Manufacturer: Mikmar (View all products by Mikmar Bit Co.)
Model: Short Shank (View all Short Shank reviews)
Category: English Bridle Accessories
Purchase: I purchased this bit from a tack store close-out for $100.00. I bought it because I had heard so many positive comments on this bit from other horsemen and wanted to experiment with it on my mare who has a soft, fickle mouth and my gelding who tends to brace against bits and become heavy on the forehand.
Likes: The bit worked well for my lugging gelding who was very respectful of the ability of the bit to exert pressure in multiple areas simultaneously. The bit does provide a significant amount of control with relatively little rein pressure. The bit came with an instructional video that I thought was very informative.
Dislikes: I was very conscious of the bit's ability to become a very harsh tool due to it's multiple pressure points, so when demo-ing the bit I used as little rein pressure as necessary. With stating that, I don't feel that either of my horses truly accepted this bit. While they respected and avoided any uncomfortable pressure and were obedient, they were never completely relaxed and willingly submissive to the bit. In fact, I would say they seemed pre-occupied with it. Although my rather bull-headed gelding seemed to move-out well, my mare's strides felt a bit shortened while riding with this bit, even without any rein pressure whatsoever. To me, this shows hesitation from the horse. Also, as previously stated, in the hands of an inexperienced or ignorant horsemen, this bit can be quite severe.
Quality: The bit is light weight and easy to keep clean. The metal alloy does not rust and stays bright looking. The bit is well-made and looks as if it would withstand years of use and still function well.
Summary: For horses and riders of the english discipline, I think this is a fine training bit for certain types of horses who tend to lean on the rider's hands, brace on the bit or become heavy on the forehand. It could help a horse develop the mental and muscular aptitude for carrying himself in a proper frame. I think by using this bit exclusively on a horse, however, that may become a "crutch" in which these desired results are only achieved when this bit is used. I would anticipate that when a more mild bit is re-introduced the horse may revert back to the previous tendencies of leaning or bracing. So, I would encourage its use as a limited training tool. It is only suitable for use by experienced horsemen, in my opinion, due to the potential for severe action on the mouth, chin and poll.
Usefulness Rating: 2.5 out of 5.
6 reader(s) voted.
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