Have you ever lost your reins? I haven’t – but because I use a running martingale, if I did, it could be been bad. SOOOOOO….

I use a running martingale.  I think because of habit.  You see, I used to ride only Morgans.    Morgans have high heads.  If they are going to be very, very bad, they will raise their heads.

So, many moons ago (like 25…), when I purchased my saddles and gear, I purchased running martingales.  Everything was nice quality and it all matched.  That’s kinda changed in the ensuing years as horses have come and gone and I’ve mixed and matched things… but basically, everything is of good quality and it works well for the particular horse I’m riding.

Well, now my only riding horses are Finn and BG – who are sibling Tennessee Walking horses. They behave very differently (and move very differently) than Morgan horses.  But, I still use the same running martingales, probably out of habit.  Or, just extra security while on the trail.

This is BG on the trail. I’m walking her so I removed the reins from the martingale. But you can see who the rein would go through the rings on either side and then into my hands.


OK Fast forward to BG

Finn is about the same size as my riding Morgans.  So, all my gear fits him very well.  However… BG is lean and tall.  She rides in a dressage saddle that she likes (or my Boz saddle).  Anyway, BG’s neck is longer than my arms.

What this means is that if I’m not paying attention, and she stretches her neck, I could lose my reins.  Now, usually, this never happens.  Usually, I just stretch with the horse and gather him back up.  But, if BG stretches her neck with me holding on, I’m going to get pulled uncomfortably far.

This hasn’t happened… but… I’ve been thinking about it.  The reason why I think about it is because of the running martingale.  If I lose the reins with a running martingale attached, the whole thing could go over her head and be a tangled mess.  Not good.

Here is looking from the other side… you can see how the leather goes around her neck, but if she put her head down, the leather ring around her neck would slide forward – so that is why one never lets go of the rein.


For years I have told myself to get another type of martingale (easy enough) or get a string and tie the reins to the saddle.

“That’s it, I’ll just get baling twine and that will work!”  Which I did, a few times, but it looked ratty and was hard to untie… and then I just got lazy and never did it.

But now with BG, I figured I have to fix this issue.  My martingales are very nice… so I hate to buy new ones… Maybe I’ll just use string…

Here we go again.

BOOMA AD IN MAGAZINE (no affiliation)

And then I saw the ad for the BOOMA.  Have you seen those?  It seems like such a simple idea… you could do it with string… except, I tried that and it wasn’t really practical or pretty.

Hmmmmm.  As you can see, you need some sort of pommel to hold the Booma.  And it is a very simple device.  Great for the safety of little kids, too.

I found this pic on the Booma website. You can see how it works. Very simple idea.

A great idea for little riders. I wonder if this is why this device was invented… for kids… and me!


I almost hated to spend the little bit of money for the booma, because it seemed like I should be able to make it myself; but knowing myself, I figured I should just purchase one ready-made.

So, I did.

And, it arrived promptly.  I put it on my saddle and the issue is resolved!

I still might get a different kind of martingale, but for now, one more thing I don’t have to think about while I’m riding and enjoying the scenery and my horse!

So now if I’m yaking or not paying attention or are on a too tall/long horse (BG), I know I will never lose my rein or my martingale.  And it looks better than string.  (This is not my horse.)

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