Friday last saw a very sociable gathering of members for a fascinating talk on bits and bridles by Mary Finneran. Armed with her travelling skull, she revealed all the hidden points of the horse’s head and opened up our minds about exactly how a bridle really works with — and at times against — the horse.
Her crate of bits was like a toybox for enthusiasts and she explained the essential uses of each bit group: snaffles, curb bits and gags. From there she moved on to nosebands and ran through the use of simple cavessons, drops, flashes and grackles. That left just the bitless bridle to round off an intriguing subject.
Although the classic bridle has existed for centuries, horsemen constantly search for improvements. Many of us have seen the Micklem bridle on other people’s horses and ponies. Mary, who knows its designer William Micklem very well, introduced us to the revolutionary piece of tack through the Horseware video on Youtube. For anyone who wasn’t there on the evening, you can learn a huge amount about the subject by watching this too.
A huge thanks to Mary for presenting the topic in such depth. Libby’s baking expertise didn’t quite match Mary’s expertise on bits and bridles but she’s working on it for next time.