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  1. #1
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    Feb. 19, 2008
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    465

    Default Market Harborough training aid

    Has anyone used Market Harborough (I guess its a type of martingale, but officially its called training aid) and what is your experience with it?



  2. #2
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    Dec. 1, 2005
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    FL
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    Default

    also known as a German Martingale. I use them on certain horses for certain reasons. they can be very successful in the right situation.
    www.pinkhorseperformance.com
    Begin as you mean to continue.



  3. #3
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    Feb. 19, 2008
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    Im a greenish rider and new horsie at most times carries his head in front, having neck and head almost parallel to the ground :O My trainer is able to round him up, but definately not me. So, she put it on last time I rode to "show me what it feels like to have a rounded horse." Having read a bunch of classical dressage books I thought draw reins are evil, and this thing kinda look the same way. After lot of grumping and compaining I complied and climbed aboard, but actually it felt pretty good. My hands are not steady and I so afraid to pull on the mouth to the point of having loose reins (I know, I know, bad habit) and somehow this time I was able to keep hands in the same spot and keep a horse in place. He felt good, on the contact, and head was in the right place (we are not trying to make him collected, just be more on the bit and more engaged.)The weird thing is that throughout the ride he never pulled on martingale, it was always loose but again, the problem is not keeping his head down, its actually trying to make him lift it and carry it himself and not making it a rider's job.
    So, should I sleep well at night now, or I need to get rid of the piece of equipment which I very conviniently has brought home to clean?



  4. #4
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    May. 6, 2006
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    Warren County, NJ
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    Most un-useful in my mind. When you wish to give the horse a long rein because of the martingale attachments to the reins, you suddenly lose all control and have 0 contact with the horses mouth. Unless I seem to be unable to fit that thing correctly... also possible, admittedly.
    I rode a friends horse in one once, awful...

    I'm not for gadgets in the first place but this one I really don't like.
    If I'd were to use one, then I'd still prefer a harbridge over a market harborough really : (see pic harbridge)
    http://www.hangmanshallequestrian.co...-aid-322-p.asp
    At least here you can give a long rein without loosing contact and the aid works in consistently when picking up the reins.



  5. #5
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    Sep. 27, 2006
    Location
    N FL
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    747

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    Quote Originally Posted by Lieslot View Post
    Most un-useful in my mind. When you wish to give the horse a long rein because of the martingale attachments to the reins, you suddenly lose all control and have 0 contact with the horses mouth. Unless I seem to be unable to fit that thing correctly... also possible, admittedly.
    I rode a friends horse in one once, awful...

    I'm not for gadgets in the first place but this one I really don't like.
    If I'd were to use one, then I'd still prefer a harbridge over a market harborough really : (see pic harbridge)
    http://www.hangmanshallequestrian.co...-aid-322-p.asp
    At least here you can give a long rein without loosing contact and the aid works in consistently when picking up the reins.
    How does this work, it looks interesting. Kinda like a martingale but dosen't interfere with horse unless the horse throws his head up? Interesting.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Oct. 31, 2001
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    West of insanity, east of apathy, deep in the heart of Texas.
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    15,870

    Thumbs down

    Better you learn to keep your hands still, than to go to gadgets like this.
    Let your trainer teach you how to ride, so you don't have to subject your horse to hands constantly yanking on his mouth.

    Why must people always look for the fast way, rather than the right way? Seems there's never time to do something right, but there's always time to do it over. Your horse deserves better than that.
    In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
    A life lived by example, done too soon.
    www.caringbridge.org/page/laurajahnke/



  7. #7
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    Sep. 18, 2003
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    4,665

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    Quote Originally Posted by ESG View Post
    Better you learn to keep your hands still, than to go to gadgets like this.
    Let your trainer teach you how to ride, so you don't have to subject your horse to hands constantly yanking on his mouth.

    Why must people always look for the fast way, rather than the right way? Seems there's never time to do something right, but there's always time to do it over. Your horse deserves better than that.
    Well ... it was not the OP who wanted the gadget on in the first place, so you might want to aim the lecture at the trainer. But I agree with you about taking the time to learn vs. the gadget route.

    Equus_girl, there are others ways to learn how to steady your hands and get a sense of what contact should feel like. Tell your instructor you'd rather learn without the gadget and ask her to coach you through the rough spots when your hands are wobbling or wandering (hint: it has has much to do with your seat as it does your hands -- ask me how I know this ).

    If she still pushes you to use it and you don't want to, take lessons with other trainers until you find one who is willing and able to teach an adult how to ride. In my experience, they're not easy to find, but well worth the trouble.
    __________________________
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    the best day in ten years,
    you are SORELY MISTAKEN, MY LITTLE ANCHOVY."



  8. #8
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    Back-up. Her coach wanted her to feel what the goal feels like. Now she'll know when she gets there correctly. There's a big difference between that and being dependent on a gadget.

    To the OP: When I rode my coach's schoolmaster, she put drawreins on for a couple of lessons simply so the mare would quit taking advantage of the fact I was still trying to understand what "round" feels like. Once I knew what I was asking for (total lightbulb moment when I felt it), the drawreins came off and we worked on achieving the same thing through correct riding.
    "Adulthood? You're playing with ponies. That is, like, every 9 year old girl's dream. Adulthood?? You're rocking the HELL out of grade 6, girl."



  9. #9
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    Feb. 19, 2008
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    Thank you all for replying! I did not want to stir up heated discussions and both myself and my trainer share the opinion of most posters that gadgets are not the solution. I am a recent hunter to dressage convert and honestly, have never really rode a horse on a contact, also my other horse was trained dressage and for him it was a piece of cake to go and stay on the bit. New horse is young, kinda lazy and carries his head and neck parallel the the ground, in a constant stretch, and I cannot lift him up. My trainer is able to ride him on the bit but I dont have a great feel of him mouth and cannot use the rains in that finest, presice manner. Horsie needs to be worked and with his head down and in front, there is more stomping and rushing than working.
    So trainer suggested using Market Harborough for a couple of weeks to help me realise what he needs to feel like when I am riding him and what form he needs to be without me doing mistakes of accidental pulling. I posted the question becouse I have never seen the device before and was unsure and still is unsure on how it works
    I rode with it again yesterday and had my boyfriend watch the martingale like a hawk and Claud has never even pulled on it, it was always loose but he was really working and his head was in the right place (agian, we are not trying to collect him, just get him on the bit and keep the head where it needs to be)



  10. #10
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    Feb. 19, 2008
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    My hands issue has to do more with keeping steady contact with his mouth than with haivng them wobbly and flying around. Claud has a tendency to stretch at every moment you are not holding on to the reins, he is perfectly capable of cantering around with his head on the ground if you let him. And should I forget about keeping the reins he pulls to stretch and they slide right through my fingers.. Then I have ot gather them back and the evil circle starts all over again.



  11. #11
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    Oct. 31, 2001
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    West of insanity, east of apathy, deep in the heart of Texas.
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    Default

    Thus reinforcing my opinion that the problem starts, and ends with you.

    If you want to use a gadget, how about starting with a longe line, with your trainer on the other end of it, and you learning how to use your seat? You can't control your hands until your seat is independant, and you can't learn that while trying to fight with a new/green horse as to how he should carry himself. Right now, you're not capable of maintaining your own balance, so it's impossible for you to help him maintain his. Fix yourself first, then worry about the horse. You'll be surprised how much he already knows about this, when you're able to ask him properly.
    In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
    A life lived by example, done too soon.
    www.caringbridge.org/page/laurajahnke/



  12. #12
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    Feb. 19, 2008
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    Thanks ESG!
    I know that I have a lot of problems riding correctly and I do get regular longeline lessons.



  13. #13
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    We ALL have problems riding correctly, girl. Maybe your trainer disagrees, but I think it's best to address the greater of two evils when dealing with a green rider/green horse combination. Far better, IMNSHO, to let the horse bop around on its forehand, than to subject its mouth and temperament to the unsteady, unintentionally-punishing hands of a rider still learning to balance. It's a heck of a lot easier to fix something that's on its forehand and rushing a bit, than it is to try to get a mistrustful, sour horse to start working well and happily for an unintentionally abusive rider. Not saying that you're abusive, but it's just the horse's point of view.

    JMO.
    In loving memory of Laura Jahnke.
    A life lived by example, done too soon.
    www.caringbridge.org/page/laurajahnke/



  14. #14
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    Feb. 19, 2008
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    ESG,
    What is your advice becides taking off the martingale and keeping longe lessons? Unfortunately, we do not have any schoolmasters for good longe lessons, and since Claud is green its not a good idea to keep him on the circle for more than 10-15 mins, plus I hate to subject him to my accidental bouncing, thus we keep longing sessions short. I am doing exercises off the horse to try to get in better form (who knew dressage would be so much harder comparing to hunters :O)
    He goes in simplest french link snaffle and as I said he goes very well for my trainer without any devices...and thats the only thing we tried on him. He gets longed in sidereins sometimes, but not too often and they are loose. Maybe we should just cut the lessons' time and have me give everything I have to ride him correctly for 20 mins than to have a so-so ride for 45?



  15. #15
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    Equus_girl, just give it time, give 'yourself' time as well as the 'horse'.

    It takes a lot of riding before one finallly gets this better feel for riding with a true contact and a relaxed horse.
    First the horse needs to built up enough muscle allround the be able to have this nice relaxed contact for even just the shortest periods of time. Even if you only get it for 5 minutes of your 50 minute session, praise the horse profoundly and start building up a database of feelings for yourself. What got you there, perhaps a slightly higher handposition on yourbehalf, a more active leg, your own shoulders better aligned with the horse's shoulders and so on... Try to memorize how you feel when you have the horse where you intend it.

    Forcing the horse into a position with 'any' type of gadget or even with hard hands, will cause his muscles to tire virtually instantly and fight the contact, which may look like horse on the bit, but the relaxation isn't there.

    I'd say forgot about his head, his neck, focus on rythm and having a good control of the forward driving motion in the hind end. Teach the horse to listen to you and wait for you, by doing lots of transitions and lots of going back to halt. For example when my horses start the stargazing, often I go back to square one. I don't care where their head/neck is, just want them to wait for me and go truly forward when asked. I'll do halt, 2 steps, halt, stand around wait and the horse is not to move (remember to use voice rather then too much rein), then take a couple of strides, halt again etc. Untill I have their full attention, same from trot to halt and then thereafter I'll work them forward with lots of circles, circles will help to get the horse more round. Plus I work on keeping them active through frequent half halts, which they are attentive to provided I got their attention in the earlier halting exercises.
    Eventually they relax more, move of my leg quicker, respond faster to lighter rein aids and drop the head and neck in a more relaxed outline. I reward, reward, reward and call it a day.

    Try to read some good dressage books to make sure you understand the feelings you wish to obtain. And if at all possible perhaps try to ride some different horses, so you can get this database of feelings, which helps you get this AHA-moment .
    If that's not possible ask your trainer to hop on each training session for just a little while, so that when you get back on you can feel a correct moving horse under you.

    Remember dressage is more like a life-long goal. And actually I think I'll need a couple of lifetimes for it .



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