|Al Dunning and I at the All Equine Show 2015
German Martingale. It's one of my favorite training tools! I wrote an article about it here in 2009. I mentioned in there how it's not good to use any training tool as a crutch. You become too dependent on it.
March 28th, 2015, I was at the All Equine Show in London and Al Dunning had a talk on bits. He also mentioned how he uses the german martingale a lot for setting a horse's head and helping to remove resistance.
The horse I had in for evaluation was accidently (ie unconsciously) trained to be high headed by a previous owner. Some western events have a tendency to do that. The horse could've been high headed to begin with but the conformation would suggest that that might be a factor.
It teaches the horse to put their head in the right position very easily. That's what training tools are for, as we all know. I want to be able to work on this horse and have the german martingale teach the horse where to put it's head - ie. not high.
Back in High School. I remember back in grade school and high school where, in math class, we all had to do adding, subtracting, multiplying and dividing by hand. We had to learn how to do it without the use of any aids. I was even not allowed to use it for my high school provincial math contest. I know this is really aging me. I was in high school from 1976 to 1979.
Of course in university, once I learned how to do a calculus or algebra problem, then I could use the calculator to help me. We know today, kids use the calculator all the time. I still think it's good to know how to do basic math by hand.
I believe using a german martingale can be used to assist riders in teaching a horse where to place it's head. Of course, it's good for a rider to learn to do it manually using their own rein skills. But once, they've done that, then using the german martingale when needed, will just make the whole process go much quicker. It's hard to concentrate on more than one thing at once for some horses and riders.
I have also found that the horse understands things easier as well.
Putting my spin on german martingales and calculators.