Do you NEED a martingale or breastplate? - Page 3
   

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Do you NEED a martingale or breastplate?

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  • Why does my horse need s breast plate

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    10-10-2013, 02:40 PM
  #21
Green Broke
Horselovingguy, the weight of the rings and the leather straps are insignificant. If you have a proper contact then a running martingale wil not interfere at all.
A standing martingale is actualy more dangerous perticularly when jumping. If you get into trouble XC or hunting you need to be able to give the horse its head and let it get itself out of trouble, you cannot do that in a standing martigale. A horse also cannot stretch forwards completely in one, I've known far more horses panic in a standing martingale because they hit the end of it than in a running.

I used a running maritingale on my youngster for a while, he bolted and the first thing he did when he bolted was throw his head up, the running martingale ment that I could control him even with his head in the air
This is him, he is a very very sensitive soul and he was quite happy in one.


I have since schooled him out of needing one on the flat but would still use one for jumping.
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    10-10-2013, 02:50 PM
  #22
Showing
For a breast collar/breast plate, it greatly depends on the type of riding you're doing. Like others have said, if you do a lot of riding on hilly or steep terrain, then IMHO it's better to have and not need it than need it and not have it.

Even though I ride western, I never ride without a breast collar. Mostly, that's because it's too much of a pain to take it off and put it back on my saddle, but also because I never really know when I'll be riding in hills or having to rope (where the BC really comes into play).

As for a martingale, no, you shouldn't ever really need one (as in, can't ride without it). I've been riding for over 25 years, and been training horses for about 15 and I've never used a martingale even once. I can't fault those riders who use them correctly, but most the folks I see around here don't.

IMHO, if you feel like you can't ride without it, then there is something deeper going on with your riding or your horse's training that needs to be addressed.
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    10-10-2013, 03:30 PM
  #23
Yearling
As indicated martingales allow for some more control if necessary. I se most jumpers in them but whether or not they are often there as a just in case...many horses I have seen have a large loop constantly.

As for the breastplate..someone mentioned they aren't really necessary with a correctly fitted saddle...that isn't necessarily true. I know a few people who have had licensed and reputable saddle fitters out to fit their saddles, and have the saddles adjusted as needed, but the breastplate is still required to keep the saddle in place.
     
    10-10-2013, 03:36 PM
  #24
Super Moderator
^^^That's something you find out the first time you tackle a really steep bank!!!
I've had more than a few times when a crupper would have come in handy too
I would never ride a horse in a standing martingale - if they're loose enough to not interfere with the horses head in an incident then they wont do any good to prevent it raising its head too head and smacking you in the face
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    10-10-2013, 04:48 PM
  #25
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by smrobs    

IMHO, if you feel like you can't ride without it, then there is something deeper going on with your riding or your horse's training that needs to be addressed.

Quite agree, with my ex-racer TB it is her insane need to leap and throw her head up before a gallop, it is pure excitement and very hard to train out of her but I totally accept it is my failing to not be able to do so, but the martingale gives me a little back up and control (and helps to avoid me losing teeth). I don't use it for anything except fast hacking and I can cope without it, but to be honest it is safer with it.
     
    10-10-2013, 04:48 PM
  #26
Yearling
Clava... that is the point....
A properly adjusted standing martingale does not ever become tight unless the horse places their head above and into a "danger zone". The difference being standing martingale is attached to a noseband and not to a mouth as a running martingale is.
To many people don't know how obviously by what you have seen to adjust correctly...they use it wrong as a "head-setting" or head-restrictive device...it is neither.
As soon as a running martingale hits the end of that leather strap the horses mouth and communication has now been affected and impaired. There is no straight line of bit to hand communication left...so it applies downward force, the higher the head the more force and the worse the fight the horse gives for control of its hurting mouth
If the horse never raises its head and makes contact with the thing, WHY are you using it in the first place???


Well, all I can say to all of you that think the running martingale is "the answer" and can't ride on the flat let alone over fences without one is... you may have serious holes in your training.
You also have probably never shown equitation or hunter style classes. If you dared to enter a ring with that running martingale on your horse you would be excused from the ring, disqualified. They are illegal to my knowledge to use except in jumpers or cross-country style of riding....I have never seen a dressage horse shown in one either.

I look at the pictures you all posted and I see very nice horses, but I also see "contraptions" of dropped nosebands, flash nosebands, martingales, and both horses traveling behind the vertical with their noses. It is just something I am uncomfortable seeing and honestly, when I see people using running martingales these are the things I see commonly happening, why...I don't know, because that should not be happening either. Again, not things I am comfortable seeing nor did as these "nosebands" also would have you excused from the show ring as illegal...sorry....

In reference to your "you can't jump big"... I've jumped 4' high 5' wide oxers on a friends horse with that standing martingale attached, that is pretty big, not huge but not tiny either...he had no problem or issue completing his course...he also shortly after no longer was ridden in a martingale as he didn't need one..that was proved when he jumped jump after jump without one later on and didn't toss or throw his head ever...I believe cross-country courses may have larger fences but I have not ridden cross-country to this degree of difficulty, and won't as I am uncomfortable riding my horse over such terrain. Call me a chicken...those fences don't pop apart if you misjudge...no thank-you!!
Sometimes I think we all do things because it is the excepted "norm" and what others do so you copy them...even if not in the best interest of your horse.

To each their own...I just know you won't find a running martingale on my horse just as you probably by your answers won't find a standing on yours...different training technique, different training background..best training one though is to fill in the holes in the training and not need the device(s) in the first place.
I'm stepping out of this debate as you are set in your thoughts and ways, and so am I...
Have a great day all... happy trails.
     
    10-10-2013, 04:55 PM
  #27
Weanling
I've worked in both varieties of martingales (standing/running) & breastplates. Need depends entirely on the horse. Like everyone else said they should never take the place of actual training, but they DO have their uses. I rode my mare in a running martingale when riding huntseat & jumping as she had a habit of pulling (she could yank me right out of the saddle if she tried) and getting strong before jumps. The running martingale ONLY activated if she tugged on it. I rode like I always did, same softness, hand position etc. Eventually she stopped pulling AS bad & now we don't even use the thing. It sits retired in my tack box LOL.

I will never touch a standing martingale again. It just created more problems than it helped with my Arabian years ago. Like everyone else said I can "de-activate" my running if something happens. Can't do the same with a standing. Which scares the crap out of me when jumping. Because there's been times my mare has almost fallen landing weird (just over a little 2ft fence) and if she didn't have the give the running gave her when I practically threw her my reins - it could have turned out worse when she yanked her head up to rebalance.

I use breastplates for huntseat & western. Hunt because my saddle doesn't fit either of my mares absolutely perfect. The big gal it slides back on & my little mare it will rotate. And trust me. I was crying for a breastplate when we did XC practice & my saddle almost twisted under her after she took a jump funny then shot off under me. I just like the extra security they give.
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    10-10-2013, 04:58 PM
  #28
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by horselovinguy    
Clava... that is the point....
A properly adjusted standing martingale does not ever become tight unless the horse places their head above and into a "danger zone". The difference being standing martingale is attached to a noseband and not to a mouth as a running martingale is.
To many people don't know how obviously by what you have seen to adjust correctly...they use it wrong as a "head-setting" or head-restrictive device...it is neither.
As soon as a running martingale hits the end of that leather strap the horses mouth and communication has now been affected and impaired. There is no straight line of bit to hand communication left...so it applies downward force, the higher the head the more force and the worse the fight the horse gives for control of its hurting mouth
If the horse never raises its head and makes contact with the thing, WHY are you using it in the first place???


Well, all I can say to all of you that think the running martingale is "the answer" and can't ride on the flat let alone over fences without one is... you may have serious holes in your training.
You also have probably never shown equitation or hunter style classes. If you dared to enter a ring with that running martingale on your horse you would be excused from the ring, disqualified. They are illegal to my knowledge to use except in jumpers or cross-country style of riding....I have never seen a dressage horse shown in one either.

I look at the pictures you all posted and I see very nice horses, but I also see "contraptions" of dropped nosebands, flash nosebands, martingales, and both horses traveling behind the vertical with their noses. It is just something I am uncomfortable seeing and honestly, when I see people using running martingales these are the things I see commonly happening, why...I don't know, because that should not be happening either. Again, not things I am comfortable seeing nor did as these "nosebands" also would have you excused from the show ring as illegal...sorry....

In reference to your "you can't jump big"... I've jumped 4' high 5' wide oxers on a friends horse with that standing martingale attached, that is pretty big, not huge but not tiny either...he had no problem or issue completing his course...he also shortly after no longer was ridden in a martingale as he didn't need one..that was proved when he jumped jump after jump without one later on and didn't toss or throw his head ever...I believe cross-country courses may have larger fences but I have not ridden cross-country to this degree of difficulty, and won't as I am uncomfortable riding my horse over such terrain. Call me a chicken...those fences don't pop apart if you misjudge...no thank-you!!
Sometimes I think we all do things because it is the excepted "norm" and what others do so you copy them...even if not in the best interest of your horse.

To each their own...I just know you won't find a running martingale on my horse just as you probably by your answers won't find a standing on yours...different training technique, different training background..best training one though is to fill in the holes in the training and not need the device(s) in the first place.
I'm stepping out of this debate as you are set in your thoughts and ways, and so am I...
Have a great day all... happy trails.

I didn't say anything about jumping???

I can ride on the flat and jump without one - didn't say I couldn't. I use one for a very particular reason and it is the kindest and allows the freest movement of my horses head. I have posted a photo of my horse and her tack which you are free to judge as you have and I have also explained exactly why I use what I do. The girl riding my horse is a novice so the martingale is for her safety until she knows my horse, and considering she is a novice I think your comment about behind the vertical is a tad harsh (as it is only a fraction). You have not posted photos of your use of a standing martingale, but I can honestly say even the thought of one I find uncomfortable for the awful way a horse cannot use their heads to balance in one. At least with a running martingale they can throw their heads up if necessary without pain...

Martingales are a gadget, but they do have a useful place for some horses and as a safety measure when necessary.
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    10-10-2013, 05:12 PM
  #29
Super Moderator
Quote:
Originally Posted by horselovinguy    
As soon as a running martingale hits the end of that leather strap the horses mouth and communication has now been affected and impaired. There is no straight line of bit to hand communication left...so it applies downward force, the higher the head the more force and the worse the fight the horse gives for control of its hurting mouth
If the horse never raises its head and makes contact with the thing, WHY are you using it in the first place???

Oh I see, you actually don't understand how they work.

As long as the reins give, the rings make no impact on the movement of the head. If you hold the reins fast then the angle of the reins change. There is no point where a "running martingale hits the end of that leather strap"?? If you let the reins run then the angle of the rein will change but you can choose to put any pressure on the mouth. The martingale should always be long enough so it does not change the angle of the reins unless the horse does something dangerously high with it's head.

I use it because the horse throws it's head up dangerously, she does raise her head above where it should be, but only on sudden occasions not a constant thing which would be a schooling issue.

Incidentally, being behind the vertical has absolutely nothing to do with the martingale or the drop noseband.
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    10-10-2013, 07:59 PM
  #30
Yearling
First let me apologize for confusing or misleading anyone by my incorrect use of the term “headset”. I was trying to find the better term for “head position” and chose poorly. My brain was thinking “head position”. Though I’ve seen many people try to use a German martingale to actually achieve a headset under training, and that’s what I’ve always been told it’s for.

On that note, my issue with martingales is the incorrect and over-use of them. OP asked if all the horses she saw in the arena NEED the martingales. I would say most likely no. Most likely, someone had a beautiful, well-trained horse go nicely, and it was wearing a martingale. So others thought that would be a good idea and got one too. Others thought it looked cool and didn’t want to be left out, so they got one.

That is my concern with martingales – being used for incorrect reasons and adjusted incorrectly, and actually causing problems for the horse. The majority of people on this forum are well-seasoned horse-people who know how to use and adjust a martingale. Your opinions on which type is the best and the best application will certainly differ based on experience.

However, if you see every horse at a haul-in arena or a lessons-barn wearing a martingale, many are likely unnecessary and used wrong.

I have seen someone ride rough trails with a German martingale (wanted to go cut the thing off). I have seen people jump or trail ride with a running martingale adjusted much too short. I have seen people trying to force a horse into “collection” by tightening a German martingale while doing nothing with their seat or the horse’s hind end to achieve true collection – they just rely on the martingale to miraculously make it happen. Martingales are at times a very helpful and necessary training tool, often used only in the short-term. Other horses really benefit from them long-term for their own and rider’s safety. I used to exercise a very eager eventing horse that would have given me a bloody nose on the XC if not for that running martingale.

I think we can all agree that the martingales are great tools to have available in trained, knowing hands, on a horse that actually needs it. I think if the OP is seeing one on every horse, they are probably over-used and likely some are in the hands of people who aren’t using them right. That’s never fashionable.

A breastplate really can’t do much harm, unless it’s adjusted too high and tight and interferes with the windpipe or is chafing. It sure can be useful at times, but a lot of people use them for looks, and if it does no harm, why not?
     

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