Tuesday, 5 May 2015

customising the Micklem

...a Blue Peter moment...
John helped me customise their new bridles this weekend.

They're  not as soft and padded as their Keiffer bridles, so though its kinder, I do feel the harsh nature of an unpadded and narrow noseband a little uncomfortable for them.  So we customised with the clever use of sheepskin patches.

...and here we show you how...

Firstly, punch thier names in the leather.

Then, cut real sheepskin to size, for the noseband and under chin part...and stick the pieces on using the sticky pads that number plates are stuck on with - its durable and easy to use.


Monday, 27 April 2015

riding bitless

...Tombiz, in his Micklem...

He was strong, likely testing the new contraption, but happy and relaxed (mostly).


Wednesday, 22 April 2015

Micklem bitless...

...and now, to fit Tom's...
Henry has already tried his out, with much success.  and spring seems like time for change, so when it was Tom's turn, I was not worried at all.


...will let you know how he rides in it...

Tuesday, 7 April 2015

Henry bitless....


It's finally happened, Henry was ridden in his new Micklem bitless configuration at the weekend.


Tom needs a bigger one, so his is still on order.

As you know, I've been deliberating this for ages (years actually), but I thought now's the time to make the leap.  The boys are teenagers now, and very well behaved (if a little excitable and strong).


My pony Brandy was ridden very successfully in a hackamore (the old-fashioned version) and he was brilliant in it. 


The bridle itself doesn't do-up like a regular one we're all used to, so will take a bit of getting used to.  And the leather, though obviously good quality, isn't supple yet - so the cheek pieces stand out until the leather 'learns' it needs to go through the d'ring and round a bend.


We only did a quick ride, just to be on the safe side, but Henry seemed very comfortable in his new bridle.  We were able to stop, turn, reverse and fine-tune our speed too - which was my initial worry.  


I like to change speeds in a pace to keep them focused on me out riding, and my concern was I'd be less effective bitless - but actually the opposite was true.  


He responded well to the increased pressure over his face and head ( and I ride with very loose contact and soft hands - so i never ever pull them about anyway).


My feeling is, a good horse, will always be a good horse in spite of the equipment - and taking a bit out of the equation, not only simplifies the whole message, its so  much nicer.

I's suggest giving it a go if you're considering bitless.


Tuesday, 31 March 2015

a new piece of kit...


Micklem bitless
...for a while now, I've been plotting to overthrow the piece of metal I use in Tom & Henry's bridles, and go bitless.

My reasons are two-fold. One, and most importantly, I want my boys to be pain and discomfort-free, to be happy and willing - and two - I want to de-clutter their pretty faces from all the superfluous leather.

They both have Mylar low-port comfort snaffles, so they already have a kind bit soloution, but the more I read, the more I ride, the more I'm determined to do this.


 I have read about anatomy, and this made me even more determined to go this way.


So, after much research, I landed on Micklem - the bridle which has many configurations including bitless - at three different levels of 'hold'.


 As I type, my new bridle (and I bought just the one to try-out), is waiting at the Post Office for me to collect. So, for the Easter bank holiday - Tom and Henry will go bitless for the first time.  


...cant wait.

this is what I have selected - I will, of course, let you know how it went...with lots of photos of course.