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Wellspotted
Nov. 22, 2011, 02:11 PM
I have watched a few hunter/jumper shows here this past year and came home with a question:

Why do almost all the horses wear standing martingales in the O/F classes? I did not see any running martingales at all, and I don't think I saw a single horse go without a standing martingale.

Is it just a local fashion, maybe?

Just curious. I did hunters as a child and none of our lesson horses wore martingales. Now, in the local dressage world, of course, martingales are not allowed, except for hunter riders visiting "our" world for barn/schooling shows where we want them to feel at home 'til they find their feet in the new world! ;)

BAC
Nov. 22, 2011, 02:25 PM
Running martingales are not allowed in the hunters, ever. It is mostly a combination of that is what is allowed and fashion as far as the standing martingale, I think a lot of people just consider it part of traditional hunter turnout, although its perfectly acceptable not to wear one. Personally I prefer not using one unless its needed.

BAC
Nov. 22, 2011, 02:26 PM
Now, in the local dressage world, of course, martingales are now allowed,

What? Martingales are allowed in dressage? :eek: That's news to me, when did this happen.

pryme_thyme
Nov. 22, 2011, 02:26 PM
Running martingales are not allowed in the hunters, ever. It is mostly a combination of that is what is allowed and fashion as far as the standing martingale, I think a lot of people just consider it part of traditional hunter turnout, although its perfectly acceptable not to wear one. Personally I prefer not using one unless its needed.

Agreed!

chunky munky
Nov. 22, 2011, 02:28 PM
Because they look nice.

betonblackjack
Nov. 22, 2011, 02:36 PM
I think it is mostly "the thing" to do, but I haven't shown a hunter in a martingale in years. I'd just prefer not to if they don't need it.

AmmyByNature
Nov. 22, 2011, 02:39 PM
What they said. They look nice.

I ride my young horse in a martingale because I like the little feeling of extra security and because I don't ride as well as my pro does. My pro rides my young horse at home with no martingale. At shows, however, my young horse jumps in a standing martingale.

hequestrian
Nov. 22, 2011, 02:40 PM
I think that a lot of people use them for fashion. My trainer sends some of her kids around with them for a grab strap but as you are probably referring to riders of all ages I think a lot of people just like the look. I think they are a pain as you can't use them in the flat classes and have to take them off generally I believe... So unless a horse needs one I would rather not use one.

wendy
Nov. 22, 2011, 02:41 PM
it's just to fit "the look". Hunters is a lot about fashion.
I've always found it weird myself, since standing martingales restrict the head and shouldn't ever be used over fences. You may notice that in other jumping venues no one uses standing martingales- they are often banned for safety reasons. Not just jumping, but trails too, a standing martingale can turn a simple stumble into a deadly fall.

AmmyByNature
Nov. 22, 2011, 02:44 PM
it's just to fit "the look". Hunters is a lot about fashion.
I've always found it weird myself, since standing martingales restrict the head and shouldn't ever be used over fences. You may notice that in other jumping venues no one uses standing martingales- they are often banned for safety reasons. Not just jumping, but trails too, a standing martingale can turn a simple stumble into a deadly fall.

Not when adjusted correctly. I challenge you to find a top hunter who has ever once touched the limits of his standing martingale over a fence.

They can be adjusted too short, of course. But no hunter is going to get used if it is clearly straining at the end of a too-tight standing martingale.

Gloria
Nov. 22, 2011, 02:47 PM
Martingales are not allowed in USEF sanctioned dressage shows. Some local schooling shows might allow them.

BAC
Nov. 22, 2011, 03:40 PM
Martingales are not allowed in USEF sanctioned dressage shows. Some local schooling shows might allow them.

Thanks, I have never seen them used even in local shows but then again I haven't been to a dressage show in ages.

I am surprised everyone thinks standing martingales "look nicer" - I have nothing against their look but I think a horse without one looks even more attractive. The simpler the better IMO.

moonriverfarm
Nov. 22, 2011, 03:47 PM
Fashion statement. Which makes me a little :confused:, seeing as fashion should not matter. Hunters are not like they were in the good old days, but that is another thread.

Lazy-Pony
Nov. 22, 2011, 04:00 PM
My gelding never went in one- and I loved it because I didn't have to do that quick change before my under saddle class ;)
My mare doesn't wear one either, but that could change because I'm an ammy and need something extra to hold onto when things get wild! :D

Calvincrowe
Nov. 22, 2011, 04:02 PM
Fashion, in some cases, but not all. My horse needs one, as he carries his head up and "hitting" it reminds him to not fling it my way any farther. I also use it as a grab strap when he gets spooky at home, but then, I'm old and break easily;)

BAC
Nov. 22, 2011, 04:15 PM
I also use it as a grab strap when he gets spooky at home, but then, I'm old and break easily;)

Now that's a good reason for using one, and I can easily relate to that, I'm old too. :D

karlymacrae
Nov. 22, 2011, 05:26 PM
grab strab, face insurance, head flipping, fashion.. they have many different uses :)

hntrjmprpro45
Nov. 22, 2011, 06:13 PM
grab strab, face insurance, head flipping, fashion.. they have many different uses :)

This pretty much sums it up!

doublesstable
Nov. 22, 2011, 06:28 PM
grab strab, face insurance, head flipping, fashion.. they have many different uses :)


Agree....

I don't think it's a fashion statement as to why I use one.... more of insurance you may or may not need! Horses can be horses and who wants a face full of neck?

And it doesn't affect the horse while jumping as long as it is properly adjusted.

I see horses that I think actually need them. Why fight the horse if they raise their head???

To each their own I guess.

Madeline
Nov. 22, 2011, 08:20 PM
Just as a point of clarification. Running martingales are NOT prohibited in hunters, but they may be considered unconventional. Back in the old days, in appointment classes, only running martingales were permitted...

SillyHorse
Nov. 22, 2011, 08:21 PM
Now, in the local dressage world, of course, martingales are now allowed, except for hunter riders visiting "our" world for barn/schooling shows where we want them to feel at home 'til they find their feet in the new world! ;)


What? Martingales are allowed in dressage? :eek: That's news to me, when did this happen.
I'm quite sure that is a typo, and Wellspotted meant to write "not allowed." Martingales are prohibited in dressage by the USEF rules, although a local schooling show can use whatever rules it wants to.

reay6790
Nov. 22, 2011, 09:47 PM
Mine is super floppy. My horse is grey and long, and it "breaks" him up physically a little with the martingale. it serves no purpose other than looks, and is just as loopy as his noseband.

my pony had a martingale bc when he was learning changes he would root and try to get my 12 year old self off.

War Admiral
Nov. 22, 2011, 10:49 PM
It's a fashion trend. It'll be gone in 10-15 years. I used to scoff at it, but now that I have a young horse who legitimately needs one, I'm fine with it, since it disguises that fact. :cool:

copper1
Nov. 23, 2011, 06:57 AM
All who use martingales as a fashion statement that is questioned some could also ask the reverse, "why do so many dressage horses go in a flash?"

sporthorsefilly
Nov. 23, 2011, 07:26 AM
Absolutely, the standing martigale is a fashion statement! I agree if you don't need one why use it.

Back in the 40s/50s one didn't go Fox Hunting without a two rein bridle! Preferably a double bridle. Even a pelham was a cheat. Atleast that is what I was told. I recall one owner whom I worked for in the 60s who was horrified that I wanted to use a snaffle on a hunter! That was so unheard of to him. Just a terrible disgrace. (If you think about it, what would you do if you were out fox hunting and one rein broke? If you have a two rein bridle, you have another rein. The martingale could be used as an emergency strap if needed. Many traditions come about via need.)

Horse showing is a mixture of the old fashions/traditions and new ideas. Today's show ring hunters are far removed from the Field Hunter or the Outside Course Hunters that I grew up with.

However, when in Rome...so most people use a martigale when they show their hunters.

kookicat
Nov. 23, 2011, 08:01 AM
Because they look nice.

I don't think they look nice. They look like you're worried your horse is going to fling his head about. Plus, I don't like the thought of jumping in one. It creeps me out a bit.

Nojacketrequired
Nov. 23, 2011, 09:15 AM
All who use martingales as a fashion statement that is questioned some could also ask the reverse, "why do so many dressage horses go in a flash?"

A large percentge of dressage horses go in a flash to keep their mouths tied shut in the ring because a gaping or too busy mouth will cost you points. Yes, it's become "fashionable"..try to find a dressage bridle witout one...but it also serves a "purpose", even if it shouldn't have to.

NJR

axl
Nov. 23, 2011, 09:34 AM
My theory is that they're camouflage. If you have 30 horses in your barn and 1 NEEDS a martingale, put them all in martingales to make the needy one less noticeable.
Some genius BNT with a head-tosser is behind this "fashion", count on it!

Calvincrowe
Nov. 23, 2011, 10:33 AM
This topic is a slippery slope. One can ask why about many items worn/used in the ring: how about boots in the equitation, on a horse who just went around without them, over the same fences? Sheepskin "Mattes" pads--do all horses need extra cushion, or is it fashion only? Pelhams on every single eq horse/medal horse/junior horse? See what I mean?

Honestly, some need martingales, some don't. I like how it visually appeals on some horses, breaks up the long neck on some of them. Mine needs one, I'll keep using it. So there.:lol:

LeandraB
Nov. 23, 2011, 11:12 AM
it's just to fit "the look". Hunters is a lot about fashion.
I've always found it weird myself, since standing martingales restrict the head and shouldn't ever be used over fences. You may notice that in other jumping venues no one uses standing martingales- they are often banned for safety reasons. Not just jumping, but trails too, a standing martingale can turn a simple stumble into a deadly fall.

No offense, but this is bullsh!t. over a hunter course a horse in a properly adjusted martingale is not really going to hit it. There are always those scary oh crap! jumps where a horse gets in wayyyy long but at that point its going to be a disaster regardless of whether or not the horse is wearing a martingale and the fences in a hunter class fall down if you hit em.
Theres a reason theyre deemed unsafe cross country (up and down banks, solid obstacles etc) and legal in hunters.

eclipse
Nov. 23, 2011, 12:36 PM
Some people wear them just to "complete a look" (fashion). My last mare never wore one and it never affected placings, my current mare needs one and it doesn't affect placings! :D

When she's good she keeps her head low and all is good, but when she spooks and throws her head up, I'd rather not have her face in my face!

SillyHorse
Nov. 23, 2011, 12:56 PM
All who use martingales as a fashion statement that is questioned some could also ask the reverse, "why do so many dressage horses go in a flash?"
Lots of jumpers go in them, too. I don't know the reason for that. In dressage it's "the fashion" for many, just as a standing martingale is the fashion for hunters. I'll bet if you asked 100 dressage riders whose horses go in flashes why they have flashes on their bridles, 95% would give one of the following answers: "I don't know," or "my trainer says all dressage horses should wear flashes," or "my bridle came with it." In reality, the last two answers are the same as the first.

horsepoor
Nov. 23, 2011, 01:14 PM
Mine is super floppy. My horse is grey and long, and it "breaks" him up physically a little with the martingale. it serves no purpose other than looks, and is just as loopy as his noseband.


Just a PSA on the floppy martingale -- had a horse that liked to chew stuff like his reins and he reached down and grabbed the martingale strap and got it caught in his mouth.:eek: It was quite scary as he panicked and couldn't get free as the martingale was now tight (wrapped on his lower jaw as it was). We had to very quickly get the girth undone to loosen the strap enough to get it out. He was a big boy and it was (unfortunately) a good quality martingale as it didn't break. After that, I was much more careful about adjusting martingales.

Sorry for the digression; you all can go back to your argument.:)

wendy
Nov. 23, 2011, 05:20 PM
Quote:




Originally Posted by wendy

it's just to fit "the look". Hunters is a lot about fashion.
I've always found it weird myself, since standing martingales restrict the head and shouldn't ever be used over fences. You may notice that in other jumping venues no one uses standing martingales- they are often banned for safety reasons. Not just jumping, but trails too, a standing martingale can turn a simple stumble into a deadly fall.

No offense, but this is bullsh!t. over a hunter course a horse in a properly adjusted martingale is not really going to hit it. There are always those scary oh crap! jumps where a horse gets in wayyyy long but at that point its going to be a disaster regardless of whether or not the horse is wearing a martingale and the fences in a hunter class fall down if you hit em.
Theres a reason theyre deemed unsafe cross country (up and down banks, solid obstacles etc) and legal in hunters.

uh huh. They're illegal for safety reasons in jumpers- where the jumps fall down. They're illegal for safety reasons in stadium of eventing- where the jumps fall down. They aren't safe for jumping period. You'll regret your fashion statement the day your horse needs to use his head to balance himself, hits the end of the properly adjusted martingale, can't balance, and falls on top of you. They restrict the horse's head, by definition. Sometimes things happen, and when they do, you don't want the horse's head restricted.

eclipse
Nov. 23, 2011, 05:44 PM
uh huh. They're illegal for safety reasons in jumpers- where the jumps fall down. They're illegal for safety reasons in stadium of eventing- where the jumps fall down. They aren't safe for jumping period. You'll regret your fashion statement the day your horse needs to use his head to balance himself, hits the end of the properly adjusted martingale, can't balance, and falls on top of you. They restrict the horse's head, by definition. Sometimes things happen, and when they do, you don't want the horse's head restricted.

Not illegal in jumpers (in Canada anyway) until higher than 1.10! And, sorry but I also disagree with you about them being "unsafe". A properly adjusted standing martingale, does NOT restrict the head from proper movement. It just stops it from flying up overly high. I've had my horse stumble quite badly while wearing one, and guess what, she had no problems getting her balance back. I've seen others too, and they have no issues either!

lintesia
Nov. 23, 2011, 06:08 PM
Just as a point of clarification. Running martingales are NOT prohibited in hunters, but they may be considered unconventional.

Completely true! This was a "trick" question on a written "horsemanship" test (it was more "rulesmanship") that I had at a show a few years ago.

Wellspotted
Nov. 23, 2011, 09:00 PM
"Martingales now used in dressage here" should read "NOT used"! Sorry for the mix-up.

copper1
Nov. 24, 2011, 06:38 AM
I have been jumping horses for more years than many of you have been alive, many in standing martingales and though I have crashed and burned as much as the next guy, I have never been in a situation where the martingale has prevented the horse from saving himself. Same with trail riding!
I can see where that can be a problem if the thing is so tight that the horse can't do anything with his head and in that case, that horse needs to go back to basics!

Twisting
Nov. 25, 2011, 07:14 AM
I have seen a horse crash due to a standing martingale. Though I'd say it was more a freak accident than a true jumping hazard. Horse was a knees to eyeballs kind of jumper, and put his foot down through the martingale after a fence. He couldn't finish unfolding and landed in a heap on the back side of the fence. Luckily he snapped the martingale in his struggles without causing any serious injury to himself or his rider. He never went in a standing martingale again.

My boy doesn't need one and I don't use one, but that's mostly because I'm disinclined to spend money on a piece of equipment I don't need.

Wellspotted
Nov. 25, 2011, 04:19 PM
uh huh. They're illegal for safety reasons in jumpers- where the jumps fall down. They're illegal for safety reasons in stadium of eventing- where the jumps fall down. They aren't safe for jumping period. You'll regret your fashion statement the day your horse needs to use his head to balance himself, hits the end of the properly adjusted martingale, can't balance, and falls on top of you. They restrict the horse's head, by definition. Sometimes things happen, and when they do, you don't want the horse's head restricted.

That is why I was wondering why so many hunters wear them these days. I want my horse to be able to use his head (in every sense!) when he's jumping.

doublesstable
Nov. 25, 2011, 04:34 PM
I have seen a horse crash due to a standing martingale. Though I'd say it was more a freak accident than a true jumping hazard. Horse was a knees to eyeballs kind of jumper, and put his foot down through the martingale after a fence. He couldn't finish unfolding and landed in a heap on the back side of the fence. Luckily he snapped the martingale in his struggles without causing any serious injury to himself or his rider. He never went in a standing martingale again.

My boy doesn't need one and I don't use one, but that's mostly because I'm disinclined to spend money on a piece of equipment I don't need.

Horses like that can catch a leg in reins too....

Just about every other thread on this BB - it depends on the horse.... and accidents can happen.

HGem
Nov. 25, 2011, 10:09 PM
A properly adjusted standing martingale does not restrict the head from normal movements. If your horse needs to put it's head up that high during a jump, I think you were going to have issues over the jump with or without it! I've never seen or heard of a crashed caused by the martingale itself. I'm sure it exists - but there are accidents out there caused by everything. That doesn't make everything dangerous. And personally I'd rather keep the horse from smacking me in the face. I've seen/heard of that happening very frequently.

The only problem I have with standing martingales are that the neck strap slides down the neck too easily. With my Percheron cross that is certainly a problem as she is always diving for the nearest patch of grass any chance she gets. Solution? Breast plate with the martingale attachment. She looks beautiful in it too :yes:

Janet
Nov. 27, 2011, 07:50 PM
A properly adjusted standing martingale does not restrict the head from normal movements. If your horse needs to put it's head up that high during a jump, I think you were going to have issues over the jump with or without it! ...

It is at the point of landing that the horse is most likely to need to move his head out of the range permitted by even a well adjusted standing martingale. Especially if the horse stumbles slightly due to uneven footing.

See attached photo for an example of how high a hore raises his head in landing from a big jump- even more on a drop.

EventerAJ
Nov. 27, 2011, 09:19 PM
Agree with Janet on this one. Sometimes horses do need extra freedom; on steep landings, or in awkward stretching moments.

I have seen a horse crash with a standing martingale. It was in a Pony Club lesson, jumping about 3'-3'3". Competent, athletic eq horse with skilled junior rider cantered down to a square oxer. Got a bit long, rider jumped up the neck, horse hit the end of the martingale and face-planted in the sand. Martingale had been properly adjusted per PC rules-- reached well up into gullet-- and passed the pre-mounting safety check. Horse just needed an extra few inches to save himself, but martingale stopped him cold.

PC instructor dusted off horse and kid, removed martingale, and they finished the lesson well. Horse had no need for standing martingale anyway...it was just something the kid always used because it was "standard" h/j equipment. The image of that crash will forever haunt me; since then, I've never jumped in a standing martingale. I'll use them only with head-throwing horses I don't trust for hacking/flatwork to protect my face.

Be careful with running martingales, too. While they seem "unrestricted," a too-short running could also cause a horse to stop or lose confidence.

ohsareee
Nov. 29, 2011, 02:22 PM
Ah yes, the good ol' martingale argument. This could go on for years and no one will ever see eye-to-eye on it.

I used one for a long time. Why? I have no idea. I was not knowledgeable then and with a trainer who just told us it was to be used, so I used it.I got a little wiser when I did some investigating and personally, I find no use for it.

I've ridden some seriously bumpy rides, alot of buckers and rearers, spookers, bolters etc. Never in a million years did it cross my mind to grab onto a martingale...or any additional pieces of equipment except the reins in my hands. Also I have never seen them being effective at keeping a horses head/neck out of a riders face. I don't really know why someones face would be that close to their horses head and neck and I had a horse with a seriously wimpy bug problem who would fling his head/neck as far around as it could go yet he was never close to my face? So I really do not understand that logic behind having one.

I only use tack as it is needed. My pony went in saddle, pad, half pad, girth, and bridle. No more. My horse goes in saddle, pads, girth, bridle and boots. Only because he does in fact clip himself. I've done hunter classes and hes come out with little bleeding cuts. And I just find martingales to be a real PIA...I hate to get off to remove it for a flat class, especially when youre doing more local shows and do one medal fence trip to then remove martingale for flat phase, just to put it back on for next medal fence class and remove for the flat phase of that repeat repeat repeat. It's just unnecessary in my eyes. Plus why waste time putting on and removing pieces of tack every day that are of no use?

And mostly, I really don't feel like cleaning any more tack than I really have to.

Perfect10
Nov. 29, 2011, 03:09 PM
My mare on trial has a martingale simply because that's what she went in when I tried her and I don't feel like finding out on a blustery day that she actually does need one. My old horse didn't go in one, nor does my pony. I have used a martingale on something with a long white neck just to break it up a little.