MARTINGALES EXPLAINED

Most of y'all know what a martingale is, but how do they work and what is the difference between all of the different kinds? There are a lot of different types of martingales and their differences can be a little confusing. In this special post I'll be going over all the different kinds of martingales and their uses. I know I sure learned a lot of new info in this post, so hopefully you will too!

Running Martingale



Use

Running martingales are most commonly seen in the jumper ring and in eventing. It is especially handy on cross country as it allows the horse to have more freedom in range of motion.


How it works

When the horse pulls its head up in the air, the martingale tightens the tension on the reins. Unlike the standing martingale, the rider has control on the effect of the martingale as it connects to the reins.


Why it's different:

The running martingale prevents the horse from throwing its head high out of the range of control, but does not pin the horse's head down. There is a lot of give with this type of martingale and allows for the horse to still use its head.

Standing Martingale



Use

Standing martingales are most commonly seen in the hunter and equitation rings and are actually illegal on cross country because of how it restricts the motion of your horse's head.



How it works

As I had mentioned earlier, these martingales put pressure on the nose to encourage the horse to lower its head. There is one strap that connects to the noseband, unlike the running martingale which has a strap that splits and attaches to the reins.


Why it's different

The standing martingale gives a horse stricter perimeters of its frame and where it should hold its head. It can be very helpful with young horses learning how to carry them selves as well as the seasoned pro that occasionally flips it's head up.

German Martingale



Use

The German martingale is mostly used for training on the flat and is not recommended for over fences if the martingale does not have a neck strap.


How it works

I have personally never used a German martingale, but from what I have researched, some come with a neck strap and some do not. If you are planning to jump with a German martingale, it is highly advised to use one with a neck strap.


Why it's different

The German martingale is most commonly used for horses that tend to "root" at the bit. When the horse pulls, the martingale tightens, and when the horse is soft in the jaw, the martingale loosens the pressure.

Irish Martingale


Use

The Irish martingale is most commonly seen in European horse racing and in steeplechase.


How it works

The Irish martingale does not have a strap around the neck, it simply connects the two reins. It works very similarly to a running martingale as when the horse raises its head, there is tension put on the reins and the bit.


Why it's different

It keeps the horse from throwing its head up too high while it also keep the reins from going over the horse's head. It is most commonly seen in disciplines where falling is more common.

Bib Martingale



Use

Bib martingales are most commonly used in the jumper ring.


How it works

When the horse raises its head, there is tension put on the reins which is very similar to how the running martingale works. The bib part keeps the reins closer together, which increases the pressure.






Why it's different

The bib martingale is like a cross between a running martingale and an Irish martingale. It has the same leverage of the running martingale, but has added effect as it keeps the reins closer.

I hope you guys were able to find some use in this article. There are a lot of different types of martingales and it can be confusing with how they all work, I hope I was able to clear some things up for y'all!


Best wishes

-Alison


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