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Micklem Bridle thoughts...

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  • #21
    IME, they are really nice for the sensitive, fussy ones. It seems they provide a little stability for the bit. However, even the non sensitive types seem to like the micklem, even if the results aren't as drastic. The horse I originally bought a micklem for, the difference was huge. It wasn't an instant cure, but he was so much quieter with his mouth, steadier, more supple and softer. Any time I used a different bridle, he regressed. He's sold now, but I still use my micklem on my other horses. I do notice a difference with him, but it's much more subtle.
    .

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    • #22
      My TB seems to prefer his Micklem to his flash, figure 8, and cavesson bridles. His head tossing completely vanished as did yanking his head away when I did up his noseband. I tried it on my arabian to see if it improved his head flipping and leaning on the bit but he was as obnoxious in it as everything else I have tried. I agree with others that it is rather ugly, but since the TB likes it, I will keep using it.

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      • #23
        Originally posted by KellyS View Post
        Edited to add: I had some issues with getting rubs on the corner of Rally's mouth--not sure if it's how the lower noseband interacts with the Happy Mouth bits because I don't have as much of an issue with non-Happy Mouths--so I use Vaseline on the corners of his mouth when I ride. He has very delicate skin, though. Just a heads up to keep an eye on this possibly happening.
        That's interesting - the horse I ride in the Micklem has some serious rubs in the corners of his mouth. I wondered at first if I had the noseband too tight and have loosened it quite a bit. He's gray and does have sensitive skin.

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        • #24
          Originally posted by TBFAN View Post
          That's interesting - the horse I ride in the Micklem has some serious rubs in the corners of his mouth. I wondered at first if I had the noseband too tight and have loosened it quite a bit. He's gray and does have sensitive skin.
          I started having issues when the weather got colder and the Happy Mouths became more "brittle" (the plastic gets so hard in the cold). And it seemed like once the rubs started, it was so hard to get everything to heal up!

          So I rode in a hackamore for a while; then switched over to just plain stainless steel French links (I was also having issues with the HMs "chipping" once it got cold) and used Vaseline liberally in his mouth corners. I also keep the lower strap of the Micklem bridles well oiled (with olive oil) so they stay smooth and supple.

          His mouth is fine now--I figured for the winter that I'd only use the HM bits for lessons or, for example, fox hunting, making sure to put them in the truck so they are nice and warm. I always use Vaseline with them but don't need to worry about using it so much with the regular French links.

          I didn't find that adjusting the lower noseband made a difference one way or another once the rubs started. I never had it very tight to begin with any way and I'm sure you didn't either! Mouth rubs are like spur rubs (thankfully not something I've had to deal with but I've heard the stories!)--so hard to get rid of and not necessarily because you've done something drastic--it a sensitive-horse thing!

          Edited to add: I also went up a size in bits--from 4.75" to 5". That seemed to make a difference too!

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          • #25
            We have a picky TB that my 12 y/o son took over. He was having problems with slowing him down while jumping and I thought about a figure-8 and possibly a stronger bit. I decided to give the Micklem a try and I am so glad we did. Our horse is so much more lighter in the bridle and goes around happier. Our son has gained so much more control while jumping and his dressage has improved tremendously. His trainer was a sceptic until she saw the two of them go. We are huge Micklem bridle fans.
            Mosmom

            http://photobucket.com/albums/f45/ksox/

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            • #26
              I've had the worst bitting/bridle problems I've ever had with my current horse. He wouldn't tolerate a flash, or figure 8, so I was using a plain (loose) cavesson with a myler baucher. Went pretty well for about 6 months, then he started putting his tongue over the bit. Last week I put the Micklem back on him (had used it a few times last year, but couldn't tell any difference), and then while schooling cc yesterday he started grinding his teeth (which he's never done before) I don't know what to do now.
              "Everyone will start to cheer, when you put on your sailin shoes"-Lowell George

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              • #27
                Toadie's mom, sorry you're having those problems. I have had horses that did not tolerate a flash but with time, they grow accustomed. If it were me, I would use the flash for five or six rides and see if he gets used to it. You may have already done this though.

                And maybe he won't always grind his teeth. Is he nervous otherwise?
                -Ann

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                • #28
                  I started that other Mickelm thread. I still ride in the Micklem and still love it. Have a Myler on one and an old Kangaroo Rubber pelham on the other (for trails). The pelham sits a touch high, but considering my old horse still likes to flip his tongue over the bit, that is not so bad.

                  I have noticed that during the summer, my horse sometimes gets rubs from the lip strap. I use Corona and/or wrap the straps in Sealtex and it prevents the rubs.

                  Horse also loves a hackamore, but I am not brave enough to trail ride it that.

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                  • #29
                    Originally posted by Bogie View Post
                    I use a Micklem bridle quite a bit of the time. I like the way it supports the position of the bit and my horses find it comfortable.

                    I ride one horse in the sidepull configuration bitless and I like the flexibility.

                    I like the way they look, so it's not an aesthetic draw back for me.

                    For those who are concerned about the price, if you look for sales, you can buy them for less. I paid $99 for one and $110 for the second.
                    $100 is my groceries for the week.
                    The Little Man

                    Blog

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                    • #30
                      Next time anyone finds them on a good sale, please post. I'm looking for the Multibridle in both horse and cob size, and the cheapest I've found is about $135.
                      "I'm a lumberjack, and I'm okay."
                      Thread killer Extraordinaire

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                      • #31
                        It is a very thoughtful design; it really does avoid major nerves and vessels in the horse's head. Plus it avoids clamping down on the area over the cheek teeth, which I think is huge when considering comfort for some horses.

                        I have one and I really do think it makes a difference with some horses. I don't like the reins it comes with though.

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                        • #32
                          I had one and just sold it. I liked the basic design, as I believe my horse did as well, but I don't need/want that type of noseband. I wish there was something for horses who go in a regular cavesson.
                          We're spending our money on horses and bourbon. The rest we're just wasting.
                          www.dleestudio.com

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                          • #33
                            Originally posted by Meadow36 View Post
                            It is a very thoughtful design; it really does avoid major nerves and vessels in the horse's head. Plus it avoids clamping down on the area over the cheek teeth, which I think is huge when considering comfort for some horses.
                            I'm wondering if anybody has tried dropped nosebands? They seem like they would address many of the same issues. Though they don't flatter the horse's head well.

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                            • #34
                              Originally posted by eqsiu View Post
                              I'm wondering if anybody has tried dropped nosebands? They seem like they would address many of the same issues. Though they don't flatter the horse's head well.
                              I've never had a dropped noseband fit really well on any horse I've had without some reconfiguration. They're either too loose, they interfere with the bit sitting correctly, or when done up properly the buckles are right over the lips, or when they fit well down below they're too tight up top--blecch. Not worth the trouble unless the horse CLEARLY prefers one, in which case you'd better know a good leather working person who can re-sew the straps and buckles to make it fit!

                              I think the concept is very similar to a Micklem--keep the bit stable in the mouth and prevent excessive mouth opening without screwing the whole muzzle down--without the single strap designed to avoid pressing on the cheeks.
                              Click here before you buy.

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                              • #35
                                Originally posted by eqsiu View Post
                                I'm wondering if anybody has tried dropped nosebands? They seem like they would address many of the same issues. Though they don't flatter the horse's head well.
                                I tried 40+ bits and every type of noseband before ending up in the micklem.(I have an incredible collection of tack) I hate their look but they do seem to do better on some horses and this mare loved it. Instant improvement. Even put on loosely, the bit seems to stay more stable which is what this mare needed to relax. The shorter cheek piece seems to be part of the key and a dropped noseband wouldn't solve that problem. If I switch back to a regular bridle, the inconsistency and tenseness comes back; put her in the Micklem and she relaxes more. I just wish they were better made and not quite so funky looking but as long as it works....

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                                • #36
                                  At first my horse liked the Micklem, but as time wore on not so much. While riding one day, the noseband broke on one side. My trainer continued to ride him and noticed he seemed less fussy with his mouth. I tried a plain cavesson, and he has been much happier. I like the concept but I think it only works for certain horses. I was disappointed in the quality when I looked at it after it broke.

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                                  • #37
                                    Sometimes I think just regularly changing pieces of tack makes us convinced things are temporarily better. I've noticed the really amazing trainers I admire most have just plain old snaffles and nosebands on virtually all of their horses and don't fiddle around much. Hmmmm . . .
                                    Click here before you buy.

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                                    • #38
                                      Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                                      Sometimes I think just regularly changing pieces of tack makes us convinced things are temporarily better. I've noticed the really amazing trainers I admire most have just plain old snaffles and nosebands on virtually all of their horses and don't fiddle around much. Hmmmm . . .
                                      ^^^ What she said. I find that changing bits periodically is especially effective.
                                      -Ann

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                                      • #39
                                        Originally posted by deltawave View Post
                                        Sometimes I think just regularly changing pieces of tack makes us convinced things are temporarily better. I've noticed the really amazing trainers I admire most have just plain old snaffles and nosebands on virtually all of their horses and don't fiddle around much. Hmmmm . . .
                                        It's hard to say it's just a gimmick when top eventing trainers are starting to ride all, or most, of their horses in it.
                                        .

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                                        • #40
                                          Not hard for me. I'd say that's actually a decent definition of "gimmick". Or fad, if one prefers. Five point breastplates, anyone? You can't tell me that 95% of horses going BN truly need this much saddle stability or whatever it is they provide that's so superior. But danged if their appearance on the bodies of loads of upper level horses didn't have an impact on sales.
                                          Click here before you buy.

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