single link vs. french link - Page 2 - The Horse Forum

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post #11 of 20 Old 07-26-2012, 01:47 PM
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If nothing else, the discussion led me to a couple of good videos:



The first of a series of videos by Dale Mylar is below the picture of Mia. Good discussion, but my horses almost NEVER have their heads held vertical, nor do I want them to. Mine normally is at the angle below:



The red line goes from the bit to above the horn where my hands are, so the pull is on the reins is nearly parallel to the her jaw - a very different pull than what Dale illustrates. I think this shows how the horse carries herself for a given use can affect the bit's action. The angle of the front of the D-ring makes it easy to see the angle of the pull on her mouth. And normally the pull involves taking slack out of the rein and maybe my pinkie's weight as well...so it isn't as though the bit will fold noticeably. My GUESS is the main effect is some pressure on one side of her tongue.

I would expect a very different action for a horse ridden in a different style (random internet photo):



However, I like's Dale Mylar's discussion of the tongue and how it affects bits and how the horse feels the bit.


In any case, it is a good excuse to think about bits...

"There goes Earl!"

Last edited by bsms; 07-26-2012 at 01:51 PM.
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post #12 of 20 Old 07-26-2012, 03:30 PM
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Lol! I just checked 1st and last videos today thinking if I want to post them or not in this discussion.
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post #13 of 20 Old 07-26-2012, 03:39 PM
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For most horses the simple, broken snaffle works very well. Sometimes it is uncomfortable for certain horses, and you end up shopping for a bit for THAT horse which will work better. The french link, and even the Dr. Bristol often works well--depends on the sensitivity of your horse. If your in horses long enough, you will buy the bit and keep it long after the horse is gone, so I keep all of my bits, even those I am not using this year, like the D-ring w/copper and steel rollers that I bought to satisfy the OTTB I had for awhile.
MOSTLY it's the rider's hands that irritate the horse much more than a particular bit.
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post #14 of 20 Old 07-26-2012, 03:53 PM
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In 4 years time, my closet is getting crowded with various tack that didn't work out but that I keep around...

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post #15 of 20 Old 07-28-2012, 09:58 PM
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I only have the personal experience of one horse, haha.

My horse has a large wide mouth, but a very low palate. Cause of this, I started out with the french link... which he hated. I later tried a kk ultra, since I thought maybe the flat link bothered him. Hated it even worse. Gaping mouth, etc etc. Moved to a regular snaffle, and boom, happy now.

Clearly, he detested having action on his tongue.

And so long as I don't excessively lower my hands (which seems to be common with some riders I've seen) the snaffle should never create the nut cracker effect and irritate his low palate.
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post #16 of 20 Old 07-28-2012, 10:17 PM
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The nutcracker action on a "single link" bit (reg. Snaffle) is more harsh than the way a 3 jointed bit works.

However, they both put pressure on different areas.

Mainly reg. Snaffles put most pressure on the bars, but also the roof of the mouth.

Mainly 3 jointed bits (like french or oval) put most pressure on the tongue, with some on the bars.

My horse did not like the reg snaffle as much. He apparently prefers the french link.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #17 of 20 Old 07-28-2012, 10:52 PM
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If you ride your horse like this:



Then the primary action of pulling the reins is downward & perpendicular to the jaw. But if your horse is ridden like this



Then the pull is almost parallel to the jaw.

I'm not saying either is better than the other. I am saying that a single jointed snaffle will have very little effect on the roof of my horse's mouth or the bars. She may or may not have a high palate. And her 2 link snaffle has rollers while her french link does not, and the 2 link is a D-ring.

I just don't see one as being harsher than another. Some horses like one and others like the other and some don't like either.

Also, the french link I tried with Mia looked like this:



In addition to the loose rings, it had a flat, narrow center link. There are others that look like this:



A round roller in the center might be something she would like, while the flat edge of the other design might annoy her tongue. That is why I am getting an ever increasing collection of tack...

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post #18 of 20 Old 07-28-2012, 10:57 PM
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Bsms go play with a single jointed bit. Any force on the ring pieces can make the bit fold up like a pair of tongs, even with your little diagram there.

If there was a rider, it would be folded even if the rein angle was 'parallel to the jaw'

Now play with a 3 jointed bit. It can never fold up as much as a single jointed bit.

That alone, makes it more mild. Not saying a reg. Snaffle is a harsh bit.

Horse preference is the most important though. If you horse prefers a single, use a single. If they like more joints, then go that option. If they want a myler, then go with a myler.

"Strength is the ability to use a muscle without tension"
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post #19 of 20 Old 07-28-2012, 11:13 PM
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Just got back from playing with Mia's two-piece snaffle & Trooper's full-cheek snaffle. There is NO NUTCRACKER action. To get a nutcracker effect, you must bring the end rings together - which isn't possible when the snaffle is in the horse's mouth and the width of the jaw keeps the ends separated. It isn't possible to fold the bit in the horse's mouth.

I hadn't noticed that before. In a proper fitting bit, the ends cannot get significantly closer to each other and thus there cannot be a significant nutcracker effect.



Or have I lost my mind?

"There goes Earl!"
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post #20 of 20 Old 07-29-2012, 12:48 AM
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The way I was taught, and from what I know of physics, a single joint snaffle in good hands should never have a nutcracker effect. It CAN (lowering your hands excessively low to 'set' a head), but that's not the way the bit should be used.
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