Home Current News News Archive Shop/Advertise Ridecamp Classified Events Learn/AERC
Endurance.Net Home Ridecamp Archives
[Archives Index]   [Date Index]   [Thread Index]   [Author Index]   [Subject Index]

[RC] high-headed horse flipping in martingale - Andrea Day

Some horses you can slap a piece of equipment on and just go down the road without a look back. I've had several that I've done that with a crupper. Cruppers generally don't engender a "panic attack" though, and I'd be real careful to accustom a high headed horse to anything that would make him feel under pressure, such as a martingale--however loose you make it the first time.

With the caveat that I don't really believe in using the darn things, and that I've only used them on a couple horses as a training measure for less then a week or two, my suggestion would be to accustom the horse to pressure and yielding his nose before putting it on him. You could start from the ground, either standing alongside or driving him, if you/he know how, and have him give his head and relax and eventually you can get him to drop it to the ground.

Then you can get on, and working at a stand still, ask him to yield his head to you and drop it. Then work it at a walk. I would think by then, you could safely put it on him loosely, and go back to ground work and build up again. Test him before you do anything by having him put his nose up into it standing still (careful--stand where he won't rear and hit you.) If he slings his head or won't give to the pressure, he's not ready to be ridden in it. If he works well with it loosely adjusted, you can gradually bring it down to where you want him to be with it--most likely withers height, which is where it's usually adjusted, that, or I go to the level of the natural head carriage of each particular horse.

And now that I've given my inflated 2cents worth, I'll tell you that if you're going to spend all that time working him to yield his head without it, might as well spend a little more time in a controlled enviornment at an easy trot and work up to a canter, all the time keeping him balanced and asking him to yield softly. Of course, when he does this consistantly, you're well on your way to not needing the martingale. All it takes after that is miles of riding to ingrain the habit.


I learned an important lesson in a mechanical hackmore. That's another thing I've gotten lucky with slapping on a horse and riding out cold. (It helps to know the horse.)The one time I didn't get "lucky", I was in a hurry (yeah, you can see it coming, duh!)and I put a hack on without thinking which particular hack it was--I have several. It was a rolled braid noseband with mild chain chin strap and adjusted for a horse that usually went on a loose rein, but tended to be just a hair snotty on occasion. Went out the drive, got 1/8 mile down the road, realized I'd forgotten something and turned the horse around suddenly. Horse went straight up, and when I finished brushing the dirt of my butt, I walked him back, put on the hack with the flat noseband and LEATHER chin strap, ADJUSTED IT, and reined him around and back easy a couple times from the ground. Got on, and never had another problem with the good boy. I imagine had I pulled back as well as asking for the sudden turn, I'd have had him on top of me instead of laughing down at me. He gave me EXACTLY what I deserved for not paying attention to business.

MSN 8 helps eliminate e-mail viruses. Get 2 months FREE* http://join.msn.com/?page=features/virus

=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-=-= Ridecamp is a service of Endurance Net, http://www.endurance.net. Information, Policy, Disclaimer: http://www.endurance.net/Ridecamp Subscribe/Unsubscribe http://www.endurance.net/ridecamp/logon.asp

Ride Long and Ride Safe!!