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Vicky & Duntoatee Test Horseware's Micklem Bridle



 

Micklem Bridle Review

When I was first asked to trial the Micklem bridle, I was instantly excited and knew exactly which horse I would try it on. 

Duntoatee (AKA Duncan), is a five year old sports horse and I was aiming him for his first event. I have owned since he was a four year old and always struggled to get him to accept the contact. When ridden in a normal cavesson noseband, he would open his mouth wide and lean on the bridle; in a grackle he would cross his jaw and tilt his head, so I was definitely open to new ideas. When riding on the flat and jumping he would always fight my contact on the reins and often throw his head up to evade. 

When I did some research on the Horseware website I learned that the Micklem is designed to avoid pressure on the facial nerves; the projecting cheek bones and the upper jaw molar teeth. It also provides a great solution for the many horses who resist because of pain around the frequently damaged bars of the mouth, or hate too much pressure on the tongue and as a result fight the contact or get their tongue over the bit. In addition, with the Micklem the weight of the bridle is distributed comfortably on a wide and padded headpiece, rather than on one narrow strap. 

When I first tried Duncan in the Micklem he instantly became softer in my hand and easier to bend around my leg. He was also less strong in my hand and suddenly his tendency to lean disappeared. I had always jumped him in a universal gag but found due to the Micklem making him softer and less strong, I could now jump him in a snaffle. I kept him in the gag for cross country schooling but his show jumping rounds became more fluent and the two of us did much less fighting!

I took him to a local combined training competiton to test out the new bridle and softer bit combination and was delighted that he finished second after a lovely dressage test and a super clear round show jumping. A visit from my dressage trainer Gary Foggon confirmed the Micklem success - as he couldn’t believe the difference in Duncan’s way of going, particularly in his flat work. 

The final test was our first BE event at Kelsall Hill. Duncan produced a lovely dressage score to put us in the lead. He then had four faults in the show jumping, as his concentration drifted a little.  Fortunately when he would normally get tense and strong the Micklem stopped this and made him more rideable. He then produced a fab cross country where I had sufficient brakes to set him up for the fences. We finished fifth! This was a super result for us and I’m so very grateful for the support of Mole Valley Farmers and the effects of the Micklem bridle.

If you have any issues with contact, tongue rolling over the bit, tendencies to be strong or lean I really recommend you give this bridle a try!

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Source Details

 Newsletter 649



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