Hidden Rules

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I did my first formal jog today.

Zima jog 5

Before I get to that story, it reminded me of my first CIC1*.


I thought, mistakenly, there would be a formal ┬ájog there. The only CIC1* I had seen before then had a formal jog complete with fancy clothes, cameras and an announcer saying “Presenting for the United States…….” and “Accepted!”

Zima jog 4

So when I showed up at my first 1 star, fancy clothes packed and the jog turned out to be an alley by the barn…..


with the vet working off the tail gate of a pick up truck……..I was a bit surprised.


Later I was getting ready for the dressage and I asked someone if they were going to wear a shadbelly. And they said, “No of course not, it’s a one star and THEY don’t want us to.”

Big Val

I looked around and said, “Who is THEY?”

confused skeptical woman thinking looking at you with disapproval

“You know, THEM, the people in charge.”

Third eye

“And which people in charge is that exactly? The judges? The organizers? The ground jury? Your coach?”

Loudspeaker crazy party man shouting happy holiday

“I don’t know, but that’s what I was told, THEY say you shouldn’t wear one in the one star.”


I found this unpublished restriction disturbing fascinating so I asked around and found a dozen reasons why I should and a dozen reasons why I shouldn’t wear a shadbelly in the one star. It was a tight rope of sometimes very strong opinions on who did and did not “deserve” to wear tails.

Managing Risk

Here’s the thing.

The rules say you can wear a shadbelly at an FEI event.

BE celebrate yes gif

I don’t understand why there are so many judgements and “hidden rules” about something that should be so simple.


What did BadEventer do?

Jester SB 4

She wore her shadbelly.


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