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RE: Running Martingales

Title: Running Martingales
You are absolutely right on this point about using the seat.  But this horse has will just lean against the bit and fight when I set my hands if  he's in race horse mode.  This is a horse with strong race horse genetics, remember? Like several generations of selection for flat racing in Russia and Poland, huh?  I was sitting down hard, leaning a little back and using the one handed pulley rein a couple of times when he's in runaway mode.  Other times, I can just sit back and slow him from a gallop to a canter with just sitting upright into the seat.  I can stop him from a canter in two strides during a pleasure ride just using my seat.  (But I brain freeze while in the arena and can't do proper canter departs...)
I, too, am thinking that the kimberwicke would be better ergonomically.  But inquiring minds want to know more about running martingales.  I know it doesn't mean that they are right because some riders use them, but since so many riders do use them, it can't be all that bad.  I bet most of the pathologies you mention come from incorrrect usage of the device, rather than the device itself.
-----Original Message-----
From: Heidi Smith []
Sent: Wednesday, January 16, 2002 7:06 PM
To: Kathy Mayeda;
Subject: Re: Running Martingales

First of all, brakes come from your seat and your legs, not from the bit.  That said, the effect of the martingale is for the horse to resist it when he doesn't want to be stopped, which hollows his back and makes it that much more difficult to drive his rear end under him to get a stop.  (As someone else already explained, very eloquently.)  Eventual effects of martingales are upside-down necks, hollow backs, strung-out rears, and the various forms of pathology that can proceed from any and all of those.  If you feel uncomfortable about stopping ability in the french link, by all means go with the Kimberwick rather than the martingale.  But also concentrate on the mechanics of simply setting your hands and driving your horse into the stop with your seat and legs, instead of using the bit as the primary stopping aid.  Think about stopping a fast bicycle going downhill by only using the front brakes--disaster!!  You have to stop that back end first.
----- Original Message -----
From: Kathy Mayeda
Sent: Wednesday, January 16, 2002 7:34 PM
Subject: RC: Running Martingales

Funny we would be discussing this, because I just order my first running martingale from Go The Distance as part of my new “color change” for Beau.  I never used one before, but thought I would try it for my racy guy, just for the heck of it.  I’ve been using a french link snaffle, and decided I need more brakes because I pretty much sored his mouth trying to hold him back on the last day of DVE.  I purchased a kimberwicke also.  Dom thought that I should try the RM with the french link first before going to the kimberwicke (without the RM first), but then again, Becky Hart, my instructor when I slow down enough to take a lesson, uses kimberwickes or Tteam bit and no RMs. 

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