Join Date: Mar 2009
Location: Kansas in the summer, Kentucky most of the time
I use one on one of my mares once in a blue moon. When she is out of work for a bit, as she is now, she gets very excited when we go back to jumping. She is a naturally high headed horse and when we go over bigger stuff, she gets the Grand Prix Showjumper thing going on and flips her head up sometimes. However, this is pretty rare and as I said I only use it once in a blue moon. She is a VERY powerful jumper and many BNT's have looked at the way my martingale was adjusted and said it was correct. I take their word for it. I rarely take it out on XC and if I do, it's when we are schooling bigger jumps that she has never seen before (at heights she has never seen before). I haven't used it for quite some time now.
It is a useful tool when used in the right hands but it should not be used for headset as many people use it for. I leave mine long. Long enough that she has to put her head up REALLY high for it to be effective, which I think is the whole goal. If you would like to see how mine is adjusted, there are pics of it in my virtual barn under my horse Javah.
I will NEVER use a standing martingale on a horse. I had a horse a couple summers ago that I was taking care of for her owner while she was away. She said that I should always use a standing on her when jumping because "she puts her head up too high". I refused to jump her with it and she did just fine. I think it restricts the horse's head way too much and is more of a fad than a useful tool.
Oh and just to add, I've never used a "real" running martingale. I've always used the attachment that goes on the breast plate. I think it's a lot more adjustable and I like the fact that I don't have to buy two separate pieces of equipment.
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