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Favorite anatomical (PS of Sweden or Schockemohle) bridles flat&jump

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  • Favorite anatomical (PS of Sweden or Schockemohle) bridles flat&jump

    Hello. I'm looking at getting new bridles for both dressage and SJ/XC. I need two because my horse uses a different bit for jumping. I wasn't impressed with Micklem (leather quality/fit), and want something super comfortable and anatomical. Anyone have any experience and have ones that they love? Specifically, which styles/names?

  • #2
    I just got the schockemohle and am impressed how nice it is.
    ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

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    • #3
      A properly fitted bridle, IMHO, with padded crown & an actually loose noseband is just as comfortable as anything 'anatomical' I think you can put on a horse that still keeps the bit in the mouth. Don't get sucked into the hype of 'anatomical' 'comfort' and then crank the nose shut like I see people do with the Micklem and the Equitas.

      Most of bridle discomfort comes directly from the noseband -- if it is too tight, it places pressure behind the ears (the poll) by pulling the headstall down, and it also places pressure across the cheeks/gums on the actual noseband. Keeping that loose, you don't need to worry about "pressure points" so long as the horse doesn't have some sort of TMJ or nerve issue otherwise.

      That being said I think the D'yon Difference is a good start, but expensive -- and while I dont like the leather quality on most Schockemohles I think that it is a good bang for the buck presently.
      AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

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      • #4
        While I agree that over tight nosebands can cause a lot of bridle discomfort, the design of the PS of Sweden bridles made a big difference to the comfort of my sensitive mare even though I've never done any part of a bridle up even remotely tightly. She even prefers those bridles over ones without out a noseband at all! I have tried their High Jump, Jump Off, Paladin, and Hackamore.

        I use the Paladin for dressage because I don't need or want a flash noseband and that's the only choice that had the comfort features (e.g. shaped cheek pieces) I wanted without the flash (it comes with one, but it is completely removable and you can't tell it was removed). If you need/want the flash noseband, I highly recommend the Jump Off because it is integrated so doesn't have the same risk of pulling the cavesson noseband down and/or creating ear pressure.

        For jumping, I currently use their Hackamore for both SJ and XC but, if I really needed a bit, I would be using the High Jump - it is super adjustable, I love the look, and my horse loves it.

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        • #5
          Collegiate bought out a knock off version of the PS high jump.
          I like it, I like the noseband slides up and down, and the action of it isnt direct but its there (ive been known to have the bottom circle on my mexican flip off as I have them so loose)
          I tried the collegiate on a big young horse I have thats really non-sensitive but can be evasive in XC and he seemed to like it quite a lot. Obviously its not going to solve anything training wise, but so far its thumbs up from me.

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          • #6
            I watched anatomical bridle development for awhile before committing to the Jeffries Gentle http://www.ejeffries.co.uk/p/gentle-cavesson (If you look at the New Arrivals page, you'll see also a flash, a figure-8/grackle, a double and even a bitless version).

            Like the Mickelm, it stays off the trigeminal nerve branches as much as possible, but unlike the Mickelm the Gentle bit and noseband are on separate hangers so they don't interfere with one another and can be adjusted independently. The nose band and jaw strap are wider than the PS of Sweden for less concentrated pressure.

            In addition to a shaped crown piece and strategic padding, it's got beautiful quality leather, plus the Gentle nose and jaw straps are also hung on rings so they can pivot to whatever position best matches the conformation of the horse's head. Each piece is ordered separately so you get a custom fit. This is the design I was waiting for! My horse is happy.
            Gentle Bridles – Connect with your horse in comfort and style.
            www.TheSaddleTree.com
            www.TrainingTree.net

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            • #7
              Originally posted by kiwichick View Post
              Collegiate bought out a knock off version of the PS high jump.
              I like it, I like the noseband slides up and down, and the action of it isnt direct but its there (ive been known to have the bottom circle on my mexican flip off as I have them so loose)
              I tried the collegiate on a big young horse I have thats really non-sensitive but can be evasive in XC and he seemed to like it quite a lot. Obviously its not going to solve anything training wise, but so far its thumbs up from me.
              I just got this bridle as well, as my cob-sized High Jump wasn't quite large enough for a mare I'm riding for the barn owner. To be honest, the Collegiate's leather is as nice or nicer than the PS bridle. I just got the "schooling" version, nothing fancy, but it's good supple leather, quite adjustable, and Ms. FancyPants seems really happy in it (and she would be quite willing to tell me if she doesn't like it). At, oh, 1/4 the price, the Collegiate is a worthy option.

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              • #8
                Originally posted by beowulf View Post
                A properly fitted bridle, IMHO, with padded crown & an actually loose noseband is just as comfortable as anything 'anatomical' I think you can put on a horse that still keeps the bit in the mouth. Don't get sucked into the hype of 'anatomical' 'comfort' and then crank the nose shut like I see people do with the Micklem and the Equitas.
                I have to disagree....the head piece on the PS of sweden bridles can make your horse a lot more comfortable if they are the sensitive type. Take a normal bridle and hang it on your hand, then take a PS bridle and hang it on your hand. The comfort difference is apparent. The normal bridle pulls into your hand is is heavier, while the PS rests lightly and causes to indentation.

                I have 4 PS of Sweden bridles, my favourite dressage is the flying change and favourite jumping is the Jump off. I use the High jump on my gelding but find that particluar model only works on some horses.

                I also have a Butet figure eight monocrown and the headpiece is extremely soft and comfortable, and there are no metal rings for the figure eight piece which makes it really nice for the horse.
                Boss Mare Eventing Blog

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                • #9
                  Originally posted by Jealoushe View Post

                  I have to disagree....the head piece on the PS of sweden bridles can make your horse a lot more comfortable if they are the sensitive type. Take a normal bridle and hang it on your hand, then take a PS bridle and hang it on your hand. The comfort difference is apparent. The normal bridle pulls into your hand is is heavier, while the PS rests lightly and causes to indentation.

                  I have 4 PS of Sweden bridles, my favourite dressage is the flying change and favourite jumping is the Jump off. I use the High jump on my gelding but find that particluar model only works on some horses.

                  I also have a Butet figure eight monocrown and the headpiece is extremely soft and comfortable, and there are no metal rings for the figure eight piece which makes it really nice for the horse.
                  Definitely can see a difference between a normal crown and a padded one, but I was referring specifically to a padded crown in my post, not a normal/standard one

                  I did not notice a difference in any of our horses with the PS of Sweden. I did notice a negative difference with two when I tried the Micklem. I ended up settling with a Passier Ingrid Klimke, which does have a padded crown that is very lightly cut-back.

                  One thing that I have noticed, with makers of comfort crowns -- is that usually they have longer browbands than what is standard on competitive, no-frills bridles. This, I think, is a big feature in the right direction for horse comfort, because once the noseband is fastened, if the browband is too short, it pulls the entire headstall onto the back of the horse's ears. That is a design flaw I am glad to see is on the way out; bigger browbands means a further "set back" for the crown, which means, IMHO, better comfort.


                  YMMV, but I find that in general people are attracted to bridles like Tota Comfort, Micklem, Equitus, etc, because their tack is causing discomfort to the horse (likely because of how tight it is). Tota Comfort is a huge hit in the dressage crowd, because of the trend of cranking the horse's mouth shut. Before anyone gets offended I insulted the people who partake in their sport, I am a dressage rider -- and have been in enough barns to know that there are very few serious dressage competitors with loose nosebands out there.

                  My two cents, a loosely fitted (noseband) bridle is as about as unobtrusive as you can get for something that is inherently uncomfortable for the horse; there's really no way to keep the bit in the mouth without some sort of discomfort associated with it. You can stack the odds in your favor by keeping a noseband loose (or off) and investing in a padded crown, but once you start tightening the noseband, you're going to be applying pressure to the bridle and there is no such thing as a pressure-free bridle at this point in time. And despite the name "anatomical/comfort/ergonomic" whatever, that bridle loses every comfort/anatomical/ergonomic feature it has the second the noseband is tighter than two fingers.
                  AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

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                  • #10
                    My mare is a fussbudget, and a lot of carrying on with her mouth stopped with the Micklem. I did not care for how the leather was standing up to time, however, and I ended up getting the PS of Sweden Nirak for her and she likes it, well, as much as she likes anything that is a bridle

                    I purposely don't adjust mine tightly, Beowulf, as that really pisses her off. She genuinely seems to prefer less straps on her head, and anything that avoids pressure on the trigeminal nerve branches. It was not inexpensive, but it is the first nice bridle we've had in 11 years, so I figured I could try it. I am really pleased with it so far!
                    I have Higher Standards ...do you? Find us on FB!
                    Higher Standards Custom Leather Care -- Handcrafted Saddle Soap

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                    • #11
                      I have the stubbed freedom bridle, and I LOVE it. Really helped out with my new horse who came to me a bit wiggly in the bridle. They are not dressage-legal, so I think when we're ready to go rated I'll get an IR bridle. They come off-the-rack through Jeffries: http://www.ejeffries.co.uk/c/premium...ork_ir-bridles, though I was thinking of going bespoke for a slightly more modified noseband.

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                      • #12
                        I have a fussy mouthed horse who has a tiny mouth and holds a lot of tension in the poll and TMJ. I sprung for the PS of Sweden Nirak this spring and he LOVES it. No, it hasn't been a 100% miracle cure, but it has made him noticeably happier and more comfortable. He's gone in a Micklem in the past, but I think the headpiece of the PS bridle was a game changer for him. I also like that it's more adjustable and you can mix & match sizes in the parts because I was able to get him a cob size for the flash-like piece
                        "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"

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                        • #13
                          Are any of the anatomical bridles other than the Micklem legal for FEI dressage? Or for horse trials dressage? I know the FEI rules (even the new ones) specifically say 'Micklem' so I wasn't sure how it was being interpreted at the shows for all these much prettier anatomical bridles showing up.

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                          • #14
                            I love love LOVE my PS Of Sweden bridles. I had a custom fitting done and was surprised to find how 'loose' they are designed to fit while still being functional and correct. My fussy horse appreciates the crown piece and I actually often ride him sans browband because he just hates "stuff" on his head. I have a Jump Off, a High Jump and a Nirak and I love them all. They have so many features (elastic cradle, padded crown, etc) that the cheaper knock off versions do not and it is worth paying a little bit more. They've put a lot of research into the design of their bridles and it shows in the horses.
                            Not all but a lot of them are legal for dressage - I have been using my Jump Off in recognized dressage shows (with throat latch, sans snap on the noseband) . There is an appendix in the rule book that clearly outlines which ones are legal and which arent.

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                            • #15
                              Originally posted by Divine Comedy View Post
                              Are any of the anatomical bridles other than the Micklem legal for FEI dressage? Or for horse trials dressage? I know the FEI rules (even the new ones) specifically say 'Micklem' so I wasn't sure how it was being interpreted at the shows for all these much prettier anatomical bridles showing up.
                              The Collegiate ComFiTec bridles are USEF and FEI dressage legal.

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                              • #16
                                I bought a Sedna bridle and want to know if it's legal for dressage.

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                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                                  I just got the schockemohle and am impressed how nice it is.
                                  Still really liking the Schockemole. Quality leather. Use this one on multiple horses a day and it has held up great...and horses love it.
                                  ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post

                                    Still really liking the Schockemole. Quality leather. Use this one on multiple horses a day and it has held up great...and horses love it.
                                    I'll update because I splurged for the Shockemohle Alpha and then swapped for a Delta since it was still in packaging. Horse goes just as well in it as he does in normal bridles but I wanted something with a larger browband and set-back crown, which the Delta has. It has been holding up well to daily use too.

                                    Not sure if it's worth the $340+ it is, since it doesn't come without reins, but it is much better leather than their normal line. Very light headstall, too. I like the idea, and I like less is more approach to leather.

                                    I still think that the best way to keep a patently uncomfortable set-up like a bridle comfortable, is to give lots of browband room, padded crown, and make sure that the noseband is not restrictively tight (as in so tight they can't open their mouth). Once you do that, I think barring horses with special cases like poll injuries or sensitivities, that it will be just as comfortable as these bridles that are made with alternative noseband styles. None of my horses go any differently in the Delta vs the Ingrid Klimke Passier, FWIW, but they do go poorly in a Micklem. YMMV.
                                    AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

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                                    • #19
                                      Interesting because I have the Alpha....it has the same crown as the Beta. They said the only difference between the two is the Beta has a thicker nose and crystals in the brow band. Mine didn’t cost over 300 (was more like 250–got it on sale)....but no, its not a miracle bridle. I don’t think those exist. But it is a nice bridle that has held up well for me.

                                      I was just happy it comes in brown...as all my tack (including dressage saddles) are brown. And it was struggling to find a good brown bridle for dressage that I liked. And I definitely liked the Schockemole over the PS Sweden.
                                      ** Tact is the ability to tell someone to go to hell in such a way that they look forward to the trip. ~Winston Churchill? **

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by bornfreenowexpensive View Post
                                        Interesting because I have the Alpha....it has the same crown as the Beta. They said the only difference between the two is the Beta has a thicker nose and crystals in the brow band. Mine didn’t cost over 300 (was more like 250–got it on sale)....but no, its not a miracle bridle. I don’t think those exist. But it is a nice bridle that has held up well for me.

                                        I was just happy it comes in brown...as all my tack (including dressage saddles) are brown. And it was struggling to find a good brown bridle for dressage that I liked. And I definitely liked the Schockemole over the PS Sweden.
                                        The Alpha and Beta are identical, except for the features you mentioned. The Delta does not have the "flash" or the metal rings in the noseband the flash anchors to. My horse doesn't need a flash and I think that's why he went poorly in the Micklem, so when I saw the bridle without a flash I went for it!

                                        The larger crown/browband was in reference to normal bridles in general and me looking for something with improved cutback and bigger browband options. Sorry for the confusion, my clarity needs more work in the mornings.
                                        AETERNUM VALE, INVICTUS - 7/10/2012

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