Micklem bridle

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Micklem bridle

Post by Cyndi on Thu Jul 30, 2009 12:54 pm

Have we discussed this bridle yet? I didn't read through all the posts to check. Someone brought this bridle to my attention, asking me about it, but I don't know anything about it except what I've read on his site. It is supposed to be designed from the 'inside', the anatomy of the horse's head. Any thoughts on it? It can be used as a bitless bridle, but I'm kind of lost on the "mild, medium, or strong" variations of it.

http://www.williammicklem.com/multibridle.html
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Re: Micklem bridle

Post by Sydney on Thu Jul 30, 2009 4:45 pm

It was designed from the inside out as in the means of it avoiding the molars, which can become pinched especially with normal nosebands. The only time I have seen a horse have his cheeks pinched by a noseband is a) he needs his teeth done or b) noseband done up waaaaay too tight. I see a lot of dressage riders doing this and jumpers who use figure 8 or grackle nosebands to avoid the teeth. The cheek pieces are also lower so they do not rub on the cheek bone, which is normally not a problem if your bridle fits properly.
The bit clips/rings/attachments keep the bit in place, closer to the hard pallete, the hose cannot get his tongue over the bit and since it is attached to the noseband the noseband exerts pressure on the nose every time you pull on the bit. This would essentially take some of the pressure off the bars of the mouth from the bit and displace it to the nose. The bottom strap is like a flash, it keeps the horses mouth closed and keeps their two way bit attachment in the right place so the horse cannot move it around.
The way the throatlatch is designed is for a snugger fit. You can tighten most conventional bitted bridles but it can slide back to the throat and will actually be quite loose. In that position you can tighten it and it will stay that tight.

The "mild" bitless is just a sidepull. The reins are attached to the side of the noseband. Kind of like riding in a halter.
The "medium" theres a strap that goes under the chin on the mental nerve, much like a curb chain or scawbrig.
The "strong" is a modified figure 8 like the Nurtural and Dr.Cooks.

I did a study on certain products in my second year in university and this one was on it. We studied horse skulls and living mounts and none of them showed this "molar" damage. We came across two horses that had damage near the molars and it was due to a crank noseband being way too tight and the cheeks becoming pinched on the teeth. This horse also had a history of headshaking/tossing and a lot of ulceration where he would bite his cheeks because of the restriction from the noseband.
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Re: Micklem bridle

Post by Cyndi on Fri Jul 31, 2009 6:55 am

Wow, I knew I could count on you to provide valuable info, Sydney!

In your opinion, would you say this is a good bridle? The lady who asked me about it is in a barn where the manager/owner is very much a traditionalist and is very sticky about it. My friend would like to try bitless, but knows she "can't", considering she doesn't own a horse, but rides one of the manager's horses. Would you mind if I passed this info on to the person who asked me about it? She most likely won't go out and buy one, but she was looking forward to hearing more about it. She suffered a major riding accident at a show a couple of years ago. The Canadian Horse she was riding was stung by something and spooked and off she came. I think she had to learn how to walk all over again, and has sight damage. She had to sell her horse, and is now just riding a school horse. Bitless bridles interest her though.
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Re: Micklem bridle

Post by Sydney on Fri Jul 31, 2009 7:20 am

I would say it is an alright bridle but a lot of what they claim is a problem for the horse, such as the teeth apparently having damage from the cheek pieces is not scientifically studied well. When using a bit you also have to strap the horses mouth shut with their noseband which would be just like a drop noseband or a flash and unnecessary. I don't see it being too much different than a regular bridle unless your horse has specific issues with biting his cheeks, putting his tongue over the bit etc. I believe they range in the above $250 range from when I have ever seen them, yikes! Yeah go ahead and pass it on.
That is a bad accident. That is good that she is riding again.
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Re: Micklem bridle

Post by bohohorse on Mon Aug 03, 2009 12:44 pm

Funny you should be talking about this - I just came on to say that if anyone wants to buy one, this shop is doing them at a bargain price - but only for the next 48 hours

http://www.horseloverz.co.uk/Rambo-Micklem-Multi-Bridle-Black-StandardHorse-pr-386161.html

They are 50.40 here which according to my exchange converter is approx $84US
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Re: Micklem bridle

Post by FlorayG on Tue Aug 04, 2009 1:00 pm

We had a discussion about these on the yahoo discussion board and I emailed the Micklem guy for info here again is what he and I said;

me;hi I've been looking at your website and I would like further information please. you say at one point; "avoid the extreme damage to the molar teeth caused by standard bitless bridles" please can you explain how this is caused?

him; when a standard bitless bridle is used there is a great deal of inward pressure because the front nose piece is flexible, which initially squashes the tissue on the inside of the mouth against the protruding molar teeth and can obviously be very uncomfortable and often painful....if there is prolonged pressure from a bitless bridle like this I have known the second or third molars on the upper jaw to be either fractured or completely destroyed...this is what I mean by extreme damage. These teeth do not have nerve endings like ours, however I look upon this as completely unacceptable. I hope you try my bridle...you will not be disappointed.

Me; This is interesting and I can see where it would apply if the rider spent all the time hanging on the reins. However any rider who uses a bitless bridle will not hang on -at least not any bitless rider I know. If anyone rides like that surely they need retraining, not just another type of bridle? Is there pressure from a bitless bridle when the contact is soft? I'm interested in what type of bitless bridle you are referring to whan you say this. Do you mean the mechanical (german) hackamore? In that case, I would agree with you

Him; YES...MANY SHOW JUMPERS - HORSE AND RIDER - TAKE QUITE A TUG AND WITH THE LEVERAGE GENERATED IT IS NOT SURPRISING THIS DAMAGE HAPPENS...EVEN WITH A LIGHTER REIN...MANT HORSES JUST END UP NAPPING AND NOT GOING FORWARD...WHY ARE WE SO UNFAIR TO HORSES?

so he is ONLY talking about mechanical hackamores whan he refers to a 'bitless bridle' - he doesn't seem to have any idea about other types of bitless bridle. I think it's a lot of money for a bridle that is based on the wrong principles - it is still designed so that you can 'take a good hold' yechh Evil or Very Mad
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Re: Micklem bridle

Post by bohohorse on Wed Aug 05, 2009 1:11 am

Good bit of investigation there Florayg - I did wonder how a properly fitted crossunder, sidepull etc (with the requisite 1 or 2 fingers under the noseband) could damage molars.

Comes back to the same old thing, rider responsibility, being heavy handed is going to hurt pretty much no matter what the equipment is. And of course, the people buying the kind, thoughtfully designed stuff are the ones who don't pull hard in the first place!

Edited to say - I see the price of the bridle on that site has been banged back up again - oh well! Rolling Eyes
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