Flash Bridle

I've been casually tossing around the idea of trying a flash on Connor for a while.  I've never liked them, but the little dude has shown a serious preference for the Micklem being one hole tighter than usual lately.

I do love the look of a Micklem on his head though.

Since the Micklem chin strap isn't really designed for that, and my Micklem is starting to fall apart anyway, I started looking for a cheap flash bridle I could experiment with.  Enter a Smartpak sale + $25 in credit I've had sitting in my account for months, and I ended up with this:

FBR always happy to ridiculously model things for me.

The Plymouth Dressage Bridle by Smartpak.  Sure, I'd love something anatomic, but I'm also just a couple of months away from my truck being paid off, so....tradeoffs!  Did I expect the heavens to magically open up when I opened the bag?  No, it's a cheap freakin bridle, but then again...it's a cheap freakin bridle.  I only paid $35 for it.  If Connor decides he hates it, I'm not out a ton of money.


The first night I rode in it, Connor was just blah.  Woke up on the wrong side of the bed, not interested in playing your reindeer games, blah.  Complicated by the fact that I was riding in big bulky non-riding gloves, and I tried out the reins that came with the new bridle just to see what riding with actual Cob length reins feels like (they're terrible, 0/10 do not buy).

But then my trainer said she rode him across the street in the field yesterday, and he was awesome.  Really enjoyed himself and went really well after she got him going straight.  We'll see how he feels in my ride tonight.

Anyone else ride in this bridle?  Anyone moved from a Micklem back to a traditional bridle?

15 comments:

  1. I don't know a darn thing about that bridle, but he looks very handsome in it! I've never liked the look of the Micklems, although lots of people love them.

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  2. I never noticed a chance using a Micklem so I went back to my normal bridles (although I rarely use a flash). I tried to sell my Micklem to a friend and her mare didn't care for it either...Haham. No idea what I'm going to do with it now! Hopefully Conner likes his new bridle ☺

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  3. I couldn't get a Micklem to fit anyone, so I'm boring and traditional all the way. But hey, whatever works for Mr. C! I'm glad he likes it, even if you hate the reins.

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  4. I plan to get a Micklem for Fergie. Been riding her in a hand me down no name bridle (no flash) since we brought her home. So I am no help!

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  5. I have a horse sized giraffe and 10/10 love cob length reins. I have a friend whose horse goes better in her cheap flash bridle than in the (fake) micklem she bought... I've ridden the beast once and she really seems to have a strong preference for extremely quiet rein aids, where my distractable animal focuses best with a certain amount of finger wiggling white noise to keep her head in the correct stratosphere, if that makes sense?

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    1. It does make sense, and your comment made me realize I didn't communicate that correctly. I loved the length, hated the texture of those reins (they're the cheapo web reins).

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    2. Ewwww cheapo web reins! Completely understandable. If you like rubber reins, I (randomly) have a pair of pony length Micklem reins that are only a few inches shorter than the cob length reins that came with my Amigo Event bridle so that might be an option for you. Actual cob length reins seem hard to find on their own, which sucks! I have two pairs that I need to replace sometime soon, and I'm not looking forward to it.

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  6. I went from a Micklem back to a regular (anatomic but much different) bridle recently and was actually waiting for Katai to be really fussy at first. She was slightly different but not fussy and now I can't even tell the difference. I also didn't use the flash with her the first couple of rides until she clearly told me that she wanted it on. Now she goes nice and soft and relaxed again!

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  7. There are very few bridles I haven't inflicted on my horse. He prefers loose cavesson, no flash, traditional non-padded crown. It's massively boring so he has to compromise a lot. At least let me have a padded crown, dude!

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  8. I put my horse in a Micklem for a while, based on a trainer suggestion. My horse did not seem to particularly show any difference in the Micklem vs. normal bridles. The only thing that I think he really liked was the lack of throatlatch on the Micklem. We went back to a figure 8 since I noticed no significant difference, and I was not the biggest fan of the Micklem look on his gigantic face.
    I also have a friend that just recently bought that same bridle from Smartpak. She had the same complaint about the poor rein quality!

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  9. I have this bridle for Gina! I got a couple of years ago for Christmas, and it's broken in pretty well. I hated the reins, so I swapped them for a rubber pair, and it's been a solid piece of tack since. I don't use the flash attachment, so I'm no help there.

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  10. The Plymouth dressage bridle was the first one I ever bought for Tony. It worked really well for us until we moved to the Micklem, which he seems to like better. By the time I'd moved to the Micklem though, I'd pretty much traded out every part of the Plymouth- first the reins...super ick. Then the browband. Because sparkles. Then the noseband, because I found a 2" thick patent-piped number that looked smashing on Tony's ginormous face. So by the end it really wasn't a Plymouth bridle at all....I have to say I was really impressed with the quality for the price though.

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  11. I had a SmartPak Bridle for Houston but the fit was weird and I ended up selling it. Annie goes in a Schochemohle (sp?) flash bridle though and I really like it. :)

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  12. I bought a nice normal bridle for dressage last year thinking there wasn't really anything magical about the Micklem, but Bobby says the Micklem magic works on him. He's definitely a thousand times better in it than he's been in anything else.

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  13. I feel like Connor makes everything cuter. I haven't tried a Micklem so can't help on that part, but I can say my Plymouth bridle is holding up really well with daily use and not a ton of love.

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