Twas two nights after Christmas, and I was reading through my blog feed when I came across this post. Hmmm. Twenty percent off store wide at Riding Warehouse. Not familiar with the company but I'll have a look. Besides, Santa had just left a check in my stocking for a micklem bridle. I don't expect the bridle to be on sale. Even with store wide promotions like this, I usually find a small note tagged under the item in my cart "already offered at manufacturer's lowest price". Some sort of crappy bait and switch on the popular items. Does that ever happen to any of you?
Turns out RW carries micklems. AND turns out when I added it to my cart it was only $159. Couldn't believe my eyes. Thank you Riding Warehouse for saving Santa $40. He was very happy :) Also thank you Amanda for recommending the sale!
I had never seen a micklem in person before so I wasn't sure what to expect. I have looked at them in catalogs and online for the past three or four years. I was riding my arab in a flotation hackamore. It's a nifty little design made one at a time by a fella from Canada. If your into bitless riding you should google it. Anyway, the micklem multi bridle caught my eye. I liked that it was made for comfort of the horse and had so many different configurations. But then I sold my arab and got Razz. No need for the multi bridle anymore, Razz uses a bit and his bridle came with him. It was worn but still had life in it and I'd replace it when I had to.
Fast forward a few months. I end up getting this saddle and it came with a free bridle. Just on a side note I absolutely still love my saddle after two years of use. It may not be the most expensive, or made in France, but I am happy as a clam when I sit in it.
Back to the bridle situation, even though the new one came I still thought about the micklems, poured over reviews, chatted about them over the phone with the girls at smartpak. The feedback was mostly positive. Some thought the leather was inferior quality. A few riders over at coth complained that their horses couldn't stand the way they fit. In October this year I stopped by the Dover store in Raleigh for the sole purpose of finally seeing one in person. They didn't carry micklems in store.
So I just asked Santa for one. And it came today.
If you were like me and never seen one before, this is how they are packaged. My first impression on the leather is ok. The darker top leather is kinda stiff and flat, the lighter padded leather is rolled and super soft. And it's pretty much padded all the way around the pressure points. The reins are rubber. I've never used rubber reins before either. Being a screen printer for the past 15 years has resulted in strong hands and arms, and therefore grip is not an issue for me.
I am off tomorrow so you can probably guess where I will be first thing in the morning. Can't believe this bridle is sitting here beside me after wanting it for so many years. Tomorrow is the real test. Will Razz like it? I have to watch all the videos on youtube about proper fitting and give it a test run.