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Micklem bridles for dressage?

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  • Micklem bridles for dressage?

    OK - how many of you are actually using one of these for dressage? I don't mean flatting at home - I mean in competition.

    I've ridden the Redheaded one at home in his Micklem, and I really think he goes better in it - he isn't as prone to curling behind the bit, he doesn't try and yank the reins out of my hands, and he just seems more comfortable all around. Like Reed mentioned, it's very subtle, but noticeable. The problem I have is that it's just plain UGLY. I have a gorgeous black dressage bridle and compared to that, it's just not that easy on the eyes. I also wish the leather quality was better - I'd pay more for better leather quality.

    So, how many of you do the big shows in it? Should I just suck it up and ride him in what he likes, or just school him in it and then swap out for competition? I already have the competition brown one, so I'd have to buy a black one, but I just can't get over the way it looks. Thoughts?
    "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."

  • #2
    I'm suggesting that you use it for the competition, if he goes better in it. The whole point is to have the best ride and happy experience for you both. Then the next time out will go even better.

    I did see a number of them at Surefire in the dressage. I talked to the riders afterwards, and they all said that it made a major difference in how well their horses went. That's why they chose to use it.

    If you don't like how it looks, change the browband and condition the leather well. Use your favorite reins, too.

    For what it is worth, I have a horse that I'll be eventing and hunting in it.
    Intermediate Riding Skills

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    • #3
      I use the same bridle for all three phases....my micklem. LOVE it.
      --Becky in TX
      Clinic Blogs and Rolex Blogs
      She who throws dirt is losing ground.

      Comment


      • #4
        I'm not much help. I bought the cob bridle and my 15.2h tb was swimming in it. Couldn't get all the parts to fit where they should. It's cheap Indian leather too...
        Allll that said. If my horse went best in a purple mumu and it was legal, I'd compete in it. Showing is too expensive to compromise quality for fashion.
        www.destinationconsensusequus.com
        chaque pas est fait ensemble

        Comment

        • Original Poster

          #5
          Yeah, I'd definitely swap out the browband - already did so with the brown one, and I use my good reins. It still looks like a longeing cavesson, though. Good to hear that others are getting out there in competitions with it. I am reluctant to go to Five Points with it, but if I won't be the only one...I learned my lesson the hard way showing up with "non-traditional" attire at the last Five Points I went to (nearly got eliminated for wearing a Kerrits 24K coat in dressage...and I was in 2nd place).

          He definitely seems happier in it. Guess I'll be using this weekend and see how it goes! Thanks!
          "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."

          Comment

          • Original Poster

            #6
            Petstorejunkie - interesting that your horse was swimming in the cob. My Trak normally takes a cob in everything but the browband, and the regular horse size in the Micklem fits him quite well. I was surprised. Also, do you have the Multibridle, or the competition? The competition bridle's leather is a bit nicer than the orignial Multibridle. Maybe the sizing is different, too.
            "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."

            Comment


            • #7
              Eventer mi,
              My horses that like the Micklem are a small Trak mare with a tiny mouth and an English type stakes bred Tb.

              The tb had a crosstie hit him in the face and knocked a tooth into a diagonal slant into his mouth. He is soo grateful for the Micklem.
              Intermediate Riding Skills

              Comment


              • #8
                If he goes best in it, use it.

                I went best with the ugliest horse I'd ever laid eyes on, and I used him in shows.
                Trying a life outside of FEI tents and hotel rooms.

                Comment


                • #9
                  I was the dressage steward at an event this weekend and saw a couple Micklems. I actually didn't really notice the bridle until the horses got closer to me. I don't think they're that bad looking. And if your horse goes better in it, that's worth "sacrificing style" without a doubt!
                  "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    Keebler did dressage in his (shows, too) all last season. The light brown one that clashed horribly with my black saddle and his dark chestnut, freckled self. He likes it better and that's what matters.

                    "Nearly getting eliminated" is not the same thing as "getting eliminated". These bridles (the competition ones) are COMPLETELY AND ENTIRELY LEGAL IN EVENTING. You have nothing whatsoever to worry about.
                    Click here before you buy.

                    Comment


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by eventer_mi View Post
                      Petstorejunkie - interesting that your horse was swimming in the cob. My Trak normally takes a cob in everything but the browband, and the regular horse size in the Micklem fits him quite well. I was surprised. Also, do you have the Multibridle, or the competition? The competition bridle's leather is a bit nicer than the orignial Multibridle. Maybe the sizing is different, too.
                      externally it looked ugly but not awkward, but when I felt his nose bone and other internal references to use, there was no way to use it with a bit and have everything where it needs to be.
                      I had bought the competition one, but returned it.
                      www.destinationconsensusequus.com
                      chaque pas est fait ensemble

                      Comment


                      • #12
                        Originally posted by Kairoshorses View Post
                        I use the same bridle for all three phases....my micklem. LOVE it.
                        Just used it for all three phases at the Young Rider Benefit HT. Love it.
                        Yogurt - If you're so cultured, how come I never see you at the opera? Steven Colbert

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          I used mine in competition for the first time at Champagne Run. My horse is much better in it. I was paranoid about the chance of a legality question so I chatted with the TD beforehand, she was very familiar with it and said "of course they are OK, you just can't use the clips". Will try it for the first time jumping this week.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            I think the Micklem looks nice- I like the non traditional but functional design to it....

                            though question- why are the bit clips illegal? does it really matter how the bit is attached? My friend used to compete in a prestige bridle that had bit clips for easy bit change- she never has a problem with legal issues and that. I thought what made it illegal was the bitless bridle usage with the straps going under the chin but in the "bit" form it was ok(for the multi bridle not competition bridle)?
                            proud owner of a very pretty but completely useless horse (and one useful horse!)

                            Horse Thoughts

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              I was also told by a TD this weekend that the clips were illegal. This surprised me since the Eventing rulebook doesn't say anything about the clips. The dressage rulebook directly addresses them saying they aren't allowed.
                              "Last time I picked your feet, you broke my toe!"

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                I would assume that the bit clips are illegal because they transfer the action of the bit to the nose piece at some point went the reins get pulled on. This is why fussy mouthed horses really like this bridle with the clips. It helps steady the bit in thier mouth and limits the pressure from ham handed riders (I include myself in this category :-( I'm trying though) on the bars of thier mouth and tounge. Since dressage is all about "acceptance of the bit" having the bit clips to transfer the pressure to the nose is like riding in a hackamore and not allowed. HOrse / pony must accept the bit ham handed rider or not.

                                I really wish this rule would change as many horses with young riders and horses/ponies with bad riders would enjoy life a whole lot more with a micklem and bit clips. More humane all around.

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  Originally posted by KaBoom! View Post
                                  I would assume that the bit clips are illegal because they transfer the action of the bit to the nose piece at some point went the reins get pulled on. This is why fussy mouthed horses really like this bridle with the clips. It helps steady the bit in thier mouth and limits the pressure from ham handed riders (I include myself in this category :-( I'm trying though) on the bars of thier mouth and tounge. Since dressage is all about "acceptance of the bit" having the bit clips to transfer the pressure to the nose is like riding in a hackamore and not allowed. HOrse / pony must accept the bit ham handed rider or not.

                                  I really wish this rule would change as many horses with young riders and horses/ponies with bad riders would enjoy life a whole lot more with a micklem and bit clips. More humane all around.
                                  Well-said post, I couldn't agree more! It is so much more kind to the horse and would REALLY help some horses!
                                  ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~
                                  Equine & Pet Portrait Artist
                                  www.elainehickman.com
                                  **Morgans Do It All**

                                  Comment


                                  • #18
                                    Re: Clips- In this pic, I have the clips so I can change out the bit easier. This doesn't change the action of the bit, so it should be legal- but I wouldn't risk it at a HT, I'd change out to the leather straps.

                                    I believe the "clips" the TD's are referring to go from the bit to the ring of the "flash strap", transferring the pressure across the nose, much like a sidepull/snaffle combo, which is one of the reasons I bought this bridle. I'm currently trying it on every fussy horse in my barn (with great success on many) and would like to try it with my students who have less educated hands.
                                    Big Idea Eventing

                                    Comment


                                    • #19
                                      Originally posted by eponacowgirl View Post
                                      Re: Clips- In this pic, I have the clips so I can change out the bit easier. This doesn't change the action of the bit, so it should be legal- but I wouldn't risk it at a HT, I'd change out to the leather straps.

                                      I believe the "clips" the TD's are referring to go from the bit to the ring of the "flash strap", transferring the pressure across the nose, much like a sidepull/snaffle combo, which is one of the reasons I bought this bridle. I'm currently trying it on every fussy horse in my barn (with great success on many) and would like to try it with my students who have less educated hands.

                                      Is your Micklem the Multi-Bridle or the Competition bridle? I have a fussy mouth OTTB and I'd love to try one, but are they legal in Dressage?

                                      BTW, your horse is CUTE!
                                      Please visit the Donate page!

                                      https://justworldeventer.squarespace.com

                                      Comment


                                      • #20
                                        Originally posted by TheBrightSide06 View Post
                                        Is your Micklem the Multi-Bridle or the Competition bridle? I have a fussy mouth OTTB and I'd love to try one, but are they legal in Dressage?

                                        BTW, your horse is CUTE!
                                        This one is the competition bridle, and yes, they're legal.

                                        I think it's worth trying on ANY horse with fussy issues. I've tried it on 4 horses at my barn and have liked it immediately on 3 of them. And I'm putting it back on the fourth with the bit clips the next time her kid jumps her. I have one more I want to try it on that is fussy and then I'll probably slowly try it on anything I ride in the barn, just for case studies.

                                        And thanks- that's Gracie, another of my craigslist finds. She's a BN/N packer for my BO's daughter now. She is opinionated and totally perfect for her owner.
                                        Big Idea Eventing

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