Martingale--am i doing this right? - The Horse Forum
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post #1 of 18 Old 08-16-2009, 06:07 PM Thread Starter
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Exclamation Martingale--am i doing this right?

I've owned and ridden Western horses my whole life, but have never needed to use a martingale. I just recently bought one, and I feel like SUCH the ****** not knowing how to put it on! On mine there's three strips of leather, and the one has a clip at the bottom that goes between the forelegs and attaches to the girth, I know. But there's also the other two that span out on either side of the those attach to the reins or the saddle rings near the pommel? This is a Western saddle and reins, btw.

It's not a martingale like I've ever seen; to make it easier I'll try to re-describe it:
Okay. So there's three strips of leather, seperated equally, connected by a metal ring in the center. One of the leather strips ends in a clip, which I know goes on the girth. First question: There's a ring on either side of the girth, one of them is closer to the forelegs and one closer to the rear, but they're lined up on the underline of the horse. Does it matter which ring the the martingale clips to? Then there's the other two strips of leather on the martingale, which I take to go around the neck. Each leather strip is adjustable in size, and has a loop which you string around something. Do the reins go through them or do they attach to the loop below each side of the pommel?

Sounds confusing even to me! Please help lol; thanks
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post #2 of 18 Old 08-16-2009, 06:17 PM
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If you don't know how to use a martingale, do you even know why you need one?

Do you have a Trainer?

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post #3 of 18 Old 08-16-2009, 06:33 PM
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Do you have a picture? That would make it much easier!

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post #4 of 18 Old 08-16-2009, 06:59 PM
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Are you sure it's not a training fork? I suposse you could call that the 'western' version of a martingale.
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post #5 of 18 Old 08-16-2009, 07:00 PM Thread Starter
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I can't show a pic; my mom lost my memory card when she went to go get other pics developed.
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post #6 of 18 Old 08-16-2009, 07:03 PM Thread Starter
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I thought a training fork was a martingale?
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post #7 of 18 Old 08-16-2009, 07:10 PM
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Is this what you're thinking of? I attach mine to the front ring on the girth and then you can either attach it to the cinch ring, or if there is a D-ring on your saddle you can use that too depending on how high it lifts the breastplate up. (I prefer the D rings...)
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post #8 of 18 Old 08-16-2009, 07:12 PM
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Is it like this?

The lovely images above provided by CVLC Photography
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post #9 of 18 Old 08-16-2009, 07:54 PM
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eventryder, the picture you have is of a breastcollar, which is not a martingale or training fork. Breastcollars are used to prevent the saddle from slipping back on the horse's back while riding steep trails, etc., they are also a fashion statment at western shows. Similar, but not the same.

I'm actually not sure what martingales are used for other than teaching headset, but I think the person I know who uses them for that purpose jerryrigged them from something else for it, so I don't know what their original purpose is, either.

There are two different kinds of martingales (at least), I know that much: standing and running. Again, I don't know the difference, maybe someone else who does can pitch in and explain it all?
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post #10 of 18 Old 08-16-2009, 08:04 PM
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A standign martingale is also known as a headcheck or tie-down. It attatched to the girth or the chest piece of a breastplate at one end and attatches to the noseband of the bridle. Some have a noseband as part of the martingale. It is fixed and prevents the horse throwing it's head it. When adjusted properly it should NOT impede the horses natural head carriage. It is also often used in speed events/rodeo events where the horses uses it to brace against to aid balance when turning a barrel or holding a cow. It's the more 'western' version.

A running martingale attahces either to the girth of the the chest piece of a breastplate. It splits into a fork (hence the name 'training fork') or into a triangular shaped peice of leather (known as a bib martingale in AUS). On the ends of the firks or the corners of the bibs are metal rings. The reins thread through these rings. The running martingale only comes into effect when the horse throws it's head AND when there is a steady rein contact. The pressure of a running martingale can be immediately released by releasing the contact. Once again, they are designed not to impede a horse natural head carriage and only come into effect when a horse throws its head.

NO type of martingale should be used to teach a headset. A headset comes from back to front, and holding the head down by force should never be considered as an option to acheive a headset.

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