Australian Stock Horse Tack and Attire

ASH style is generally used for time trials, working stock horse, versitility etc and is required for stockman's turnout. Note that under ASH style, stock saddles are *preferred* but not required.

A note about leather and metal wear colours - traditionally, all the tack used by Australian Stock Horse Style entrants is made of dark brown leather and brass (or gold-tone) oval-shaped buckles. While fashions do change, dark brown leather and brass metal ware remains the gold standard. Chestnut and cherry coloured leathers are sometimes seen. Black, light oil or natural coloured leather are rarely seen.

If you would like to contact me, email me at

You can access the Australian Stock Horse Society site for some basic information. I do plan to get a full information page up at some time!

From the 2004 ASHS Events Handbook

6. General Presentation
6.4 When competing in Led ASH and ASH Hack classes, the horse and handler/rider may be presented in either the Australian Stock Horse style or the English style, unless otherwise stipulated in the programme. In Working ASH classes, the horse and rider must be presented in the Australian Stock Horse style.

7. Australian Stock Horse Style
7.1 Tack
7.1.1 Australian style bridle with single leather or webbed reins. Closed or split reins may be used. In led classes, fillies mares and geldings may be presented in a halter, but colts and stallions, 2 years and over, must have a bit in their mouth and be under the control of the bit.
7.1.2 Plain snaffle bit. The bit may have loose rings, egg-butt style, D shaped or tom thumb. [snip section on mouthpieces] Riders under 13 years may use a spanish snaffle bit with a curb chain.
7.1.3 The Horse must have free use of it's head - no head check, running reins, standing or running martingales may be used. Hackamores and bosals are not permitted.
7.1.4 Cavesson and nosebands may be used.
7.1.5 Australian style stock saddles are preferred (stirrups and leathers optional style). Fender saddles are permitted. Western Saddles or saddles with a horn are not permitted.
7.1.6 Stockman's breastplate (optional).
7.1.7 Square cut saddle cloth (ASH preferred).
7.1.8 Spurs (optional).
7.2 Attire
7.2.1 Australian style felt hat or equestian helmet approved by the current Aus Standards Association. Competitors under 18 must wear protective headgear.
7.2.2 Plain or light coloured shirt (ASH preferred).
7.2.3 Tie (ASH preferred)
7.2.4 Plain coloured or tweed hacking jacket (not leather or suede) or ASH v neck jumper or vest.
7.2.5 Plain coloured (brown, fawn or white), stockman cut trousers, jodhpurs or jeans are permitted.
7.2.6 Elastic sided riding boots or boots worn inside trousers.
7.2.7 A coat is optional in extreme weather conditions.
Led ASH - handler dressed in ASH style. Note the bottle green ASH tie and barcoo bridle with cotton reins
A working stock horse presented in ASH style. The saddle is traditional Australian style (with ASH saddle cloth) however it has aluminium oxbow stirrups. The bridle is again a barcoo with cotton reins however this time the reins are splits. The number on the breastplate is usually only used at large shows eg Royals.
Another working entry. The saddle again is the traditional Australian Style but with regular four bar irons (like normal english stirrup irons, but with 4 bars on the bottom for extra grip, instead of the usual two). The bridle has a normal headpiece (non-barcoo) and the reins are leather splits. Another good picture of the Australian style of breastplate, how it fits the horse and it's attachments to the saddle.
An example of a lady rider (please ignore her terrible riding position) using an extended head barcoo bridle with leather joined reins
This rider is wearing an ASH jumper. You can just see the yellow ASH emblem on the left front of the jumper just above the heart. This rider is also carrying a coiled stock whip in his right hand.
8. English Style
8.1 Tack
8.1.1 English style hack or dressage saddle (ie NOT forward cut, jumping, all purpose or saddle seat etc. - Shelly)
8.1.2 English style saddlecloth (numnah) or square cut saddlecloth (ASH preferred).
8.1.3 English style double rein bridle with pelham or bit and bridoon or single rein bridle with snaffle bit.
8.1.4 Cavesson nosebands may be used. Dropped nosebands are not permitted.(In this instance, "Dropped" also includes Hanoverian/Flash, Figure of Eight nosebands etc. - Shelly)
8.1.5 English style spurs and hacking cane (optional)
8.2 Attire
8.2.1 Velvet covered English style hat, bowler or equestrian helmet approved by the ASA (children under 18 must wear a helmet).
8.2.2 Plain or light coloured shirt.
8.2.3 Tie (ASH preferred) or stock(No ratcatchers! - Shelly)
8.2.4 Plain coloured or tweed hacking jacket (not leather or suede).
8.2.5 Waistcoat and gloves (optional).
8.2.6 Fawn or plain, light coloured jodhpurs
8.2.7 Elastic sided short riding boots or top boots
8.2.8 English style spurs
A lady dressed in Englilsh style ASH hack attire. The bridle has a normal (non-barcoo) head, no noseband and joined reins. This horse is plaited, unlike the previous examples which have hogged manes.
A Junior English Attired hack entry. Note the jodhpur boots and ASA approved helmet. The saddlecloth is a regular numnah style and the bridle has a normal head, cavesson noseband and joined reins. This rider is also wearing gloves.

Please also check out the ASH patterns page.