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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Feb. 11, 2007
    Location
    Spring Grove, PA
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    882

    Default Mikmars....anyone use them with success?

    I am just curious. They look like a torture device but have lots of rave reviews. My ISH is extremely fussy about his mouth, esp in stadium. I have him in the Myler I use for dressage and he is just dragging me around.

    I am looking at the short shank. Just a little leverage with the curb strap I really think could be the ticket. He gets pissed at any jointed bit. Guess he doesn't like his big tongue pinched or something...

    Tried the search function, but I cannot search cause I can't see the verification code cause it is covered up by ads.

    Thanks for any experience/advice!!



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep. 7, 2009
    Location
    Ocala
    Posts
    183

    Default

    I would like to know the same thing!
    and I don't want to buy them for my fussy sensitive OTTB and find out he doesn't like them. They are WAY too expensive to end up sitting in my bit box.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Dec. 10, 2004
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3,777

    Default

    They are pretty strong, especially the combinations.

    I just switched my 17h supers strong monster who I used to ride in a loosering gag with a lever noseband to a mikmar short shank combo. It works a charm on him.

    The problem with my horse was the gag worked for a bit to get his head up, but now he goes too inverted in it. So we switched to this and I can be much softer and I can collect him and ride him rounder to the fences now. He was non-impressed about having it in his mouth at first and he's had some tough stuff in there.

    I love it for him, but you really need to try it out first before you buy, and several times. Is your horse strong? Do they get inverted and then pull?



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Feb. 11, 2007
    Location
    Spring Grove, PA
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    882

    Default

    He really doesn't get inverted. His tendency is to rear, so a gag is really out. I am not heavy handed, but I just want to be able to just take one tug and be done with it. Right now, he completely tunes me out. I absolutely cannot make any adjustments any closer than 4 strides, or his head flies straight up in the air. I have him in a running, I really only need it for stadium but usually just keep it on for XC. He really doesn't need me to tell him where to leave from, he has his own pretty good idea, but sometimes it is just TOO fast.

    I really don't want to deal with two reins, I have enough to think about! I also like the curb strap much better than a chain.

    I have no plans on shelling out the cash before I try it, like you said, SEVERAL times!

    I did try him in a Myler Combo, which he absolutely hated. Curled up, behind the vertical. The nose pressure was just too much, I think...


    So, I guess the next question is, who rents them? Or who has one I can borrow?
    Last edited by spacehorse; Nov. 11, 2009 at 03:01 PM.



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Dec. 10, 2004
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    3,777

    Default

    He sounds like he could be a good candidate for a short shank without the nose piece. See if you can find a tack shop that does rentals to try, or a friend who has one. They are a lot of money to "try" a bit...



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Apr. 17, 2009
    Location
    Athens, OH
    Posts
    380

    Default

    JL - your horse sounds so much like mine! Used to be able to go xc in a gag but had same problem of inverting and still not enough whoa. Went to a mullen mouth pelham which is better but still inverting him. Would like to try a Mikmar but don't know anyone with one and I live in a land of no tack shops. Are there any tack shops that would ship one to try then take it back? I'm already going xc with two reins so that wouldn't be new.
    5, 4, 3, 2, 1, GO - you're on course!



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Apr. 11, 2001
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    6,978

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by spacehorse View Post
    His tendency is to rear, so a gag is really out. I am not heavy handed, but I just want to be able to just take one tug and be done with it. Right now, he completely tunes me out. I absolutely cannot make any adjustments any closer than 4 strides...
    Perhaps the problem stems more from the fact that it's better not to be making adjustments less than 4 strides out, than that he does not feel the bit he has now?



  8. #8
    Join Date
    Feb. 11, 2007
    Location
    Spring Grove, PA
    Posts
    882

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by subk View Post
    Perhaps the problem stems more from the fact that it's better not to be making adjustments less than 4 strides out, than that he does not feel the bit he has now?
    I agree, I shouldn't be making adjustments that close to a fence. But, the response I get when I do ask, is rude and obnoxious, head tossing and pulling. Fact is, I CAN'T make adjustments once he locks on. If I attempt to make them, it is ugly cause he argues about it the whole way.



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Apr. 11, 2001
    Location
    Tennessee
    Posts
    6,978

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    Quote Originally Posted by spacehorse View Post
    Fact is, I CAN'T make adjustments once he locks on.
    "Locking on" and speeding to the fence are not the same thing. From what you have said here he sounds like he is rushing. Usually a horse that speeds to the fence and can't be regulated does so more from fear than some focused, single minded attempt to jump.

    I don't envy you, rushing is a very difficult problem to deal with, but if he's already rearing--the ultimate resistance to going forward--it's a clue that additional brakes might ultimately create more problems than they solve.

    I'd be happy to discuss more, but it's not the question you asked and I don't want to butt in if you don't want to go there.



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jul. 25, 2009
    Location
    Down South
    Posts
    229

    Default

    I bought the short shank for a difficult horse. It didn't work for him and now it is sitting in my trunk with about 10 bits purchased for him. This horse isn't a run away, in fact he is easy to stop or get behind the bit. He just wants to go 5 or 50 mph on course instead of the 15mph that I am requesting. It was not strong enough for him to have respect. He does go well in a segunda, but sometimes it can be a bit too much, or the mikmar swoop. The swoop looks strange, but has been great on a number of different horses.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jun. 29, 2008
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    2,276

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    I had great luck with their shorter shank combo bit on a horse that would pull like a freight train and take off. Transformed her into a new horse.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Aug. 10, 2009
    Location
    California
    Posts
    226

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    They are NOT big stopping bits that people think they are. And if you have a turning problem do not even think about them.

    Many horse learn to curl in them and they need a rider who can take and release as they ARE not meant to go with tons of contact as you would always be gagging and pulling backwards on nose. We use the successfully on the older horses who want to dive a bit in between fences and they are good for the lift and rebalance and then nice following contact.

    If I told you how many people I have seen out of control you would be surprised.. Read something about them being banned in the pony club or some such thing in the UK but do not remember clearly.

    The year Cindy Burge died at Rebecca that horse was wearing one and it just ran through her hands, she was a very experienced talented rider.

    Like I said we find them nice on the older adult horses who are seasoned maybe a little tough in the mouth having come down many levels to their golden years and the bits provide just enough "hello" . I find horses flip their heads less in them than they do say in gags or three rings (sadly a normal jointed snaffle three ring if you look at the function pokes a horse when you let go in the roof which is why it can help stabilize them with a leather strap)... Also they while they LOOK LIKE A LOT of hardware sit pretty nice in the mouth and I have not seen a mouth damaged with one the way I see with other types of bits.
    To be successful, you have to have your heart in your business, and your business in your heart



  13. #13
    Join Date
    May. 2, 2007
    Location
    Luthersville, GA
    Posts
    666

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    I haven't personally used one for eventing, but we use them a lot on the draft horses for hunting. We use one for a TB gelding that gets very "up" and fast, and the other on a huge pinto draft that tends to get heavy and pull. Both horses seems to like the bit, and use the roller as a pacifer. When we're standing at checks, you can hear, "click,click,click,click". We generally don't use the rope noseband part, we just leave it unhooked in case needed. I don't think they're as "mean" as they look. I'm pretty sure that Darren used one on Windfall.
    Fade to Grey Farm
    Eventing, Foxhunting & Connemaras
    *NEW* website:www.fadetogreyfarm.com



  14. #14
    Join Date
    Nov. 8, 2001
    Location
    Cambridge, IA
    Posts
    1,678

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by subk View Post
    "Locking on" and speeding to the fence are not the same thing. From what you have said here he sounds like he is rushing. Usually a horse that speeds to the fence and can't be regulated does so more from fear than some focused, single minded attempt to jump.

    I don't envy you, rushing is a very difficult problem to deal with, but if he's already rearing--the ultimate resistance to going forward--it's a clue that additional brakes might ultimately create more problems than they solve.

    I'd be happy to discuss more, but it's not the question you asked and I don't want to butt in if you don't want to go there.
    Well said.



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Feb. 10, 2009
    Posts
    580

    Default

    Just so you know too, some local tack shops will let you try them for a week and return them, as long as they're still in excellent, like-new condition.

    The Tack Room in Camden, SC, was AWESOME when I was having bitting probs with my guy. Was considering Mylers, but they're such an investment that I was leery. I bought and returned 2 before the third one was the right one. They were awesome. You might try a local shop to see if they'll work with you like that on the mikmar.



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Aug. 17, 2001
    Location
    Hangin' on by a thread...
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    3,377

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    I have this one http://www.mikmar.com/bit-pages/combo-bit.html and haven't touched it it years. I bought it originally for my 16.3 hand draft cross, who would start off xc schooling every year by jumping the first fence, putting his head to his chest and running for the next fence in sight (and the first time he did this, he headed straight for the Advanced giant oxer on the Carolina Horse Park course! Scared the sh*t right out of me.) I managed to get him turned in time, and then decided I needed a better bit. The Mikmar worked wonders for getting him to listen to me without having a tug of war all the way to the jump. After the first few times out xc, he would stop being a bull and I could ride him in my slow twist D (he could get heavy on the forehand xc).
    "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

    So, the Zen Buddhist says to the hotdog vendor, "Make me one with everything."



  17. #17
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    Aug. 17, 2001
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    Hangin' on by a thread...
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    [quote=GAEventer;4494119] When we're standing at checks, you can hear, "click,click,click,click". quote]

    How funny - my draft cross would do the exact same thing! He'd play with it as he fell asleep in the start box. I also did not use the rope part - just attached the reins to the bit itself.
    "Opportunity is missed by most people because it is dressed in overalls and looks like work." - Thomas Edison

    So, the Zen Buddhist says to the hotdog vendor, "Make me one with everything."



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Mar. 1, 2003
    Location
    Happily in Canada
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    5,662

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    I had a friend with a very strong stallion - she tried it, used it for a while, and decided she could hardly turn in that bit, and went to something else. (FWIW, this horse had a snaffle mouth at home - was only strong at shows.)
    Blugal

    You never know what kind of obsessive compulsive crazy person you are until another person imitates your behaviour at a three-day. --Gry2Yng



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Sep. 5, 2005
    Posts
    255

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    I went from a loose ring Happy Mouth to a Mikmar short port combination bit for stadium and it has been a miracle bit for my horse. I use a loose ring french link w/a roller and a Micklem bridle for XC. My horse did not pull in stadium but he was hard to turn, he inverted and he would try to leave out a stride and not wait to the base. The Mikmar fixed all of that w/o making him tense. It really has been a miracle. It has made him better in the other bit also and more balanced. I really can't say enough good things about it. That said, you really do need good hands and elbows and as a previous poster said, you can use it with an entremely light contact or even a little loop.



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Aug. 28, 2004
    Posts
    1,806

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    I don't think it's necessarily a strong bit, just different than what most horses are used to.

    I like the Mikmars more for the horses that lean, get heavy, and just tune you out than the ones who squirt out from under you. I prefer a pelham for those types, if you're going to go through the trouble of fiddling with two reins.



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