There's a little schooling show at one of the local barns and I was going to bring Sparky to it and just have some fun. He's never shown before - I generally just use him for trail riding and pleasure. But I thought it would be good for him and fun for both of us. Unfortunately, I read the show rules and they follow the standard "if a western horse is older than 5, he has to be in a leverage bit" rule. Spark has never been in a leverage bit. He's 17 years old and goes just fine in a snaffle, I have no desire to do any serious showing, and I'm not going to put him in a leverage bit just to do a fun show for no points or glory. But I'm disappointed! Is this the norm? Do little local schooling shows really always require horses over 5 to be in a leverage bit? What about older horses with junior riders? Or older horses like Spark that are basically beginners in the Western show world? I can see it in a larger or rated show but for a small, local schooling show, it seems a bit much.