The novice section is for riders who are unable to ride off the lead rein or are learning and may need assistance. Riders entering the novice section cannot ride in any other age group, unless riding a novice pony .
Riders can be led, but the leader’s job is only to be for safety and the following must be observed at all times.
- Ponies must be led with a lead rope with the leader remaining at the pony’s side – not touching the pony’s bit or bridle.
- Leaders must not pull the pony behind them as this gives the rider an unfair advantage.
- The riders themselves must steer at all times with the reins and the leader must not do this for them.
- If the rider drops any equipment the leader can assist the rider to dismount, the rider must pick up the equipment themselves and the leader can assist the child to remount.
- In pairs races there should be a leader for each pony (one person cannot lead both ponies).
- Riders cannot be lifted on and off the pony, they must be seen to be attempting to mount and dismount themselves, although they can be “assisted”.
Off the Leading Rein but requiring assistance
- An assistant can run alongside the rider and pony to step in and help for safety reasons only.
- For mounting purposes the pony can be held and the rider can be assisted when remounting. Riders cannot be lifted on and off the pony, they must be seen to be attempting to mount and dismount themselves, although they can be “assisted”
If the above rules are not adhered to the pair will receive no points for the race.