Compensating Aids Explained

How do you fit them? What do they look like? How do you use them? Where do I get them from? All questions you will ask when you get classified.



"Compensating aids do not in anyway enhance the skill of the rider nor influence the horse. They purely assist the Para Rider, to ride."

Compensating Aids are "helpful additions" to your gear or body to assist you to ride.  The Classifier will name those aids that you are allowed to use and these will be stated on your "Para Card" and stored on the National Database.  If they are not stated on your card then YOU CAN NOT USE THEM.

Below is a list of aids that you will commonly find in use in NZ Para-Equestrian and their listed abbreviation.


Download the PDF "Standard and Non-Standard Compensating Aids in use in NZ"


Standard FEI List of Compensating Aids


  1. Voice


  • Salute with head Only (SWHO)
  • Sitting or Rising Trot
  • Gloves Optional
  • Spurs Optional
  • Saddle of any type
  • Deep Saddle
  • Soft (Flexible) Hand Hold
  • 1 Whip
  • Breastplate and or Neck Strap
  • Reins including split rein on double bridle
  • Elastic Inserts on reins
  • Elastic bands on Stirrups
  • Magnetic Stirrups
  • Enclosed Stirrups
  • Safety Vest including inflatable


 Non-Standard Compensating Aids

As determined at the time of classification and included as ADDITIONAL COMPENSATING AIDS on the athletes card


 Aids for the Reins

REIN LOOPS - ReinLoops, ReinLoopL, ReinLoopR

Grades I to V.  Used for riders with limited grip.  

 Reinloops2.jpg  Reinloops.jpg

ALSO KNOWN AS:  Rein Bows, Loops, Looped reins

ATTACHES:  Directly to the reins with buckles, clips or can be sewn directly on.  Can be multiple loops on each rein or profile many limit to one rein

AVAILABLE FROM:  Rein Bows can be bought at saddlery stores normally in the SJ gear.  (App.$85 per set).  Harness driving reins have multiple loops and can be shortened. (App $70).  Or have custom made reins made by your saddler. (App $150).



Grades I - V.  Used for riders with limited hand strength or grip.


ALSO KNOWN AS:  Double bridge, stepped reins

ATTACHES:   Between both reins forming a double bridge

AVAILABLE FROM:  Carols Bridging reins available from the UK. (App. $95)  Or custom made (App $40)






Aids for the Saddle


Normally Grades I & II. For riders lacking core stability.

Hand Hold Rigid 2.jpg 




Aids for the Stirrups

Stirrup Cages

Grades I - V.  Keeps the foot from lifting out the stirrup and from sliding through.


ALSO KNOWN AS:  Toe cages, Stirrup stops

ATTACHES: With two large washer screws that screw through the base of the stirrup iron.

AVAILABLE FROM:  most saddlery stores. Approx. $30-60 per set.




Aids for the Rider

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