Saturday, January 2, 2016

The Micklem

Ok. Here we go.

On Thursday I didn't get to the barn as early as I would have liked. My daughter had guard practice from 10-12. It's twenty two miles round trip from house to barn and I only wanted to make one trip. Also it thundered a couple times and got really cloudy early on. No big deal. It gave me time to research the fit a little more. 

I'm only paranoid due to so many others discussing their fit related issues online. The rational side of me says "of course, the unhappy folk are gonna be online complaining in higher numbers than happy customers". I mean, when are you more likely to go online and chat about a specific item? When things do what they're supposed to, or when you're having trouble or the item absolutely sucks? Even thinking most people and their horses are probably happy with their bridles, you still don't wanna get that noseband wrong. It is capable of constricting the airway when placed too low. I learned proper placement when using the flotation hack I mentioned in my previous post. 

Also I now understand exactly how the bit clips impact the fit and function. I'm kinda excited to see what Razz will think about them. He has a bad habit of being busy in the mouth when we try to take a break on the trail. The boy just doesn't want to stand still. Maybe the clips will adjust things and make him happier. Honestly though, I feel like the bit chomping is in his nature and will probably never stop. He could have worse habits.

I would like for this to stop

It continued to drizzle off and on all day Thursday. Daughter's practice spilled over til one. We grabbed Panera on the way to the barn and I let her drive us there (she has her permit). I got Razz out of his pasture as soon as we arrived. He was wet and covered in sand. There is a sandy wallow area in the middle of the field where all three in his herd are rolling. Everything else has standing water in it from the rain but the wallow is rather dry. Weird. 

I put him in his stall and my daughter and I enjoyed our lunch. Also learned that Razz likes the kettle cooked chips that Panera serves. I gave him four, one at a time, he took each one with his lips and crunched it with his front teeth, and I found it rather entertaining.

With lunch finished I got to work with the micklem. Nerdy me actually wrote out my own page of notes from the youtube videos. I left the bridle on its card til i was ready to begin fitting just for ease of transportation, and I got to use the horseman's knife I received from Fig in the blogger exchange to free it from the zip ties. 

Writing things down actually helped to embed the process in my brain. I never had to refer to the videos or my notes. Fitting couldn't have been simpler. Razz stuck his head right over his stall door and I groomed the sand away from his big, adorable face. The micklem is all one piece and it started out looking like an odd halter. I got horse size and it fell right into place on his head. The bottom strap around the jaw is in the last hole and a tiny bit snug. I figured this would happen because Razz has a large stock horse type jaw. A gift from his appy side no doubt. Micklems are known for stretching so I will punch one more hole and by the time it breaks in will probably be back in this hole comfortably. The cheek pieces follow his bone line just as they should. I then secured the chin strap loosely and made sure the noseband was sitting where it wouldn't constrict his breathing in any way. Time for the bit. The bit straps have keepers on both sides and are pretty neat. Razz took his bit no questions asked, still hanging his head over the stall, even as I fumbled with adjusting it properly. Once the bit was in place I tightened the chin strap and the micklem was officially fitted. I enjoyed a cheese danish and watched his behavior in his new bridle. He seemed comfortable. That's a good thing. It appears as if the cheek piece is digging into his face on the left side where the noseband starts across but it's just winter coat fluffed over the strap.

Razz would love to know...

what do you guys think?

he thinks he's handsome all the time

I took the micklem off, pulled him into the barn aisle and began the grooming ritual. By the time I was done a small mound of sand was on the floor at Razz's feet. Literally. His coat was still kinda wet and the misting continued outside. We went to the newly cleared bean field for about 15 minutes, most of which was spent in trot and canter. He was the same horse I've always ridden, acting as if a micklem was what he'd always been in. The layer of grime that settled on my face and arms from grooming was now starting to feel plastered from all the water in the atmosphere. I decided I had my answer and that the bridle was more than likely gonna work for us. Yay! My daughter snapped a couple more pics before I untacked.

I haven't tried the bit clips yet. Baby steps for the boy. They will go on once the arena is dried out, and I have my paddocks and half chaps on, and my stirrups are moved up a hole or two. Also noticing that I'm starting to ride in my glasses more often. Its something I used to never do. Anyway, Thursday continued to be misty and gloomy out. Yesterday (new year's day) was cloudy but no rain. My daughter and I went up and cleaned a trail that had some nuisance branches hanging around. We had a couple friends from the previous barn over for dinner last night. And today it finally feels wintry outside at 45*. The sun is shining brightly. Its only Saturday (winning) and I've got a new bridle to break in.


  1. The fit looks great on him! Very handsome!

  2. I'm eager to hear about the micklem! I don't know anyone who has used them so can't give much feedback myself!

    1. Thanks for stopping by! I like this bridle so far, it's actually easier to put on than a traditional bridle since it's all one piece.

  3. Fits looks good to me! A handsome horse makes everything look good :)

    1. Awww thanks. You have two nice lookers yourself ;-)