In defense of the Dr Cooks, I've used 3 different types of sidepulls, a Zilco Flower Hackamore and a jumping cavesson on Bandit, and he does best in the Cook's. He's also been in a wide a variety of snaffles and curbs. When things get dicey, I'd rate my control of him in the Dr Cook's as better than anything else. It may depend in part on one's riding style. Most of my riding is with one hand. I'd as soon be emasculated as give a half-halt. When Bandit gets very tense, he just listens better in the Dr Cook's.
Certainly not true for everyone. I rode Bandit the other day in a Billy Allen curb and he did fine. But in a tight spot, I'd prefer the Dr Cook's on him.
I am also a one-handed trail rider, so that may be some of the difference.
My long three year old was shedding caps and not liking a bit. I put the Dr. Cook's on him, took him two trips around the three acre side pasture and it was enough to know he was happier in the Dr. Cooks than than wearing a bit. So I took him down the road -- two miles all down hill with hairpin turns and you often hear the big trucks rumbling long before you see them.
He was great -- his only mis-steps were things he would have have done anyway -- long three year olds are still pretty green. I miss that young lad. He was a genious. Had I not lost him to a freak pasture accident a few months later, he would be 16 this year --- RIP Sultan (Jewel Thief's Black Gold).
Ok sorry -- back to the Dr. Cook's -- Tennessee Walker Sultan loved it. Somewhere I have a picture of him, at the bottom of our road, wearing it on one of our last rides.
Not the best pic as its third generation:(. This is the leather Dr. Cooks but those are NOT Dr. Cook's reins. They are mine because I wasn't paying the money he wanted for his reins. This was near the end of my road, two miles all down hill. Sultan was looking at the Angus--- it's obvious there was no stress on him from fighting the bridle; he was a happy kid in that bridle.
But as BSMS commented, we are one handed riders, so that may be some of the difference. image.jpg