I use a standing martingale while jumping, because the horse I ride throws her head up and doesn't see the jump and crashes through it, which gets dangerous. You are right, top riders use running martingales because they jump a lot higher, and running martingales allow the horse more freedom to use their head and neck to get over the higher jumps. I only jump about 2'3"-2'6" so a standing martingale is not going to be uncomfortable at that height. Now, if I start jumping higher I will switch to a running martingale. Or maybe no martingale, if she gets over tossing her head up.
Martingales are useful and safe if you use them correctly. If they are too tight, and if a horse doesn't need one, then that's when you get into issues. You really shouldn't use a martingale just because everyone else is or it's part of a uniform. A martingale is just a tool, just like a crop, or spurs and should only be used when necessary. You wouldn't use a crop on a horse that's hard to slow down.
Last edited by ErikaLynn; 10-25-2010 at 12:27 PM.