Martingale Purpose? - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 12 Old 05-05-2012, 11:25 PM Thread Starter
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Martingale Purpose?

I have been around horses for practically my full life and they have all had martingales. Now with my own, I am wondering should I get one for him? What is its purpose? If I should what are qualities/brands that you recommend me looking for?
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post #2 of 12 Old 05-05-2012, 11:35 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by juliann95 View Post
I have been around horses for practically my full life and they have all had martingales. Now with my own, I am wondering should I get one for him? What is its purpose? If I should what are qualities/brands that you recommend me looking for?
They are used for different reasons.

MOST are just training aids or band aids or gadgets. Some act more like a breast plate (western) to keep the saddle from slipping.

If you ride properly without pushing the horse too hard and fast or pulling them into a frame, you can do without.

Though in some disciplines a martingale/breastplate is important such as jumping or eventing.

Do you have a trainer that you can talk with and see if you need one for your horse? My horse used to be in one but we're slowly working out of it (he had major issues, poor guy)

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post #3 of 12 Old 05-13-2012, 06:29 PM
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I know different disciplines, especially in jumping, certain types of martingales are preferred over others. Standing Martingales are popular among hunter/jumpers, and attach to the bottom of the noseband. Running Martingales are the ONLY legal martingales for eventing & combined tests and racing, and attach to the reins with rings. Depending on the type of showing you do depends on what you use. However, if you don't "need" them, I personally wouldn't use them.
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post #4 of 12 Old 05-13-2012, 06:40 PM
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Martingales are to prevent the horse from throwing their head up to avoid the bit. But these days they seem to be used just for fashion.
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post #5 of 12 Old 05-13-2012, 07:02 PM
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There are different types of martingales and they do different things. The #1 most important thing is that you know how to properly use any equipment you put on your horse, otherwise you can get yourself and your horse into danger.

I have only ever used 1 type of martingale, so that is the only one I can tell you about. It's the "German Martingale" and it connects to the girth, comes up between the fore legs then forks off. Each side of the fork goes through the O ring of your bit, preferably a snaffle and connects to D's that are on your reins.

Many people use this type to try to FORCE a horse into correct frame...this is bad use of this martingale and can cause uneven muscling in the neck as well as put your horse's weight on his fore when used this way. I do not recommend this martingale for this purpose at all.

I use it to help me "correct" when my horse throws his head up. I am older and a bit too slow to correct and reward my horse when he pops his head up. I use mine on the very loosest ring and basically I am riding purely on my own reins. It only engages and puts pressure on his bridle when he REALLY throws his head up and as soon as he lowers it a bit it will disengage and give the "reward." Mind you, it is set so he can raise his head out of "correct frame" , it only engages in the EXTREME stargazing moments. It also does not interfere at all with him stretching his head downh, in fact he can put his nose on his hooves if he wants. I also only use it for a week only, then take it right off and don't use it for a month or so. Some horses come to rely on them and then it's really hard to undo that.
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post #6 of 12 Old 05-13-2012, 07:17 PM
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Originally Posted by ponyboy View Post
Martingales are to prevent the horse from throwing their head up to avoid the bit. But these days they seem to be used just for fashion.
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post #7 of 12 Old 05-13-2012, 07:46 PM
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Originally Posted by ponyboy View Post
Martingales are to prevent the horse from throwing their head up to avoid the bit. But these days they seem to be used just for fashion.
Exactly. Look at top level hunter horses. You'll see almost all of them wearing standing martingales. Obviously horses of that caliber competing in hunters don't have problems tossing their heads, so it's all for fashion.
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post #8 of 12 Old 05-14-2012, 12:24 PM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KaiKamm93 View Post
I know different disciplines, especially in jumping, certain types of martingales are preferred over others. Standing Martingales are popular among hunter/jumpers, and attach to the bottom of the noseband. Running Martingales are the ONLY legal martingales for eventing & combined tests and racing, and attach to the reins with rings. Depending on the type of showing you do depends on what you use. However, if you don't "need" them, I personally wouldn't use them.
By the way, martingales are used to literally tie the horses head down. If you have a horse who likes to throw up his head to evade the bit, this could be a helpful tool, but since Woodsie doesn't do that (at least to a problematic degree that I've ever seen), I believe it would be a waste of your money :P
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post #9 of 12 Old 05-14-2012, 01:57 PM
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Most of the martingales you see being used are incorrectly adjusted. The standings are being used as a tie down and this teaches horses to actually lean into the pressure and use it to balance themselves. This creates real future problems.

This is how to properly adjust a standing


Commonly seen BADLY adjusted standing martingales







A badly adjusted running martingale can be very punishing to a horse pulling the bit onto the bars of the horse's mouths when it shouldn't even be making contact.
This is a properly adjusted running martingale. The rings should reach the throat.



BADLY adjusted runnings





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post #10 of 12 Old 05-14-2012, 06:32 PM
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Originally Posted by equiniphile View Post
Exactly. Look at top level hunter horses. You'll see almost all of them wearing standing martingales. Obviously horses of that caliber competing in hunters don't have problems tossing their heads, so it's all for fashion.
I doubt every single horse in show jumping is a chronic head-tosser either...
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