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How to Measure for a Running Martingale

A running martingale is a training tool, used by experienced equestrian riders, that connects to the reins. It prevents the horse from raising or slinging his head when responding to bit pressure. It is important to use the running martingale at the proper length and avoid unnecessary pain or injury to the horse. Measuring for the correct length requires saddling your horse and attaching the martingale.

Step 1

Saddle your horse as usual with a girth or cinch that has a front ring. Tighten the cinch so the front ring is directly between your horse’s front legs.

Step 2

Attach the neck strap of the running martingale around you horses neck. It should be directly in front of the saddle. When fitted correctly, your fingers should slide easily between the neck strap and your horse's skin.

Step 3

Connect the bottom strap of the martingale to the ring on the cinch using the quick snap. Tighten the bottom strap so it does not hang too low. It should just touch your horse’s skin.

Step 4

Adjust the rings on the running martingale where they are in line with your horse’s withers and barely touching his neck on each side. If they are too short, the martingale will pull too hard on the reins and cause your horse to drop his nose.

Step 5

Slide the ends of the reins through the rings. Ride with a semi-loose rein so the martingale does not pull on the bit until you apply pressure.