Skip to Main Content Skip to Footer Content
 show navigation

Running Martingales

Running Martingales
Running Martingales
The running martingale is a useful piece of training equipment as it works by discouraging the horse from raising its head past the point where the bit can work correctly. Available in quality leather, running martingales are a popular choice for show jumping and cross-country riders.
Joseph Sterling® Raised Adjustable Breastplate with Running Martingale Attachment
$257.99
$189.99
up to 26% off
Free Shipping
The average rating for this product is 4.5 out of 5 stars 5 Reviews
Pinnacle Running Martingale
31830_havana.jpg image
Pinnacle Running Martingale
$103.99
$79.99
up to 23% off
The average rating for this product is 4.5 out of 5 stars 9 Reviews

The Benefits of Using a Running Martingale

A running martingale is a useful training tool or a regular piece of everyday tack to give riders better control over a horse that lifts its head too high. When this happens, the horse can evade the bit. Running martingales stabilize the reins while using downward pressure on the horse’s mouth, causing the horse to lower its head. While being considered a safer martingale option as compared to a standing martingale, the running martingale still allows a rider to give the reins when needed, releasing the horse’s head to be in a natural position. These martingales are popular in show jumping and cross-country as the horse can use their head properly when jumping over large fences, while still allowing the rider to control them in between jumps or during stretches of galloping.

Frequently Asked Questions About Running Martingales

Does my horse need a running martingale?

Your horse might need a running martingale if they tend to pull and lift their head high enough that they are able to evade the bit.

What is a running martingale used for?

A running martingale is used to give riders better control over a horse that lifts their head too high. Running martingales stabilize the reins while using downward pressure on the horse’s mouth, causing the horse to lower its head and accept the bit.

How to fit a running martingale?

To properly fit a running martingale on your horse, start by putting the neck strap over your horse’s head so that it rests on its chest. You should only be able to fit one hand or 4 fingers between the horse’s neck and chest and the strap. Run your girth through the girth loop, making sure you can fit 4 fingers between the strap and your horse’s skin.

The straps with the rings should be long enough that when pulled back they can almost reach the horse’s withers. Take each side of the martingale with the rings, unbuckle your reins, and run each side of your reins through the ring on the same side as the rein, being sure the reins are flat with no twists. Re-buckle your reins only when you are ready to get on the horse and have the reins back over their head and neck. You will need rein stoppers on your reins so that the rings can not slide down and get caught on the horse’s bit. Your rein stoppers should be at least ⅓ of the way down from the bit to the center buckle on the reins.

Draw reins vs running martingale?

The difference between Draw reins and a running martingale are that a running martingale only applies as much force or pressure on the horse’s mouth as the rider applies when pulling on the reins. Running martingales have rings that slide up and down each side of the reins, pulling in a downward position on the bit when a rider pulls and can be used in some competition rings such as in show jumping or cross country. Draw reins apply twice as much force or pressure on the horse’s mouth than the rider is actually using themselves. Draw reins are used strictly as a training tool and cannot be used in the show ring.

What bit to use with running martingales?

You can use any bit you would normally use on your horse with a running martingale, however snaffle bits are suggested as they work by applying direct pressure on the horse’s mouth and work best with the functionality of a running martingale.

Our store is rated 4.8 out of 5 based on 12,788 ratings on BizRate