Training Fork ?

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Training Fork ?

This is a discussion on Training Fork ? within the Western Riding forums, part of the Riding Horses category

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    06-18-2012, 03:39 PM
Training Fork ?

Could someone explain those to me ? I know they're used to teach proper head positioning but I've heard negative things about them as well . Just genuinely interested on the pros and cons of them .
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    06-18-2012, 11:26 PM
Training fork is also called a running martingale. Training forks though, usually attach to the breast collar or cinch without the loop around the neck.

You totally need to use these correctly. Used wrong they can cause bracing, being heavy on the forehand, and generally create a mess. But use them correctly and they can be a great training aid for teaching a horse to collect, and proper head carriage. Some people say they are gimmicks, I have used them on my colts for the last 7 years. My horses are light in the face and collect up wonderfully. But if you do not have someone spend the time and teach you how to use these correctly, well I wouldn't touch them. If someone, many years ago hadn't shown me how to use and work a running martingale - I wouldn't have ever started.
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    06-21-2012, 01:06 AM
What is a Training Fork? In my head I am seeing something you eat
Wth, and that can't be right! LOL
    06-21-2012, 01:07 AM
I used one with my horse. Do not recommend it.. my trainer had me in it and I didn't realize what it was doing.

It has taught my horse that without it he can flip his head, he never used to do that. He leans on my hands, he resists contact.

He's slowly working on relaxing more but I can tell you prior to the fork we were getting somewhere. After the fork.. he has gotten worse and less willing.

The english equivalent is a running martingale.

In my eyes the ONLY way to teach a young horse/old horse/retraining horse "to collect" is to ride them correctly and over time they begin to develop those muscles on their own. Trust me.

I hate that phrase, people just don't understand. Even I don't understand it, but if I knew what I know now.. back then, never would have used a training fork on my horse.

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