Mikmar Trail/Pleasure Reviews

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"I have both the Feather Bit and the Training Bit, and they are great.  I plan to buy the All Around bit next.   The Mikmar Training Bit has probably saved my marriage - training your other half is something you don't want to do.  I could not keep my wife's hands still, despite everything I tried.  The horse and I were at our wits end with her.  I bought the training bit, and low and behold the constant bickering between those two stopped.  I sure am happy."  Thanks, Paul

Dear Mikmar Bit Company,

I am writing to you to express my gratitude for my new Mikmar Bit, the Watson Two Ring. Wow where to start... I am the proud owner of an 11 year old Peppy San Badger Dual Pep quarter horse gelding. As you can imagine he is quite a handful. When I got him he had been used to rope off of. So he was used to backing in the box and coming out as fast as h...e could . My passion is reining. So for me I needed a bit that would soften him up with out being too harsh.

Coming to Mikmar not really knowing what direction to go I explained my situation to their customer service representative, turns out that putting my trust into them was absolutely the right thing to do!

I had my first ride with my gelding today in his new Watson Sweet Iron Bit, he was amazing amazing amazing! It was like I was on a new horse. He was controlled, collected, soft and supple. He was even better on the trail!

What a great feeling to canter your horse down the trail completely in control! I will never be able to say thank you enough! Thank you Mikmar!! I will absolutely recommend Mikmar to everyone I know!

What a great feeling to enjoy a beautiful day with your horse!

My horse had a problem with bits, sometime in his life, someone abused his mouth badly. I looked for a bit that was not too harsh that I could train him in and get good results and found the Mikmar bit, I ordered one and he was a different horse in just 15 minutes and he never reared again when the bit contacted his mouth. Now we are getting ready for showing hopefully in novice class this summer thank you Mikmar! I could not have done it without you!

I bought a horse for my daughter. He is a 6 yr old gelding. When I got him he was really hot, I thought he would be too much for my 10 yr old. I tried bit after bit after bit, no luck! Then I decided to try the Mikmar Training Bit, immediate change from head to tail. He stopped throwing his head, fighting the bit and pulling against me. During his first ride in this bit he carried himself so much better and was softer in the bridle. He did everything I asked him to do without a fuss. Now my daughter rides him by herself!
-Anna Marie

For the past 8 years I have been using the Mikmar Training Bit at the suggestion of my trainer. Jake, my QH was using a Tom Thumb bit and shaking his head all the time. The Training Bit stopped that cold. I ride as a volunteer with the Sheriff Dept. and they frowned on us using long shank bits, as they could be grabbed by someone in a crowd. I then switched to your Short Shank w/low port to use when I was on duty. Although it does not have the rope over the nose, he still loves it in his mouth and is almost as responsive as with the Training Bit. I went through an Equine Police School with Jake and used the Mikmar bit 100% of the time. My horse was terrific with both bits. Everyone that asks about the bit, can't believe how light it is and how much my horse loves it.

The Mikmar Training Bit made all the difference in the world with my Paint, he no longer throws he head or tries to get his tongue over the bit. He is more relaxed and confident and great for my grandson to ride him on the trail. Thanks for making these awesome bits, I will not use anything else!!

When we got my horse and my mother’s horse, “Smokey Moon Drifter", he was throwing his head and fighting the bit...My mother bought your training bit for him and we saw an immediate change! He was so more responsive and soft and quite! I love your line of bits and we will not ride in anything other than Mikmar! Thank you for such a great product!!
-Satisfied Mikmar Customer

3 word only, BEST BIT EVER! Changed my riding life, Was always a little scary when out on the trails, but as soon as I purchased the Training Bit, no longer any problem, and we enjoy each other on the trail. 360 turn around the first time using...Will not ever use any other than a Mikmar...
- Mariann

My wife’s horse Flo is a 9 year old quarter horse mare. When we bought Flo we tried probably 5 different bits before trying a Mikmar we had for another horse of ours. As soon as she started using the Mikmar bit she became very quiet with her head tossing and responded better to this bit than any other.

When I rescued my mare, Zoe, she was terrified of bits. Just a touch of the reins would cause her to curl behind the vertical and ball up. When she wasn't hiding behind the contact she was tossing her head unhappily. We tried just about every bit on her with varying results but she was never very happy. Finally we tried her in the curved low port combination bit and it was like a different horse. ...She stopped worrying the bit and accepted contact. I could actually give her subtle cues without her over reacting and she was willing to stretch down into the bridle. She hasn't tossed her head once since going in the Mikmar. Deleted last line
- Alice

My horse wasn't scary he just needed some kind bit to keep him focused, after using a friends Mikmar Training Bit and saw the complete change I purchased the Rancher Bit, I am eager to tackle the show ring with my pacified happy horse. Being Appendix I have to keep his mind distracted, and this bit does the job.

I purchased your "Flexion combination bit" this past weekend at Equine Affaire in Ohio.  I went there to learn about bits, and was pleased to take a seminar from Tommy Garland early in the day.  I spent the next two days wandering about looking at the huge variety of bits available.

I have been using french links on my horses, as I am an intermediate rider (I've been riding all my life, and at 41, I still know so little!) and wanted something that the horses wouldn't object to.  The issue is, however, that though the horses are in control in the arena, where I am mostly controlling them by weight and leg, they mostly ignore the bit, so I have never learned to use my hands properly, as I don't get the response my instructor claims I should.  Though I switch to a different bit when riding to hounds in the field, the horse still does what the others do, and ignores the cues to be in control.  As exhilarating as it is galloping fast across the countryside, I like the idea that I could stop if I had to.  And I couldn't.

The bits I was using there worked only on the bars of the horse's mouth.  I now understand that there are many points upon which a bridle can work to cue the horse, and when I walked by the Mikmar booth, the bits were so imposing that my partner called them "bad horse" bits - the severe bits that you put on recalcitrant horses.  I went on to explain to him, using my newfound knowlege, how gentle these bits really were.  They give the horse every possible cue, allowing  you to be gentle with the reins. Yes, they have leverage so you can escalate your initial request if necessary, but always the escalation seems to be softer - a leather wrapped rope to give nose cues, instead of a rawhide thong - a soft leather curb strap to fix the bit in the proper position instead of a chain - a wide, angled mouthpiece where any force from the bit will be spread over the widest area only when the horse's head is in the correct position.


This sounds like the bit I was looking for, for my big gelding that roots with his nose starting mid-way through a ride, and is completely unstoppable in the field.  Firm contact upsets him, as he has a genuinely soft mouth, but he is so forward he needs more bit than I was willing to use on him to come into true control.

I bought one of your bits, and tried it yesterday. He came nicely into frame, and worked in a relaxed and quiet fashion.  He is usually easy to control in the arena, but I could use the feather-light contact he accepts willingly, and get far more out of him than I've been able to with the french link I'd been using.  And the "other" bit I'd been using in the field - he'd brace his neck against the contact.  This bit, if he braces, he'll make himself more uncomfortable than if he softens.  I think this is an intelligent design, that will work quite well for us.  I will be able to get the response I've been told I can expect, without making the horse feel forced and constrained.  I look forward to trying it out on all my horses.

Dr. Stephanie Campbell, PhD.

I received my Mikmar Training bit in the mail soon after I ordered it, and introduced it to my gelding soon afterward. I have to say, when I first saw it I wondered what the heck I'd just spent my money on. However, when I put it on my gelding's bridle and adjusted it to fit him, he took to it like a duck to water. He had no difficulty in transitioning, but I took it slow anyway. We had several controlled rides around the farm before I tested it out on the trail, where he'd been giving me problems.

He was like a different horse. He walked very calmly on a loose rein, which was unthinkable in the past. It was easy to bring him back down after a short lope, and he really, really liked the roller on the bit. When he seemed like it might be getting tense, he started playing with the roller and calmed right down.

After trying all the various snaffle bits touted as gentle I got a lot of weird looks when I first got the Mikmar, but after my barn-mates saw his attitude this weekend they were blown away.

He's not arching his neck and gaping his mouth in anticipation of the pain of a jointed bit anymore, and he is so much more calm I feel comfortable letting my husband ride him! I wouldn't have dreamed that would be possible only a few weeks ago. He doesn't jig or prance. I feel like a lot of the worry he had developed from heavy-handed training before I purchased him has been lifted from his mind.

I'm even considering a Mikmar snaffle to school him in, since I'd like to get him into shape for some local shows just for fun. So, thank you for the training bit.  It was worth the money.


I am really impressed with your product. It performs exactly as it claims. It was money well spent.

Yvonne R.

Dear Mikmar,
So you know who is writing to you, I'm a 48 year old female attorney from Yorba Linda, California.  I've ridden and owned horses my entire life, having been born and raised in Arizona.
I was skeptical about buying the Mikmar training bit because the big tack stores I go to don't carry them.  However, I was desperate.  My horse fights the bit, tosses his head, and constantly stays on the bit when we lope....and when we do lope it's bone jarring.  He won't set his head and it has been impossible to get him into a slow lope for more than a few minutes.  I have tried running martingales, german martingales, and about 15 bits....nothing was working.  I was recently diagnosed with a 3-4 mm disc herniation at C-6-7, so I just couldn't deal with the bumpy ride anymore.  The Mikmar Training bit was my horse's last chance before I had to sell him.  After trying the bit today I came to two realizations.  One, the reason why the big tack stores don't sell Mikmar bits is because it would hurt their business....their bit sales, other than Mikmars, would fall to nothing, and no one would need a martingale anymore.  I rode today with no martingale, just the Mikmar.  Then came the second realization, that your bit really works...I actually had tears in my eyes after 15 minutes.  My horse set his head, went into a slow lope from a walk (the first time ever), didn't toss his head as usual (he did test the "power" of the Mikmar, but once he learned he couldn't win, all was well), and was the most well-mannered he had ever been.  He settled into the bit quickly and seemed to enjoy the roller.  I have to thank you from the bottom of my heart for his sudden improvement.  I shall recommend your bit to everyone I know, and only use your product from now on.  Like many of your other customers, I have a bunch of old bits to get rid of!
Thank you so much.  Lisa G.

Dear Mikmar Bit Company,
I would just like to let you know how happy I am with your training bit. I was to the point of selling my horse when I saw your ad and decided to give just one more bit a try. Well I am sure glad I did because it has totally changed my horse. I love it and my horse loves it. He really is a totally different horse with your bit, more relaxed and responsive. Thank-you so much! Yvonne Manson, Washington

We operate a facility in Central PA that caters to show horses in the hunter and jumper rings. We do a lot of showing on the A circuit between Vermont and Florida. I have to admit when my wife and I saw the bits we were skeptical until a good friend of ours told us to try the bit. I have a mare that I bought in Germany this year and WOW what a difference it made getting her in and around the hunter ring. She use to pull on the ends of the ring as a greeny would do, and she was slightly stiff bending to the left. I now hack her in the mornings with it and school her over the jumps just prior to going in the ring before switching back to my show bridle. The past three A rated shows we have been Champion out of a bunch! The Mikmar bit has made the difference not only in her but in the whole crew. Christopher W.

I just wanted to let you know how different my horse is after trying the Mikmar training bit. He is an11yr old paint that was used primarily for trail riding with no formal training. His lope was so horrible with the head tossing, I had absolutely no control and basically stopped loping him with the fear of hurting someone else in the arena. I think he was afraid of having his mouth constantly banged on by his former owners. I ordered the Mikmar Training Bit and within a few days he is a totally different horse. He actually likes the bit and shows no resistance towards it. I came within days of selling him because of his prior ways. But, this bit totally transformed him.

Sincerely, Judith Kensington, CT

Today, my Mom came to try her new Mikmar training bit on her gelding and he was a changed horse. Wow. I am truly amazed.My Mom had watched the video and told me to be patient and watch the high headed paint near the end of the video that showed how he responded to the bit the very first time it was used on him. We still were a bit skeptical due to the way the bit looks. It looks so severe and large. We just about could have filmed that same episode with my Mom's gelding. He was stiff and pulling the reins away by stiffening his mouth and jaw with his snaffle bit today. We put the Mikmar training bit in and adjusted it and after a bit of chewing, he went to work in a relaxed manner and was using his body correctly. He did spend a bit of time looking for the most comfortable place to carry his head and once he did, we could just loosen the reins and enjoy the ride. It is much easier to have soft hands when the horse is carrying himself so balanced and soft. This horse can be a dream to ride but lately has been getting harder and harder to soften up. Not today with the Mikmar bit. He stopped better than he ever has and after we rode, he was so calm and quiet, we couldn't believe he was the same horse. He was even neck reining better. He has not been this responsive in the nearly 2 years we have had this gelding. We kept talking about how amazing it was after we were done riding. Thanks for your product. Keep up the good work.

Just wanted to let you know that I'm thrilled with the Mikmar training bit. It's made a big difference in even just three rides. I also enjoyed the video. Thank you very much! Lori

I love my bit and would recommend it to anyone. My horse has never behaved so well. Your bit has also helped me develop lighter hands. And as you know, a horse will respond better to soft hands. Vincent

I bought the short shank because my horse was new to me and I was trying different bits, recommended by my trainer. I first tried the snaffle, which was fine in the arena, but I didn't really feel like I had enough control on trail. I then went to the curb bit with a short shank, but that caused my horse to start throwing his head, which I didn't want him to continue to form a habit. I saw the Mikmar Bit and ordered it on the spot. I have seen a significant difference in the way my horse carries his head, we've been using the bit a couple months now, and he has stopped throwing his head and I think with time, he will continue to do well. I would like to have one of the 50th Anniversary bits with the Silver Conchos. Will be ordering soon.

Genny Murrieta, CA

Just bought your combination bit at Equine Affaire in Ohio. I put it on my Morgan, "Remington", as soon as I got home. As soon as he took the bit in his mouth he lowered his head and transformed into a different horse! I took him to the outdoor arena to let him get used to the bit, but he was so relaxed and content [ same horse?] that I took him on a hour trail ride! He was absolutely content to go and do whatever and wherever I wanted! I never in my wildest dreams thought that I would notice dramatic improvement the first day! He was, for the first time ever, able to actually stand perfectly still while I talked to another rider ! Guess what I talked about! Thanks so much!

John Horse Around Ranch Inc.

I am currently using a friend's Mikmar Training Bit, and must agree with all your testimonials-- I can't believe I am riding the same horse as before I used this bit.

Linda L. San Diego, CA

I don't believe in cure all medicines or training aids. The Mikmar bit, however, comes close. When I bought my Quarter Horse mare, she had been used as a lesson horse. The fix to any problem was a harsher bit and a new training aid. The result was an ornery horse that grew to be more and more stubborn and rebellious. She had a reputation of being a knot-head and an outlaw. I decided to take a "less is more" approach and moved her out of a high port bit and into a D-ring snaffle. Her attitude improved was well as her forward movement. I wanted to start working on her headset. She was extremely resistant to my efforts to get her to drop her head by riding her up to the bit. She would take hold of the bit and stick her nose in the air as far as she could get it. We did make progress but it was painfully slow and her performance was inconsistent. I did not want to go to any training aids, such as draw reins, because of her history. My trainer suggested trying the Mikmar bit, and let me borrow his. She responded so well, I ordered one the next day. Not only did she drop her head, she became lighter and more responsive. A light touch to the rein now gets an immediate response. At one time my goal was to have a horse that was safe on trail. We are now working towards showing Western Pleasure and Trail Class. She is a calmer, more willing, lighter and responsive horse who moves much better with the proper headset and consistent performance. Because of this change it is easier to teach her new skills such as side passing, and turning on the haunches. Two things I didn't even think about doing with her when I first brought her home. It is like having a new horse. On the rare occasion she does regress to her stubborn ways, it is easier to bring her back to the soft and responsive horse she has become. Many people who knew the horse before I bought her cannot believe it is the same horse. Even my trainer cannot believe the progress we have made in such a short time. If I had not discovered the Mikmar bit, the success I have had would have taken me much longer than the three months I have been working with this bit. Thank you Mikmar Bit Company.

Sincerely, Tammy Marsh Corning, NY

Dear Mikmar,
We have a horse that we have named TURBO. He has two speeds, fast and faster. Stopping is not part of his gears, so to speak. He'd been abused from others and his "training" had I imagine was closer to cruelty. He has a sweet personality until you get on his back. My husband is the only one who can handle him, we've gone through "trainers" and numerous bits but he was still out of hand. You give him an inch he takes a yard and a half. Pleasure riding it wasn't. By happen stance I found your website and thought, "maybe this is it". The bit arrived today and my husband used it on him. My daughter greeted me when I came home from work with "Mom, we have a new horse". My first thought is we actually had another horse, but she explained that "Turbo" behaved like a real saddle horse for the first time. No rearing, fighting, spinning or "dancing". My husband put Turbo through all his gates and the acid test was the big "S" word...........STOPPING. He did it without a five minute fight, plus.......where my husband wanted him to go, he actually went!!!! My husband is not a green horn, he's been around horses since he was two and was not intimidated by Turbo's actions. The rest of us on the other hand.......... Anyway, I want to thank you for this incredible bit and we are going to send you a video in the near future of "Turbo Before and Turbo After". He is nothing like any of the horses in your tape. This will be an eye opener.

Sincerely, Jan

Dear Mikmar,
I have been hesitant to buy anything that looks like a quick fix or gimmick so I have avoided your product, despite the ads and HorseWorld features. I have gaited horses, Tennessee Walkers and Foxtrotters, as well as Quarter Horses and have been through various trainers over many years.

Because of my work schedule I have a young girl who "exercises" my horses 4 times a week. I noticed a breakdown in their training and particularly their headset and engagement. After buying the Training Bit at the Equine Fair I tried it out the next day. It has been the best single investment I have ever made for my horses. I worked 3 different horses, both gaited and non-gaited, and after 10-15 minutes of just packing the bit began to work them and there was an immediate improvement. The exercise girl is now able to get the proper headset and an inexperienced rider was also able to achieve not only a good headset, but actual performance from a newly purchased Quarter Horse that had a real habit of throwing her head.

The gaited horse moved so well, if I was still showing I would use this training bit. It helped to improve the headset and free up the shoulders allowing full engagement of the hindquarters with an immediate improvement in all gaits. This works so well I wonder if it would be legal at the shows. I was so impressed I called the next day to order another bit. I am a true believer in the value of these products.

Jeffrey Zinder

Dear Mikmar Bit Co.
I received my training bit on Wednesday and went out for a trail ride on Friday using the Mikmar bit. I initially adjusted the bit properly after viewing the very well informative video and then worked my horse in the arena till I felt he was comfortable with the new bit.

Then we proceeded out on the trail. He was a very relaxed horse and truly found his comfort zone with the bit in a very short period of time. I rode a new horse that had nice lateral flexion and over all nice relaxed frame for the first time. There was absolutely no head tossing or any anxiety. He had his head dropped and went quietly down the trail, up and down the hills. His light mouth along with my light hands and the Mikmar bit equaled a fantastic outcome.

I want to thank you for your nice correspondence initially before I decided to buy the bit. Now, I will anxiously wait for my reining bred filly to be started and then finished in the Mikmar bit. You truly have a remarkable product that really does work and all I can say is word of mouth from a satisfied customer as myself is the best advertisement you can have. Thank you, thank you !!!!

Linda and Shadow, Temecula, Calif.

Testimonial from Kenneth Cox: Sir I received my bit and video and thought I would drop you a note. I am breaking a 3 year old mustang which I adopted from the BLM. I was having lots of trouble with him and that is why I ordered your bit in hopes that would help. I have had it on him twice now and he is a completely different horse with it I am very happy that I ordered it! Thanks again. Kenneth Cox

RE: Combination Bit; "After delaying too long in making the decision to try one of your Training Bits, I purchased one at the Equine Fair and was an instant FAN. The bit is GREAT. The very next day after using it, I called your company to express my thanks, and the thanks of my horses. I also ordered 2 of the Combination Bits. They were sent immediately and I of course tried them that night. They are GREAT. I had 4 different people ride a very tense and head strong recently gelded 4 year old and they were each able to get a perfect headset and collection within the first minute of their ride and maintain it with very little effort. There is an appreciable difference between the Training Bit and the Combination Bit, but only if you are unaware of the horse. If the rider is at all in tune with the horse the Combination Bit can achieve the same results, it just takes a little more effort at being aware of your timing of your release. I strongly recommend the purchase of a Training Bit for training and then a Combo for everyday riding and less focused training. After a few months, when I feel that my horses can maintain the training I will no doubt be calling for at least one Short Shank, but I feel bad enough concerning all the hundreds of dollars I have in bits and bridles that will now be available on E-Bay for purchase. I just hope those buyers do not yet know about your products." J. Zinder

Testimonial Letter from Margaret White: Dear Mikmar Friends:

The other day a woman told me she had seen me riding out on the trail and added, "Your horses all seem to have so much trust in you."

She's right. And the reason is simple. It's your Mikmar bit.

I've used the Mikmar bit exclusively on all my horses - green or finished - for 25 years. So has Elsa Mikkelsen, whose horses are also on this ranch. We have used "hard bits" only in the show ring. At home in the work ring or out on the trail, it's always the Mikmar.

The Mikmar training has certainly paid off: two national champion trail horses and one reserve national champion; regional top five trail horses many times over; and a number of champion western pleasure, western riding, stock and hunt seat horses.

With the Mikmar you can correct a horse without messing up the mouth. With sensible and gentle riding, the horse learns and the mouth stays fresh. So of course you build trust - a lasting trust that, in my case, has been enjoyed for 25 years.

Thank you for making that trust possible. Sincerely yours, Margaret M. White

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