Should I get a martingale?
 
 

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Should I get a martingale?

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  • Martingale and under neck muscles
  • Martingale horse tack

 
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    10-12-2010, 10:45 PM
  #1
Weanling
Should I get a martingale?

I have been thinking about getting Sonya a martingale, as she throws her head up when trotting, cantering, and stopping. I think she does this for balance, am I not correct? I want her to frame her head. If she happens to tuck her head in on her own, she responds so much better, and her gates are smoother as well!
Would a martingale be what she needs? Or something else? I don't know how else to get her to frame up.

She is only 4, and andonly been under saddle for a little over a year, so could she out grow this?


Here's a pic to show you what I mean. The reins are loose, and I always keep them loose, so I don't think its me that is pulling her head up. I have tried keeping the reins tight, but she just fligs her head up higher and fights me.

     
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    10-12-2010, 11:12 PM
  #2
Trained
A martingale is only helpful in preventing the back of her head from meeting your face. Take dressage lessons.
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    10-13-2010, 12:11 AM
  #3
Banned
I understand that you want her to look right, but there is more to it than the neck carriage. A horse with its head down without collection is quite easy to see for many. The very basic idea is that your horse will power from behind rather than the front.

I ride with a martingale, but the only way to get the head down from that is to tighten it down so tight that the horse cannot lift up, this is NOT what you should be seeking. If I were you I would be seeking a natural head carriage that comes from collection, that way your horse will be powering from behind rather than dragging along from the front with its head down - which does nothing other than look 'similar' to the desired result.

I too think that you should take some (or some more) lessons.
     
    10-13-2010, 12:35 AM
  #4
Super Moderator
No.


Train your horse to engage and balance.
     
    10-13-2010, 12:45 AM
  #5
Green Broke
What your horse needs to learn is how to accept contact, round, and carry herself. A martingale simply keeps her from flinging her head straight up. So to answer your question, no, that's not the answer, it won't teach her a thing. She will not outgrow it, it's a training problem. Keeping your reins loose won't do a thing either. (Remember, it's not about keeping your reins "tight", it's about keeping a proper feel.) The reason she flings her head up is b/c she doesn't know how to accept contact with the bit or use her body.

The only way to correct it is proper training.
     
    10-13-2010, 12:53 AM
  #6
Weanling
Ok, I will start looking for somewhere to take lessons. I took them for almost six years, but the coaches didnt really no anything beyond W/T/C and jump.

Should I get a coach just for myself, or would the both of us benefit more, since she doesn't know what she is doing either?
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    10-13-2010, 12:55 AM
  #7
Banned
I would say for the both of you. She just needs to learn some balance and collection. A good dressage trainer would be able to help you with both. Her being so young, its best to teach her the right way instead of having her rely on more equiptment to get the job done.
     
    10-13-2010, 12:56 AM
  #8
Super Moderator
Martingale can warp neck muscles

Hi,
First let me say that you have a really nice seat on that horse, really, and your letting her run with her head up where she wants to put it is not so out of place for the time being. She is still very young, so contact is something that comes AFTER moving forward with good rythm and relaxation. A young horse needs to move freely at first, and your job is to stay balanced over her and let her find her own balance. Little by little, you will work with more contact such that she learns to accept and GIVE to the contact. However, most important is not losing the forward movement and not just dragging her down in front, as a Martingale can do. A lot of other folks said to take dressage lessons and focus on getting her to work from behind into soft contact. Both can be developed at the same time; working her into contact (and you will have to be more active in that, not just a passive passenger) AND encouraging her to move briskly forward from pushing hind legs.

The thing about Martingales, especially for ayoung horse, is that if they fight them and learn to brace against the incessant resisitance they will build muscles in all the wrong places on their necks. Once this habit is formed, it's hard to undo. I know Martingales are used for jumping but I think that is for a different purpose and are more a safety issue, no?
(obviously, I am not a jumping person)
     
    10-13-2010, 01:11 AM
  #9
Weanling
Thank you all!

Now, how do I make her reach more with her back end? Should I adjust my seat at all? Squeeze more with my legs? Anything I can do until I find a trainer, or should I just wait, just to make sure I am doing it correctly?
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    10-13-2010, 01:45 AM
  #10
Banned
Hey thanks for listening, it is fairly rare that someone does not get all bent out of shape when they hear what they don't want to.

My opinion, and I might be wrong, is to keep doing what you are doing until you find a trainer/coach/instructor. Advise here is not the same as someone telling you something when you do it in that moment. You are not harming your horse, you are just not helping it - so I would say get a trainer and as soon as you can, because you are teaching it to be ok with what it is doing, but that is easily correctable.
     

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