printing everything out.

It is also noted in the omnibus for the events.

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Nothing at the FHP shows wear bridle numbers while tied to the trailer (it’s unusual to stable there), and they’re always able to find who they belong to. I think if they can figure that out, they’ll be fine figuring out who fell off xc!

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Oh, that’s interesting. Do they say why they are requiring pinneys instead of bridle numbers for dressage? I imagine they’re easier for the scribe to read.

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Seems to be because it will be easier for the volunteers in warmup and scribing to see the numbers.

At least one prominent personality who says they won’t enter if they have to wear a pinney in dressage. :woman_shrugging:t3:


Interesting. As an occasional scribe, I will say that traditional bridle numbers are much easier to read than the reusable ones, which tend to have smaller, narrow font. Also I would rather ask riders for their number than have to wear a pinney! As a rider I always say, “Good morning, number 123” the first time I pass the judge’s booth even if I think my number is clearly visible. It’s easy and they seem to appreciate it.


Sitting beside a fence over many, many hours of a day, watching 280 horses go past, one every two minutes without a break, the bigger, the clearer, the more legible the number on a bib, the easier my job. Bridle numbers don’t cut it. But for a show with 28 runners, probably not an issue.


Pinneys or paper numbers are required for xc, this would be for dressage/sj.

Given the number of people who feel they get a better score wearing a coat when coats are optional I can imagine the uproar over pinneys for dressage.


I don’t think I score any better but on the off chance it isn’t miserably hot and I get to wear my jacket I would prefer for dressage and stadium not to be required to wear a pinny. I don’t get to that many shows a year and want to have nice pictures to share and keep.

It might seem like a silly hill to die on for many, and I do understand the benefits from a logistic stand point but I hope this doesn’t become a thing at other venues.