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Draw Rein vs. Running Martingale



Draw Rein vs. Running Martingale

As horse enthusiasts, we all know that equestrian sports require a lot of determination and dedication. These sports also require specific equipment to aid in the horse’s movements and to improve its performance in different situations. One of the important pieces of equipment is reins and martingales.

In this blog, we will be discussing the difference between two commonly used pieces of equipment, namely Draw Rein and Running Martingale.

Draw Rein

Draw reins are a commonly used piece of equipment to tighten and restrict the horse’s movement. This piece of equipment is designed to help the horse maintain the frame and prevent it from raising its head higher than necessary. They are also used to help the horse develop a refined head carriage while developing the muscles in its back and hindquarters.

Draw reins have a simple design and are made up of two long pieces of leather or synthetic material that are attached to the bit rings and passed through the stirrup bars of the saddle. They then run down the front legs of the horse and are held by the rider.

Running Martingale

A running martingale, on the other hand, is designed to prevent the horse from raising its head too high and to keep the reins from slipping out of the rider’s hands. It consists of a noseband, a neck strap, a pulley, and a rein. The pulley is located on the breastplate and the rein runs through it.

When the horse raises its head, the martingale applies pressure to the bit, thus encouraging the horse to lower its head. This helps the horse maintain balance and prevents it from pulling too hard.

Draw Rein vs. Running Martingale

Both pieces of equipment may seem to have a similar purpose, but they differ in their design and function. The draw rein is meant to restrict and control the horse’s head carriage, while the running martingale is designed to encourage the horse to lower its head by applying pressure to the bit.

Both pieces of equipment have their advantages and disadvantages, but it is essential to understand how they function and use them correctly. Misuse or abuse of either of these pieces of equipment can cause harm to the horse.

Things to Keep in Mind

When using these pieces of equipment, it is necessary to maintain moderation. Overuse or misuse of these pieces of equipment can be detrimental to the horse’s health and well-being. Draw reins, in particular, can cause the horse to develop a false frame and restrict its natural movement if used incorrectly.

It is also crucial to use the appropriate size and type of equipment for the horse. Using too small or too large equipment can cause discomfort to the horse and may lead to injury.


As horse enthusiasts, it is essential to understand the difference between the draw rein and running martingale, their functions and how they work, and the importance of using them correctly.

These pieces of equipment can help the horse in different ways, but proper use and moderation are necessary to ensure the horse’s safety and well-being.

I am Tommy, an avid equestrian who is passionate about the lifestyle. Writing for an equestrian blog has been a lifelong dream of mine, as I have been around horses my whole life. My mission is to share all the knowledge and experiences I have gathered throughout the years in order to help others reach their goals in this amazing sport. My dedication and enthusiasm towards horses and all things related to them never cease to amaze me!

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