When to use martingales or breastplates. - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 51 Old 06-08-2010, 12:16 AM Thread Starter
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When to use martingales or breastplates.

I am in need of some help. I've just started eventing, did my first show this past weekend. I was jsut wondering about breastplates and martingales and stuff. When do you need them, how can you tell that you need them? One of my friends uses a breastplate{I think} when she does stadium/x-country, and another friend uses a martingale for those 2. Other people at my barn use them as well when they jump, sometimes my friend uses them for flat too. Do I need either one?

Here are a few pics just in case you need them.

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post #2 of 51 Old 06-08-2010, 12:22 AM
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well I don't event (yet)
But we use breastplates when the saddle slips back alot.

And we use martingales when a horse throws its head alot or carries his head very high making it hard to control him.

But the one thing I do know is NEVER EVER EVER use a martingale on cross country.
That's a very big NONO
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post #3 of 51 Old 06-08-2010, 12:26 AM Thread Starter
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okay. Does it look like we'd need a breastplate? We're only doing pre-entry this year so the jumps aren't very high but when I'm on him it seems like the saddle slips back a bit and in the last picture it looks kinda far back. Is it just me wanting more tack or does it look like we need one.
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post #4 of 51 Old 06-08-2010, 01:11 AM
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There is no reason not to use a martingale cross country if it is needed - many Olympic level riders have martingales on CC.

You should not need to rely on a breast plate to prevent your saddle slipping back - A well-fitted saddle should not move much when riding. It CAN be used for some added stability.

I personally use breastplate because I like the look - I feel they 'complete the picture' when jumping - though they are a no-no in dressage.

A martingale should only be used if your horse tosses his head high enough to hit you in the face - Which from your photos, I don't think is an issue he has. (He is absolutely adorable, by the way!)

So basically - Get a breastplate if you want - it may give your saddle a bit of extra stability and will also look good. Only go to a martingale if it is needed.

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post #5 of 51 Old 06-08-2010, 09:48 AM
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Originally Posted by megannnn View Post
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!

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post #6 of 51 Old 06-08-2010, 10:35 AM
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I use breastplate, because I like the look. :) Plus there is a withers strip I can use if I have to get on. Martingales are more for the horses with nose in air, your horse doesn't look like he needs any.
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post #7 of 51 Old 06-08-2010, 12:55 PM
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I use a breastplate in all three phases and think it completes the entire look and package. A horse doesn't look complete without a breastplate to me. :) I use a standard black breastplate in dressage, and a five way out on the XC and in the stadium ring. I like having the strap on the withers to use to know if my hands are too up his neck (one of my big issues), and even though my saddle is custom to his back, I like the reasurance that the breastplate gives me.

It looks like you could benifit from one when you start doing banks and such because he looks like he has a round back that is perfect for saddle slipage!

Oh and he's ADORABLE by the way! :) And welcome to the world of eventing!

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post #8 of 51 Old 06-08-2010, 05:38 PM
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^ As far as I know in Australia it's illegal to use a breastplate in dressage, I guess it's different over there?

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post #9 of 51 Old 06-08-2010, 05:54 PM
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No, because it's allowed in FEI competitions. And it's done all over Europe and I know that Mark Todd (new zealand) uses a breastgirth in dressage. I'd check the rule book because that would make it the only country I know of with the rule against dressage breastplates.
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post #10 of 51 Old 06-08-2010, 05:56 PM
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I use a breast plate in Dressage too Stormy :) :)

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