How snug should my martingale be?

Most of our breast collars require a false martingale to function properly. The false martingale buckles to the D ring on the front of the breast collar and then goes between the horse’s front legs and either loops around the girth or snaps to the ring on the girth. The martingale helps keep the breast collar centered and assists in keeping the front of the breast collar flat against the horse’s chest. Without the martingale the front part of the breast collar can poke out and then twist when the horse is in draft (pulling the cart).

So how tight or loose should the martingale be?

There is a sweet spot the martingale should sit in. If it’s too tight it will pull the girth forward into the back of the horse’s front legs and also rub. If it’s too loose it won’t be able to do it’s job at all. It should NEVER be loose enough that a horse can get a foot caught in it. I recently saw this as a question on Facebook. If your martingale is THAT loose then you probably need a shorter one!

We sell two types of martingales;

If you have a D ring on your girth, to snap your martingale to, always be sure your girth is adjusted the same on both sides of the driving saddle. If one side of the girth is higher than the other this will cause the ring to be off center and will pull the martingale harder to one side. This can cause rubbing.

Now onto the photos:

This martingale is adjusted too tight –

This one is adjusted too loose –

And adjusted just right!

Straight style breast collars DO NOT use a martingale. This is because the martingale would put too much pressure on the top of the neck. Our straight style breast collar has a single neck strap and this would be uncomfortable for the horse or pony. If you have the single neck strap hooked back on the water hook of the saddle the pressure from the martingale would be pulling on the saddle all the time.

The Whiteman Harness shows the single neck strap. You can see that using a false martingale would pull down all the time on that neck strap.

If you have any questions please feel free to email me at mindy@chimacumtack.com.

**Please note: I have a small pony so use him and his harness for the videos. What I am sharing, showing and talking about applies to every sized equine from the smallest mini to the largest draft horse, the smallest donkey to the mammoth donkey and the smallest mini mule to the largest draft size mule. 

2 thoughts on “How snug should my martingale be?

  1. Valerie O’Toole says:

    Do I need to use the neck strap connector to the water hook if I am using a false martingale with the deluxe breast plate?

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