Join Date: Jan 2010
Location: On the big bay horse
Hello! You're planning to jump your horse? I read a bit of you tidbit about him. I guess its worth a try, but that will put alot of stress on his legs and his is older. But, your horse and your choices, not mine.
Anywho...a martingale is a "training aid". A standing martingale(when fitted properly and used with a stopper) will give a horse a range of head motion to an extent so the horse cannot pull its head straight up in the air and avoid the bit. It is a standard item used over fences in hunters and equitation. I always use a martingale on my horse, because I think that they look akward without one, it breaks up their neck so even though I have an equitation horse who goes on the bit and in a little frame when jumping and doesn't require one, I like to use it for aesthetic purposes. In show manuals it is said that one "may" be used at riders discretion but it is just something most everyone uses over fences, and personally if I was judging, if two horses were equal and one was without a martingale, I would pin it lower. But that is my personal opinion. A running martingale is very popular on the eventing and jumper circuit. It is not allowed in the hunter rings. It works more like draw reins, when a horse is trained properly, the running martingale puts pressure on the bit to get the horse to lower his head and neck and encourages him to go "on the bit". Again, martingales aren't necessary but when schooling, even flatting, I use one. But my horse was pulling a little stunt where he would just shake his head like crazy when he was bored with whatever we were doing. It is a good idea to invest in a standing martingale and even use it when just hacking. Make sure it is fitted properly or it will give no help.