Originally Posted by DancingArabian
I think in certain circumstances it could. Would it help if a rider is very heavy handed or who uses the reins for balance? Instead of all their weight on the poor horses mouth, it would be somewhat deflected by the reins.
No evidence to support this. It's just a thought as to why someone would think so.
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deflects it off their mouth? How can pressure on the rein, thus onto the bit, be deflected off the mouth by a running martingale? Pressure applied to the rein is pressure applied to the rein. You can change the angle that the pressure is applied, but the same amount would come through.
If the horse raises his head or the rider lifts the rein enough to engage the martingale, then some of the pull become downward pull, rather than straight back or upward. Downward pull brings the bit more to bear onto the bars of the horse. Does that save the mouth? Maybe takes pressure off the corners of the mouth, since pulling straight back does put pressure there.