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Re: Vosal Question/Standing Martingale


Just as an aside, standing martingales are called standing martingales
because they are for horses that are standing (originally developed for
military and police horses that are just standing around looking imposing,
so they wouldn't get impatient and start tossing their heads).  They were
never designed to be used on horses that are moving because they restrict
(if they are adjusted tight enough to actually DO anything) the horse's
ability to use its head for balance, etc.

Additionally, you cannot get a standing horse to quit tossing its head in
the "correct" way.  Which is to move the back end up underneath the horse
(i.e. push him into your hands).

To answer your question, "can I use a standing martingale with a vosal?" 
the answer is "Yes, to the extent that you can use one with any other type
of head gear."  THe vosal would not change the action of the standing
martingale at all.  So, if you would be willing to use it with a bit
(which _I_ am not, and I cannot recommend), then there is no more reason
not to use it with a vosal. 

However, what I would recommend instead would be...

a) definitely get his teeth checked to see why the BIT is causing him such
discomfort (it isn't necessarily his teeth, but there is a really good

b) you probably have something else going on here too (besides the teeth
thing), which is a horse that wants to evade your instructions. 

You mention that he does it in the vosal only when you ask him to slow
down (in essence), which would lead me to believe that MUCH of this comes
not from willful disobedience and the desire to ignore you when you ask
him to stop, but rather because he has poor balance through his downward

Fixing his teeth will not fix this.  The only thing that will fix this is
to school him to keep his balance and transition downwards by dropping
onto his hindquarters rather than onto his forehand...which means that you
are going to have to use your legs to push him into your hands BEFORE you
ask him to slow down.  This is tricky to do in a vosal (not impossible),
since the hors cannot (properly) seek support from you through your hands.
It reequires very "soft" hands in order to not get a horse that becomes
completely desensitized to the action of the rein.  The vosal is a piece
of headgear that is designed for getting response from a light application
of the rein, othrwise the horse will learn to "lean" on the
noseband....and ignore it.

Orange County, Calif.

p.s. All the usual caveat's apply having NEVER seen the horse.

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