French Link vs Dr Bristol vs Snaffle

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French Link vs Dr Bristol vs Snaffle

This is a discussion on French Link vs Dr Bristol vs Snaffle within the Horse Tack and Equipment forums, part of the Horse Tack category

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    11-14-2007, 05:46 AM
French Link vs Dr Bristol vs Snaffle

Okay, so I ride my horse (huntseat) in an eggbutt snaffle and generally a loose rein (he's fairly green). When I ask him to back, and put more contact on the bit, I get the feeling that his snaffle is bending and jabbing him in the roof of his mouth. It might not be, but he often raises his head and acts uncomfortable to back.

Anyways, I was considering trying a French Link on him. I've heard they're mild bits and resist the roof jab of a regular snaffle.

But I'm a little confused between the French Link and Dr Bristol (which I know has a differently angled center that angles into the horse's tongue).

Look at these two eBay auctions for French Link bits:

See how the center piece in these two bits are angled the opposite? Like at a 90 degree angle variance. I heard the Dr Bristol is about a 45 degree angle difference from a French Link.

So, what is an actual French Link Bit?

And what about those Mylar Comfort Snaffles with the center piece? Are they technically a snaffle or double-jointed bit?

Also, any opinions on eggbutt, loose ring, or full cheek? I'm not very educated on bits...I've just been using my snaffle since that's what my horse's previous owner used.
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    11-14-2007, 08:00 AM
Dr. Bristol considers to be much more severe than french link. It turns and pushes on tongue, so I wouldn't go with that one.

As for ebay pisc... First one is "oval mouth" one (also mild, some people love it, I never used it but had seen a lot in tack stores), 2nd is true french link (dogbone). I use french link myself by albacon.

Eggbutt and D-rings considered to be milder than loose ring (don't pinch on corners), and they are recommended for green horses. If you use loose ring now you can just go with it. That's what I use (I have too greenies):

You may also consider french link or, especially, oval mouth made of copper, which gives horse a better taste and salvation. At least, I'v seen a lot copper oval mouth bits. It's something like that:
    11-14-2007, 12:35 PM
I agree that a Dr. Bristol is a harsh bit, so I would stay away from that one.

If your bit now is single jointed, then yes, when you put contact on the reins it hits the roof of the horse's mouth because it has that nut cracker effect. That is certainly why your horse throws his head. Single jointed snaffles should really only be used when riding and using ONE REIN at a time, not for collected work.

A French Link is a nice bit. Personally I use the JP by Korsteel Oval Mouth Copper Loose Ring snaffle. It's a double jointed bit and the mouthpiece is curved so it feels better in the horse's mouth. That's a bit you could use for collected work and getting the horse into a longer frame and to reach for the bit.
    11-15-2007, 01:51 AM
Yeah, I'm staying away from the Dr Bristols...that's why I was trying to be sure I could tell them apart from the French Links. But...I'm still confused! Look at all these Dr Bristol Bits...the center piece looks flat to me:

The only one that actually looks angled like a Bristol is:

Ahhhhhrrrgggg! Maybe I'll just have to pay the big bucks for a brand-name French Link from Dover or my local tack shop so that I'm sure I get the right thing!

Thanks for the tip on the copper-mouth...sounds like a good benefit!
    11-15-2007, 08:27 AM
2nd link didn't show any pic. 1st one looks like french link to me. May be they just call it "Dr. Bristol" by mistake (and in fact I did run into it even in tack store when they didn't know names and harshness of different bits). 3rd one is surely Dr. Bristol. And last one Dr. Bristol's as well. You can tell right away from shape: french link is always dogbone shape (bigger or smaller depending on brand). The Dr. Bristol is rectangular.

I did buy Dr Bristol by mistake once (was told by tack store it's very mild bit, got it, and only AFTER that read some literature (stupid me! Lol!)). After reading I played with it by hands, and could clearly see how the central part turn under angle and instead of laying flat it lays on tongue with narrow side. I'm sure it can be pretty harsh when one pull on reins. :(
    11-15-2007, 09:58 PM
Originally Posted by kitten_Val
You can tell right away from shape: french link is always dogbone shape (bigger or smaller depending on brand). The Dr. Bristol is rectangular.
Ah Ha! So that's the trick!

I wanted to learn as much as possible about these bits before I slapped one in my horse's mouth! Thanks for your help guys!

I'll most likely be going with an Eggbutt with copper center...either a French Link (dogbone) or oval mouth. There's a nice JP by Korsteel that's curved on the sides that's in my price range! =)
    11-15-2007, 10:29 PM
Ha! Look what I just found in a box-o-bits that I had stored under my bed!

Looks like a Korsteel loose ring french link bit to me! Now I can try out the french link before blowing some cash on my desired Eggbutt with copper!
    11-16-2007, 08:52 AM
Yep, that's certainly the french link. Let us know how your horse likes it! I really think about getting and trying oval mouth one myself to see how it'll work and whether any difference from french link in response.
    11-18-2007, 04:03 AM
Well, I tried out the French LInk. He sure was playing around with it a LOT when I first bridled him up! "What the heck is this thing??"

Undersaddle, he was fine, acting as normal. Probably because I don't use much rein contact yet, so the bit change didn't really affect him. BUT, when I asked him to back up...he did not raise his head AT ALL! Yay! I guess that stupid snaffle was jabbing him in the roof of the mouth.

I'm glad we resolved this minor problem before it became a big problem (like when we eventually try for some collection work). Thanks for all your help guys![/i]

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