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Horse put head down and martingale neck strap got stuck behind poll

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  • Horse put head down and martingale neck strap got stuck behind poll

    Has anyone had this happen? He put his head down while we were saddling him. Then jerked his head up and had a little episode with the strap pulling behind his poll until we could help him.

    The next day he seemed fine until we started to jump. He is jumping very uncomfortably, so something is tweaked. Seems fine to touch/pressure. Curious if any one else had this happen and what exactly is going on.
    Rest in peace Claudius, we will miss you.

  • #2
    I never use plain martingales that don't fasten to the saddle for that reason.

    I have a horse who had an apparent brachial plexus/C-spine nerve root injury in the trailer after he jerked backwards on the rope (my fault). Took a while to figure it out because he was never BAD, just sort of intermittently anxious, clumsy, and fussy with certain activities. He's responding well to a course of dex, longeing with his neck "long and low" and six weeks off from riding. We will probably inject the one joint in the neck that seems worst before he goes back to work.

    Chiropractic did diddly-poo for him. We did bone scan, ultrasound, x-rays, the works. The bone scan showed his whole right front leg "cold" vs. the other leg, which we theorized is sort of a neurogenic response to the brachial plexus injury. Otherwise a really careful exam indicated his sensitivity and resistance to moving very specific ways. At one point the vet found a spot that made him rear! All getting very much better now, but it's been very interesting and educational, for sure.

    Click here before you buy.


    • #3
      Best thing is use a Breastplate with the martingale attachment of your choice. Better, get away from using a martingale.


      • #4
        Martingales are much more acceptable in the hunter ring so switching to a breastplate may not be an option for the OP.

        It sounds like the same thing could have happened if she was using a breastplate since it happened while she was saddling. Depending on the order that she was hooking straps if he dropped his head before she got the top of the breastplate attached to the saddle it still could have dropped down to his poll.

        If I am leaving my horse in the stall with a standing martingale on I just loop a piece of baling twine around the neck strap to D-saver, to a billet strap or one of the saddle pad straps.

        OP- it does sound like your horse tweaked something. Sorry I have no suggestions. Good luck.
        Oh, well, clearly you're not thoroughly indoctrinated to COTH yet, because finger pointing and drawing conclusions are the cornerstones of this great online community. (Tidy Rabbit)


        • #5
          I haven't had a problem or injury from this happening, but it is easy to do. The tb I ride is thankfully fairly level headed in his stall and when this has happened, he just hangs out. It does make me nervous, so I try not to leave his stall once he's girthed up (which means helmet and gloves on before the saddle, and hanging out with him in the stall a few extra minutes as he needs some time, gradually tightening his girth).


          • #6
            I meant to add Jingles and hope he's feeling better asap!


            • #7
              I've had it happen in the past, with no injuries. Since I don't show (and even if I did I could do a temp deal), mostly trailride right now, and I do ride ALL my horses with a running martingale (as insurance), all my martingales have a leather thong tied on them with a small snap on one end that attaches to the dee ring on whatever saddle. (dern, that's a long sentence LOL)

              This keep the martingale from going forward more than maybe 4 inches.
              "As a rule we disbelieve all the facts and theories for which we have no use."- William James

              Proud member of the Wheat Loss Clique.