I'm wondering what the advantages are for using a bib fork instead of the usual running martingale. I've read that they prevent a horse from putting a foot through the straps while race jumping or if the horse falls. Any other reasons to use one? I can't say I've seen them used much in eventing but may be wrong.
They're great for a mouthy horse who might get a normal martingale strap caught in his jaw. They are generally only used during conditioning, in fact,
I've never seen a jumper run in anything more than an irish martingale.
I galloped a Fu Peg colt who LOVED to grab the bib in his mouth, rendering it useless and not the safest way to gallop or come back to the barn. A mouthy horse can that grabs the rings is not fun to be on for sure!
Not sure why you'd want to use one for eventing, I wouldn't personally, and I have no idea if they are legal, although I believe an Irish martingale is legal, but I'm not 100% on that. I need to read the rule book
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I think that they aren't used in racing partly due to the weight. Also, you are not schooling, you are racing so it's a little different. In other words, you might jump in draw reins to school an issue at home, but not compete in them. One difference is they are generally shorter than a running, and heavier, therefore they have more of an effect. Also, they limit how far apart the reins can go. That may help on a race track horse who generally steers off a bridge/cross rather than a riding horses single rein aids. I like bibs and use them all the time.