although Zazou Hoffman's horse didn't wear a martingale when she won the Maclays this past year.
^^ Exactly. I hate it when people say "if you want to do well and place in the hunters/eq, you MUST have a martingale to complete the "hunter look"". Sorry, but me and Robbie cleaned up (we championed at every show and in every division) the past summer and he did not
wear a martingale once in any of his classes. Why do you think you're not allowed them in undersaddle classes? Most hunter judges like to see horses that go in a snaffle with no elaborate "training devices". Hunters is supposed to look easy and effortless, and if you have a martingale and all this "training/aid/whatever" tack on your horse, that shows to them that they are difficult and hard to ride. :/