Micklem bridles solve what problem(s)?

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Fatcat
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Micklem bridles solve what problem(s)?

Postby Fatcat » Mon Dec 26, 2016 6:32 am

What are the reasons people buy a Micklem? Is it for headshaking? Would it help with a horse that wants to rub the sides of her mouth on her leg a lot during work (even before foaming mouth starts)?

p.s. She's had a dental 10 days ago and all was fine, and her bit fits her according to trainer and my eye. It's an HS 14mm sensogan bean egg butt. She was this way when she was in a stainless french link before the HS.
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Re: Micklem bridles solve what problem(s)?

Postby NancyP » Tue Dec 27, 2016 12:27 am

It just fits really well. At least on both of my ponies.
The cheek pieces are well back from the cheek bones.
The 'drop' keeps the bit in place.

I don't think it will help with rubbing her face on her leg...
You would have to figure out why she is shaking her head...

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Re: Micklem bridles solve what problem(s)?

Postby galopp » Tue Dec 27, 2016 6:58 am

I see two primary uses: 1event riders or those who want less to clean, and 2 especially good for reschooling horses which have had their bars abused by precipitous flexion/low closed postures and/or are very defensive/sensative/etc with their mouths--use the snaps to hold the bit forward. (Of course one could simply tie the front of the bit to the loop of a flash with soft shoe laces and get the same effect---but it's a pain.) And always have a bit properly fitted (ideally a single broken snaffle) so that it hangs straight across the mouth (usually means a wrinkle or so in the corners of the lips). mho (The use of a drop is to prevent green(er) horses from crossing their jaws which are some are wont to do, not to hold the bit in place; but the snaps can help it be stable and prevent it from acting backwards should (vertical)
hh not work properly.

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Re: Micklem bridles solve what problem(s)?

Postby HafDressage » Fri Jan 06, 2017 7:16 am

I have to say, I am not a fan of the Micklems. I have seen several horses twist their jaws in them. I don't know if that is a fitting issue or what, but it was noticeable and really turned me off.

For your girl, I would say check the fit of your bit and bridle. A constant need to rub sounds to me like a fit issue. Perhaps the bit or side pieces are too tight or bothering her in some way. You could post a picture and perhaps everyone could internet jockey (in a helpful way for once). :)

Alternatively, if it's not teeth and not the bit/bridle, then I would say perhaps consider it as a training issue rather than an equipment issue. Not to imply anything whatsoever about your training or handling, but some horses are very good at turning seemingly harmless little habits into little evasions if not nipped in the bud (my haflinger definitely is :))

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Re: Micklem bridles solve what problem(s)?

Postby piedmontfields » Sat Jan 07, 2017 12:29 am

I have only used a Miklem when riding horses their owners presented in them (a few times). The owners said it was because the horse was strong and it would help in the hand. To me, it did not help with that!

I agree that bridle fit and comfort is something to address. Gallop, I think our #1 reason is also dead on!

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Re: Micklem bridles solve what problem(s)?

Postby AmityBee » Sat Jan 07, 2017 8:07 pm

Fatcat wrote:p.s. She's had a dental 10 days ago and all was fine, and her bit fits her according to trainer and my eye. It's an HS 14mm sensogan bean egg butt. She was this way when she was in a stainless french link before the HS.


OK, here goes nothing. My pony did just the same thing when I started him under saddle in an aurigan bit. Turns out he reacted to the metal. He got really itchy. The issue went away quicky after I change him to a stainless steel bit.

I know that the sensogan is supposed to be hypoallergenic but maybe the simple oxidation process of the bit is bothering your mare.

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Re: Micklem bridles solve what problem(s)?

Postby Fatcat » Sun Jan 08, 2017 3:43 am

AmityBee wrote:
Fatcat wrote:p.s. She's had a dental 10 days ago and all was fine, and her bit fits her according to trainer and my eye. It's an HS 14mm sensogan bean egg butt. She was this way when she was in a stainless french link before the HS.


OK, here goes nothing. My pony did just the same thing when I started him under saddle in an aurigan bit. Turns out he reacted to the metal. He got really itchy. The issue went away quicky after I change him to a stainless steel bit.

I know that the sensogan is supposed to be hypoallergenic but maybe the simple oxidation process of the bit is bothering your mare.


Interesting, last ride I put her back in her SS French link eggbutt, she was just as itchy in it as the HS KK ultra.
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Re: Micklem bridles solve what problem(s)?

Postby AmityBee » Sun Jan 08, 2017 8:33 am

Ah well, too bad. It could have been an easy fix. I hope you'll find the actually cause soon.

I did go from loose ring (Sprenger KK) to D-ring (SS) and got rid of the noseband altogether, but I don't really think there was a conection to the excessive rubbing.

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Re: Micklem bridles solve what problem(s)?

Postby HafDressage » Mon Jan 09, 2017 7:35 am

Fatcat wrote:
AmityBee wrote:
Fatcat wrote:p.s. She's had a dental 10 days ago and all was fine, and her bit fits her according to trainer and my eye. It's an HS 14mm sensogan bean egg butt. She was this way when she was in a stainless french link before the HS.


OK, here goes nothing. My pony did just the same thing when I started him under saddle in an aurigan bit. Turns out he reacted to the metal. He got really itchy. The issue went away quicky after I change him to a stainless steel bit.

I know that the sensogan is supposed to be hypoallergenic but maybe the simple oxidation process of the bit is bothering your mare.


Interesting, last ride I put her back in her SS French link eggbutt, she was just as itchy in it as the HS KK ultra.


Could you try her in a hackmore or something along those lines for a ride or two an see whether the rubbing continues? That might help you rule out fit or bit issues. Continued good luck getting it figured out! :)

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Re: Micklem bridles solve what problem(s)?

Postby Minz » Wed Jan 18, 2017 2:53 am

I volunteer as a scribe for a local eventing venue. A horse came into the ring wearing a Micklem and the judge commented that it was a good bridle for horses who like to lean on the bit. The horse in the ring looked to be quite a leaner even with the Micklem. That girl must have had arms of steel.

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Re: Micklem bridles solve what problem(s)?

Postby Code3 » Sun Jan 22, 2017 10:09 pm

i started my WB in a drop. As he matured, I tried him in regular cavesson and flash, then went to a Micklem. He is quieter with the Micklem I think because of the stability. He is very light and learning to take a good contact. My Arabian has always been ridden in a regular cavesson. In the last few years he's developed head shaking to the point that riding him was iffy and, at one point, I considered retiring him (at age 7). We have since figured out supplements that help him. We also altered his bridle - he cannot tolerate a brow band. The Micklem for him keeps the bridle stable without a brow band. It also keeps the cheekpiece off his transgeminal nerve, which is sensitive/reactive.

I think the standard argument for the bridle is that he is designed to fit in a way that avoids pressure points and nerves.

I will say a drop, which the Micklem mimics, is designed to keep horses from crossing the jaw. Good luck with it! Hope you see some difference.

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Re: Micklem bridles solve what problem(s)?

Postby Tempest » Tue Apr 18, 2017 8:56 am

I realise this is a bit of an old thread now, but -

Micklem makes zero difference to my horse. I only have her in it atm because I needed to put her in a black bridle for a show (my at home bridle is red) and couldn't be bothered putting together my other one.

Said horse is fussy in the mouth, opens her mouth and is resistant to contact. I have tried an ungodly number of noseband/bit combinations on her (as well as training, obviously) and haven't really found a "magic" combination yet. The only real lightbulb we've had is that she is MUCH happier without a flash - even though she gapes her mouth open, she's a hell of a lot softer in the jaw and poll. I ride under eventers atm, they are not so fussy on the open mouth thing as my dressage trainers in the past, they say they have some horses that just kind of need to go like that especially when they are working hard. I can feel the difference now, as soon as I put a flash on (or adjust my Micklem drop noseband one hole tighter) she instantly locks and has a head tilt. Contact wise, things have improved a lot but as soon as she gets tired she leans, as soon as she gets anxious she comes above the contact - super tricky finding the sweet spot with her but when she has a nice contact it's NICE. And she still tries to rub her head every chance she gets as well as the instant the bridle comes off - think she just has a sensitive face.

As I'm around eventers I do see them used a lot and everyone else with one swears by it - just doesn't work for me. Certainly worth borrowing one if you can and you're thinking about buying one.

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Re: Micklem bridles solve what problem(s)?

Postby galopp » Tue Apr 18, 2017 12:14 pm

Horses which have problems with fussy mouths or issues with contact benefit from two things: work in hand to educate the mouth, and time spent re-educating the mouth. For those who want to ride/reschol w/o pressure on the bars/tongue, micklems with the snaps prevent the bit (esp a plain snaffle) from acting on the bars and tongue, and they are never meant to have tightens nosebands. And remember that drop nosebands are meant to be used with fulmers/full cheeks. As far as work in hand, the progression of teaching balance with mobilization of the jaw, lateral flexibility, and lengthening of the outline can be key factors. Rubbing the head (if not sweating) is simply a displaced kind of alpha behavior imho.

With leaning, rarely is it fatigue, usually riders are participating it and need to proactively ride more half halts. And if the horse is withdrawing or hollowing, then the rider needs to understand how to keep even contact in both reins and properly use lateral flexibility to create mobility of the jaw and over time longitudinal flexion. Those are training issues.

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Re: Micklem bridles solve what problem(s)?

Postby StraightForward » Fri Apr 21, 2017 2:59 pm

Thanks for that, Gallopp. Im having a Micklem delivered today for my new mare and it sounds like might be the right thing for her. She is green but was riding in a Mullen mouth shanked bit and doesn't know much about contact.
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Re: Micklem bridles solve what problem(s)?

Postby mld02004 » Wed May 31, 2017 12:46 am

I thought the design would be perfect for my very fussy Anglo Arab, but she went noticeably worse in it compared to a regular drop (weird in the contact, curling). My trainer was like :o :shock: when she saw me riding with it. I have no idea what mare disliked about it, we double checked the fit etc also.

I think the design is innovative, but just didn't work for my horse.

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Re: Micklem bridles solve what problem(s)?

Postby leheath8 » Sun Jul 02, 2017 3:18 am

I was rather skeptical about them, and am not a fan of the look, but the Micklem bridle made my horse very obviously go from difficult to bridle to easy to bridle. Within 2 rides of switching back to a regular bridle, she becomes difficult to bridle again. She is a super skin sensitive horse (all over - very thin coated/skinned) so I think it lies in a way that is more comfortable for her than regular bridles (even those without any nosebands). She is also steadier in the contact in the Micklem - that might just be because it is more comfortable or the added bit stability (although I don't use the clips as they aren't show legal). Either way, she obviously prefers it, so that's what we use.

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Re: Micklem bridles solve what problem(s)?

Postby StraightForward » Sun Jul 02, 2017 1:31 pm

StraightForward wrote:Thanks for that, Gallopp. Im having a Micklem delivered today for my new mare and it sounds like might be the right thing for her. She is green but was riding in a Mullen mouth shanked bit and doesn't know much about contact.


UPDATE: I've been riding Annabelle in the Micklem with a Myler Level 1 loose ring snaffle for a few weeks now. Before that, I rode her in a plain French cavesson for a bit since she had a jaw abscess that I thought the Micklem jaw strap might interfere with. Hard to say if it's the bridle or just that she's at the stage of learning quickly, but there have been a lot of improvements in her taking up of the contact and she seems to be more content with the bit in her mouth (less gnashing on it, which continues to diminish). I actually like how it looks with only one cheek strap instead of two, but wish they made a slim line version for the finer faces.

I have my fingers crossed that my PS of Sweden bridle will work the same since it is a similar concept and I've just dyed it to match my jumping saddle. There is no Micklem in the correct color, but if the horse says so, we'll go back to the Micklem and be mis-matched.
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Re: Micklem bridles solve what problem(s)?

Postby piedmontfields » Thu Jul 13, 2017 2:25 am

I want to hear about your impression of PS. I like their bridles but find them a bit massive on smaller horses.

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Re: Micklem bridles solve what problem(s)?

Postby StraightForward » Thu Jul 13, 2017 4:37 am

The bridle I bought appears to be a factory second or something of the PS Sweden High Jump Revolution. Because I didn't pay much for it, I dyed it to match my jumping saddle and then held my breath and cut quite a bit of the crown piece off. The part that curves forward between the ears was too wide and I felt was interfering with the base of the ears, but it was also lifting up off of her poll, so it wasn't providing any extra weight-bearing area. It's supposed to be a cob size, but does seem quite big. I have it on the smallest settings for the noseband and it just works. Paradoxically, the browband is a hair to the small side. By contrast the Micklem in a small horse/cob fits just right at about the mid-point on all the buckles. Horse is a very refined 15.3H appendix.

In short, I really like the noseband design of the High Jump Revolution, but would have been really unhappy had I paid retail for this bridle. I think the Micklem accomplishes much the same effect and fits better, but doesn't look as cool. The PS has rolled cheeks and fancy stitching, and the cheeks and nose of the High Jump are rather unique and stylish.
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Re: Micklem bridles solve what problem(s)?

Postby Beorn » Fri Jul 14, 2017 3:26 pm

Interesting to hear your experiences (and modifications) of the PS of Sweden bridle. My gelding started to show severe sensitivity earlier this year - headshaking hard enough that he would hit the wall, trip, etc. even with completely loose reins. Not a very good feeling! It seemed that he was *very* tender around his TMJ rather than his poll or cheek. Most bridles, and their brow bands, fell exactly over and put (sometimes significant) pressure on that tender spot. I tried the Micklem, Tota, and other types of bridles and was ready to eat the shipping costs to try a Fairfax when I came across someone selling a used PS of Sweden.

It was like a miracle. Headshaking gone. Image

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Re: Micklem bridles solve what problem(s)?

Postby StraightForward » Sat Jul 15, 2017 6:16 pm

Glad the bridle is solving your guy's problem, Beorn!

I bought mine (and the Micklem, and in fact, the Fairfax I have for Pickle) because I like the concept of a drop noseband but wanted a design that lies higher up on the bony part of the nose and doesn't interfere with the nostrils.

The crown would probably have fit a larger horse well, but the "swell" was just too wide for the space between my girl's ears. I used it our last two rides with the crown modification and she seems quite happy with it now.
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Re: Micklem bridles solve what problem(s)?

Postby Beorn » Mon Jul 17, 2017 12:45 am

I've been intrigued by the concept of a drop, but I'm learning that Beorn's head is such a non-standard shape that I gave up before I even started due to fears of not being able to adjust a drop enough.

It makes me sad that I have a few lovely Jerry's Harness bridles that I can't use on him. But given that Jerry is no longer making bridles, I can't let them go :lol:

Glad that the modifications are working so well!

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Re: Micklem bridles solve what problem(s)?

Postby mld02004 » Fri Jul 28, 2017 10:26 pm

Are these dressage legal? How are they different then the micklem? Interesting!

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Re: Micklem bridles solve what problem(s)?

Postby StraightForward » Sat Jul 29, 2017 4:02 am

Micklem and Fairfax are dressage legal, as is Beorn's PS of Sweden. I haven't looked into whether the one I have is, since I would just show in my Micklem at a dressage show anyway. I think it is, but might require addition of a throatlatch, not sure.
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Re: Micklem bridles solve what problem(s)?

Postby Silverado » Fri Aug 25, 2017 11:55 am

Interesting thread, I read it yesterday morning and went to the PS of Sweden web site to watch their instructional video. Interesting and I was thinking that our Haflinger would like it. Just my gut feeling that she would like the bridle. We also drive her and my husband and I went to a Consignment Tack Store yesterday as they had a harness for sale. I literally take five steps in the store and there I spotted a PS of Sweden bridle, very similar to one that Beorn has except the one I see doesn't not have a throat latch. Which I can add. It looked quite comfortable and the leather is gorgeous. Great price, still has the tag on the bridle bag that came with the bridle. I put the bridle on the counter and continue to "shop"; another woman comes in the shop and I hear her talking to the salesperson about the bridle. It was the person who was consigning the bridle! So I had a chance to talk to her about the bridle. She did not see a difference in her horse and also felt the style was somewhat out of place with the hunter look. Obviously, she had taken great care of the bridle as it looks brand new. The salesperson remarked that is was so rare that a consigner and buyer would randomly meet and have a chance to talk. I am thinking...what are the odds, that I read this thread, check out the PS of Sweden web site, go to the Tack Store looking for a harness and see this bridle and then meet the original owner. The store let me take the bridle to check out size so this morning I will see if it fits.

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Re: Micklem bridles solve what problem(s)?

Postby Beorn » Mon Aug 28, 2017 7:39 pm

Silverado wrote:...what are the odds, that I read this thread, check out the PS of Sweden web site, go to the Tack Store looking for a harness and see this bridle and then meet the original owner. The store let me take the bridle to check out size so this morning I will see if it fits.


:lol: It must be fate!

It's funny (and frustrating!) what works for some horses and makes no difference in others. I tried so many different options without effect, but this one was amazing from the start. If it doesn't work for you, I might be interested in it, if the price is right. Because spares are important, too...

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Re: Micklem bridles solve what problem(s)?

Postby Silverado » Tue Aug 29, 2017 9:38 pm

Beorn

Oh...I know it's so frustrating at times!

I think the bridle is going to work fabulously! I know what you mean about spare parts, the bridle I bought did not have a throat latch so I ordered one from PS of Sweden over the weekend for only $14.00. It was mailed Monday and deliver expected for tomorrow....tomorrow from Sweden!!!! Flat rate of $10.00!!

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Re: Micklem bridles solve what problem(s)?

Postby Silverado » Wed Aug 30, 2017 11:31 am

Beorn

Oh...I know it's so frustrating at times!

I think the bridle is going to work fabulously! I know what you mean about spare parts, the bridle I bought did not have a throat latch so I ordered one from PS of Sweden over the weekend for only $14.00. It was mailed Monday and deliver expected for tomorrow....tomorrow from Sweden!!!! Flat rate of $10.00!!

Isn't the leather amazing!! Love the feel of it!!

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Re: Micklem bridles solve what problem(s)?

Postby Beorn » Wed Aug 30, 2017 3:09 pm

Yay! Glad that it worked for you! I do quite like the leather on the bridle.


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