Hunter or Jumper? - Page 2 - The Horse Forum
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post #11 of 12 Old 04-15-2011, 07:00 PM
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A correctly adjusted standing martingale does not inhibit the horse using his neck for balancing gestures except in really extraordinary circumstances involving the horse falling. Their only purpose is to keep the horse from raising his head above the effective range of bit; much like a running. One of the things I dislike about them is that a lazy, on the forehand horse quickly learns to brace on the martingale and use it for support, particularly around turns. So I don't defend their use, but I don't regard them with the horror that some folks do.

However, they are ridiculously common in the US hunter ring over fences as no more than a fashion accessory.

And yes, they are more common in the American hunt field, at least in my area, than running martingales.

As far as the OP's pony, the martingale is not restricting her head and neck over fences at all. As far as head carriage or head set, there's nothing really terribly wrong either. What could be improved is the way the pony uses herself. If she carried herself in better balance and pushed from behind rather than towing herself along on her front end, she's carry a better topline.

That flatwork would carry over to over fences as well, so she might engage evenly behind and round over her fences, rather than cantering over in a long flat stride.
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post #12 of 12 Old 04-16-2011, 11:54 AM
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i completely agree with maura's post.

while not a fan of any accessory tack, i have no issues with any of it when used properly. i flat my field hunter/eventer/jumper in nothing but a mullen snaffle in the off season (nope, not even a noseband). however he IS a hot horse and out in the hunt field or in the show ring i do use a fig 8 with a running martingale and a mullen pelham. not because i need it all the time - i don't even need it most of the time. but out in the hunt field especially i prefer to have all that there in case i need emergency brakes as i like to call it. the nice thing is that we rarely need it because his training is based WITHOUT all that stuff.

i think (to maura's point) that in the US a lot of people use those items (martingales, fig 8s, flashes, etc.) as TRAINING tools rather than tack accessories so then the horse isn't actually trained, they are relying on the equipment as a part of the training. that is exactly why i train my horses with as little tack as possible - because i want their training foundation to be solid and NOT to be reliant on gadgets and tools.

in the case of the OP, i'd much prefer to see the rider sans spurs, with a proper leg, working on a more secure base of support, and the horse learning how to bend and balance sans martingale before they do any further jumping for any discipline - hunters or jumpers.

i absolutely see some lovely potential there. i just tend towards a bit of a minimalist when it comes to tack to really focus on the communication between horse and rider. it may take me twice as long to get the results but those results are (imo and exp) are solid. i also want to clarify that im not anti-training gadgets, as i do feel they have their place and purpose :)

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