From now until June 30, everyone is invited to submit a photo, story or poem on the themes of Partnership or Courage for the chance to win one of three amazing prizes. We wish to thank William Micklem for his kind generosity in donating:

*The Micklem Multi Bridle
*The new Micklem Competition Bridle
*William's international best-seller, The Complete Horse Riding Manual

William is renowned as the consummate horseman. His revolutionary design is changing the way we think about bridles and his training philosophy is followed by some of the world's most accomplished riders. To learn more about William, visit his website at:

Your entry can be long or short and you can add a photo with a story or on its own! Post your entries in the comment box below. Good Luck!!

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The Warmth Of A Horse

When your day seems out of balance
and so many things go wrong
When people fight around you
and the clock drags on so long
When some folks act like children
and fill you with remorse
Go out into your pasture and wrap
your arms around your horse.

His gentle breath enfolds you as he
watches with those eyes
He may not have a PhD but he
is,oh so wise!
His head rests on your shoulder
you hug him good and tight .
He puts your world in balance
and makes it seem all right.

Your tears will soon stop flowing,
the tension will be eased
The nonsense has been lifted.
You are quiet and at peace.

So when you need some balance
from the stresses in your day
The therapy you really need
Is out there eating hay!
Great poem how true it is!!!

just 2 hours of precious time a 24 hour day
may not seem like all that much
.....but when I hear her neigh

suddenly my weary bones
are energised and light
and without a second thought cloudy days turn bright.....

my greatest joy most often comes watching her be free she moves and interacts
without the weight of me

but then I love her ..... so much more
because she takes me on
...and puts up with my awkwardness
...because we have a bond

and on those days
when 22 hours....
is what I can endure

love and joy and happiness.....2 hours a day...
....of this I can be sure

.....honestly ..... these srories are just doing my head in!!
I laugh ... I cry .. I cringe ..
memories long ago tucked away, deep within come swirling up.
......I can't help wanting to just hug everyone!!
and wandering through the forum ... reading,
I keep coming across Other stories of PARTNERSHIP and COURAGE!!
Which, as I read them, think to myself...
THAT story NEEDS To Be HERE!!!
... I can't imagine the task involved in picking the winner(s)
In my mind .. They ALL deserve the Prize!!

Well Done Barnmice for such a moving Contest
And WELL DONE Mr. Micklem for Your Amazing Generosity!!

(((((((((((You All))))))))) <---- Sincere long distance hugs ;-)
~ Barby
Only our partnership gave us the courage. Thankyou, my beloved mare.

THE PATH.......Long or short.....smooth or rough......
What always makes it that there's two of us.....
Hi Everyone, The contest is now closed and William will be announcing the winners shortly. I don't envy him - these posts are ALL incredible and he'll certainly have a hard time choosing!!
Hi All!

I am copying and posting William's blog post from this morning in this discussion, as it affects everyone who has entered his contest.

From William...

Why did I choose Courage and partnership as my two themes? Winston Churchill can explain the former...."Courage is rightly esteemed the first of human qualities, because it is the quality which guarantees all others." And Partnership? I believe the Power of Partnership is the key to fulfilling your potential and indeed in some cases to even go beyond what would appear to be possible.

To be either a good coach, student or rider you need to be a good team player because each is half of a partnership. Of course the basis of good team work is respecting individuality and as soon as this happens individual spirits can flourish and the team is stronger. Whether I am talking about coaches or riders this is how I describe the process of team working: "The task is to complement not stand apart; to collaborate not work alone; to support not ignore in times of stress; to encourage not condemn when things go wrong; to focus on ability not disability; to be neither timid nor a ruffian, neither disparaging nor over ambitious. The task is to be there for the team."

.....and what a truly great selection of entries....if you haven't seen them do have a look at them as there are some real gems:


There is an added bonus both for the winners of this competition and for me because it also marks a very special stage in the progress of the Micklem bridle. It has just been officially approved by the Dressage committee of the FEI for use in International competitions where a snaffle is allowed. This is a huge step forward as all National Federations take their lead from the FEI and now no organisation can now drag their feet in approving the Micklem bridle. It really is a no brainer because it offers a more humane alternative. As Olympic dressage rider, British Dressage team captain, and Fellow of the British Horse Society RICHARD DAVIDSON said to the FEI having tested the bridle for them....

"From the Riders angle its been tested thoroughly and found to be definitely more horse friendly than other currently permitted nosebands. I am using it on my own horses and I hope it may help some riders and trainers to feel there is another option instead of the routine cranking of nosebands, and why tight nosebands man be anatomically painful and counter-productive. I recommend it is approved as soon as possible for all FEI dressage competitions where a snaffle bridle is allowed."

As you can imagine I am just so pleased about this. It has been a long slow road to get to this stage but it does seem as though we are suddenly through the fog and standing in the sunlight. Now the work to explain the merits of the Micklem bridle and how it overcomes the problems of traditional bridle s and nosebands can continue with official approval at the highest level.


Of course the Micklem bridle is not just for dressage riders. Hear what KAREN O'CONNOR (Current horse trials Pan American Games Individual Gold Medalist, Olympic Silver Medalist & 11 times leading USA rider) says:

“I am loving the Micklem Bridle!!! Am using it on a rather difficult and impulsive horse. It's really helpful. We have been using it on all types of horses here and have had such success with it. Mandiba ('08 Olympic horse) enjoys it too! Many jumpers in Wellington are enjoying the benefits as well."

...and high level show jumpers are just as enthusiastic....from John Ledingham (Chairman Horse Sport Ireland Coaching Team, Olympian & three times winner Hickstead Derby).....

William Micklem’s understanding of equine bio-mechanics and mental health, and his ability to think outside the box, has enabled him to develop a sure fire winner in the Micklem Bridle. If horses were choosing a bridle it would be top of their list. Let us educate our horses with kindness and reward, as happy horses reach their full potential.”

....and from Connie Kugler (Ex International German Show Jumping Team member, rider for Paul Schockemohle and now senior Coach)......

"I use Micklem bridles both on my own horses and on my student's horses. I like them very much, especially with horses that are too strong or have problems with the tongue. I use it with soft bits and I don't know why but the horses give me a good feeling, soft and loose. I now use it instead of using a pelham or draw reins. I have a mare at the moment who has been really difficult but she is really happy in the Micklem bridle. I also have a horse in partnership with Paul Schockemohle that use to go round with the tongue hanging out, but in this bridle the horse is perfect."


When we started the competition for the Micklem bridles the FEI approval was not in place so now the prizes have added value. Choosing the winners is not going to be easy! As a token of my appreciation every competition entrant can get a free chart detailing my acclaimed 'GO! Rules', which have played a huge part in my own journey with the Micklem bridle....entrants will have to put to give me a mailing address by e-mailing me at

Of course we now have to select the three winners! I have put a panel in place of experienced coaches and we are now going to meet to debate the merits of the entries. Rather like judging dressage there is a subjective element to this but we will do our very best to be true to the spirit of the competition. Results in my blog next week. Happy judging days! William


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