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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 The quality of this product wasa pleasant surprise I love this product. And so does my horse. Yea Definitely would recommend this bridle.
    Date published: 2014-05-23
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from On the Fence I've been using this bridle for about three weeks now. I think it certainly fits my mare better than her previous bridle, particularly the headstall over her poll. I LOVE the one piece; I never felt the multiple straps that ran across her head on her old bridle were sitting comfortably for her.As far as her being noticeably more comfortable overall, that seems to be a work in progress. I think I'll have a better idea how she feels about it by the end of the summer; right now she seems to be "sizing up" the new feel. But I am satisfied that she's not uncomfortable or experiencing any annoyance; the design of the Micklem is clearly superior!I think the leather quality is very good and reasonably supple out of the package. Putting it together was pretty intuitive; I did have to finagle a bit to understand how to attach the straps that attach the bit. I also reviewed the video on putting it together several times before it arrived.
    Date published: 2014-05-19
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from All around great!! My horse's response to this bridle is beyond belief. I love it so much that I bought a second one.
    Date published: 2014-05-03
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Not a magic bullet, but still good. My mare would constantly rub her face on her legs during work. My vet just floated her teeth and said she had a considerable amount of ulcers even though I get her teeth done yearly. I thought this bridle would relieve any pressure against her teeth and help with the face rubbing. She also has difficulty flexing at the poll and going on the bit, and I was hopeful the Micklem would help. So far she seems to be doing better, but there has been no real drastic changes.Overall I think it's a well constructed bridle, and the leather quality is good. One thing I don't like is how THICK everything is - the leather feels very bulky to me, especially with the way the bit attaches to the bridle. Like others have said, the reins are VERY short, and very thick. The bit clips seem like a great idea but don't work for me because the ring on my bit is too large.My mare was in a full bridle, but on the second to last holes. The cob/small horse fits her almost perfectly (except for that cheek strap - it's sooo short!).
    Date published: 2014-05-01
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Design - Poor Quality I bought this with high expectations as every other Horseware product I have purchased is fabulous quality. Just putting this together it instantly looked badly wrinkled and old. Each time I passed a strap through the buckles to alter the sizing the straps got more and more wrinkled, curled and ugly looking. The leather is not buttery soft, rather dry. A high quality conditioner has not helped yet. The keepers on the noseband are too small for the strap to fit in at all. The die comes off on your hands and its kinda stinky in a not very nice way. Pretty disappointed. The rains are too stiff and too fat. Didn't use them.
    Date published: 2014-04-26
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Micklem Competition Bridle I purchased this bridle because my mare was always scratching her head after riding in a regular flash bridle. I have to say she loves it and no more frantic scratching when I take it off. The bridle is a very good quality and fits nicely. It took a couple of adjustments to get it right but definitely worth it. The leather is very good quality and not overly stiff. Was softened up by the third ride. Love it!
    Date published: 2014-04-15
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Qualityproducts I have only had this for a few weeks but my horse seems to like it. My teacher recommended it as she had some students who bought it and found that their horses mouths were a lot softer in it. She felt the design made sense and would be comfortable. My horse does seem to mouth the bit more with the Micklem. It is well made -quality leather. It has nice padding on the inside.
    Date published: 2014-04-14
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from AMAZING results!! We bought this bridle for one of our mares who has a habit of flipping her head whenever anyone took up any contact with the reins. The first time we tried it, the results were AMAZING!! No more head flipping!! It's hard to believe this is the same horse!! After reading other reviews, we were concerned about the sizing and the leather quality....but we have found the sizing to be quite standard and the leather quality seems nice.
    Date published: 2014-04-08
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Very nice bridle I bought this bridle after trying a friend's on my TB gelding. He has a tendency toget tense in his neck and jaw while doing dressage, but in the Micklem he seemsmore comfortable and fusses with the bit less. The leather is excellent- supple afterjust a few rides and some conditioning, and it's very padded. The rubber reins arequite nice as well. Overall very pleased with my purchase!
    Date published: 2014-04-03
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not for the short mouthed horse I really, really wanted my mare to wear this bridle. Alas, the oversize and horse size had the same problem on her: with the headstall properly situated the straps that go under the nose would have had to go over the ring of the bit to get to the right place. My vet just happened to be standing there and we decided it's because the distance to the corner of her lips is shorter than the average horse, so the distance between her cheek bones and the corner is longer. This proportion difference does not work with this bridle.
    Date published: 2014-03-29
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Great Bridle This bridle has definitely helped my horse. He's a Draft X who can be strong in the head when riding, and I was having difficulties getting him to soften. The Micklem made a difference. He is accepting my aids much more willingly, and also isn't evading as much. I know it's not all in the bridle/bit it's also to do with training, but this bridle has made the act of training him so much easier! It makes me really happy to know my horse is comfortable and willing now because of this bridle, and I'm really looking forward to using it every day this summer. However, the quality of the bridle is another story. When I was putting it together (which was actually pretty easy) one of the bit straps broke just by me bending it back through the strap. I was really looking forward to having 4 straps so I could quickly and easily switch out my dressage bit for my other bit but unfortunately now I only have 1 pair that I can use. The bridle supples up well with oiling, and I'm hoping nothing else decides to break. I think that the bridle is a good investment, but it should be less expensive due to the iffy quality. As for size, my horse fit in the the largest size. It is a bit tight right now due to his winter hair, but I think that once he sheds out it will be perfect.
    Date published: 2014-03-23
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Such a wonderful addition to my equipment This is one of the nicest pieces of equipment in my collection. My horse loves the fit and so do I. The quality is excellent and very well made.
    Date published: 2014-03-13
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from High quality bridle After trying my trainer's Micklem bridle on my horse (and noticing how much better he went in it), I decided to purchase my own. The bridle was a little stiff initially, but softened up after a few cleanings. Like some other posters, I did notice the brown mark it left on my horse's nose, but that seemed to decrease the more times I cleaned the bridle. My trainer and I both agree that the leather on mine is of a better quality than the leather on hers (a few years older). Definitely would recommend!
    Date published: 2014-03-13
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Nice bridle but runs really small I bought Cob sizes for my 2 mares that wear cob size halters but the bridles were too small.
    Date published: 2014-03-13
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from I wanted to love this bridle, but.... I love the concept, and I loved the quality of the leather and the craftmanship when I got it. But the upper backstrap is just too small! My rise is a 16.1h Selle Francais mare, not a huge head, so I bought the regular "horse" size. I watched William Micklem's YouTube video on how to fit this bridle.The cheekpieces were set on the middle holes to get the noseband at the right height, browband length was fine, the lower backstrap (chinstrap) was pretty tight on the loosest hole, and the upper backstrap was squashing her! Very hard to do up on the loosest hole. I had to use the tightest (highest) hole on the bit straps too, so no space for adjustment there - maybe because I was using a loosering snaffle, could be better with smaller bit rings. I could go up to the "large horse" size bridle, but the mare showed me she didn't care for the chinstrap anyway (by stopping to rub her mouth many times). So, a very nice bridle for the Cinderella horse that it fits!
    Date published: 2014-02-24
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Nice quality leather I have had this bridle for 3 months now and my horse is going so well in it. The leather is super nice and soft right out of the box. The bridle cleans very well and is getting super supple. The only thing is the sizing is a little odd, I have a TB with a small head and he fits in to the Standard horse size on all the first longest holes.
    Date published: 2014-02-20
    Rated 2 out of 5 by from watch the sizing! Love this bridle BUT be careful about sizing. I have a 16H Friesian, so thought I would need large horse, but way too big. Bought the regular horse size BUT now both of the straps will not fit. If you position this bridle the way they describe on the youtube videos, and from Micklem himself, you need a horse with a very fine head in order for the straps to fit in the proper position. I really like the bridle so am considering finding a leather smith to make longer straps.
    Date published: 2014-02-20
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Nice functional and pretty! My horse loves more head tossing. He is very comfortable now. Bridle madequality leather and the instructions were simple and accurate. It comes with rubber reins...I wish there was an option to exclude the reins OR an option for another type of rein as I generally prefer other types of reins.
    Date published: 2014-02-18
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Nice Bridle for Price I've been using this bridle for about a month. My guy seems to like it and is more comfortable. The leather good be better quality but overall I'm satisfied with the bridle.
    Date published: 2014-01-29
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from I like this bridle! I didn't buy this cause my horse haa any issues I just like the comfort aspect that the bridle offered horses.  I love the ease of putting it on.  I am 5'2 and my horse is 17 h so this is a super easy bridle.  It fits him very nicely.  I ordered a large horse and it fits.  Nice leather and a breeze to put together.  I don't know how you cannot figure it out.  I thought it was very easy.  It breaks in nicely and I don't mind the price. I notice other horses in the barn have swear marks or pressure points after work but my horse has none other then behind the ears so I believe this bridle is more comfortable for him.  I am glad treated myself to the purchase!!
    Date published: 2014-01-21
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Every horse we own loves this bridle! We bought our first Micklem years ago for my daughters horse who always seemed so fussy with her head while under tack. We read the reviews, bought a Micklem, solved our problem, and moved on. Since then, we started using the Micklem on our field hunter, who is a draft cross (the first mare was a fine-featured Appendix), because the mare had retired and that was the bridle we had. Well, he went just great in it, even with a kimberwicke bit. My daughter then started using it with her new horse (Morgan/TB), who went really nicely in it---much better than his previous bridle where he tended to do a lot of stargazing. Then one day, I trailered my mare out for a lesson and forgot her bridle. My daughter's Micklem happened to be in the trailer, so I used that in my lesson and we had the best ride ever! Those of us who have multiple riders in one household know what happened next---a Micklem war! Since we used it on 4 horses with 2 riders at that point, the Micklem was always in demand, and we never wanted to ride together anymore because we each wanted to use the Micklem. It got pretty ugly and was the source of many mother/daughter tensions in the barn. :-)I solved the problem by buying my daughter a new Micklem for Christmas this year. Our old one is the multi-purpose bridle---I don't think they even made the competition bridle yet when we bought it several years ago. We never use the lunging ring on the bridle, and my daughter does quite a bit of competing, so I thought the competition version would be perfect for her. Peace has been restored to the barn!I'm so surprised to hear reviews where people have a hard time fitting the bridle to their horses. We have the standard horse size and it fits everything in our barn, from our draftX hunter to my little Morgan mare who is almost pony sized and has a little teacup muzzle. We keep different reins attached to our bits, and then just quickly attach the bit that matches the horse we are riding to the bridle and away we go. Each animal uses a different type of bit, and they all go fine in the Micklem. In fairness, the draftx is on the next to the last hole, and my little mare is on the first hole, but it works without a problem.My daughter's new bridle, the competition version, is beautiful and came with reins. She preferred her old reins, so now the new ones are attached to my bit on the old Micklem bridle. A Micklem is a stiffer bridle---it's part of the design, and people should not expect a flimsy/supple feeling noseband. In fact, when the bridle is hanging on the hook, it completely holds it's shape and looks like it does when it's on the horse. It is incredibly easy to put on because you don't have to worry about the noseband flopping around. If you have a horse that's hard to bridle, the Micklem will solve your problem.The biggest problem you'll have with this bridle is wanting another one!
    Date published: 2014-01-02
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Short reins, but good fit I found the bridle easy enough to assemble (once I took a good look at a photo), but the leather looks as if it will crack pretty quickly, and my hands were a little black from the assembly process (leather dye).I have a 17.3 Dutch, so I ordered the large horse size - the bridle fits well (after some adjustments), but the reins are super short (I will need to buy replacement reins as these are too short to do a free walk or stretchy trot with my big guy).Overall, I am satisfied with the bridle.  I have only ridden him in it once so far, and he seems to go well with it.
    Date published: 2013-12-30
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from My horse loves it I have ridden my horse in the bridle 5 times now and she still loves it. She is lighter in the bridle and more responsive to the half halts.  The only complaint I have is that parts of the bridle is dirty or else the dye is coming off.  My hands were black when I was putting it together. No matter how much I clean it, my sponge comes out black.
    Date published: 2013-12-25
    Rated 4 out of 5 by from Definitely go a size up! This is a nice bridle, but it does run really small. I think only a pony would fit the small horse. It just barley works for my 15.3 thoroughbred. I think he does enjoy this bridle. He seems more comfortable. 
    Date published: 2013-12-20
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Love this This is my second Micklem, but first competition version.  My mare goes in both this and a traditional hunter bridle.  She seems to like them both.  However, I think this one is a bit more comfortable.  The instructions were easy to follow and fit her well.  The leather was more supple than others we've tried and even better after a good oiling.  I love the way it looks on her and like the ergonomic design.
    Date published: 2013-12-08
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from A Very Smart Bridle! Even though I've bought my share of bridles, I am still looking for one that is butter soft out of the box. Even my Stübben required some conditioning to get it buttery soft. The Micklem was no exception. It wasn't super soft, but it's better than many of the cheaper bridles I've purchased. One reviewer, and I can't remember from where, described the bridle perfectly. She said something like, 'you're paying for a design, not the leather.' I thought this was a perfect explanation.QualityThe bridle is quite pretty out of the package, but I did spend some time conditioning it, especially at the bit ends. I hate those hooks; they're so hard to open and close when the leather is stiff. The padding on the crown piece and nose band is nice and feels as though it will hold up well. Over-all, the leather has a nice thickness and width. I am very satisfied with the quality and workmanship of the bridle and with some regular conditioning, I imagine it will get softer and softer.The rubber reins are nice enough, but the rubber is quite thick. I love my Passier laced reins, and I've worked hard to get them super soft and drapey, but I am trying the rubber reins for now. I may switch back. I can tell they're going to be great if I go fox hunting again, that rubber doesn't slip at all!FitSydney is quite a large boy as far as TBs go. Not that I have oodles of experience with his breed, but from what I can see and from what others tell me, he's rather large for his breed. Maybe it's the New Zealand breeding. It's not like he's a giant, but he's really thick. His head is wide and moderately long. I waffled for some time over which size bridle to order. It comes in Pony, Cob, Horse, and Large Horse. I went with the Horse size which seems to have worked out.Many reviewers complained about the jaw strap being too short; I have to agree. For the "cheek" piece, I have it set 4 holes from the top with 5 to go, but for the jaw strap it's on the very last hole. The flash's fit is similar; it's on the second to the last hole, but I am certain that will stretch.Ease of UseWhether it solves any of Sydney's tension issues or not, I still love the bridle. The design makes it super user-friendly. You simply unbuckle the jaw strap and the flash and the whole thing slides off. Putting it on is even easier. You don't have to hold the caveson open or widen the crank noseband, and there's no flash attachment to drop. And conditioning it was fast; there are fewer pieces to dissemble and clean.If you're looking at this bridle to buy, I would recommend you buy it first because you like the design, second for the quality of construction, and lastly for it's tension reducing abilities. I am glad I bought the bridle, and I think that it's a quality piece of tack for the price.
    Date published: 2013-12-08
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from My horse loves it, soft supple leather My horse loves this bridle, moves forward more easily, and quit fussing with her head.  I can't bring myself to put anything else on her.In addition to the style, I find the quality to be quite nice.  The leather is soft and supple and I had no issues with buckles or keepers, even spending 15 mins in the Wisconsin winter weather fitting it to her head.  I would recommend this bridle to anyone.
    Date published: 2013-11-27
    Rated 3 out of 5 by from Not for non-traditional breeds I bought this to try on my fjords one of which has a classic fjord head and the other with a more refined head. It did not fit either one. Also the leather was very stiff and the instructions for putting it together were difficult to understand. Do not buy this bridle if your horse has a wide jaw.
    Date published: 2013-11-25
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Nice quality leather / great fit I bought this bridle 6 weeks ago and overall I love it. The leather is of great quality, and the hardware is strong and you cant beat the price! Fits well as it is very adjustable. I purchased this bridle to replace a drop nose band.. looks and works much better .. My mare seems to be happy with the change 
    Date published: 2013-11-22
    Rated 5 out of 5 by from Good Quality, Horse Loves It My smart and sensitive mare goes great in this bridle, reaching into the bit and being soft and steady in my hands.  The leather and quality are good, I found it to be quite supple right out of the box, and I was adjusting it on a cold winter morning.  I can't wait to jump her in it.I previously rode in a very nice, soft, padded bridle with a flash noseband.This bridle was worth the money.
    Date published: 2013-11-12
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