1. Even though its been around for so long, how come I've never heard of the Mikmar Training Bit before?
Legendary horse trainer Frank Evans designed the Mikmar Training Bit back in the early 1950's and he never marketed it outside of Southern California. The way most people heard about it was “word of mouth” among trainers, and because it worked so well, many competitive trainers were happy to NOT "get the word out". Frank made them one at a time, while still running a full training operation, so production was slow, and you had to wait to get one. In November of 2001, the company started a national ad campaign and offered the Training Bit and other innovative Mikmar styles to the public.
Click Here to learn more about the Mikmar History.
2. What are the Mikmar Bits I am seeing on RFD-TV ?
Equestrian Nation features the "4 Point Pressure Bit " styles, the Training Bit, Combination Bits, and the Feather Bits.
They are very popular and useful for all disciplines.
The newest design to be featured is the "Rancher Bit" an all-purpose bit offering versatility and usability for ranch related work, trail riding and western competitions.
3. How and why do the "Four Point Pressure" bits work?
The Mikmar “Four Point Pressure” bits are unique, lightweight designs that disperse pressure to the nose, mouth, chin and poll, sending a clearer signal for effective results without abuse to the mouth. As a rider applies pressure (pulls) on the reins, the horse receives a signal from the nose rope and curb strap, through the shanks, just ahead of the mouthpiece. The nose rope applies mild downward and backward pressure across the nose, and takes some of the concussion off of the mouth. The curb strap applies upward pressure to the chin. Poll pressure is also activated through the bridle. The wide-flat, mild mouthpiece, immediately following, activates slowly downward and back to apply pressure over the mouth (tongue and bars). The width of the mouthpiece gives the horse an advanced signal that there is an incoming request and is non-pinching. The bit also incorporates a copper roller, which stimulates saliva production with its rolling action, and keeps a nervous or “busy-mouthed” horse pacified. It also discourages the horse from putting its tongue over the bit. Because of this unique design the rider can use a softer hand. Frank Evans said, ”This process helps the horse to better understand what is being asked of him, which translates to a happier horse whose mouth can be protected and kept soft and fresh over time.” There are six Mikmar “Four Point Pressure” bit styles to choose from. All are designed to be a kinder, yet more effective way to communicate with your horse.
4. What are the main differences between the Training, Combination, and Feather Bits?
•THE TRAINING BIT is the original “Four Point Pressure” bit. It provides the longest shank and the most leverage. The shanks are fixed, non-moving. There are two mouthpiece options, the Standard Straight or Low Port version. It is to be used with the rein connected to the nose rope. It functions by activating in a non-abrupt way and is very forgiving, contrary to its appearance. Appropriate for WESTERN disciplines.
Click Here to learn more about the Training Bit.
•THE COMBINATION AND MEDIUM SHANK COMBINATION BITS are a shorter shanked, mild to medium leverage version of the Training Bit. The shanks are fixed, non-moving and available in two lengths. There are two mouthpiece options, the Standard Straight or Low Port version. There are three areas to attach the rein to the bit, for a variety of feel, function and leverage. Appropriate for ALL disciplines.
Click Here to learn more about the Combination Bits.
•THE FLEXION COMBINATION BITS are a variation of the original Combination Bit. They offer mild leverage, with swiveling shanks for a softer more lateral feel. There are two mouthpiece options available, Straight Slanted/Low Port or the Jointed Slanted/Low Port. There are three areas to attach the rein to the bit, for a variety of feel, function and leverage. Appropriate for ALL disciplines.
Click Here to learn more about the Flexion Combination Bits.
•THE FEATHER BITS are a streamlined version of the Training and Combination bits. They offer mild leverage, with swiveling shanks for a softer more lateral feel. There are two areas to attach the reins. A slimmer, straight or jointed mouthpiece is offered. Appropriate for ALL disciplines.
Click Here to learn more about the Feather Bits.
5. What does the nose rope do?
The nose rope puts mild pressure across the nose and takes some concussion out of the mouth. It softens the feel of the bit, and slows it’s action down by dispersing the pressure to 4 areas on the head. The nose, mouth, chin and poll. Allowing the horse time to react to a request in a non-abrupt way. The nose rope pressure is not pinching and tough like a Hackamore.
The nose rope is one option for rein attachment.
6. What do I need to know about the Mikmar mouthpieces?
Although this mouthpiece makes a curious first impression, it is a kind yet effective way to communicate with the horse. In general, a wide mouthpiece is milder than a thin one. The Mikmar mouthpiece is wide, flat and non-pinching. It incorporates a copper roller to stimulate saliva production which relaxes and loosens the horse’s jaw. It activates in a slow, non-abrupt way, without being sharp. The shape of the mouthpiece, combined with the function of the four points of pressure results in less wear and tear on the horse’s mouth. There are a variety of straight and jointed styles to choose from.
7. Where do I connect the reins on the "Four Point Pressure" bits?
The Training bit offers ONE area for rein placement, to the nose rope. This provides the “Four Point Pressure” effect always when activated.
The Combination and Feather bits offer different options for leverage and function. You can attach a single rein to THREE different areas on the bit. You can use a single or double reins in combination to any of the 3 areas.
•(A) Attaching a rein to the NOSE ROPE disperses the pressure to the nose, mouth, chin and poll. It gives the softest feel the bit will offer.
•(B) Attaching a rein to the LOWER SHANK area makes the bit function in a direct way with the most leverage.
•(C) Attaching a rein to the SHANK AT THE CORNER OF THE MOUTH provides a milder direct pressure on the bit.
•The shank options delete the nose pressure. The nose rope does not need to be removed, it will stay in place.
8. Is the Training Bit for "training only", or can I show in it?
Although it is called "The Training Bit", it is not only for training. Even once you have resolved your horses issues, it is excellent for everyday use, on a consistent basis. Maybe it should be called "The Mikmar Long Shank" so people think of it as a useful bit for all time. In general, the Training Bit is not suitable for showing. We recommend transitioning to a traditional show style bit, then going right back into the Training Bit for everyday use, to preserve the horse’s mouth. We suggest using either one of our Mikmar Snaffles or our Rancher Bit for a show bit.
9. What is your Cupreon Line and what is "Cupreon"?
This collection features classic Traditional cheeks and three mouthpiece styles to benefit ALL DISCIPLINES for competition, training, and pleasure riding. "Cupreon” is a material created exclusively for Mikmar, and is a durable, high Copper content alloy. It is non-toxic and Nickel free. It warms easily in the mouth and is well accepted by horses including those, which are hard to bit.
Click Here to learn more about the Cupreon Bits.
10. Are any of you bits Dressage legal for Competition?
Yes, the Cupreon Ergöm Lozenge mouthpiece is approved for USEF/USDF DRESSAGE Competition. We also offer a Weymouth and Bradoon style bit.
11. What are the Watson style bits?
Lifetime horseman Richard Watson of central Florida, designed his first bit in the late ‘50s for legendary horseman Monty Forman. He has developed five innovative Loose Ring and Gag Bit styles. They offer a unique, wide, curved, link-style mouthpiece made of Sweet Iron. They eliminate the “nutcracker” pinching action, and the sharpness of single a jointed bit. The wide shape and movement of the mouthpiece, encourages chewing and suppleness with less bit resistance. Great for competitive riders.
Click Here to learn more about the Watson Bits.
12. How do I adjust my bit properly to fit my horse?
Both the Mikmar DVD and Brochure provide in-depth instruction for proper adjustment and use of the bits. If you have more questions after looking over the brochure and DVD please give us a call at 1-866-MIKMAR7 we are happy to help.
Click here to Contact Us.
13. How do I adjust my chin strap?
Your chin strap may need to be adjusted to fit your horse. If it is too loose the bit will not activate properly, it will allow the bit to roll over excessively in the horse’s mouth. If it is too tight it will activate much too quickly, not allowing the other 3 points of pressure to contact the horse properly, in addition it will not release or give any relief from chin pressure. In general, the one thumb's space rule applies. When the bit is at rest, not activating, allow a thumb-two fingers between horse and chin strap for a good fit. The Leather Chin Strap may be replaced with a curb chain or the Mikmar Metal Curb Strap if more chin pressure is desired.
14. Do I need to adjust my nose rope and how do I do that?
The nose rope will come already attached to your bit. This length is a standard size that fits most horses. No more than 1 inch should hang from the bottom of the shank to the knot on each side. Your nose rope is too tight if at rest it is pressing into the horse's face. It is very important that some extra rope hangs from the bottom of the shanks to the knots. The bit must always be allowed to have a release when not activating. Often as you begin using your bit you will notice that the nose rope is pulling through to one side or the other, this means an adjustment should be made. While the bridle and bit are on the horse's head, you can make your adjustments. Simply pull the nose rope through to one side. Leave one inch between the knot and the bottom of the shank. Then retie the longer side leaving one inch between the knot and the bottom of the shank. Now flex your horse left and right from the ground to test the length adjustment.
15. Can I use the nose rope style bits with a cavesson, tie down or other training aids?
Yes, however one of the best qualities of the Mikmar bits is that they encourage correct carriage, balance and collection. Most often you are able to do away with those extra aids.
16. Can I use the nose rope style bits with any headstall and reins?
Yes, just make sure that the nose rope can pass freely through the bridle/bit connection and that the reins fit through the nose rope loops. If the reins are too large for the loops you can loosen and enlarge the loops or use rein clips.
17. When I first put the bit in my horses mouth is it typical for the horse to mouth it.
Yes, Mikmar bits have a unique wide/flat mouthpiece that many horses have not experienced before. In addition, it has a copper roller that is substantial in size. Always go slow when transitioning to a new bit and give you and the horse plenty of time to adjust. All of our bits have a copper roller or are made of Cupreon, a copper alloy, which horses enjoy the taste of. It encourages salivation which is normal and desired to keep the mouth soft and fresh
18. Can I neck rein with my four point pressure bits?
Yes, you can neck rein or direct rein with any of the Four Point Pressure Bit Styles. The Training bit is the only style designed predominately for neck reining.
19. How do I get more information on Mikmar Bits before purchasing one?
There are many ways to educate yourself on the bits. The web site is full of written information and videos.
Go to the Homepage and click on Product Line Page for complete product listing.
Go to the Homepage and click on your Riding Style- it will show you bits recommended for your needs.
Go to the Homepage and click on Mikmar Videos Page-to view styles, use, and explanations and helpful tips related to the bits.
Go to the Contact Us Page- Email Us-Fill out the Questionnaire, we reply promptly and are happy to help!
If you would like to speak with a knowledgeable company representative call 1-866MIKMAR7.
20. What is your Mikmar Product Guarantee and Return Policy?
Guarantee is as follows-The Mikmar Bit Company Products are guaranteed to be free of defects in material and workmanship under normal use and service. Results using Mikmar Products will vary, and are NOT guaranteed. Purchaser is entirely responsible for his/her safety while using our products.
Return Policy is as follows- If you are not completely satisfied with your purchase, you may return your unused product within 30 days of the original shipping date for an exchange or refund of the purchase price. Returned item must be unused, showing no signs of use or wear. If an item is returned that is not resalable as new, or past the 30 day limit, it will be returned to you at your expense.For your protection, we recommend that you ship your return back to us via UPS or US Postal Service with insured service. This protects you in case the shipment is damaged or lost in transit. This will also allow you to track your return shipment easily through that carrier. We cannot assume responsibility for misdirected, damaged, or lost shipments.You must have a return authorization before making a return. We ask that you write us at firstname.lastname@example.org or contact us at 1-866MIKMAR7. The number we provide you must appear on the outside of the shipping box, as well as inside on the return paperwork. Once we provide you a return authorization number, the product must be returned within 10 business days.