Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Chapel Hill, NC
• Horses: 0
A standing martingale, if PROPERLY adjusted, would only have contact with the horse if the horse threw his head up abnormally high. Usually you see them adjusted so tightly that they are more of a tie down, which is very incorrect.
They are a corrective device!! Unfortunately, in the hunter world, this corrective device has become a fashion accessory. I find that very disturbing. I think if you can show that your hunter does not need a corrective device, it should count in his favor, not against him for not "looking right".
Another problem with a tighter standing is that they will actually TEACH a horse to lean against it and use it for their balance. Then, if you ever want to take it off, the horse's head goes straight up looking for that contact. This is SO hard to untrain in a horse. Anyway, end of that rant.
Are they dangerous? Well, they can and DO inhibit the horse's ability to stretch over fences if they are adjusted poorly. That's why you don't see them in the jumper ring. But their main danger is posed when they are used outside of the riding ring.
They are illegal in eventing for a real reason. If a horse were to take a fall on their side in a water jump, it is possible that the horse would be unable to raise their head above the water, causing it to drown.
They are used in the hunt field and I worry about how some people use them. Water is a reality in the field. EVERY standing martingale should be attached to the breastplate with a snap. That snap should be unsnapped when the horse is in water, IMO.
Last edited by Allison Finch; 11-16-2011 at 08:18 AM.