Originally Posted by SaddleDragon
Any tool can be used incorrectly. A true ss horse holds its head there already so no false headset or skelatal problems, as these horses NATURALLY hold themselves that way. They are built for it conformationally.
This just fine tunes a headset. No cranking going on.
NO a martingale doesn't keep a horses head down, its to keep the nose in. Thus the 10 ring one, for diffrent headset adjustments .....
There are many misconceptions about what that type of martingale does. It's not like the more common "western-type" martingales or tie downs or anything else similar to them. The martingale shown in the picture is to help the horse learn where to keep its head. They are conformationally built to have a high headset. Trust me, that martingale will not stop a horse from smacking you in the face if your head is in the way - I can tell you from experience. Imagine taking a western-style quarter horse and trying to get it into a sidecheck. Not going to happen. There's nothing skeletal about it. It just won't work, end of story. Now take that same western horse, and use tack that helps it learn to where to keeps its head (you know, level with the withers in a line parallel to the ground). That western horse naturally has a lower headset and training equipment refines that headset. Saddleseat horses naturally have a very high headset (and also tend to have long necks) and the training equipment helps refine that headset. It's not cruel. It's not abusive. It's not mean. It's training.
Being unfamiliar with something doesn't make it a scary monster. I've seen a lot of things in other breeds/disciplines that I don't understand at all, but I don't balk at it. Instead, I find knowledgeable people and inquire.