with Horse and Hound

Martingales in the Hunting Field

aeron_mack.karen_monroeAeron Mack / Middleburg PhotoAeron Mack is an honorary whipper-in. Recently she was bewildered by conflicting statements concerning martingales. She writes:

“According to Wadsworth [Riding to Hounds in America, 1962], running martingales are dangerous and not permitted, but I can't find anyone who can explain exactly why. I recently took a clinic with Aidan O'Connell who explained the dangers of a standing martingale, which I agree with. Personally I do not use a martingale of any sort, but would like to be able to better explain to people why they can be dangerous. It would seem to me that, in the event the horse stumbles or falls, a running martingale would better allow him to keep/regain his balance. I also like that if I slip my reins over a tricky jump, the running martingale is also released, where a standing cannot be. Any words of wisdom on this topic would be greatly appreciated!

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