The Horse Forum banner

1 - 20 of 21 Posts

·
Registered
Joined
·
2,519 Posts
Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I am sure many of us have seen that FEI issued clarification on it's previously existing rules to state that yes, they do indeed ban French Link mouthpieces from Eventing Dressage (Dressage-dressage has their own rules apparently, no clue what those entail). https://eventingnation.com/fei-issues-clarification-after-confusion-over-snaffle-link-ban/ Previously many had believed they only banned Dr. Bristol mouthpieces as they were specifically mentioned. I don't do FEI. Or eventing. So I don't really care all that much.

BUT

Why? What's wrong with a French Link that they would ban it? Even aside from the argument that the harshness of the hand controlling the bit has impact on it's harshness or lack thereof, I think that most folks will agree that some bits will cause more pressure or pain more easily than some other "milder" bits where the rider would need to do more to cause the same degree of pressure or pain. I have always been told that a French Link is not a harsh bit. Is this untrue?
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
26,877 Posts
I have always known they were illegal (I did very low level dressage a million years ago and I remember there being a fuss over it). But what I have never known is why they were illegal. I'll be curious to see why myself. I assume it has something to do with the way it works in the mouth and effects the control but I'm not sure....
 

·
Registered
Elle, 1997 Oldenburg mare
Joined
·
2,085 Posts
It's because they have a flat portion (albeit a very small one) on the centre link, and the concern is that the edge of the flat portion can dig into the tongue. I think the rule was probably put in place with Dr. Bristol bits in mind, but technically the French links are excluded by the description as well. They're nowhere near as harsh, though.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
14,747 Posts
I looked at the 2020 Rule book for USEF and at the bit examples specific for the Dressage Division...
According to diagrams and blurb a french-link is allowed.
I saw it pictured both with a loose-ring and a eggbutt appearance.
Below is a small excerpt of the description of bits allowed your french-link would fall under...

Bits must not place mechanical restraint upon the tongue. The mouthpiece of a snaffle may have up to two joints.
The center link of a snaffle may be tilted in a different orientation from the mouthpiece but must have rounded edges and (for both snaffle and bridoon) may not have the effect of a tongue plate.

I can not get a link to work correctly but you can go directly to this section by copy and pasting {see below} in your address bar, then go to page 471 (30 of 82) in the dressage section.
You are looking specific for Figure 1, Permitted Snaffles to start your discovery of allowed or not.
https://www.usef.org/forms-pubs/F3p8pgrWgAo/dr-dressage-division

Hope that helps some....
If it was illegal it appears it is now changed status to permitted.
:runninghorse2:...




 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
26,877 Posts
I looked at the 2020 Rule book for USEF and at the bit examples specific for the Dressage Division...
According to diagrams and blurb a french-link is allowed.
I saw it pictured both with a loose-ring and a eggbutt appearance.
Below is a small excerpt of the description of bits allowed your french-link would fall under...

Bits must not place mechanical restraint upon the tongue. The mouthpiece of a snaffle may have up to two joints.
The center link of a snaffle may be tilted in a different orientation from the mouthpiece but must have rounded edges and (for both snaffle and bridoon) may not have the effect of a tongue plate.

I can not get a link to work correctly but you can go directly to this section by copy and pasting {see below} in your address bar, then go to page 471 (30 of 82) in the dressage section.
You are looking specific for Figure 1, Permitted Snaffles to start your discovery of allowed or not.
https://www.usef.org/forms-pubs/F3p8pgrWgAo/dr-dressage-division

Hope that helps some....
If it was illegal it appears it is now changed status to permitted.
:runninghorse2:...




USEF rules are not the same as FEI rules. French links are not allowed in FEI level events.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
10,043 Posts
I wonder what the reasoning is. I'd be interested in knowing.

Reminds me of the unreasonable opinion of an old rancher i worked for. He wouldn't allow us to use a certain type of nail because he knew one person who stepped on one. Another, sassier, hand muttered, "God forbid anybody chokes on a pork chop, we'll all starve."

Seems like we can all get an odd notion. But when someone who makes policy gets one...
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,334 Posts
An awful lot of people call this a French link (when it's not):

This is called a lozenge link and IS allowed.

Others call THIS a French link (and it's also not):

It is a double jointed roller snaffle and is allowed.

This, on the other hand, IS a French link:

And this is NOT allowed. No bit with a flat plate is allowed in FEI eventing dressage.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,334 Posts
The center link of a snaffle may be tilted in a different orientation from the mouthpiece but must have rounded edges and (for both snaffle and bridoon) may not have the effect of a tongue plate.
This is quite clear too - must have rounded edges. A French link does not.
 

·
Super Moderator
Joined
·
14,747 Posts
Found a article from February 20, 2020 with further information...did not realize FEI is under different rulings than USEF, my bad.
So many tiny differences...
The article is large with a lot of information given so sharing the link so none is lost by excerpts given..
https://eventingnation.com/fei-issues-clarification-after-confusion-over-snaffle-link-ban/

Bottom line though is yes it is legal in some places and no it is not legal in other...
Only you know exactly what and where you show/compete and the ruling you must comply with or not compete in that tack.
:runninghorse2:...
 

·
Administrator
Joined
·
36,137 Posts
Under FEI rules the flat plate isn't allowed
https://inside.fei.org/sites/default/files/2020 Use of Tacks Equipment Dress - 17.02.2020.pdf

That doesn't mean it isn't allowed everywhere but riders should always check with the governing body or organizer.

The reasoning behind it isn't that the bit is harsh but that if wrongly fitted (accidentally or deliberately) it can be harsh.

When I've stewarded at evening competitions in the past we were always told to check carefully that a riders bit was a French link and not a Dr Bristol. I'm not sure if that has had any impact on the ruling.
 

Attachments

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,394 Posts
British Dressage allow it too, but not the Dr Bristol angled plate.

I don't know what's the matter with the FEI lately - they'd be better off dealing with real horse abuse than inventing problems with tack that's been used for donkey's years with no problems. The showjumping whip and boot changes spring to mind.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
7,334 Posts
@unclearthur the boot changes are an attempt to ban pinch boots without actually banning them by name. It's a bit cowardly not to just ban pinch boots outright, but at least they're trying.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
It is my understanding, that when the French Link is laid in the horse's mouth without contact, the plate lies flat on the tongue. However, on a fixed-ring bit, when contact is established the bit may rotate in the horse's mouth and the plate can then dig into the tongue.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,394 Posts
It is my understanding, that when the French Link is laid in the horse's mouth without contact, the plate lies flat on the tongue. However, on a fixed-ring bit, when contact is established the bit may rotate in the horse's mouth and the plate can then dig into the tongue.
Yes, that's the general idea. The increase in pressure from the plate edge encourages the horse to drop its nose to escape it.

In terms of (very basic) physics, a flat plate always puts less pressure on a surface than a curved edge because of its wider bearing area, hence the illogic of banning this bit yet accepting one with a lozenge :(
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
@unclearthur

That would depend on how the pressure is being applied. In a stationary, closed system - yes, a flat plate distributes somewhat even pressure over a larger area than a rounded edge just due to the location of the center of gravity. But in a moving system like this, that changes as the bit rotates. So in this case, I would say that is incorrect - when the bit rotates, the location of the Force due the gravity is changing slightly(well, the Fg itself doesn't change, but the piece of the object that is directly located closest to the gravitation pull shifts). Instead of the force being exerted and pressure applied over the wide area of the plate, it is being shifted to being applied over a thinner, flat edge - which is quite severe. Think about a ruler - lay a metal ruler flat on your arm and press down, it really doesn't hurt much. Change the ruler so the thin edge is resting against your arm, it's much more painful even if the same amount of force when placed on the flat wasn't painful at all.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,394 Posts
@unclearthur

That would depend on how the pressure is being applied. In a stationary, closed system - yes, a flat plate distributes somewhat even pressure over a larger area than a rounded edge just due to the location of the center of gravity. But in a moving system like this, that changes as the bit rotates. So in this case, I would say that is incorrect - when the bit rotates, the location of the Force due the gravity is changing slightly(well, the Fg itself doesn't change, but the piece of the object that is directly located closest to the gravitation pull shifts). Instead of the force being exerted and pressure applied over the wide area of the plate, it is being shifted to being applied over a thinner, flat edge - which is quite severe. Think about a ruler - lay a metal ruler flat on your arm and press down, it really doesn't hurt much. Change the ruler so the thin edge is resting against your arm, it's much more painful even if the same amount of force when placed on the flat wasn't painful at all.
Ah,ok, I get that. But here the surface the force acts on can also move, either in the opposing direction to the exerted force or away from it. This is basically the same as teaching a horse to move away from the leg, I'd say - to relieve an increase in pressure the horse must move sideways away from it.

If you take it to extremes in terms of language the whole of horse training is based on discomfort or relief. It makes sense, I guess, because this is how horses deal with each other socially.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
127 Posts
@unclearthur

Yes, but a smooth and rounded type of bit like a lozenge will offer much less discomfort then rotated then that flat edge, which is why it is still softer despite the differentiation in pressure distribution.

Horse training is based on pressure, release, and communication. I do not think in excellent horse training there is a need for any discomfort to pass into the area of pain, which I think a French Link can easily do with it's flat edges.
 

·
Registered
Joined
·
1,394 Posts
@unclearthur

Yes, but a smooth and rounded type of bit like a lozenge will offer much less discomfort then rotated then that flat edge, which is why it is still softer despite the differentiation in pressure distribution.

Horse training is based on pressure, release, and communication. I do not think in excellent horse training there is a need for any discomfort to pass into the area of pain, which I think a French Link can easily do with it's flat edges.
I can't agree, sorry. This is splitting hairs - you're suggesting discomfort is not pain, something which can only be gauged by a recipient. True, pressure and release is the only communication method, from body language through tone of voice, weight distribution to spur end. But who can say, without any doubt, what level of any of these are reasonable and acceptable in all cases? We have to make assumptions based on our own experiences, but we can't ever guarantee we're right.
 
1 - 20 of 21 Posts
Top