The Art of Natural Dressage

Working with the Horse's Initiative
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 Post subject: The Micklem Bridle
PostPosted: Tue Nov 20, 2012 12:10 am 

Joined: Thu Jan 06, 2011 5:39 pm
Posts: 14
Hello all, I would like to transition one day to riding only bitless, but for now, I sometimes do and sometimes don't. However, the bridle I use now is a Micklem, which comes with options to use it as a bitless bridle. We use it with "bit clips" that attach the rings of the snaffle directly to the noseband in a way that holds the bit up and keeps it from hitting the bars of their mouth.

For example, if either myself or the horse makes a sudden move, or I pull back or he jerks his head up, etc. the pressure is taken on the noseband and the bit does not ever fall down onto the bars.

Perhaps it makes a good transition for people like me who ride and train and compete using a snaffle bit. Our competitions allow this bridle, even with the bit clips, because they deemed it "humane".

For dressage, apparently, FEI has given "fast track" approval for this bridle because they also deemed it "in the welfare of the horse", although I do NOT think you are allowed to use the bit clips in a dressage show.

So, not necessarily bitless, but it might be a useful stepping stone. With the bit clips on, I have seen some people give up because they are not instantly having the same level of control (which tells us we aren't using our seat, etc.). People who stick with it, realize they have to pay better attention to OTHER forms of communication with the horse. And perhaps if they realize that they can "regain" what they lost by improving other things. And if they see THAT, then perhaps it will be easier to assume you could ultimately do without the bit completely.

I believe that our Icelandic competitions WOULD allow us to ride bitless, though I have never seen anyone do it in any of our shows. I have seen many demonstrations of competition-level riding of Icelandics using only a neck rope, so I reckon it will happen here in the US. Maybe it will be me :)

 Post subject: Re: The Micklem Bridle
PostPosted: Wed Nov 21, 2012 8:04 pm 
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Joined: Thu May 17, 2007 11:57 am
Posts: 1983
Location: provincie Utrecht
yeah you can be the first :)
i know the micklem, but dont use the bitless option in mine opinion. The rings were you can place the reins are to far to the front of the nose wich give you not a good base to give correct signals to the horse.
This is even so if you would use it as a cross under. Then the straps will stick in one place an wont give any release.
But for riding with a bit is is a good option.

keep trying to go bitless for ever :thumright:

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