Rule GR2.4 : The size, weight and experience of a rider must correspond to the size, build and experience of the pony. If the referee deems a rider to be overweight or unsafe, that rider will be eliminated from the competition.
This rule requires that a rider must be matched to a pony in terms of size, weight, and experience, but it does not specifically define the match in terms of inches/cms, pounds/kilos, or levels of experience.
IMGA has prepared graphs which present the guidelines in the clearest possible way for publication on this website. Reference to these graphs will make it easy for referees and other officials, trainers, and riders, to interpret the height/weight restrictions required by rule GR2.2 in a uniform way.
Riders will also find the guidelines useful when buying a new pony, and they need to know the limits of what is allowed.
How to use the graphs
The graphs show, in both Imperial and metric units, the mimimum size of pony allowed for any combination of rider's size, rider's weight, rider's level of experience, and pony build.
Check the rider's height and weight, then refer to the following :
On each of the graphs there are different lines depending on the level of experience of the rider in Mounted Games, and the general build of the pony concerned. Select the appropriate line and read off the allowed minimum pony height.
Detailed explanations of level of experience of the rider and general build of the pony concerned available here.
The level of experience of the rider in Mounted Games, and the build of the pony, are clearly a matter of opinion, and may vary according to the person making the judgement, but it should be kept in mind that these graphs are guidelines, not absolute rules.
In most cases there will be no doubt as the pony will be well above the minimum height, or well below it, even when differences of experience and build are considered. In these cases the referee's decision should be straightforward.
But when there are borderline cases, such as when the pony concerned is considered too small for an inexperienced rider, but would be acceptable for an experienced rider, or when there is disagreement over whether the pony is "slight" or "medium", then the final decision is always left to the referee, in consultation with a vet if necessary.
It should be understood that the intention of these guidelines is not to prevent a rider participating in a competition because he/she is half a centimetre too tall or the pony is half a centimetre too small. The guidelines are there to help the referee make a decision based on rule GR2.2, and he/she makes that decision taking all relevant factors into account.
The guidelines are there to help, not to penalise.