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Micklem Competition Bridle

Horseware Ireland
- Item #18335
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As riders and online shoppers, we know it can be tough to buy a new bridle or pair of boots without trying them on. That's why we moved the fitting room to your living room (or barn)! From breeches to blankets, if you or your horse can try it on, you can return it, free! Just use the pre-paid return label included in your order within 60 days from the purchase date. And of course, please make sure the item is in like-new condition with original packaging (we said 'fitting room', not 'war room'!).

Why We Love This

The Bridle with an Ergonomic Design

The Micklem Competition Bridle by Horseware Ireland is designed to fit the horse's skull and prevent uncomfortable pressure points. This unique shape makes this bridle the most comfortable and effective ever designed. Available in both black and dark havana (brown). Approved for FEI competition.

Favorite Features

  • Ergonomic design to fit the shape of the horse's skull
  • 5/8" Eco-friendly with rubber reins
  • Stainless steel buckles
  • Padding on noseband, browband, and cheek pieces


Sizing It Up

Pony, Cob, Horse, Large Horse

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out of 5
94% of customers would recommend this product to a friend!
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Micklem Competition Bridle is rated 4.5111940298507465 out of 5 by 268.
Rated 5 out of 5 by from micklem competition bridle My Icelandic horse loves this bridle. The COB size fit him perfectly. He was not fond of the nose band on his previous bridle and was fussy, always tossing his head. From the first time he had it on, there was an immediate change. He did great. I kept the same bit, only use a D ring snaffle, and he was terrific. Love, love, love, it.
Date published: 2016-03-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Immediately Improved my horse's way of going I bought this bridle because my mare was constantly scratching her face when her bridle was on. I purchased this from Smartpak because there was a free return policy. I thought...why not? I am so happy that I tried it. My mare immediately became more willing to move forward into the bridle. Although she still scratches her face sometimes after a ride, she does this much less than she used to.I was a bit concerned when I read reviews prior to purchase that the leather would not be high quality. I was very pleasantly surprised with the quality of leather.
Date published: 2016-03-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from LOVE my Micklem! I got this bridle for Christmas and I will NEVER ride in a different bridle! I need the black one for dressage now! My 22 y/o QH mare has always been high headed and refused to move into the bridle. With this bridle she is much more willing to round for me. Extremely padded and easy to clean, great quality leather.
Date published: 2016-03-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love the fit It fits my OTTB great. She has very fine nasal structure but wide forehead and it fits great.
Date published: 2016-02-29
Rated 2 out of 5 by from Great concept, but cheap leather I paid for fast shipping on this bridle and then paced the floor until it arrived, because I was so excited to try it out on my horse. Ben is REALLY difficult to keep happy, and he's constantly fussing about his bridle, no matter how well-padded it is. I have had his teeth checked, replaced the bridle twice, had his saddle adjusted and reflocked, and nothing has made him more comfortable in the bridle.Ben was moderately happier in this bridle, which is actually a pretty big improvement for "Sir Sensitive". Unfortunately, though, the leather cracked every time I tried to buckle it. After about 30 minutes of fussing with it, I had it fit to him well enough to go for a test ride, but all of the holes I used now have tiny little cracks around them. I could live with that if this were a bridle I'd had for years, but I can't live with it on a brand new bridle that I just paid $200 for. I'm going to go ahead and return it.Incidentally, the rubber reins that come with the bridle are nice but a bit too short.
Date published: 2016-02-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from My mare loves this bridle! My pony mare loves this bridle. I bought a cob size and it fits both my large pony and my 15.3 quarter horse. My pony is much softer and more consistent in the contact. This will be her bridle now. Very happy with the results. The leather is not the highest quality but it's workable.
Date published: 2016-02-25
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Simple to use, gentle on the horsed I was new to the Micklem concept. As I learnt more about it, I liked what it was trying to achieve. Tried the bridle and loved it. My horse responded well - easy transition from a crank snaffle and no more narcolepsy as soon as the bridle is on!Love the colour. Leather quality is good. Unfortunately the strap keeper on the bit strap fell apart before first use but all other leather has held.
Date published: 2016-02-23
Rated 5 out of 5 by from A lifesaver! We have an older OTTB who had a problem keeping his tongue in his mouth during his dressage tests and I was pulling my hair out trying to figure out how to fix this. Manny is a lovely mover and the tongue was causing problems. Since the purchase of this bridle, it seems to have cured Manny's tongue from making an appearance!
Date published: 2016-02-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love this bridle! I bought this hoping to help with softening my ponies jaw and poll. Every day I see improvement with the use of this bridle. And he rarely reaches down to rub his face like he did in our traditional bridle.
Date published: 2016-02-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from THE PERFECT BRIDLE I couldn't be happier that I purchased this bridle! LOVE IT!
Date published: 2016-02-11
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Easy transition from a crank snaffle with flash Bought the full but had to exchange for the large horse size (my horse is 17hh and typically takes a full/ standard). Recommend reading the micklem size guidelines online- they are accurate.Easy set up- followed micklem guidance on YouTube - and smooth transition from a crank snaffle. Horse seemed happy and accepting.I have only ridden in it a few times but I like the concept and hope that it works for a happier, healthier horse!One complaint is that the leather loop that holds the bit strap together broke before use.
Date published: 2016-02-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from love it! I purchased this bridle for my son's pony. We tried multiple different bits/fitting methods with other bridles but he would get his tongue over every single one. Had also tried a traditional flash and a drop noseband without success. Love this bridle! Pony & child are much happier.
Date published: 2016-01-20
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Looks good, easy to bridle I bought this for a Warmbllod gelding. My other Horse size bridles are too big for him. I bought the Horse size Micklem. It is almost too small. It is long enough but very tight around his nose and jaw.The quality of the leather is good.
Date published: 2016-01-07
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Fits great. Good quality This bridle is exactly what I was looking for! My OTTB has a small, refined head and the cob size fits him perfectly! Very happy!
Date published: 2016-01-02
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love this bridle I have a hot headed Irish TB that was constantly above and behind the bit. At shows he would get strong and ignore cues for downward transitions so I bitted up. He seemed uncomfortable and I was at a loss for what else to do. I decided to try this bridle and it has made a huge difference. I was able to switch to a loose ring snaffle and he is lighter and steadier than ever. Great quality and fit, plus I love the reins.
Date published: 2015-12-15
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Holy Whole New Horse, Batman!! I feel a little melodramatic actually saying this out loud, but in my 25 years working with horses, I have NEVER had a change--procedure, piece of tack, or adjustment in training of any kind--make a bigger, more obvious, more immediate difference in my horse's happiness and way of going than my fab new Micklem! I recently watched it noticeably change my friend's 2nd level Oldenburg mare's neck, topline, use of her hind legs and even her temperament, so I swallowed my pride over how, umm, "unconventional" (see also "hideodorous") it looked, and I picked up one for myself & my own 2nd level Oldenburg mare. (Besides: with free shipping, what have I got to lose, amiright?!) Then I set off to ride her--without lunging first, you know, to REALLY put it to test ;0) ...HOLY COW!! From the very first ride, she was soooo crazy happy! And willing! And forward without rushing, for the first time since I've had her! And not bracing against me, evading contact behind the vertical, or being heavy in the bridle for even one stride! She has always been anxious and a teeth grinder, despite a custom fitted saddle, adjustments in my riding, teeth floating, chiropractic work and every "orthopedic" tack device imaginable ... Until the Micklem! She took the bit, I buckled the bridle, and at no time did she gnaw to settle in or get fussy to make it fit like we do with those awkward yet smokin' hot jeans that just don't fit quite right but look so dang good ya *haaaave* to wear them, ya know?! Not one chew or clinch. Not one grind, our entire 60 minute ride. She went beautifully and is even happier and more obedient when I lunge her in it.Many people seem to complain about the quality of the leather or the small size of the jaw strap. Actually, the leather isn't too bad and oils up nicely! Especially for the price! I don't like how I've had to reshape it because it was zip-tied to a board, but I LOVE the solid piece over the poll, the double padding in all the right places, and the multiple length bit straps. I think the "small" size of the jaw strap (not the flash type strap over the bit) is likely because people are sizing the cheek pieces too short and making the bit straps too long, so the jaw strap lands in the meatiest part of the face, but I would say it's a matter of proportions: once you get them right, it will fit right! Plus, it is refreshingly simplistic, with stitched-in-place keeper rings, minimized pieces & parts, making it easy to put on & take off & ESPECIALLY easy to clean! I'm already working on crafting a pretty mosaic of beads to stitch to the browband to dress it up for shows. I've gotta say: with how beautifully at peace my mare looks now that she's happy and comfortable, I'd have to say the Micklem is quickly becoming the "prettiest" bridle I've ever owned!
Date published: 2015-12-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Early Christmas present for Aries I had tried the Micklem bridle out at our local tack shop. My horse seemed to appreciate it, but at the time it was not in my budget. So when I saw it with free shipping, I decided it was time to gift my horse with something special. She has gone thru a lot of changes recently due to a move from a Florida show barn to retirement in the hills of West Virginia. She saw snow for the first time in 16 years yesterday so any little perks I can give her she deserves.
Date published: 2015-11-30
Rated 1 out of 5 by from No miracle bridle and fit is difficult This bridle was getting rave reviews from a number of my friends that are using it. All claimed that their horses were going so much better in this bridle than any other bridle. The bridle is difficult to fit with the cheek and chin strap too short and the headstall on the large size.My mare actually went worse in this bridle than she did in her regular bridle. Not sure it is because of the awkward fit across all the components, or because it didn't offer the support she was looking for.I believe the reason many people have big changes in their horses has more to do with how they use their current bridles. I don't crank down my horse's noseband or flash, they are on the loose side, so she doesn't have a lot of pressure on her face. I expect if you have to crank your noseband and flash, you will find your horse likes this bridle better, as their is no noseband or flash to crank down.I am sticking with my old bridle and returned this in just 3 rides. Smartpak is great about returns!
Date published: 2015-11-29
Rated 4 out of 5 by from like bridle wish jowl strap could be changed out My mare is Appendix QH with typical QH short head wide jowl so small horse fits great through check and nose band though jowl strap is on small side. Would love to see this strap interchangeable as with bit pieces. Otherwise. Like bridle quite a bit.
Date published: 2015-11-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love this bridle!!! I bought this bridle for my sensitive, 5 year old hanoverian-- and I LOVE it!!! It stabilizes the bit and he now goes in a 2 way stubben copper French link loose ring- and it's it's flipped to the soft side! He stops on a dime, and is so much easier to check when jumping- after a month in this he even got his automatic lead changes. it provides so much more control and ups the bridle without upping the bit! I highly recommend using a plain loose ring bit with this bridle if possible-- I tried two other bits and the stabilization wasn't fitting probably until I went to a plain loose ring (aka not an elevator bit with it on the loose ring setting- the rings get in the way). GREAT product- even my old school trainer admitted it was an awesome buy! (Though she had to see it ride first haha)
Date published: 2015-11-03
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Works well for our horse Purchased this bridle for daughters OTTB. We have had him for 10 years. He is a 16.3 hand horse with a medium pony sized face so every bridle and nose band hasn't fit well without modification. He needs a figure 8 or flash noseband for training purposes, so have had to have them cut down to make them work. He needed a new bridle, old one wearing out, decided to try this one because it has the same features as a figure 8 but built to be ergonomic for the horses face. The way the nose piece works and the bit hangers work have helped as well. Nice bridle! Wish I had purchased sooner. I did purchase the cob size and it fits his head perfectly. Unfortunately for us, it comes with cob or medium sized pony reins and they are a bit short for our horses neck length. The reins are beautiful and wish there was some way to purchase reins separately. Deffinately glad we purchased This bridle and will purchase again.
Date published: 2015-10-31
Rated 5 out of 5 by from soft leather I bought this bridle about a month ago & did not like the looks, not traditional, but I have to say it looks great on my mare & she loves it, I can't explain the change but extremely positive!!!! now one of my students is getting one......VERRRY happy with my decision to get one & it is obvious so is my horse!!!!!
Date published: 2015-10-27
Rated 3 out of 5 by from Nice, but not for my mare I bought this in the hopes my mare would stop some of the annoying post ride "I need to itch my mouth so bad if you won't let me put my face to my legs I will put my legs to my face" Spanish Walk. I thought maybe the bridle was pinching her (it isn't). I thought maybe the bit is too small (it isn't). Even with the ergonomic design and quality materials, my horse still insisted on flailing her legs about as we're trying to cool down. I have come to the conclusion that it's just my horse...I'll be returning the bridle (but not the horse) and going back to my old one.
Date published: 2015-10-22
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Awesome competition bridle I LOVE my new bridle. The pressure points are more evenly spread out than the typical horse bridle. My 4y/o mare loves it.
Date published: 2015-10-20
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great for fussy horses! I bought this bridle a month ago and my fussy headed mare now is super consistent in the contact. No more head flinging! Love it!
Date published: 2015-10-14
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great bridle, Great fit! This bridle was lovely to work with straight out of the packaging. The horse size fits my average-sized thoroughbred perfectly and he really goes well in it. I really like that the "flash" can be tightened without a corresponding tightness in the cheek like a figure-eight would do. Also, it's so easy to take on and off - only two buckles!
Date published: 2015-10-13
Rated 5 out of 5 by from excellent quality I really liked the whole idea behind the bridle and the leather quality was very nice. However, I ordered the large horse size and it is too small and the reins are way too short. My horse is 17 h Irish Sport Horse, and I am sure I am not the only one this has happened to. So, if only they would make a bigger size I would love it!
Date published: 2015-10-09
Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love this bridle I bought this bridle a few weeks ago for my hard-to-fit OTTB. Not only is the leather quality great, but he is much happier in this new bridle!
Date published: 2015-10-07
Rated 4 out of 5 by from Design simplicity is a plus I needed a new bridle and after reading several reviews decided to give the Micklem a try. I really like the simplicity of the design, and my horse, who can be fussy in the bridle, is more willing to accept contact with this new bridle.I was concerned by reports from other reviewers about the leather quality. While a bit stiff to start, after treating with Flexalan, the leather is soft, but still sturdy, and I can tell it will last for many years.My only issue with the bridle, and what held me back from a 5-star rating, is the reins. They are short, actually too short for me to use.
Date published: 2015-10-06
Rated 4 out of 5 by from So far, so good! I've only used the bridle twice so far but it's very well made and my horse seems to like it. Too early to tell if he's greatly improved because of it, but I have high hopes. Lots of reviews say it fits small but my horse is right in between cob/horse-sized, and I went with horse. He's a 15.2h relatively fine-headed QH, and he's right in the middle of the holes
Date published: 2015-10-05
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