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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

Cob, Horse, Large Horse

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    95% of customers would recommend this product to a friend!
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    SmartPak customers are some of the most conscientious animal owners around. We encourage you to share your experience with the products we sell to help fellow customers to make informed choices for their animals. We do not edit these reviews in any way - they are direct customer-to-customer communication. We do monitor reviews for positive and negative feedback, and use this feedback to improve our selection as well as sharing feedback with product manufacturers to help them improve their products. Please note that we recommend consulting your vet with serious health issues.

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    Micklem Competition Bridle is rated 4.4611 out of 5 by 180.
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love this bridle! I've been using this bridle for 3 weeks and have had excellent results. I have a not so forward moving horse and this bridle had given him " a go button". I couldn't be more happy with this purchase!
    Date published: 2014-12-29
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from NIce leather I like this bridle for my horse. I am very naturally oriented and am always looking for the most natural comfortable solution to anything I do with my horse. That can mean being different, spending more, and working harder to get the fit just right. This bridle is not for everyone as takes a bit to get it set up right for the horse. When I first put it on it also seemed the straps were too short but over time and with use that has not been true. One complaint I have is even though I bought the oversize for my 17 h horse, the reins are oddly short.
    Date published: 2014-12-25
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great fit My sensitive warmblood isn't fussing as much. His figure 8 was always needing to be adjustmented so this bridle is almost a custom fit. I really like the way it fits and looks. A little confusing initially and a bit expensive but worth it.
    Date published: 2014-12-25
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from I have two young Holsteiner geldings that I bred and have purchased this bridle for both of them. I was amazed at the difference in the way my oldest goes in this bridle. He went from a very green unsteady 4 year old to a horse that has become the most balanced and soft young horse you can imagine. That being said, I just purchased my second one for his unstarted 3 year old brother. Would not ride in any other snaffle bridle again after the results I have seen.
    Date published: 2014-12-22
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Beautiful Bridle well, if I could figure out how to put it together, but I haven't tried REAL hard yet. I think it should be put together...
    Date published: 2014-12-21
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Very comfy It took several tries to get the bridle to fit right. Once it was right, my horse loved it. He gets very cranky and let's me know when he is at all uncomfortable. I can tell he really likes this bridle a lot.I highly suggest you ask a trainer to help you get the bridle on right.
    Date published: 2014-12-10
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Happy overall I love the look of this bridle, and I really love the leather, and how (generally) easy the straps are to get into the buckles and therefore to readjust. One of the leather straps (holding the bit) however was unreasonably stiff. Everything is great about it with the exception that one of the straps is getting a little defect with a sort of small cut or slit... I considered the possibility that my horse got it in her mouth and bit down on it, but that doesn't seem likely or possible with where it is. I debated returning it (I am a perfectionist I guess) but now I'm over it. I didn't want to be without it while I waited for a replacement! My horse is new to me so it is hard to say whether she is going better with it than with another bridle.... My other bridle is so very different from this that it wouldn't be a fair comparison. She appears to like it though - has no problem with getting it on, working in it, relaxing in it, and taking it off.
    Date published: 2014-12-07
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great bridle! Bought this for a young horse who was really fussy with his mouth and had his head in the clouds. He hated a flash noseband and I hate to force his head down with a martingale. After reading the other reviews I decided to try this bridle. I am so glad I did! He's lowered his head and relaxes more with each ride. The bit attachment is making it easy to try different bits to solve the last piece of the puzzle. The leather is a little stiff but softening up with conditioning.
    Date published: 2014-11-26
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wish I'd found this sooner! Give it a few rides. I didn't notice a difference for the first few rides, but after the 4th or 5th ride, definite improvement in my very sensitive Andalusian/Dutch gelding's willingness to move into and maintain contact especially during any collection.
    Date published: 2014-11-11
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from I bought this bridle a month ago for my Fjord. It is well made and my mare really likes it. She seems much softer and accepting of the bit with the Micklem. The leather is soft and it was easy to fit. I highly recommend this bridle.
    Date published: 2014-11-05
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great Product! My trainer had me buy this for my new horse, and I am now in love! It is so great for my young horse because it does not put a lot of pressure on his face. I originally ordered the havana and I just got my second one(in black)! The quality is amazing and the 2 different colors look amazing in all three phases of eventing!
    Date published: 2014-10-28
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from My mare likes it After reading the reviews I was worried about leather quality and fit. In my case the bridle is a success. My 9 YO 15.2 HH Lusitano mare with a small or delicate head the Cob/small horse size fit per the sizing chart. It seemed small at first, but after getting the sides properly adjusted and getter her to stop chewing the bit, both the flash and chin straps fit easily on the 3rd hole. She also seems to connect better and is much calmer than her previous dressage bridle. The leather seemed of good quality and softer than either of her other bridles. I’ve heard that horses either love them or hate them; mine is definitely more on the love side. My only complaint is that the keeps seem overly tight.
    Date published: 2014-10-27
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Great headstall Bought this for my daughter for dressage. We love the new style. Easier and quicker to put on. Heavier leather does not stretch. Soft and pliable.
    Date published: 2014-10-05
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Micklem competition bridle Like the. Bridle but did not like the reins, so got some leather one. The bridle is good my horse does well with it.
    Date published: 2014-10-03
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Best bridle for sensitive horses! I have a very sensitive horse when collecting him. Since buying this bridle and getting the pressure of a normal dressage bridle off those sensitive nerves on him he is so much softer in the mouth. It also keeps the bit in a better position which he likes better.
    Date published: 2014-09-02
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from The bridle is easy to put on the mare. It was easy to adjust, and she is an easier ride in the Micklem bridle than she has been in other types. I am happy:she is happy, what is there not to like? By the way, this is my second and third Micklem, I gave my first to my son in law as his horse has bigger head than mine. I bought a smaller size for the mare....
    Date published: 2014-09-02
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Idea, Good-ish Execution I love the idea and science behind the Micklem; love the look, the feel, just love it. I have a few 'eh' thoughts though. Firstly, the fit is a little lacking. the jaw and noseband pieces are quite short compared to the generous sizing of the whole head stall part. I am on the last hole on my Thoroughbred's head on those two pieces, which are so important, yet he is on the 4th from the top hole on the cheek pieces. Just a lil off I think. He does have a big head, but you would think that it would allow for a bit more generosity in those areas to suit several head types with out having to get the size up ... especially the sensitive lip area. I figure it will stretch so I am using it on a horse with a bit smaller head to get it broken in first and I can tell it is fitting my horse a bit better each time. Second issue is quality. One side of the bridle is a tich wider than the other... so the whole left side of the bridle is harder to get through the keepers - as if the keepers are the normal size, and the cheek pieces are wider... or vice versa. The other side goes along smoothly. All in all I think it could use a bit better leather... especially for almost $200. The padding is super soft, but the regular leather is just a little lack luster and stiff. The reins are awesome just in themselves. Nice and grippy. I can tell that my horse loves this bridle though because he immediately went on the bit and never rooted the reins out of my hands or gave me any grief with his head. So there is something to be said for the idea behind it.Don't know about it's durability yet... seems the leather is so stiff it will hold up for a good while... just hope it breaks in soon... maybe another oiling??
    Date published: 2014-08-29
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful bridle I bought this few weeks ago after my friend let me use hers for afew weeks, my horse loves it. He is a lot more comfortable in it. No longer braces against me. Feels more relaxed. More willing. I wish I got it a lot sooner. Worth the price. Appears well made
    Date published: 2014-08-29
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Love the bridle, can't wait for some improvements! I love this bridle, but I am eager for Micklem to make some improvements and release the next "generation:... if they do I will most certainly end up owning two. My "complaints" that I would love to see improved:1. The reins are just awful. They are the super thick rubber dotted reins (like the rainbow reins for kids, but not rainbow). Plus the black bridle (presumably for dressage) has stops sewn in. Just odd. Swapped them out before a single ride as I can't fit my fingers around the big fat reins (which also weigh a ton!).2. The brown color bridle is terrible for a chestnut, and doesn't match any of my jumping tack. As soon as they come out with a better (darker) brown I will be purchasing, for now I actually prefer jumping in a brown saddle and black bridle (yeesh, that should hint at how ugly the brown looks!).3. I would love a little contour around the ears on the crown. I love the larger padded section to relieve pole pressure, but the design doesn't then contour around the ears at all and sometimes I feel like it might be putting some pressure there, but so far there haven't been any visible issues, so maybe I'm just being a worrier.Despite these things I love the bridle (in black). Horse seems to as well as he has been less fussy since the switch, and I have had no issues with rubbing his sensitive skin. The buckles all have leather behind them to prevent pinching/rubbing which is key, and the leather broke in very quickly.
    Date published: 2014-08-26
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Beautiful bridle I bought this bridle a few weeks ago for my horse who can be difficult when asked to soften and take contact. He is extremely opinionated when it comes to change. So far he has been very happy in this bridle and has a consistent soft contact. I would definitely recommend the product.
    Date published: 2014-08-25
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from good fit I bought this a few weeks ago and am very pleased with the fit. I ordered in a cob size for a horse with a small head and it works perfectly. The leather is nice out of the package. Riky seems to settle much better in the bridle and going forward I will use a Micklem as a go to for any horse that tends to be fussy. The only suggestion that I would have would be better instructions for assembly. There is a picture that works but there are a second set of staps and clips that I am unsure of the use.
    Date published: 2014-08-21
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Super Really encourages my ish to stretch into the bridle
    Date published: 2014-08-18
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Different I really like this bridle. Nice fit. My horse likes the nose band much better than a traditional nose band. Easier to clean. Fewer buckles to deal with.
    Date published: 2014-08-12
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Comfortable headstall My 6 year-old Irish sport horse was having a bit of difficulty finding a comfortable head position and accepting the bridle. I started with the Micklem three weeks ago and he gets notably steadier every time I ride him.
    Date published: 2014-08-06
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from Issue with flash band Hello, The bridle is great but if your horse doesn't like a flash band around the mouth then don't get this bridle. Its made very well but I am returning mine as I tried it on my horse and he was not liking the flash.
    Date published: 2014-08-06
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Wonderful bridle This bridle does what the description says it does. He still rubs his face but not nearly as much and each time it gets less. Well worth the price and superior quality. I also think it looks quite handsome on my boy.
    Date published: 2014-08-01
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Exceeded my expectations I bought the bridle over a month ago and the difference has been impressive. We have had consistent and solid improvement since switching from our flash bridle to the micklem. The bridle fits my mares head well and the leather quality is reasonable considering the price. Overall very happy.
    Date published: 2014-07-29
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love, love, love this bridle! We have used these bridles for other horses in the past with great results. We are using this one on a 4 year old stallion and its fantastic.
    Date published: 2014-07-10
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from The Bridle your horse will like! This is the second Micklem I have purchased as my previous one was a cob size and I now really needed a full size only for the headstall and room behind the ears. The first one had a small, assembly learning curve and even came with an instructional video from Horseware. Putting them together is somewhat different, but in many ways easier, than traditional bridles, plus has the added features of soft leather and adjustable bit height. The headstall is comfortable and ergonomic and the cavesson does not restrict nasal passages nor does it press on horse's molars. I purchased the first one almost 2 years ago and it is in beautiful condition with minimal wear even though it was used on a daily basis.The bridle looks different than what you might be used to, but truth be told, I don't mind the look. If I have any objection at all, it is that is comes with rather thick rubberized reins which some people may not like. Otherwise, in my opinion, the Micklem is a marvelous bridle!
    Date published: 2014-07-08
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from My OTTB My OTTB is much softer and accepting of the bridle as compared to his other bridle with a flash noseband. Really think is works very well.
    Date published: 2014-06-16
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