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What is your experience with Mikmar bits?

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  • What is your experience with Mikmar bits?

    I just finished watching some info videos regarding the mikmar bits and well I have to say the videos did get me interested.

    So I am curious as to how a Mikmar bit has helped or not helped you.
    Ms Robin
    Farm Websites & SEO, Low Prices, Barter available!
    ~No Horses to Slaughter clique~

  • #2
    I have used a Mikmar pelham in the past, and now use a mikmar 2-ring (elevator) for my Junior Jumper. I just use it to show and it really helps me keep him between my hand and leg, whereas before he was able to pull me out of the tack. It is not a bit for a heavy rider or rough rider- but works very well if used correctly.

    Comment


    • #3
      I would have a very hard time putting one of those things in a horses mouth! I cannot imagine that that much metal can fit comfortably in a horses mouth. I find that I can pretty much deal with any horse using more conventional (and less expensive!) bits. In my opinion, it's just a "fad" bit.
      www.shawneeacres.net

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      • #4
        Never used one but never really had the need for one. They were quite fashionable around here a few years ago when they first came on the market. A lot of the jumper riders used them and a lot of the horses didn't need them and started stopping in a hurry! Now you rarely see them. I never really liked or believed their whole marketing claim that it would help any and every horse out there!!
        Go Ahead: This is a dare, not permission. Don't Do It!

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        • #5
          I've used this one http://www.mikmar.com/bit-pages/2-ring-elevator-PS.html with great success. The mouth piece is smaller, more ergonomic and the sweet iron makes them salavate a lot. I had a jumper that could really haul you down and out of the tack around the corners but in this he was great. I agree that these are not bits for someone who is handsy or rough; we have had great success at the barn with the pelham version and the circle shank version, they have, too, as training bits.

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          • #6
            I've used Mikmars very successful on horses that needed something "different."

            I had a QH gelding with an oddly thick and low palate and struggled to find a bit he didn't HATE. I probably tried 20 different bits and also tried different hackamores, western combo bits, and side pull/bitless bridles.

            The curved, low port, short shank combination bit turned out to be the only thing I ever put in his mouth that he was happy with. And it made a huge difference to how he went. For the record, the huge metal mouthpiece was probably the softest thing I ever had in that horse's mouth (and that's compared to regular fat snaffles, french link snaffles, mullen mouths, etc.).

            I ended up using that bit on a couple of other horses over the years and really liked it on my jumpers who wanted to pull around the courses. The combo of the nose rope, curb strap, and bit itself was really great at not allowing them to curl or get up above the bit.

            I haven't used that bit in a while, but I do pull out my 2-ring bit on my AO Jumper mare for clinics and occasionally shows. The funky mouthpiece seems to keep her from leaning as hard as she wants to and I get a nice amount of lift without feeling like I have anything even remotely "harsh" in her mouth.

            So out of all of that I will say, the Mikmar bits work incredibly well on some horses. They don't work as well on others. I certainly wouldn't call them just a "fad" at this point in time, though a lot of people jumped on the bandwagon way back when they first came out. Just look around at the horses you see them on now. I think they can be effective and in some cases the right shape to fit a particular horse's mouth better than any other bit. But they're expensive, and so probably not something I'd take a big risk on unless I had a horse I was reasonably certain would go well in one.
            __________________________________
            Flying F Sport Horses
            Horses in the NW

            Comment


            • #7
              When I first started using the Mikmar Combination bit on my horse, it was a miracle bit. He has a low palate and a thick tongue. In this bit, he was a completely different horse. I could actually do the adds, balance around the turns and not speed through gymnastics. Just the lightest touch was all it took. And my horse wasn't stiff or resistant as one might be when over-bitted. My horse has a sensitive mouth and this bit gave me control that I didn't have with other bitsw/o being too harsh. I think the rope over the nose was a big component. I used it about 1 1/2 years before switching to a loose ring french link. In the end it became more bit than I needed, But we wouldn't be where we are today without the training we were able to accomplish thanks to this bit. In fact, I used to try to figure out an amount of money that it was worth to me and I couldn't put a price on it.
              Last edited by Shortstroke; Sep. 16, 2010, 10:52 PM. Reason: Added the last sentence about price.

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              • #8
                I had great success with the Mikmar combination bit on a rushy, inverted, short-strided QH who was like a runaway freight train with other bits. She slowed down and started to stretch her neck down. It made a big difference and was not harsh. There was no problem with the odd shape, and it is very light.
                Looking for horse activity in the Twin Tiers? Follow my blog at http://thetwintiershorse.blogspot.com/

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                • #9
                  I use one on a TB who loves to go inverted and is also very stiff on one side of the mouth. Seems to also be very unhappy with (so far) any "normal" bit in his mouth. I have a combination bit that he LOVES! He's soft, reached down for the bit, round, and is a happy camper in this bit. He just loves it. I hardly ever touch the second rein and have very light contact on the top rein.

                  From what I've seen: some horses like it, some don't.

                  Now the only problem is finding a show bit...

                  Comment


                  • #10
                    I've had one great experience with Mikmars and one awful one. We have a jumper that is VERY strong and sensitive with a super high pallet, and he's been going BEAUTIFULLY in his combo bit. He LOVES the dang thing.

                    My hunter-turned-jumper went in the pelham for a short bit, but it caused him a lot of discomfort because of his abnormally low pallet. He went around very inverted and stiff because of it, so needless to say it didn't last long. He now goes in a Springer two ring elevator that is much more favorable to the shape of his mouth.

                    I think they can be great bits for the right horse and in the right hands.
                    Nine out of ten times, you'll get it wrong...but it's that tenth time that you get it right that makes all the difference.

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                    • #11
                      My eq horse went in a Mikmar pelham. It was the only bit we ever found that made him happy. I think it's a good bit as long as it is used judiciously.
                      "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
                      -George Morris

                      Comment

                      • Original Poster

                        #12
                        Thank you for all your input. While I know I can get away with using a combo in the jumpers, what about in the hunter ring? Are any allowed?
                        Ms Robin
                        Farm Websites & SEO, Low Prices, Barter available!
                        ~No Horses to Slaughter clique~

                        Comment


                        • #13
                          My old arab went in a combo bit for years and was very happy in it. Previously she was only ridden in a snaffle and drawreins, and did not know how to carry herself and could be a difficult ride. We tried the mikmar combo on her and it made such a difference, she was forward, happy and willing, and learned to carry herself. On trail she still had a bit of the crazy arab spook factor (had it until the day she died), but was much more controllable with the combo bit. Toward the end of her life we rode her in a myler pelham, but she was never as relaxed with it as she was with the mikmar.

                          I use the combo with my current horse to tune her up, and also have the pelham to take to shows if I need it, otherwise she goes in a myler ported d-ring.

                          Comment


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by msrobin View Post
                            Thank you for all your input. While I know I can get away with using a combo in the jumpers, what about in the hunter ring? Are any allowed?
                            My horse qualified for Junior Hunter Finals back in 2006 in a Mikmar pelham. I wouldn't show in the combo bit though.
                            "Are you yawning? You don't ride well enough to yawn. I can yawn, because I ride better than you. Meredith Michael Beerbaum can yawn. But you? Not so much..."
                            -George Morris

                            Comment


                            • #15
                              Combo, then Pelham, then snaffle

                              I was able to take a freight train from the combo to the pelham to a snaffle in one short season. Oh did I say freight train? I meant one of my favorite TB geldings! He went very well in it, and learned to jump properly in it. I also used the combo on a young but still growing WB. But hence, I'm very traditional, so everything I have eventually goes in a snaffle. I refuse to sell them on ebay though. I've had such good training with them, I'm afraid I'll need them again once I get rid of them!

                              Comment


                              • #16
                                Originally posted by HorseMomof3 View Post
                                I was able to take a freight train from the combo to the pelham to a snaffle in one short season. Oh did I say freight train? I meant one of my favorite TB geldings! He went very well in it, and learned to jump properly in it. I also used the combo on a young but still growing WB. But hence, I'm very traditional, so everything I have eventually goes in a snaffle. I refuse to sell them on ebay though. I've had such good training with them, I'm afraid I'll need them again once I get rid of them!
                                This is pretty much where I am as well. The combination bit has helped my OTTB learn how to canter collectively and lightly. We are in the process of working our way towards a snaffle-something. The rope over the nose is easily understood by a confused OTTB and can really help them become relaxed while going slow. I will never sell mine!

                                Comment


                                • #17
                                  I'd love to hear some input re: the d-ring snaffle with the ported mouthpiece.

                                  I've used the double jointed, ported pelham and the combo bit and I'm glad to have them in my bit box. I have found them most helpful for a particular style of horse, typically a heavy built, bullish type horse. The bit seems to lay very comfortably in the mouth of a WB type, I've not had as much success with TB types.

                                  I had great results using a Mikmar on a big spooky WB who would spook and do a little bit of a bolt and just go right through your hand. With that bit a normal human being could keep him together and keep him working when he was feeling flighty and he would give up on the spooking. And, if you used the bit in a normal to light normal manner, it did not seem to come across as unduly harsh--no curling up or evidence of discomfort with contact.

                                  However, I had another big WB that felt too heavy in my hand but that bit was not a good match for him, he started to lose his forwardness. A big WB that gets too light in the hand & too slow...not good!!!

                                  Anyway, while they don't ride as harsh bits, I still think those particular Mikmar bits are more suited to a rider with a soft, giving hand.

                                  While as I said I've not had as much luck with Mikmars with the TB types, after reading a few of these responses I do have a TB that is having some issues right now and I think I might give the Mikmar a try. The Mikmar mouthpieces just seem so big for the tiny little TB mouths!

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