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Micklem Bridle - Using different bits

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  • Micklem Bridle - Using different bits

    This may be a silly question, but here goes: My three year old gelding has been tossing his head and not accepting of the bit. His teeth appear fine; his palate normal and not low and his tongue is not fat. I'll be having my vet verify all of this but I really think it's an acceptance issue. I've been riding him in a copper mouthpiece snaffle and he never flips his head on the lunge but does under saddle, alot. He's grown and needs a new headstall anyway as he's outgrowing the full size (he's half Percheron) at least at the jowl, and since we're having this issue, I thought I would give the Miklem a try but the next bit I was going to try on him is a mullen synthetic Happy Mouth but it's a full cheek and may not work with the head stall configuration of the Micklem. I think I've only seen loose rings used, or at least predominantly. Thoughts? I also have a Dr. Cook's bitless I could try but rather thought he does need to learn to accept a bit.
    Last edited by FatCatFarm; Mar. 14, 2012, 05:04 AM.
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  • #2
    I haven't tried a full cheek, but I've used egg butt, loosering, racing d, and a normal d ring. The racing d-ring hung a little bit oddly, but none all worked just fine.
    .

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    • #3
      Are you longing in side reins, or do you mean he doesn't flip his head when just going around on the longe? Have you done any "in hand" work to teach him about contact and giving?

      It could be many things, but if he is fine on the longe, then I doubt it is the bit and more likely it either : saddle fit, not really understanding about contact, or the fact that the contact is different/higher with a rider than with side reins and so the bit is playing on a different part of the mouth.
      Freeing worms from cans everywhere!

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      • Original Poster

        #4
        I do not always lunge in side reins, but have and no he doesn't flip his nose with or without. He's been ridden in different saddles and still flips his nose and there are no dry spots or indications of back pain. I think there is an anxiety component to it as he does it more when he's anxious or bored; less so when he is focused or being asked to do lateral work or the brief moments I've actually gotten him in front of my leg. He's young enough that I am not pushing him much yet; but even on a trail ride on a loose rein, he's flipping his nose. I may try the Happy Mouth Mullen riding a little lower in his mouth.
        Last edited by FatCatFarm; Mar. 13, 2012, 11:35 AM. Reason: his not her
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        • #5
          I use a baucher with the Micklem and have no problems with it. If you use a full cheek the only issue might be if you want to use bit keepers--they may not work, but I'm not sure.

          You didn't say whether you are using a single-jointed or double-jointed bit; if you're using a single-jointed bit the horse may be reacting to either the middle joint poking him in the palate, or the sides becoming like a nutcracker on the lower jaw. You might try a double-jointed (French link or lozenge) bit instead if that's the case.

          Good luck.
          "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky

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          • Original Poster

            #6
            Originally posted by Posting Trot View Post
            I use a baucher with the Micklem and have no problems with it. If you use a full cheek the only issue might be if you want to use bit keepers--they may not work, but I'm not sure.

            You didn't say whether you are using a single-jointed or double-jointed bit; if you're using a single-jointed bit the horse may be reacting to either the middle joint poking him in the palate, or the sides becoming like a nutcracker on the lower jaw. You might try a double-jointed (French link or lozenge) bit instead if that's the case.

            Good luck.
            Yes, it is a single jointed bit and I do have a French Link that I also want to try. I ordered the Micklem today off of eBay via HorseLoverz with free shipping. Thanks for the feedback.
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            • #7
              I use a full cheek with my Micklem. No keepers obviously, but he seems to like this bit the most and it's dressage legal so I don't care if he looks a little silly. I jump in a loose ring.
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              R.I.P. Eagles Hill. 4/6/00-12/10/11.

              Comment


              • #8
                I currently use a baucher with a Micklem and have used a full cheek in the past with no problems. Also various D-rings.
                OTTBs rule, but spots are good too!

                Comment

                • Original Poster

                  #9
                  Really good to know. I'm looking forward to using it when it gets here. Hopefully a new configuration with bit change is all the young fellow needs.
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                  • #10
                    Since I just place an order for a Happy Mouth Full Cheek Snaffle I was studying the picture that MightyBobbyMagee posted and I don't see any reason that you could use keepers on it. They'll have to be attached to the pieces that buckle the bit on, not the cheek pieces, but I think it will work. I'll let you know when my bit gets here!
                    "It's never too late to be what you might have been." George Eliot

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                    • Original Poster

                      #11
                      I got the bridle in yesterday but haven't had time to put it together and fit it. I'm pleased with the quality though. I did ride my guy this past weekend in a different, roomer Stubben bridle and with the happy mouth and he was much happier. I also rode him with a standing martingale which only came into play if he got pretty beyond vertical as I don't need to be bopped in the face. He quickly figured out what it was there for and if he felt the need to waggle his nose, he went low instead of high which was fine with me. There was definitely less of that going on and it's definitely a commentary by him on being made to work, at least in part. About halfway into our ride he figured out he wasn't getting out of the work after 20 mins. and was much better the rest of the ride. Ah, babies.
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                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Got the bridle put together and fitted today and LOVE IT! I love the ergonomics of it. Fits beautifully and very easy to put together. I wound up using a D-ring snaffle with a center link that my guy seemed to really like and produced a good bit of foam with. http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e1...s/09e19307.jpg
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                        • #13
                          No problems here using a full cheek with my Micklem : http://pets.webshots.com/photo/28769...53515467niqnJd. If you look closely, you can see that keepers could probably be added, although I don't use them
                          "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."

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                          • Original Poster

                            #14
                            Nice! Will certainly keep that in mind.
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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by FatCatFarm View Post
                              Got the bridle put together and fitted today and LOVE IT! I love the ergonomics of it. Fits beautifully and very easy to put together. I wound up using a D-ring snaffle with a center link that my guy seemed to really like and produced a good bit of foam with. http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e1...s/09e19307.jpg
                              Cute horse! It's a little hard to tell from the picture, but it looks like you need to adjust the noseband up on on each side. The 'v' shape from cheek to noseband should fit on the cheek bone, not below it
                              .

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                              • Original Poster

                                #16
                                Thanks. Will do.
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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by FatCatFarm View Post
                                  Got the bridle put together and fitted today and LOVE IT! I love the ergonomics of it. Fits beautifully and very easy to put together. I wound up using a D-ring snaffle with a center link that my guy seemed to really like and produced a good bit of foam with. http://i38.photobucket.com/albums/e1...s/09e19307.jpg
                                  Is there some other reason I've skipped over that your standing martingale is adjusted to be so short? That seems a bit dangerous, especially with a baby.

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                                  • Original Poster

                                    #18
                                    Only because he's about to outgrow it and was only on there for that trail ride as a precaution. I'm frankly hoping to discard it. He is half Saddlebred and very good at periscoping his head up at times and I prefer not to be bopped in the face.
                                    Last edited by FatCatFarm; Mar. 27, 2012, 08:34 PM.
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                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by FatCatFarm View Post
                                      Only because he's about to outgrow it and was only on there for that trail ride as a precaution. I'm frankly hoping to discard it. He is half Saddlebred and very good at periscoping his head up at times and I prefer not to be bopped in the face.
                                      If that's as long as it goes, I'd say he outgrew it a while ago. You should be able to touch the slack of a standing martingale to the horse's throatlatch when properly adjusted - this one looks about 8" too short, at minimum. Actually, what it reminds me of is a tiedown, which you'll sometimes see adjusted short like that on the local-level gamers.

                                      Sorry about the whole getting whacked in the face thing - been there, and it's no fun!

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                                      • Original Poster

                                        #20
                                        Yeah I know. But it's the only one I had and he had almost gotten me in the face the last trail ride. That and flipping his head being unhappy with the last bridle and bit arrangement hence my purchase of the Micklem.
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