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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    Location
    West Coast of Michigan
    Posts
    36,321

    Smile So I tried a Micklem bridle.

    Keebler has an interestingly-shaped head. He's not a QH (although he is at least 1/4 Appaloosa) but he has a really big, wide jowl and a little bitty muzzle. Cob size from the eyes down, horse size up top . . . where his brain is.

    Flash noseband? Meh. Figure 8? Hates it. (it rubs his Arnold Schwarzenegger-like cheekbones) Regular cavesson? Takes advantage. Drop? Can't get them to fit right. Crank? Makes him crank-y. A kineton works nicely but not practical and also hard to fit.

    So what the heck, I figured I'd try a Micklem bridle. So far so good, and there was a lot less evasive head maneuvers. We even did a whole complicated jumping lesson in a big old fat D-ring snaffle and although I wouldn't do THAT again, LOL, he was 95% good.

    So I'm not convinced it's the Second Coming of Tack, and I think it's sufficiently ugly to make me not want to use one for a dressage test (not to mention it's brown, and all my dressage stuff is black) I'm willing to go so far as to say it's decent, fits his chiseled face VERY well (horse size) and is of very, very good quality.

    More to come as we experiment with more bits . . . all I seem to own are D-rings and my guess is an eggbutt would work better. Any experience with this, anyone?
    Click here before you buy.



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Oct. 14, 2009
    Location
    Warrenton, VA
    Posts
    443

    Default

    HEHE! So after they were made legal I thought I would spend the money and get one to try on my mare with "poll" issues... this bridle seemed in photos to have very minimal poll pressure... well in our 2 rides with it she was very happy and went better than she has gone with a bit in about 3 yrs!! Normally in a typical bridle she cocks her head when you take up the bit pressure- I have to assume that with this the lack of poll pressure is what makes her happy... my only grip is the placement of the buckle for the strap below the bit, on her it is right at her lips... have to say it does not bother her but bugs the crap out of me I got the small horse size so maybe if thing stay happy I will try a larger size and see if that helps.

    My gelding also seems to like it and he HATES normal "mouth containing devices" the added control gives us much more professional rides. Thankfully all my tack is brown so i am hoping i can oil it a bit darker and off we go!!
    owner and friend of members of the Limping And Majestic Equine Society.



  3. #3
    Join Date
    Jul. 10, 2006
    Location
    Far far away
    Posts
    1,997

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by midnightride View Post
    HEHE! So after they were made legal I thought I would spend the money and get one to try on my mare with "poll" issues... this bridle seemed in photos to have very minimal poll pressure... well in our 2 rides with it she was very happy and went better than she has gone with a bit in about 3 yrs!!
    Oh no, not what I wanted to hear. I also have a mare with poll issues so I might have to give it a try, but I don't want anymore tack



  4. #4
    Join Date
    Sep. 16, 2006
    Location
    Texas
    Posts
    769

    Default

    Shoot, I want to try one, too. I have a mare who is pretty particular with her bits, hates her flash noseband, and likes a soft poll piece.

    Oh heck, took out the part about "renting" it out, as it might come across as advertising (and this isn't that forum). Sorry!!

    If I buy one, I'll be sure to report how it worked for me!
    Last edited by jackalini; May. 19, 2010 at 11:45 AM. Reason: remove potential advertising



  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jan. 18, 2007
    Location
    Heaven on Earth--Sonoma County, CA
    Posts
    1,547

    Default

    We tested one on a bunch of horses here. None of them went "better". Some went exactly the same. Some went worse. One went MUCH worse (and, interestingly, he was the one we thought would benefit the most from it).

    I know they have worked great for some horses, but a lot of horses don't tolerate the bit clips at all, and some of them get rubs in weird places. It might be the perfect solution for certain issues, but it's a lot of money for something that isn't always a solution.

    I'd offer to lend out the one we had, but it broke while I was longing a horse in it.
    Phoenix Farm ~ Breeding-Training-Sales
    Eventing, Dressage, Young Horses
    www.phoenixsporthorses.com
    Check out my new blog: http://califcountrymom.blogspot.com



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Jun. 25, 2001
    Posts
    2,545

    Default

    I just picked mine up from the tack store at lunch today. Probably won't get to try it until Friday. I hope I'm one of those with a good experience. My horse seems to hate bridles -- he shakes his head and constantly wants to scratch his face/lips -- no matter what bit or if we are working or just trail riding on a loose rein.

    I'll let you know how it goes.
    "If you can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em."



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    Location
    West Coast of Michigan
    Posts
    36,321

    Default

    Since the bit clips aren't even legal I just chucked them.
    Click here before you buy.



  8. #8
    Join Date
    May. 31, 2001
    Posts
    1,354

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by deltawave View Post
    Since the bit clips aren't even legal I just chucked them.
    Bit clips? Is that what those plastic thingies were??
    Yes, it is kinda ugly, but my horse goes way better in it !!! coincidence? who cares?!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Jan. 10, 2007
    Location
    too far from the barn
    Posts
    5,618

    Default

    Hilda Donahue (being Irish and a mentee of Micklem's) swears by them. She has several. There is now a "competition" bridle that has less snaps and no ring on the nose, it looks almost normal. It does come in black and hearing this means I'll probably be getting one to compete in. DW, if you like it enough that you want a black one for competition, let me know and I'll get it sooner rather than later.
    OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!



  10. #10
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    Location
    West Coast of Michigan
    Posts
    36,321

    Default

    Yes, the one I have is the competition one, the clips just came as extras and no extraneous rings, and it is a lovely brown that matches the chestnut spotted coat very well, but I know his mom does black tack. I'd say the jury is out as to whether it's worlds better (we had a NICE ride yesterday in Just A Plain Old Bridle) but the fit is far better with Keebler's boy-model face than most headstalls.
    Click here before you buy.



  11. #11
    Join Date
    Jul. 19, 2003
    Location
    Middleburg, VA
    Posts
    12,980

    Default

    We have one for the BFG but we've always used it in the bitless fashion. He LOVES it. Got it when he broke his jaw a year ago January so we could ride him so he'd stop trying to kill everyone.



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Jan. 16, 2002
    Location
    West Coast of Michigan
    Posts
    36,321

    Default

    I am a couple of decades beyond the level of guts it would take to ride Keebler with no bit. Bonnie? Sure. She's a halter-and-leadshank horse at the ripe old age of 10.
    Click here before you buy.



  13. #13
    Join Date
    Feb. 13, 2005
    Location
    Columbus, OH
    Posts
    6,817

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by deltawave View Post
    I am a couple of decades beyond the level of guts it would take to ride Keebler with no bit. Bonnie? Sure. She's a halter-and-leadshank horse at the ripe old age of 10.
    You might be surprised! There's a way to set the Micklem as a very strong bitless bridle, similar to the Dr. Cook's. I've heard that they don't include the instructions for that in the US edition due to copyright conflicts with Dr. Cook's, but you can find the directions on the 'net.
    ________________________
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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Sep. 25, 2005
    Location
    The Land of the Frozen
    Posts
    13,787

    Default

    The Micklem is AWESOME. It really really fits well, there is no poll pressure, and it's beautifully made.

    My girl in hers at a trail ride:

    http://www.hphoofcare.com/SweetsVicGlow.jpg

    http://www.hphoofcare.com/SweetsVicWaterPawing.jpg



  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun. 25, 2001
    Posts
    2,545

    Default

    I tried it last night. He went really well in it. However, it was just one ride, so the jury is still out. I was pleased, though.

    He is an OTTB, but his head looks just like an Arabian's. The cob size fit him very well, although it took a few minutes to adjust it correctly.
    "If you can't feed 'em, don't breed 'em."



  16. #16
    Join Date
    May. 24, 2007
    Location
    Lubbock, TX
    Posts
    1,608

    Default

    I just used it for all three phases at Meadow Creek. My horse was amazing!!
    --Becky in TX
    Clinic Blogs and Rolex Blogs
    She who throws dirt is losing ground.



  17. #17
    Join Date
    Mar. 13, 2006
    Location
    Sno County
    Posts
    3,778

    Default

    Okay I'm sold! Definitely going to get one for little miss itchy nose.
    Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Nov. 9, 2006
    Location
    Finger Lakes Region of NY
    Posts
    967

    Default

    I ordered one too. Unfortunately Adam's didn't have the large horse size in stock so I had to wait for them to order it in (but it came in today so I should get it soon). I can't wait to try it out!



  19. #19
    Join Date
    May. 27, 2008
    Posts
    615

    Default

    Merle, let me know how it fits. I emailed William Micklem, and he said it would fit large heads except for a Shire. Does Adams have them in stock again?



  20. #20
    Join Date
    Nov. 9, 2006
    Location
    Finger Lakes Region of NY
    Posts
    967

    Default

    I will let you know! Unfortunately UPS is saying I won't get it until the 1st. I'm dying to try it out! I'm not sure if they ordered more than the one in for me but you could call and check (or even e-mail).



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