First, take a look at it...
There is no doubt that, French link loose ring snaffle is among the most popular bits for flatwork for a number of reasons.
First, it has a free ring action integrated into its mild mouthpiece. Second, it is a double-jointed snaffle. These two joints can decrease the nutcracker effect, while at the same time allow the rider to independently control both sides of the mouth.
Let’s break it down to see how exactly it work!
They are British Dressage legal and are easily worn by most horses (please refer to your rulebook to see what materials are allowed). It is mostly chosen when riding with young horses thanks to its mild action.
The French link mouthpiece is relatively small and flat peanut-shape. Different from Dr. Bristol where the link lays an angle compared to the rest of the mouthpiece, this French link style is flat like a spatula among the joints and over the tongue.
And understand how great it could be!
In comparison with a single-jointed snaffle, this French link mouthpiece spreads evenly the pressure all over therefore it incorporates very well with the loose ring.
When applying this French link bit, it is suggested that the horse not experience any pinch to its lips or any interference to its upper palate, which is sometimes found in the single-jointed nutcracker action.
The French link is laid centrally in the tongue while the two bars are attached to both ends of the link, following the curves of the horse’s mouth. It is a good choice for a low-palate horse where the mouthpiece stays flat all over the tongue.
Along with the double-jointed design, it offers evenly-spread pressure in the mouth and more mobility that some horses, instead of feeling ‘ready’ in either a single-jointed bit or mullen-mouthed design, may walk lighter and lean less on the bit in the French link.
This is a big difference to Dr. Bristol, where the spatula creates a thin-edge angle that could hurt the horse’s tongue.
The loose ring, when joined with the French link, generates a nicer and more consistent feeling in horse’s mouth, helping the horse relax its lower jaw and decrease the tension.
Self-carriage is also promoted to make the horse lean a bit lesser on the bit. Sometimes lozenge - the oval-shaped French link is preferred, although the French link looks quite ideal for low-palate horses.
Here is the last thing we want to tell you!
To avoid any pinching, the loose ring should stay clear to the horse’s lip in order to move freely. You also don’t want the lip to get interfered with the mouthpiece hole - sometimes called “the ring groove”.
It is very important the rider should make some attempts to assess if the bit fits. Some horses with big sensitive tongue may hate the French link snaffles due to its close-contact bit with their tongues.
We are ending here,
To be honest, the French link snaffles sometimes don’t create enough control to the rider over the horse as not all horse corresponds to it. There should not be confusion between the French link loose ring snaffle and the Dr. Bristol ones since Dr. Bristol puts a severe action on the horse due to its angled link.
Despite these little tackles, the French link snaffle is considered as the most preferable flatwork. Give it a try and it won’t let you down. So, go ahead!
In case that you want to know more about the horse, here are some helpful articles on our website:
- 4 Different Type of Snaffle Bits You should know!
- 9 Different Type of Horse Competitions You Should Know!
- Best Horse Riding Helmet: Top 3 Reviews & Buying Guide
Now follow the links and check them all.
Good luck and let us know your thoughts, my dear readers!