Originally Posted by megannnn
but the one thing I do know is NEVER EVER EVER use a martingale on cross country.
That's a very big NONO
Well fitted martingales are very much acceptable for cross country, as well as in the case of some riders, a necessity.
My horse is a head-flipper (Arab). He REQUIRES the martingale, because sometimes he literally will throw his nose in the air and BOLT. I paid a lot of cash for my saddle and appreciate that it is a no-slip situation, so a breastplate isn't necessary. I wasn't in the position to pay $200+ for a breastplate (my gear is "hazelnut" colored) when I actually did run CC, so I rode it in the martingale. It was perfectly fine and a lot of other riders did the same.
I know a lot of eventers use their martingales/breastplates for double purpose - to control the head/stop saddle slippage but as well as to have a "safety strap" available in case something goes wrong. I've clung to mine on a few occasions!