About Me

Understanding Pet Safety

I have always been one of those people who is overly concerned about keeping their animals safe, which is why I started visiting local pet stores to look for solutions. I talked with the owners about the products and services that could help me to eliminate common problems, and it was amazing to see the wide range of products that were available. Within a few weeks, I had finally gathered enough supplies to keep my animal safe and sound. This blog is all about understanding pet safety and learning to provide for your animals in a safe, effective, and convenient way.



Latest Posts

Understanding Pet Safety

What Is A Martingale And When Is One Needed?

by Caleb Jackson

If you are training a horse or your horse is at risk of throwing their head back, then you may want to consider using a martingale. Martingales are a common tool often used with English tack, but western riders also have purpose for them. They can be a critical safety tool under certain circumstances. Here is more about martingales, whether you need one, and how to use them.

What Is A Martingale?

A martingale is a device to control how high your horse can raise their head. It consists of a strap made of leather or synthetic material that either connects the bit or the nose to a neck strap. Another piece connects the neck strap to the cinch to keep the martingale in place. There are three common types of martingale, and each has its pros and cons.

Why Use a Martingale?

Some horses throw their heads up during certain activities, or out of nervousness or defiance. For example, if your horse likes to evade the bit by raising their head, then a martingale will help prevent that. It's also used as a training aid to teach the horse how to carry its head and body properly.

What Are the Types of Martingales?

Most people use one of the three martingale types listed below. Each works differently. Which one you use should be based on your horse and your own safety.

Running Martingale

Running martingales work directly with the reins and bit to control the horse's head. If the head is lifted too high, then the horse will feel pressure in the mouth. Running martingales are said to be safer than other martingales and offer a horse the most freedom of movement.

Standing Martingale

Instead of using the bit to help control the head, this martingale uses nose pressure. This physically prevents the horse from moving their head too high. However, if fitted too tight, it could cause balance problems for the horse. Some horses also get into the habit of leaning on it for balance which could be a problem if you ride without it.

German Martingale

The German martingale, also known as the Market Harborough, is similar to the running martingale. However, unlike the running martingale, it relies entirely on the horse to self-correct instead of the rider and the reins. These martingales are generally used in training and not in regular riding or competition.

Martingales are a tool for both training and safety while riding with English tack. Whether you need one depends on your horse, your riding level, and the activities you do. Even if you choose to use one, you won't need it for every activity. If you are interested in martingales, then contact an English tack seller for more information.