A martingale is a piece of equipment used to control the horse’s head height.
There are two common types of martingales:
- The running martingale: Usually made out of leather and attached to the reins on one side and to the girth or breastplate on the other. It works by stabilizing the reins and applying downward pressure on the mouth via the bit and reins when the horse raises its head too high.
- The standing martingale: A long leather strap that attaches to the horse’s nose band and either to the girth through a neck strap or to a breastplate. As it is fixed to the noseband, the standing martingale is more restrictive than the running martingale.