Originally Posted by Allison Finch
It is a corrective device, folks. Don't tell a judge that your horse has a training issue if it doesn't!
Technically, right? But I was at a judge's clinic a while ago when the well known judge giving the clinic said that he considers it "part of the uniform"
(for a hunter) and that it's more expected to have one on then not! AND he said that very few horses have a neck attractive enough to not need one (people like that the line separates the horse's neck from the body?) I was shocked! I mean, really??
Back to the OP though, it sounds like they were draw reins, not a martingale. And standing martingales are illegal in the jumper ring above ~4ft, which would definitely include horses at the WEG. I have a feeling they were draw reins or some kind of training device.