Wednesday, November 9, 2011

Question for the Readers: Micklem Bridles

If you really feel like it, that 10 minute promo up there explains a lot of the uses of this bridle. But keep in mind that it is just that, a promotional video ;)

They've been around for quite some time, and they were always just some gimmicky-looking bridle I would see when flipping through the pages of magazines. But a friend was raving to me the other day about how wonderful these Micklem bridles are, and how she can use them as a bitless bridle at home, and a bitted bridles for jumping and at shows. Her horse was also a headshaker due to facial nerve pain, and has not done so since being ridden in this bridle. (Greta's headshaking is caused by seasonal allergies, poor thing. But that is only a theory based upon the circumstanes which is arose around, as head shaking is pretty hard to diagnose unless it's photosensitive headshaking or that caused by pain. Greta's neither of those, but that was only one opinion. Hmm... anyway.............)

After looking into them further out of curiosity, they don't seem like a bad idea. A noble effort, if nothing else. They are, if nothing else, steps to solving the problem of pressure on the bars of the tongue, the molars and cheeks, and the opening of the facial nerves and major blood vessels in the face. My only thing is the strap that seems to keep the mouth shut. I've never been a fan of simply strapping a horse's mouth shut, but that doesn't seem to be the purpose of this mechanism. It seems to function more like a traditional noseband and a way to avoid putting pressure on the molars. Even in the fitting video, the demonstrator Tom MacGuinness (founder of Horseware Ireland) specified that it is not meant to be tightened. Interesting.

So now, my question to you, my lovely readers (I am seriously proud of you guys for making this blog so much fun to run, by the way!) what are your thoughts and opinions on the Micklem bridle? Has anyone ever used it? Yay or "neigh"?

I'm not interested in getting one unless they are as wonderful as people make them out to be. But really, the last thing I want, need or can afford right now is a another, and potentially gimmicky, bridle haha!


  1. These are great bridles! But I was skeptical at first, too. We have one and use it for encouraging horses to accept the bit, and for horses who are either especially sensitive, have bridling issues, or need to be re-trained. The strap that goes under the chin is different from a flash noseband as it does not prevent them from opening their mouths... rather, it encourages a quiet & relaxed mouth by displacing the pressure on the jaw from the reins (unlike a traditional bridle, where all of the rein pressure goes directly to the bit). My only complaint is that for an everyday schooling bridle, it's on the expensive side. We have the model that does not have the metal ring on the noseband... I have heard that the ring can leave rub marks on the nose.

  2. I see what they're trying to do...And It IS nifty to have different 'types' of use out of the same bridle.
    However, instead of getting a completely new bridle to alleviate molar/cheek pressure, why not just a drop nose band? Seems pretty similar to me.

    I doubt I would use this unless Crisp told me he was this point, no cigar!

  3. I have never used one, but I noticed a huge difference in my guy when I switched to a drop. I will be buying one of these in the future for jumping. I think they are worth the shot.

  4. Randomly...

    1. That pony is super handsome and I want to kiss his nose! He also is a great model for that bridle.

    2. I like the idea behind the bridle, it seems logical. But I guess if the point is not to put pressure on the molars, then stop doing up your noseband so tight! (Not that any of us here do, I'm just saying in general.)

    3. I do like that it can be converted to go bitless, but I don't like all the extra straps. It's not as streamlined-looking.

    So overall, would I add it to my collection? Probably not right now, since I have too many bridles already. It is a handsome bridle, though!

  5. I do not like gimmicks, but this bridle actually sounds like a smart design. I like the cavesson ring, but not if it rubs the nose.

    The "cheek strap" under the jaw looks like the snug-fitting cheek strap on nice lungeing cavessons. I have always wondered about the throatlatch on regular bridles. I think that its purpose is to prevent the bridle from falling off if the bit comes free, but I doubt that happens very often! At least this extra strap looks like it provides stability and support to the rest of the bridle.

  6. I had one for a little while. I really liked it ( but I ended up letting it move along because Izzy didn't have any of the particular issues it purports to solve. It's a pretty cool design and I thought it looked great on Ms Mare, but I had too many bridles at the time.


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