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Micklem Bridle Review

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  • Micklem Bridle Review

    Thought I would post a review of my Micklem bridle since I didn't find TOO many out there when I was researching it.

    I have a very sensitive 5yo chestnut OTTB that I got Feb of last year. He went in a regular bridle with regular cavesson for the beginning, and in June we switched to a flash so he would keep his dang mouth closed and stop doing his best impression of a snapping turtle.

    I came across the Micklem bridle and was intrigued - I liked that it appeared to be something of a combination between a drop noseband and a figure 8 and was allegedly ergonomically designed.

    Out of the bag there were no instructions, but any (fairly) competent person with experience taking apart and putting together bridle pieces should be able to figure it out. It took me about ten minutes. Leather quality is fine for me, a bit stiff, but it was brand new. It is nicely padded and I LOVE the crown piece. It's designed to give the ears a little more space and consideration, which was previously a problem for us.

    It was also pretty easy to size to my horse. He's got a pretty decent sized head for a 16.1 TB, and the horse size fits him well. My only concern was that the "flash" piece seemed to touch the bit a little more than I would have liked. I did not put the bit hooks on.

    As for Jake's thoughts? He loved it! He was less fussy than in his regular flash and seemed very comfortable. I've been riding him in the Micklem now for about a month and I'm very pleased with it. I have not tried it bitless, but I have tried it with a Dee ring and loose ring, and they both work with this bridle. He no longer has rub marks where his old bridle used to bug him, either. One of my favorite things about the bridle is that it is one continuous piece. Meaning: no separate cheek/noseband pieces, it's all together. It seems to sit quieter on his head and he definitely appreciates that. I can't really think of anything else to add, but if you have any questions, don't hesitate to ask, I will do my best to answer them accurately and to the best of my knowledge!

    Note: I did buy a pretty browband, the one in photos is not the one that came with it

    Micklem Bridle on Jake 1
    Micklem Bridle on Jake 2

    I bought mine from Adam's with rubber reins for around.. $160 I believe.

  • #2
    Thanks for the review. There aren't many. My feelings were about the same - I really like it. I've used it with and without the bit. My only complaint is that I wish there was another option than the drop noseband. My horse isn't keen on that. Otherwise its a great fit and I use it all the time.


    • #3
      LOVE my Micklem! It has been wonderful for my green bean and my super stars. I wish they made them in small pony size, I would have them for the little ones too!
      I Loff My Quarter Horse & I love Fenway Bartholomule cliques

      Just somebody with a positive outlook on life...go ahead...hate me for that.


      • #4
        I've been using a Micklem as well for the past 4 months on my TB mare. She likes it a lot. I use it with a bit and she seems generally less fussy with her head when riding (although I'd like to think that this is at least partly a result of my becoming a better rider). She's always hated a flash on her other bridles, but she's quite happy with the chin strap on the Micklem.

        Anyway, she's a 16 hand TB mare and the cob size fit her perfectly.
        "The formula 'Two and two make five' is not without its attractions." --Dostoevsky


        • Original Poster

          Oh sure, NOW you guys all come out of the woodwork to say how much you like your Micklem bridles!!!

          I asked for it as my birthday present from my boyfriend, so if I didn't like it.. wasn't my problem :P


          • #6
            Is it easy to change bits, I use a french snaffle for dressage and a two ring snaffle for cross country. Any problems? Rollo


            • #7
              I've had my Micklem Competition bridle for a little over a month and I really like it. I have a sensitive horse also and I think he likes it a lot better, he fusses a lot less. I was skeptical at first but I'm sold now. I also like how light it is, and how it has fewer pieces to clean!

              Rollo, I haven't changed bits yet but yes, it looks easy. They come with a spare pair of bit "keepers" that you could keep on an extra bit to make the switch easier.


              • #8
                There's a huge thread on the eventing forum about Miicklem bridles. Do a search. It didn't help my horse at all
                "Everyone will start to cheer, when you put on your sailin shoes"-Lowell George


                • #9
                  I like the Micklem overall. Good leather quality, and I love the crownpiece for the same reasons the OP does: it gives the horse's ears a lot of space! I love the ideas behind it, and it's always done really well for me. I liked the way my mare went in it.

                  However, the horse I'm looking at buying will go better in a basic bridle, so I won't need the Micklem any more. I'm looking forward to buying a new bridle, just because tack shopping is fun.
                  Nanakorobi yaoki: Seven times fall, eight times rise.


                  • #10
                    Interesting. I have an OTTB who loves to stick his tongue out, and grinds his teeth and opens his mouth. He doesn't seem to do it from anything but habit; he will do it on a loose rein on a familiar trail. He even does it in his stall (teeth are fine, no ulcers). I talked to his trainer back in his racehorse days, and she said he did it all the time, and they used to play with him by grabbing his tongue. I haven't tried that because I dont want to encourage him! He does seem to do it more when he wants attention. I ignored it for awhile (he goes in a hollow mouth loose ring snaffle, which he likes better than a French or anything else). Then I started riding him with a flash noseband, and while he is much better, a dressage instructor has suggested I try the Micklem. I have hesitated because of the cost, but think maybe I will spring for one.

                    I will now go read the thread over on Eventing.


                    • #11
                      Originally posted by ReveilleandRinsie View Post

                      However, the horse I'm looking at buying will go better in a basic bridle, so I won't need the Micklem any more. I'm looking forward to buying a new bridle, just because tack shopping is fun.
                      Any chance the micklem is a cob sized black? I need to buy one but I'm trying to avoid spending $190 for a new one! When I bought my first micklem last year, it was only $155. the price increase is ridiculous!


                      • #12
                        Is it legal for dressage?


                        • #13
                          ...and, not to hijack (sorry!) but does anyone know whether it is possible to buy a Micklem bridle without the reins? I already have reins I love. Am looking for a brown ("tobacco"?) standard horse, I guess (horse is a 16.3, sort of average sort of TB head), competition bridle.

                          Hate to pay for reins I'll never use. I do have some rubber ones should the need arise.


                          • #14
                            Originally posted by mayhew View Post
                            Is it legal for dressage?
                            Yes it is legal for dressage

                            Originally posted by Houndhill View Post
                            ...and, not to hijack (sorry!) but does anyone know whether it is possible to buy a Micklem bridle without the reins? I already have reins I love. Am looking for a brown ("tobacco"?) standard horse, I guess (horse is a 16.3, sort of average sort of TB head), competition bridle.

                            Hate to pay for reins I'll never use. I do have some rubber ones should the need arise.
                            Unfortunately, no you can't buy it without the reins. I hate the reins (they are very stiff), so it does suck. You could probably sell them on ebay and get some of your money back though.


                            • #15
                              I use a Micklem and I like the reins. I don't use the bit clips - tried them and horse felt very dull in them.

                              I use this bridle on my mustang, who was fussy in a regular bridle w/ flash. Also had tried him in a dropped noseband, but he likes the Micklem the best.

                              The only thing I don't like about it is the position of the buckle on the chin strap - it collects what I call "cookie schmutz" and gets very dirty if your horse foams at the mouth. I'd like some sort of padded buckle-protector thingy.

                              Here's a picture of my mustang in his Micklem:

                              "A horse's face always conveys clearly whether it is loved by its owner or simply used." - Anja Beran


                              • #16
                                I am also using a Micklem on my TB and he likes it a lot. He was rotten in a plain cavesson, somewhat better in a figure 8, and MUCH happier in his Micklem. I am not crazy about how they look, but if the pony is happy, I am just going to have to get over that! I lucked out and bought mine for right around $100 last year from Equestrian Collections.