Join Date: Jul 2010
Location: Jacksonville, NC
Running martingales are really only effective for horses that toss their heads high to avoid the bit. I've only ever had to use it on one horse that I was training for eventing. That particular horse liked to gallop full speed in between jumps on both the x-country course and during stadium jumping. Any attempts I made in slowing him down resulted in him throwing his head up to avoid the bit and galloping like that (dangerous). After a few months of alternating using the running martingale and not using it, he was able to go without it and be controlled.
As long as you have good hands and aren't using it as a permanent fix, but as a training tool, you'll be fine.