standing martingale

How to make a Standing Martingale

Hey guys so recently I decided I would try to use a standing martingale on my pony but I was not sure if it would be worth my money to buy it because there was a chance that my pony would flip and hate the thing so I decided just to make one for test-run purposes. I figured I’d share with y'all :)

So first you take a rein and put it around your horse’s neck/shoulder area and tie or clip it on so it will not tighten up.

If you are using a split rein or you have extra rein, tie/attach it to one of the rings  and just stuff any extra rein inside the saddle.

Now for the other side(or both depending on your particular materials) use a chin strap or really anything that is close to it to fasten the neck-rope to the saddle.

Now you get another rein and clip it to your horse’s nose band( just pretend the halter is a noseband ok)

Now slip the rein under the neck-rope and fasten it to your girth at the ideal length.


aaaand this is why it’s important for riders of every discipline to practise communicating effectively with their horses. If he was relying on a big bit/tight noseband/standing martingale to get round he would have been in serious trouble.

A functionally important blind spot is created when a horse is ridden ‘on the bit’. The blind spot is formed to the front of the horse, and is believed to be as wide as the body. Thus, when a horse is being ridden in such a fashion it cannot see directly in front of itself. Horses on the bit are said to be showing signs of submission and ‘listening to their riders’, but it is possible that compromising a horse in this way makes it more reliant on the rider for avoidance of obstacles and so more biddable. Before using physical constraints such as tie-downs and standing martingales to keep the head down or overchecks to keep it up, one should consider the effect of these restraints on the horse’s ability to convey itself safely over rough terrain and most especially over jumps

Paul McGreevy. Equine Behaviour: A Guide for Veterinarians and Equine Scientists

(Remember that your horse is pretty much blind when in frame so you are essentially their eyes - just something not to take for granted.)


Why do so many people use them? Why are they even allowed in shows, especially A shows or ones where the horse is jumping. If your horse NEEDS a standing martingale during a show, you shouldn’t be showing. You should be schooling. You should be working that issue out instead of showing.
Concerning it as a fashion trend: why?? Doesn’t it restrict some of the horse’s head movement? Isn’t that dangerous when jumping??
I don’t get it.