Why all the high heads and martingales? - Page 2
 
 

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Why all the high heads and martingales?

This is a discussion on Why all the high heads and martingales? within the Endurance Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category
  • Endurance riding standing martigale

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    08-28-2013, 04:15 PM
  #11
Trained
"Corporal" was an Arabian, and I did NOT use a standing or running martingale on him. (1982-2009, RIP) IDK about how many people use a martingale when riding endurance, but I don't want ANY extra hanging equipment on my horse when I ride really rough up and down and/or steep trails. I've had horses long enough to have them step through the reins while stopped and grazing, and the same thing can happen if you give them their head and now have 4 pieces of leather working to catch a foot. You get a leg in the martingale and your horse's head will follow.
I've ridden many steep and mountainous trails, including the "goat trail" you take up to Harney's Peak, SD.
Really, guys, it's a little like barrel racers who can only think of racing and not listening. IMHO, get your horses under control before your endurance ride and drop the martingales.
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    08-28-2013, 05:52 PM
  #12
Weanling
I'm not opposed to martingales, just don't understand why seasoned endurance horses still wear them. I've always thought of them as training aids? I've used a homemade sliding one on my mare when she "forgets" how to collect her trot. What accidents do they prevent?
     
    08-28-2013, 05:59 PM
  #13
Weanling
Ok, so photos. This to me looks normal: http://enduranceridestuff.com/blog/w...niaCity100.jpg

This looks a little high to me but not bad: http://www.equitrekking.com/images/u..._endurance.jpg

Well these horses seem fussy but this to me looks high: http://www.olddominionrides.org/Endu...iders-comp.JPG

Just trying to understand. :) I rode with an experienced endurance rider and she commented that she wanted her appy's head higher. For some reason I didn't ask her why.
     
    08-28-2013, 07:16 PM
  #14
Green Broke
Photographers like to set up in cool spots, tops of hills, etc, alot of times you just come up on them, naturrally after miles of trails, suddenly a wierd looking beast is on side of trail, horses head is going to pop up and look.
Im also going to bet most endurance riders arnt grinning and waving for 50 miles.
The thing that gets me though is quite a few AERC members on various forums have complete melt downs over a picture of a rider without a helmet, yet at a recent ride in Georgia, with a 3-6 foot deep or so river crossing I saw lots and lots of pictures of horses with tiedowns and martingals. That is just insane. People needed to be jackslapped. Surprisingly no uproar over it.
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    08-29-2013, 10:36 AM
  #15
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by TrailDustMelody    
I'm not opposed to martingales, just don't understand why seasoned endurance horses still wear them. I've always thought of them as training aids? I've used a homemade sliding one on my mare when she "forgets" how to collect her trot. What accidents do they prevent?
If someone has a running martingale on that's working as a training aid then its not correctly fitted. They should never interfere with a horses natural head carriage or bring a horses head down - only enough to stop them hitting you in the face or being able to get the bit into the corners of the mouth and then between the teeth
     
    08-29-2013, 11:23 AM
  #16
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by jaydee    
...They should never interfere with a horses natural head carriage or bring a horses head down - only enough to stop them ... being able to get the bit into the corners of the mouth and then between the teeth
Slightly off topic, but not entirely, since I'm trying to learn why someone uses a running martingale:

When Mia figured out how to stretch her neck and head out & get the bit between her teeth, I switched her to a curb bit. No matter what she does with the metal in her mouth, she still has to deal with poll pressure & ultimately the curb strap (which she hates). So would another alternative have been to stay with a snaffle and use a running martingale, so she couldn't stretch out enough to get the bit in her teeth? She does well in a curb, so I'm not planning on switching her back...just wondering.
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    08-29-2013, 11:40 AM
  #17
Trained
Possibly answering my own question...reading up on martingales, it seems they prevent the horse from raising its head, but not from stretching out horizontally, which is what Mia did. So it wouldn't have been an option. Sorry for the digression...
     
    08-29-2013, 12:45 PM
  #18
Super Moderator
That's OK - I think its always good to investigate options 'just in case'. They are more for the head flippers and star gazers IMO
     
    08-30-2013, 09:55 PM
  #19
Weanling
Thanks for the info on proper use of running martingales. Just to clarify, I don't use it to force my mare's head down. She sometimes throws her head around and sticks her nose out at the trot, so the martingale was there to basically say, "you can put your head this high and no higher". But I will keep that in mind so that I don't use it improperly. Thanks! :)

Sorry guys, I didn't mean to sound antagonistic about the high heads. I'm a big fan of Arabs and personally don't mind the higher head carriage. I guess I'm just getting natural head carriage mixed up with some tense, impatient horses I've seen out on the trail. Flipping through an endurance book I just got, I saw a comparison of a tense, hollow-backed horse next to a relaxed horse, both still had their heads up but the difference was obvious. So I guess I answered my own question. Sorry if I seemed contentious.
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    08-31-2013, 12:28 PM
  #20
Started
No, no...not contentious at all. : )
     

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