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German Martingale

This is a discussion on German Martingale within the Horse Training forums, part of the Training Horses category
  • Martingale
  • German martingale single piece reins

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    09-26-2011, 11:01 AM
  #11
Super Moderator
Sadly, your horse went well and looked good because he really didn't have a choice. Once the martingale was gone, he did. His balance and engagement ensured that he would go the way he knew, which is probably incorrectly.

You need to take several steps back and figure out what is causing the horse to go poorly. Heavy on the forehand? Unbent? Too bent? Any number of good reasons. Then, you must retrain that issue out. Otherwise, you will always need a gimmick to achieve you goals, most likely.
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    09-26-2011, 02:42 PM
  #12
Trained
He has been ridden high headed forever, he's eighteen now and his previous owner didn't do anything about that, and neither did I at first...So he has a LOT of bulging neck muscles underneath, but hardly any ontop, which is why I think doing what Horsesdontle said will help since we were having similar problems. He's not really heavy on his forehand, he's really balanced all around, he just likes to have his head in the air, LOL. Kinda defeats the purpose there.

I had a friend say I should use the martingale as a muscle building thing, but I think he's just leaning on it now, since it has been so long and there hasn't been a change.
     
    09-26-2011, 02:46 PM
  #13
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by SorrelHorse    
Just as a clarification - The see-sawing was how I was taught, and I use it when he's being very hard mouthed as a "Second step", I touch one rein to draw his face down, and if he doesn't listen, I go ahead and see-saw and just increase my leg pressure and release one he does as I ask.

Horsesdontle, I'll try that, thanks :)
Sadly, that's how most people are taught. I used that for a long time. Its stuck in my brain so much. I just recently had a lesson with an instructor that considers it a huge no no. And she kept telling me to stop doing it when I wasn't even conscious of it. The horse was coming out of the bridle, and only the correct amount of leg would fix it pushing the horse into a good propulsion and engagement would the horse get into a head set....nothing I did with the reins, other than keeping steady contact. Though subconsciously I kept correcting with my hands.

From what I've been learning the seesawing locks up the horse's jaw, causing stiffness not softness. And the horse will lower its head, but keep its neck and pole stiff, creating problems for asking for cues later one.
     
    09-26-2011, 02:51 PM
  #14
Yearling
Quote:
Originally Posted by SorrelHorse    
He has been ridden high headed forever, he's eighteen now and his previous owner didn't do anything about that, and neither did I at first...So he has a LOT of bulging neck muscles underneath, but hardly any ontop, which is why I think doing what Horsesdontle said will help since we were having similar problems. He's not really heavy on his forehand, he's really balanced all around, he just likes to have his head in the air, LOL. Kinda defeats the purpose there.

I had a friend say I should use the martingale as a muscle building thing, but I think he's just leaning on it now, since it has been so long and there hasn't been a change.
Jake didn't even know how to give to the bit when I got him at 16yo. Lots of lower neck muscle. Even on turn out he keeps his head high. So they do sound similar.

But the main person that has giving me awesome advice on retraining Jake is Allison. I would listen to anything she has to say. Jake's issues were mostly balance issues from overbending and popping out his shoulder and not tracking up, so I got his balance in order while getting him to move properly into the bridle and he has been falling into it. He still now leans on the bit, looking for the support that he was used to. But overtime muscle should help that.
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    09-26-2011, 04:09 PM
  #15
Started
Are you sure you are using a german martingale? According to trainers I know, it teaches the horse to give into the bit and flex at the pole w/o forcing the head in a set position like a running martingale. I've never used one, but that's what I heard....for what it's worth!
     
    09-26-2011, 05:21 PM
  #16
Yearling


This is a german martingale just to make sure everyone is on the same page. There is a set of reins attached to the bit with loops. The martingale is forked and attached to the breast collar, it runs through the bit and attaches to the loops on the reins.

Like a part draw rein effect. And like any gadget used, to try and get the head down it pulls the head in a way that is down and towards the chest. Some horses learn that the release is in dropping their head and then only use the rein itself, and the draw rein effect is not used.

Yet 6/7 horses I have tried it on, Learn very quickly when you have it on, or when you have it off. Its useful in occasional situations, but never as a constant thing. But the fact is that when you remove it the bit will be pulled up from the bit to the riders hand instead of straight back, like with a german martingale. The horse needs to learn to relax and not raise its head on contact. Any way of forcing a horses head down and in, doesn't mean that they are using their body as they should. In the right hands (which I don't believe I am capable of using, so I don't use them after I didn't have the technique down) I can see how they could be useful.

I hope that made sense. >_< I feel like a babbled.
     
    09-26-2011, 05:37 PM
  #17
Trained
If a person will use a little patience and feel instead of trying to use brute force and get instant results then they will have a much better result in the end and it will not take much longer.

Rather than trying to force the head down if you put light pressure on the reins and wait for the horse to find the right answer and then give a full release then you will be far more successful.
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    09-26-2011, 05:42 PM
  #18
Teen Forum Moderator
OP- Why don't you focus on getting him in-frame in places other than just his head? It sounds to me like he is extremely unbalanced, and may be using his head to keep himself going. If you help him collect and round himself out, he should be more willing to drop his head for you...and keep it there.
     
    09-26-2011, 06:09 PM
  #19
Trained
Quote:
Originally Posted by kevinshorses    
If a person will use a little patience and feel instead of trying to use brute force and get instant results then they will have a much better result in the end and it will not take much longer.

Rather than trying to force the head down if you put light pressure on the reins and wait for the horse to find the right answer and then give a full release then you will be far more successful.

Although I agree with the sentiment of what you are saying, I do think that 'brute force' is a little over the top for a description.

I for the last 40 years have pooh poohed gadgets and gizmos, but you know they have their place, IF and I repeat IF people know how to use them. With most of these things if used sympathetically and occasionally they can help a horse and rider progress, and no brute force needed.

This change of thought came after a year of battling with Mr G to get him to drop his head, he is another one with well developed under neck muscles because he has been a giraffe all of his life. At a training session last month we pooped a set of draw reins on him, it really helped me to see where and when I was dropping contact with him, and how to keep him in a better frame.

Would I ride in them the whole time, no certainly not, I never use them more than once a week, but we are starting to make progress.

I agree no brute force, but don't right of all artificial training aides in this category.
     
    09-26-2011, 06:13 PM
  #20
Trained
You're right of course. There are no absolutes. I have a gag snaffle that I sometimes use on older spoiled horses and it works well for them and then I can get back to my regular snaffle.
     

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