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  1. #1
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    Default Standing Martingale question...

    to start with I'm from Australia and we don't have proper hunter classes just your straight Jumpers and an equitation or two.

    So my question is why do you think the standing martingale has become so popular in the hunters, to the point its more of a fashion accessory than a useful tool? We don't use them much here, I've ridden one horse that needed it but that was when I was playing Polocrosse and everytime you leant down to pick up the ball the horse would try to knock you out (not my horse, one I had to borrow). Most Jumpers if they need something use they just use a Running Martingale and that is what I have always used on mine too.

    My reasoning behind why I like the Running Martingale over the Standing is because if all goes wrong I like my horse to have complete use of his neck if he stumbles and almost falls or trips on the landing of a jump and needs his neck to help rebalance.

    But this is just my view point and I don't know a lot about hunters so I thought I would ask you all, if you use them, why it over something else and if you don't use it, why not?


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  2. #2
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    Honestly my thought is that since the running is illegal in hunters, a standing martingale was just another piece of tack to buy. Not going to lie, they only reason I use one on my horse is because with out a martingale he just plain looks strange and awkward.


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  3. #3
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    I didn't know that... Why is the running illegal and the standing not?



  4. #4
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    Rules for Hunters are as follows:

    SUBCHAPTER HU-4 ATTIRE, TACK AND EQUIPMENT.
    HU125 Tack .
    1. Regulation snaffles, pelhams and full bridles, all with cavesson nose bands, are recommended.
    A judge may penalize for non-conventional types of bits or nosebands.
    2. Competitors may be refused an award unless they return to the ring for conformation or soundness with the same complete bridle in which they have performed.
    3. Martingales of any type are prohibited in Under Saddle, hack and tie-breaking classes. Standing martingales are allowed for all over fence classes. All other martingales may be considered unconventional.

    A judge may penalized unconventional tack, but it is not illegal.


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  5. #5
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    Default

    Thanks PP


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  6. #6
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    Whoops, PonyPenny beat me to it...
    I don't think runnings are illegal... at risk of being deemed unconventional, perhaps, but not banned.

    I really couldn't say why it's become fashionable to wear a standing. It seems silly and somewhat dangerous to me if the horse doesn't need it.

    If something goes wrong over a fence (or anywhere, for that matter) I don't want my horse's head and balance tied down.



  7. #7
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    Default

    I think the common thought is, if I CAN use it, and it may potentially help in some way, and is common so not judged against, then why not use it?

    A local hunter trainer uses them on all her horses because she thinks it is a safety tool; horse cannot get its head up enough to evade bit control and bolt. Not sure if I agree with that use, but then I don't tend to have bolters in my program. The lesson barn I started at, also felt that way. In both of these cases, the martingales were loose enough to not interfere during regular activities and the horse could not lean on them.



  8. #8
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    you pretty much WILL be marked down if you wear a running martingale in a hunter class. I wear one on my horse because he's still a baby and I use it for extra security, as a last resort I know he won't break my nose type of thing. Also it really does make his head and neck look more solid, as an optical illusion.
    all disclipines have their signature peices of tack. and in my opinion a standing martingale will probably do less harm than a flash or grackle noseband. if the horse doesn't need it, and its fitted properly it makes literally zero difference.


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  9. #9
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    A similar thread regarding debating standing martingales is currently going on. I'll say basically the same thing I said on the other one.

    a properly fitted standing martingale will in no way effect the horse's bascule over fences or hinder in any way
    -if you don't like it and don't need it, don't use one
    -some people equate it to wearing a belt. Does the average person NEED a belt that wears one? Most people "like the look" of a belt, they feel it completes the outfit and it properly fitted, won't cause a muffin top disaster.

    I am in no way a slave to fashion (navy blue coat, white shirt, choker,tan britches) but I like the look of the martingale on my hunter. To me, it completes the picture. Since I know how to properly fit one, there is of no danger to my horse.
    Come to the dark side, we have cookies


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  10. #10
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    In my opinion, standing and running martingales have some overlapping uses but overall I use them for two different types of evasion. I use a running when a horse pulls their nose up and leaves it there as an evasion, such as a lot of hot horses will do when they approach a jump. In this scenario, it gives me a little more leverage when trying to keep them from lengthening their stride and becoming too strung out before the fence.

    I use a standing on a horse with a head flipping problem (after all medical, and soreness issues have been ruled out and it has been determined that this is a strictly behavioral issue). As I posted in the other thread, I currently use a standing on my green OTTB for his occasional unpredictable cavorting and head tossing sessions. I determined a standing was necessary for him after being struck in the face/torso by his head during one of these sessions.

    Basically, if it's a constant evasion, I use a running. If it's momentary, I use a standing. Although 90% of the horses I've ridden/owned haven't used either, which I much prefer.
    "Be the change you want to see in the world."
    ~Mahatma Gandhi



  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by Pennywell Bay View Post
    A similar thread regarding debating standing martingales is currently going on. I'll say basically the same thing I said on the other one.

    a properly fitted standing martingale will in no way effect the horse's bascule over fences or hinder in any way
    -if you don't like it and don't need it, don't use one
    -some people equate it to wearing a belt. Does the average person NEED a belt that wears one? Most people "like the look" of a belt, they feel it completes the outfit and it properly fitted, won't cause a muffin top disaster.

    I am in no way a slave to fashion (navy blue coat, white shirt, choker,tan britches) but I like the look of the martingale on my hunter. To me, it completes the picture. Since I know how to properly fit one, there is of no danger to my horse.
    You are absolutely correct.

    I can't understand why people don't understand this.

    Properly adjusted, as the horses head goes down and out as it does in a bad stumble, the martingale gets longer.

    That is because it is no longer going up and around the chest but instead is in a straight line from the girth to the nose band. Since a straight line is shorter than a curved one, there is more slack.

    People who think they know what they are talking about speak of a horse not being able to raise his head during an almost fall.

    Well, he raises head after he recovers. and he does not put it in your face.

    What happens when a horse stumbles?

    Well the first thing that happens is that he pulls the reins through your, I hope, relaxed fingers as his head goes down and out.

    If he raised his head, you would end up with slack reins, not reins pulled through your fingers.

    Even the extreme fences shown in Wofford's book, pages 110 - 114, do not cause the horse's head to rise above what a properly adjusted standing would allow.

    The fact that a standing is not allowed in some horse sports does not change facts.


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  12. #12
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    Its just silly in my opinion. So strange that fashion overrides common sense.

    Put a piece of tack on a horse that is designed to correct bad behavior – while showing a horse and demonstrating that it is well behaved / trained and does not need that piece of remedial tack. For the most part, most well trained hunters are the LAST horses that would need a standing martingale – they aren’t tossing their heads up in their rider’s faces.

    Standing martingales are illegal in the cross country phase of eventing because they are dangerous. If adjusted lose enough to never interfere with the horse – well then they are useless.


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  13. #13
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    I stopped riding my horse in a standing last year. She's a hunter through and through and is natually built like a couch, so her head is almost never high and it's actually probably quite uncomfortable for her to try and invert.

    I had just moved her up to the High Performance division and was finding that because she had gone in a standing for so long, she actually was sort of leaning on it as a bit of a crutch and was causing her to constantly be on the forehand and causing me to fear for my life a bit if I was going to be a bit deep to a tall vertical (it happens quite often as an ammy in a 4'+ hunter division, let me tell you).

    I took off the martingale and have never been happier. I think she appreciates the freer range of her head and she no longer has something to brace against, which gives me a better canter and a better jump overall.

    She's got a cute head, is pretty fine boned and is relatively curvy in the neck region, so I think she actually looks more refined without the standing. Screw fashion and trends!


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  14. #14
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    I had just moved her up to the High Performance division and was finding that because she had gone in a standing for so long, she actually was sort of leaning on it as a bit of a crutch and was causing her to constantly be on the forehand and causing me to fear for my life a bit if I was going to be a bit deep to a tall vertical (it happens quite often as an ammy in a 4'+ hunter division, let me tell you).
    ================================================== ======


    Statements like this, which would be under the heading of urban legend in any other discipline, are why the younger riders grow into the sport with wrong ideas.

    Properly adjusted, a horse can not lean on a standing.

    He can not generate pressure on his nose band until his head gets quite high. He can graze, drink water, stumble until his nose touches the ground and none of that will put pressure on his nose band.

    If your horse was "leaning", it was because you did not know how to adjust it.

    I admit that I have seen martingales adjusted short to "cure" problems but that is not really their purpose. They are to prevent broken faces, not to cure anything.

    By the way, some people adjust the standing short in order to make their horses go deep, so maybe that was your problem all along.


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  15. #15
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    I'll say what I say every time this subject comes up. Once upon a time, a BNT had a horse that needed a martingale, but he thought that if that was the only horse wearing one the flaw would be accentuated. Therefore, he put every horse in his barn in a martingale and "set a new trend." Now everyone uses them and it is harder to spot the horse that truly needs one, although I truly doubt that top judges are fooled.

    goodlife, I found your post confusing. You say your mare travels with a low head and yet she is leaning on the martingale? Color me confused.
    Holy crap, how does Darwin keep missing you? ~Lauruffian



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by cssutton View Post
    I had just moved her up to the High Performance division and was finding that because she had gone in a standing for so long, she actually was sort of leaning on it as a bit of a crutch and was causing her to constantly be on the forehand and causing me to fear for my life a bit if I was going to be a bit deep to a tall vertical (it happens quite often as an ammy in a 4'+ hunter division, let me tell you).
    ================================================== ======


    Statements like this, which would be under the heading of urban legend in any other discipline, are why the younger riders grow into the sport with wrong ideas.

    Properly adjusted, a horse can not lean on a standing.

    He can not generate pressure on his nose band until his head gets quite high. He can graze, drink water, stumble until his nose touches the ground and none of that will put pressure on his nose band.

    If your horse was "leaning", it was because you did not know how to adjust it.

    I admit that I have seen martingales adjusted short to "cure" problems but that is not really their purpose. They are to prevent broken faces, not to cure anything.

    By the way, some people adjust the standing short in order to make their horses go deep, so maybe that was your problem all along.
    I don't know if it was adjusted to a length that you would consider "correct".

    This is a picture from last year with one on - I certainly don't think I had it on too tightly :
    https://fbcdn-sphotos-f-a.akamaihd.n..._2345297_n.jpg

    It definitely was not used to "cure" any problem - it was simply a case of this horse is a hunter and this is what you do when you have a hunter - you put a standing martingale on it. She's lovely in the ring and it wasn't used to mask issues, which is why I thought I'd kibosh it.

    Regardless of whether it was poorly adjusted or not, she went much better without one - the leaning stopped and she jumped much better, so I'm not too keen on putting one back on. I don't think they're as dangerous as some make them out to be, as I did survive for many years with the same horse and a few hail-mary distances and stumbles without flipping over/her not being able to recover/etc. etc. I'm just not sure why I would put something back on my horse that would cause her to perform less well than she does without one.

    It may not have even been the physical barrier of a short martingale that was causing her to lean, but rather a learned behavior from so many years of going in a standing martingale. She would root against me every step, as if she was maybe trying to hit the end of the martingale as a bit of a challenge. It may have been a leftover reaction from a time when she went in too short of a martingale, or it may have even been too short at that point - who knows. Even if it were my poor martingale adjusting skills that were causing the problem before, I see no reason to put a properly adjusted one back on her now...don't fix something that's not broken and all that. If she hits me in the face somehow, it's going to be because something very catastrophic is going on and it probably is going to end in disaster anyway.

    I'm not sure I understand your last concept of shortening the martingale to make them get deep - certainly not my intention and I was always under the impression that my choice of distance was why we were deep, not my martingale length.
    Last edited by goodlife; Dec. 3, 2012 at 03:32 PM. Reason: clarity



  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by axl View Post
    goodlife, I found your post confusing. You say your mare travels with a low head and yet she is leaning on the martingale? Color me confused.
    I clarified a bit in the above post...she didn't so much pull the martingale tight as a horse would when they carry their head quite high, but rather every canter stride would sort of root against it - I think it was a bit of a learned behavior from always going in a standing. Needless to say, it was much improved after going without a martingale.
    Last edited by goodlife; Dec. 3, 2012 at 03:31 PM. Reason: clarity



  18. #18
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    Many horses do tend to lean on standings, actually. I am not sure why this is even an argument- if it is adjusted so loosely that the horse can never bump it, what is it even doing on there in the first place?

    I stopped using them a few years ago and have never looked back. Taking off his martingale took away my old jumper's ability to root against it, and made a huge difference in the way he went. I broke my four year old last year and he's never even worn one. I also ride with two dressage-heavy trainers, though, and I can't imagine what they would say if I showed up to a lesson with a martingale!
    You can take a line and say it isn't straight- but that won't change its shape. Jets to Brazil


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  19. #19
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    So for those of you that ditched the standing martingale in competition, have you ever been knocked down in placings or had a judge comment on it?

    I really don't want to start using a standing since my OTTB does not have a head-flipping or high head issue and has never worn one. I'm just starting to break him of the opposite low-head/leaning on the bit issue.

    I love my new hunter trainer but she and I don't see eye to eye when it comes to tack & attire. She is a slave to hunter fashion.



  20. #20
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    Color ME confused.

    Sure, there are plenty of horses out there with martingales on that are not necessary. However, I can't seem to understand this idea that everyone in the hunter ring just automatically puts on a martingale because it's the fashion. I could sit here all night and show you pictures of top hunters that win all over the EC in any division...that don't have martingales on. Of all the horses in our barn, one wears a martingale. He doesn't wear it because it's the fashion - he wears it because he goes more suitably with it. If a trainer is putting a horse in a martingale because he or she believes it is the fashion, then so be it. Do tell - how is it hurting the horse? However, as I said before, I would go so far as to say that at the upper echelon of the sport - you're more likely to see horses without martingales rather than with them.

    As a sidenote, dressing your horse to meet the "fashion" isn't an anamoly reserved for the hunter ring. I've seen it in other disciplines as well, and as long has it isn't harming horse or rider, then what is the problem? In the everyday world, people dress to match a certain fashion or style trend, so it's not that surprising that it happens in horse world as well.



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