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paintponylvr

need education on martingales

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In going thru lots of pictures of both Minis (AMHA & AMHR) and Shetlands of all classifications (Foundation, Classic, MP and Modern), I'm seeing running martingales on harnesses of driving ponies.

 

What is the purpose? Why so short? I don't understand the purpose of "breaking" the straight line from bit to driving turrets to drivers hand....

 

I come from a H/J and working western background, then segued over into Arab and then into the ponies/minis. YES, we used running martingales as well as standing martingales, germazn margtingales and tie downs - but only for training purposes (similar to using draw reins - or driving draw lines. Tie downs were used in horse events allowing them but were adjusted MUCH longer - for speed events & rodeo/cattle events). Yes, I've seen martingales adjusted shorter and many western trainers have used them much shorter for QH in pleasure training but again not allowed in showring.

 

 

If you dig through my photos from different links on my website - you will probably see several pics of martingales adjusted too short. I dealt w/ angry trainers, and upset horses and ponies while fixing problems created from my ignorance at those times.

 

Now I want to understand this "new thing" in the breed rings...

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It's definitely not a new thing although I understand that it is to you. IMO it's simple- a martingale both keeps the tightly checked horse from responding as he'd like by getting above the bit and bolting and it allows someone with no actual reinsmanship to crank the noise of a horse with no actual training into the desired position. It's a shortcut cloaked as a safety device, IMO.

 

People use them because those who win do. They're following a trend.

 

I have one on Kody's show harness just for looks and find it did make him want to set his head by making the pressure of the reins more downward but then again, he wasn't checked up so I wasn't putting him between a rock and a hard place. The martingale also only broke the line of the reins when he raised his head past the desired natural position so there was a distinct release as soon as he dropped his head again. Sadly, many minis in the ring never find a release from either check or martingale. They learn to lean indiscriminately on both and hold a locked position instead of learning to use their bodies and improving with age. Makes me sad.

 

Like anything else, martingales can be used to educate the horse or abused depending on the hands wielding them.

 

Leia

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Thank you, Leia. Now I understand much better.

 

So, for proper adjustment, if it is actually going to be used (In the ring), is is adjusted like on big horses - w/ the rings up by the throatlatch or slightly lower to be in line w/ the rein turrets on the saddle? That would put pressure when the head goes too high or out of alignment but would also not break the line...

 

Right now, I don't have any running martingales for harness (the one that I had w/ the quick hitch training harness is broken and I haven't had it repaired). I also usually don't use the check - though it will be hooked to the saddle to keep it from flopping about when it's a permanent attachment (or removed when it can be). I will need to learn what and how the check is actually supposed to be adjusted for the ring in the future - but w/ my greenies and I just learning - that's a bit into the future I think...

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My martingale only comes into play when Sunny raises his head higher than I want it. But since he goes Western, his check is never tight at all, he really doesn't even need one.

 

When we do pleasure drives/parades I don't even use a check or martingale. Strictly for the ring!

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per AMHR Rule book Martingales are optional not mandatory so if you don't need one don't use it. I don't use one when I show and I place well against good competition. Just because "everyone" has one doesn't mean they need to.

 

 

Karen

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Im just learning to drive. Do you have pictures of what you are explaining so I can understand what you are telling her. Sorry

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Im just learning to drive. Do you have pictures of what you are explaining so I can understand what you are telling her. Sorry

 

If you're asking about the martingale, here's a picture. Although the horse is standing you can see the one side - it's a ring the rein passes through. It's on pieces of leather that run up from the belly band and either behind or thru the chest piece.2007-amhr-national-top-10-simply-awesome-600x478.jpg

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So, for proper adjustment, if it is actually going to be used (In the ring), is is adjusted like on big horses - w/ the rings up by the throatlatch or slightly lower to be in line w/ the rein turrets on the saddle? That would put pressure when the head goes too high or out of alignment but would also not break the line...

I second the others- if you don't need one, don't use it! And frankly no one NEEDS one unless they've checked their horse up to eternity or allowed him to develop some really bad habits. :RollEyes I got one as a bit of an experiment but they're such a pain in the rear to put on each time you harness that if Kody were still actively showing I'd have replaced it with a false martingale (a strap that goes from the girth to the breastcollar) that would give the same look to his chest without all the fuss with the reins.

 

If you do use one, use it to help the horse understand where you want his head. Watch him going without it, note where the reins naturally lie when he's in the correct position (or how much lower you'd like them to be if he won't yet hold any position at all) and then adjust the martingale to that length. The goal would be that if the horse raises his head out of the desired position the martingale will put gentle downward pressure to help him understand you want him back there, and when he gives to that pressure the martingale "releases" and no longer breaks the line of the reins. That, to me, would be "proper use" of the equipment for a WCP or CP horse. (Single Pleasure/Park are a whole 'nother ball game and one I don't pretend to have any idea how to train for.)

 

Leia

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