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Martingales in Hunter Classes

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  • Martingales in Hunter Classes

    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!
    Last edited by Wellspotted; Nov. 23, 2011, 09:05 PM. Reason: confusing typo
    Founder of the People Who Prefer COTH Over FB Clique
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  • #2
    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.

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    • #3
      Originally posted by BAC View Post
      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!
      http://dotstreamming.blogspot.com/

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      • #4
        Originally posted by Wellspotted View Post
        Now, in the local dressage world, of course, martingales are now allowed,
        What? Martingales are allowed in dressage? That's news to me, when did this happen.

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        • #5
          Because they look nice.
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          • #6
            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.

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            • #7
              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.

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              • #8
                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.
                Equestrian At Hart - A blog about adventures in bringing along a young TB mare and a 2016 Big Star filly

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                • #9
                  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.

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                  • #10
                    Originally posted by wendy View Post
                    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.

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                    • #11
                      Martingales are not allowed in USEF sanctioned dressage shows. Some local schooling shows might allow them.

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                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Gloria View Post
                        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.

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                        • #13
                          Fashion statement. Which makes me a little , seeing as fashion should not matter. Hunters are not like they were in the good old days, but that is another thread.
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                          • #14
                            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!

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                            • #15
                              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
                              Proud member of the "Don't rush to kill wildlife" clique!

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                              • #16
                                Originally posted by Calvincrowe View Post
                                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.

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                                • #17
                                  grab strab, face insurance, head flipping, fashion.. they have many different uses

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                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by karlymacrae View Post
                                    grab strab, face insurance, head flipping, fashion.. they have many different uses
                                    This pretty much sums it up!

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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by karlymacrae View Post
                                      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.
                                      Live in the sunshine.
                                      Swim in the sea.
                                      Drink the wild air.

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                                      • #20
                                        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...
                                        madeline
                                        * What you release is what you teach * Don't be distracted by unwanted behavior* Whoever waits the longest is the teacher. Van Hargis

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