martingales in hunters
so i have a few questions as i primarily do jumpers and field hunting and eventing, but i just watched my friend's sister at WEF (broadcast online in the hunter championship) and why do all the horses have standing martingales?
i also know that running martingales are not permitted but wondering why as they give the horse more freedom to jump.
does anyone show without a martingale in upper level hunters?
i was also wondering why most classes don't go over 3'3" - 3'6"? i know there are 4' hunter classes, but they are rare. seeing as how the main focus used to be to show off your field hunter in the off-season, and seeing as how in the field we see jumps higher than 3' / 3'3" (up to 4" or more with drops/ditches/banks, etc.) why that doesn't translate to the ring classes. although i also know that there's such a difference these days anyway. i do have to say i'm glad to see the hunter derbies bringing back more of the field-style in hunters :)
To be honest, the standing martingale seems like more of a fashion statement than anything these days. The hunter barns around here have them on all of their horses, regardless of training level, and many of the riders I know have no clue what they're for--they're just something you put on to ride, like your girth or cavesson. They're not allowed for showing on the flat, however.
I show in the adult 3'3 - 3'6 hunter classes and don't use a martingale. Robbie doesn't need one and I don't feel the need to use stuff I don't need just because it's the "look". Sooooo many riders in my classes use one even though their horse's don't need them thinking they will place higher because the martingale completes the look. However I usually place above those with martingales because the judges see that my horse looks easy and more uncomplicated to ride.
I find there is also an over-use of pelhams and more complicated bits in the hunters. What ever happened to the classic hunter D's? Haha
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I'm honestly not sure why the running martingales aren't allowed. I know standing martingales are actually banned in Jumpers because of the possibility of forcing the horse's head in a certain spot, or something to that effect. It's something that I really don't like, the fact that hunters don't allow the RM... The SM are definitely a fashion statement, and I must say, a dumb one at that.
I'm going to guess that you'll find the taller heights at higher rated shows - people riding in C level shows probably aren't going to be jumping 4', so there's no real reason to have the classes. Of course, I haven't been to many A/AA rated shows, so I wouldn't know that for sure.
a lot of fox hunts do allow running martingales, i assume thats why they arent allowed in hunters.
what is allowed in field hunters should (in theory) be what is allowed in show hunters since (again in theory) that is what it is based on. it's sad to see that is not the case. i agree the SM is more a fashion accessory at this point than useful.
i think it makes sense that you can show (and win) in hunters w/o the martingale, bc i agree it makes your horse look less complicated and nicer to ride.
as for the 4', i don't see a lot of those at the big shows - i'm talking HITS, WEF, etc. the big $$ classes are usually 3' - 3'6" which i find interesting. the 4' are so rare. i do jumpers because i find it more straightforward, though i do appreciate a good classic hunter as i field hunt, myself.
i meant dont allow running martingales ! sorry !
my hunt absolutely forbids them
For jumpers, in classes that offer up to $1000, there is no martingale restriction and in classes that offer between $1000-$4999, running and standing are permitted. So standing martingales are not banned in all jumpers- only in classes offering $5000 or more and young horse classes.
I'm guessing it's something to do with safety in the event of a tumble, but I can't work out what.
its a lot of tradition really, as thats how the guidelines were set. they are said to be unsafe because they can get stuck on the bit and can get caught on another riders foot.
when i get home next week i can dig up my riding to the hounds in america book and quote it.
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