TRADITIONAL: Headpiece spreads the load of the bridle. Many bridles have gone to "comfort crowns" and indentations for the ears. Crown pieces also offer various configurations of the noseband attachment, such as threaded through the crown to keep the surface on the horse's poll smooth, as well as stitched into the crown so that there is one strap over the poll. If the strap is too narrow the pressure maybe uncomfortable causing the horse to shake his head. Often placing the narrower strap above the wider strap will alleviate the problem.
BROWBAND: Not so short that it pulls the cheek straps forward.
NOSEBAND: Two finger widths below protruding cheekbone.
FIGURE EIGHTS: I have seen the rings above and below the tip of the cheekbone but what is important is not to put pressure on the bone itself.
"Be sure the buckles on the noseband do not exert pressure on the TMJ joint. The buckles needs to be below the joint so that when tightened, it does not cause tension in this joint and inhibit acceptance of bit and the ability of the horse to relax the jaw." -Kim Henneman, DVM (www.animalhealthoptionsvet.com)
CHEECKPIECES: Adjusted so that the bit sits in the mouth with two wrinkles.
THROATLATCH: Two finger widths from cheekbone.
The Micklem Bridle is designed to place pressure only on bone structure and alleviate pressure on facial nerves. The unique styling of the noseband reflects this approach. The bridle was created and introduced in 2008 by William Micklem, coach and author.
MICKLEM BRIDLE: Permitted for use at any level where snaffles are permitted. Bit clips may not be used with this bridle.
For more information on application and fit of the Micklem bridle: