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  1. #1
    Join Date
    Mar. 14, 2012
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    105

    Default Mikmar Bits-anyone have one? thoughts?

    Hi all!

    As the title said, if you have a Mikmar bit could you provide some reviews on what type of horse you tried it on and what the results were? I have read a number of testimonials on the Mikmar site and of course they were all positive- no surprise there! I do own the bit (I have the D-ring version) and I have been toying with the idea of trying on my gelding. Just wanted some insight on your experiences- since you guys won't be trying to sell me on something that I don't already own.

    Thanks!!!
    Last edited by GoGrnRideIrish; Feb. 15, 2013 at 07:14 PM. Reason: clarify original post



  2. #2
    Join Date
    Nov. 4, 2012
    Posts
    16

    Default

    I used one of the combination bits on my freight train of a jumper... made her super soft and light. I also have also used the straight bar pelham on a variety of heavy horses and it does a good job lightening them up. I really like both of them. I'd love to get my hands on the d-bit version.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  3. #3
    Join Date
    Sep. 5, 2005
    Posts
    255

    Default

    I used the combination bit on my eventing pony for show jumping and it was a miracle bit. He used to leave out strides and run through gymnastics. With the mikmar, he totally changed. And the funny thing was that I didn't actually have to "use" the bit. He just had to have it in his mouth and I had just the lightest feel of the reins. In the wrong hands, it would be way too strong for a horse like mine who actually had a sensitive mouth. He just hadn't been trained properly and he was scared so he raced around. With the mikmar he slowed down and became trainable so that I eventually didn't need it anymore.


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  4. #4
    Join Date
    Aug. 30, 2011
    Location
    Massachusetts
    Posts
    1,319

    Default

    The mikmar combo was the bit du jour 10-15 years ago. I have not used the D, but used the combo on a variety of horses.

    I found that despite how it looks, the combo isn't really that strong. Its not a good bit for a super strong horse that gets down in its shoulder. Of course, other peoples definition of "super strong" may be different than mine.

    I really liked the bit to help encourage acceptance in very sensitive horses, the wide, light mouthpiece seemed to go over well with them. I also liked it as a training tool for a horse that inverts as an evasion, or an older horse that has gotten dull in the mouth from being ridden by beginner types, as it puts pressure on more places than the mouth. I found that it was something I would use with a horse off and on for a few weeks.

    ETA: this bit has its uses, but it will establish a false connection if you care about such things.
    Last edited by Judysmom; Feb. 15, 2013 at 08:56 PM.


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  5. #5
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2009
    Location
    SE VA
    Posts
    416

    Default

    I used the D ring one with the mouth piece that is broken in 3 places on my mare that usually goes in a French link. I liked it better than the French link, but not enough better that I would pay well over $100 for it. I, also, liked the Herm Sprenger French link with the "special" silver mouth and the smaller link in the middle, but, again, not enough better to spend that much on it.



  6. #6
    Join Date
    Mar. 14, 2012
    Posts
    105

    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by luckeys71 View Post
    I used the D ring one with the mouth piece that is broken in 3 places on my mare that usually goes in a French link. I liked it better than the French link, but not enough better that I would pay well over $100 for it. I, also, liked the Herm Sprenger French link with the "special" silver mouth and the smaller link in the middle, but, again, not enough better to spend that much on it.

    luckeys71- how does your mare go? heavy on the forehand? fast? were there any specific reasons you tried the Mikmar? just curious



  7. #7
    Join Date
    Aug. 18, 2011
    Location
    CT
    Posts
    223

    Default

    I used the combo and pelham on a couple of heavy-in-front draft crosses for jumpers and hunting, and they were the right tool for the job (going on 10 years ago, though, so there might be something better out there now).

    I tried the D-ring and didn't like it as much, but the horse I wanted to use it on (a TB who was generally good in the mouth, but could get low in front going down the line) had a small mouth and a low palate and it just wasn't comfortable for him. So I went back to my French link and flatwork.

    Your mileage may vary, obviously ;-) Best of luck with the choice!
    Horsey romances written by a horsey person
    www.JesseHayworth.com


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  8. #8
    Join Date
    Dec. 16, 2012
    Location
    Los Lunas, NM
    Posts
    33

    Default

    I have never actually ridden in one, but my trainer loves them for horses that don't like to have anything in their mouth. We have had several OTTBs who try to spit out everything but the Mikmar. I have absolutely no idea why.


    1 members found this post helpful.

  9. #9
    Join Date
    May. 17, 2006
    Location
    bucks county
    Posts
    1,294

    Default

    They probably dont try to spit them out b/c the mouth piece is so wide, and even the D has a roller in place. Ive used the straight bar pellham that was slightly slanted and the D ring on 2 different horses and loved both. My freight train of a TB was soft and responsive with the slightest of touch. The D ring worked well too b/c I do believe there is probably a lot less pinching with it b/c of the mouth piece being so wide.
    My friend's young TB who tries constantly to put her tongue over bits wont with the mikmar. And we used to have a VIP mare who was an insane jumper who went in the combo bit and it was perfect for her. They usually used 2 reins, the nose pressure and the bit pressure, but just a light touch so she paid attention.

    I'm a fan, probably always will be.
    "to each his own..."

    just a horse obsessed girl who finds blogging way more fun than being an adult...
    http://equinerainman274.wordpress.com/


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  10. #10
    Join Date
    Feb. 25, 2004
    Location
    Ambler, PA
    Posts
    652

    Default

    I've used the combo bit, the broken pelham and the D. I found the D to be the least useful of the three, maybe because it removed the leverage component that was so useful on that particular horse.


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  11. #11
    Join Date
    Mar. 14, 2012
    Posts
    105

    Default

    @ Chezzie that makes perfect sense about the leverage.

    For those of you who already posted a response, or newcomers to the discussion: did you notice that you needed a constant contact with the horse's mouth for the bit to be useful? Or could you ride on a looser rein and just add a "reminder" every once in awhile? Also, did you notice that the Mikmar was more of a short term (correction) bit so you could transition to something else?



  12. #12
    Join Date
    Mar. 24, 2004
    Location
    Central PA
    Posts
    1,267

    Default

    I think it depends on the individual horse. I have 3 Mikmar bits -- the combination bit, a straight-mouth pelham, and the D-ring snaffle. By-far my favorite is the combination bit. I have a 13-year-old TB and used to use it regularly. Now I use it only on occasion, when he's feeling rather full of himself or if it's really windy out. We jokingly call it the "be nice" bit because he knows he can't get away with any antics when I'm using it. With the combination bit you use very light contact -- especially if you have the reins connected to the nose rope, which is how I use it. With the D-ring, you would likely ride with regular contact like most other snaffle bits. Like Chezzie, I have found the D-ring to be the least useful.


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  13. #13
    Join Date
    Jun. 14, 2009
    Location
    SE VA
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    416

    Default

    My mare likes to carry her head low and be on the forehand. She does not seem to like a regular snaffle that breaks completely in half.


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  14. #14
    Join Date
    Jul. 25, 2003
    Location
    Boston Area
    Posts
    8,314

    Default

    I ride my TB in a Mikmar circle shank. He LOVES the mouthpiece. He will flip the roller around with his tongue sometimes but he always stays soft in his mouth. I ride him with light contact. There is not a lot of leverage with this bit, but there is a little bit.

    The circle shank is milder than the short shank (I have that too) but I find them both to be quite mild bits. I know people who think this bit is harsh but happily ride their horse in a three ring elevator! This is quite a bit milder.

    I also have the pelham and sometimes use that out foxhunting.

    I've ridden him in a number of different bits but he likes this mouthpiece the best.
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
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  15. #15
    Join Date
    Jun. 29, 2008
    Location
    San Diego
    Posts
    2,205

    Default

    I have a short shank combo and pelham, I use the combo more than the pelham and have had success with it on two horses. First was my old Arab mare, she went from heavy and on the forehand to light and carrying herself. I use it on my current horse for trail riding, I can go on either a loose rein or shorten it up and she responds very well. I like that it is a bit that applies pressure on more than just their mouth.
    Proudly Owned By Sierra, 2003 APHA Mare
    In Loving Memory of Tally, April 15, 1983 - June 2, 2010



  16. #16
    Join Date
    Mar. 20, 2011
    Posts
    433

    Default

    I have a Dee, Combo, and pelham one. I don't use them anymore if anyone wants a steal of a deal : )


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  17. #17
    Join Date
    Dec. 21, 2008
    Location
    Jacksonville, FL
    Posts
    864

    Default

    I have the combo and used it on my guy that was very heavy and a bit of a jerk. I really liked it on him because of the nose rope. He was great bareback in a leadshank over his nose so figured i'd give the mikmar a shot. It gave me the whoa while also allowing me not to mess with his mouth quite as much. So the nose rope was the main factor rather than the mouthpiece for me as least as far as I could tell.



  18. #18
    Join Date
    Oct. 27, 2012
    Location
    Canada
    Posts
    34

    Default

    I have the combo but I cut the rope off it. I've used it with and without converters. As someone else mentioned, despite how it looks it is actually a soft bit and some horses will still lean on it and blow through it.

    It's not enough bit for my mare when I am jumping, but I will sometimes use it on the flat.



  19. #19
    Join Date
    Jan. 7, 2003
    Location
    Buenos Aires, Argentina
    Posts
    1,606

    Default Not as harsh as it seems...

    ...found that the combination bit was pretty good with horses that basically wouldn't accept anything else. Not just pullers, but those who would rebel against anything, finding their way around it. It helped horses accept contact and listen, without fighting first.
    I guess the fact that the mouthpiece is thicker and lies in the mouth sort of slanted makes it more comfortable, thus having horses accept it more agreeably...
    Anyway, with bits you never know...to me, it's trial and error. If it worked for one it can be a disaster for another, or it can work for a while and then you have to move on...anything goes. Riders don't have a wide collection of bits just because they like to hoard metal...Contrary to what others may think, bits are always an investment...
    Over what hill? Where? When? I don\'t remember any hill....

    www.freewebs.com/caballerizadelviso


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  20. #20
    Join Date
    May. 17, 2006
    Location
    bucks county
    Posts
    1,294

    Default

    the D ring felt like any other D ring I would use. The pelham was a soft hands, remind when ness. bit for my horse. He was a huge, freight train of an OTTB and with the slanted straight bar pelham I rarely touched his mouth, only when he was being a jerk. I lovingly referred to it as his winter bit, b/c he always paid more attention when in that bit. I also really think he preferred the straight bar vs a bit that breaks.
    "to each his own..."

    just a horse obsessed girl who finds blogging way more fun than being an adult...
    http://equinerainman274.wordpress.com/



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