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Thread: Waterford Bit

  1. #1
    Friesian80 Guest

    Default Waterford Bit

    I would like to know as much as possible about this bit.

    What kind of horse would need this bit and how does it help.

    If anyone uses one or has ridden in one could you post your opinion on them.

    Much thanks in advance

  2. #2
    Join Date
    Sep 2009
    Barnsley, South Yorkshire


    i use one only for SJ & XC
    its a godsend to me
    before in a normal snaffle he was just running through it and i had no breaks steering or control
    Official PRESIDENT of the TO 'Blue Peter Badge Owners' Clique

  3. #3


    I tried one for jumping, in theory its supposed to stop them taking hold of the bit and running through it (i believe?!). My mare didn't get on with it though, although she can be quite strong she's fussy with what's in her mouth and I think she just didn't like it.

  4. #4
    Join Date
    Nov 2009
    South London/Surrey


    I swear by my new waterford bit!!!
    Its amazing!!!!

    I got one for Niño as he would lean on the bit constantly, it was killing my arms and shoulders! and when we went out i had no breaks what so ever, he would just take the bit and run off, not a chance of stopping him! I had tried a loose ring french link snaffle and hanging cheek snaffle. he would end up making the sides of his mouth red raw every ride

    soooo, i put in the waterford in, magic, no more leaning, no sore mouth and best of all I can stop him while Noodles88 horse Polo is galloping off into the distance

  5. #5


    i tried one in my mare as she was very very strong to hunt. she generally did not object hugely to any new big but she took a severe dislike to the waterford, shook her heads load and was really unhappy. ended up in a french link pelham which is amazing. it is supposed to stop the horse taking hold of the bit but can be quite severe. should be fitted abotu a quarter of an inch bigger than a normal snaffle to avoid pinching. a lot of people put bit guards on it to help avoid the pinching.

  6. #6


    Taken from a bit bank site
    "This bit has a chain type mouthpiece which has ‘ball shaped links’ linked together, the bit is floppy and mobile in everyway, it is completely movable in all directions. The Waterford mouthpiece has proved one of the most popular bits for bitting problems such as leaning, taking hold of the bit, setting the jaw ect, when the horse tries to lean or take hold of the bit, the waterford mouthpiece collapses, thus the horse has nothing rigid to take hold of. It encourages the horse to work of their quarters and carry themselves rather than using the bit as a ‘bike handle’ to lean on. This bit has several joints and distributes the pressure of the mouthpiece over both the tongue and bars. Also this bit may look severe, this is quite a mild bit and due to the mobility of the mouthpiece it generally suits any breed of horse and mouth confirmation. The Waterford mouth should be worn ¼” - ½” longer than any other mouthpiece as the mouthpiece needs to curl slightly around the lips to enable the bit to work to its full potential (except the Waterford Pelham – as the mouthpiece is worn the normal length)."

    Personally I don't like them to ride in but then I'm a schooling addict so I don't really like a bit that doesn't allow me to ride a horse up to a contact if I need to. I have a hatred of 3 ring gags too, yet they're a very popular bit that many people swear by!
    I was so young & full of pride
    And you were wild & strong,
    I never knew how weak I was

    You got to know when to hold 'em, know when to fold 'em.
    Know when to walk away, know when to run
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  7. #7
    Join Date
    Sep 2009


    I've always ridden my TB in a French link/lozenge type snaffle, for all disciplines. However he will sometimes put his head down and lean on the bit when we're on fun rides or fast hacks. I asked on forums about Waterfords and was advised to try a pelham instead, but he really doesn't like any curb contact - even in the school when we tried it (and I barely touched the curb rein, he is well schooled and soft mouthed) he threw his head right up.

    So after a very pully first fun ride of the year a few weeks ago, I decided to give the waterford a go - well it was amazing! We were cantering quite fast across a field, I literally half halted (no pulling!) and he came right back to me! I always felt guilty trying to stop him in the french link as I did have to pull, so the waterford is much better. Did another fun ride a couple of weeks ago and jumped and everything, all with brakes and steering! I wish I'd just tried it before, I listened to advice form people whose opinions I respected, but they don't know me or my horse, and you just have to try things as what suits one horse won't suit another. He doesn't take hold of it and lean, pulling my arms out any more, I had sore shoulders after the first fun ride but not the second with the waterford

    I still school and road hack in my french link though, just need the waterford for fast work.

  8. #8
    Friesian80 Guest


    Thanks for all the info!!! Its very helpful!

    I have bought a second hand waterford from ebay and was going to try it on my Fell pony. He was previously ridden in a french link full cheek bit but I bought him a basic eggbutt snaffle, now he tanks off with me and my daughter, he just takes hold of the bit and I have no breaks.
    I feel terrible as I have to give very strong aids and I hate pulling in a horses mouth.
    With my daughter he isnt so bad as she just does basic hacking mostly in walk, but espcially when Im schooling him he just takes the bit and my aids are useless. I was going to persevere with the eggbutt but went to buy a french link full check as prevoious owner used this but then saw the waterford and thought it may be a good option to try.
    Will se how he goes in it but ive not bought it in a bigger size than he is used to and in Carthorses post it says you should get one slightly bigger, will this be a problem?

  9. #9
    Join Date
    Dec 2009


    Have jumped Charlie in a waterford dutch gag for many, many years. Went through about 20 bits before finding this, when they had only just been brought out I think. Charlie's problem is that he is very strong, but very sensitive in his mouth. He wont have a straight bit and also will not have a normal jointed bit as they can be quite unpleasant for the horse when you pull on them as they can hit the roof of the mouth. The waterford gave me the brakes and steering, but as the mouthpiece has several joints and is kinder on the mouth, i didnt have the issue of him throwing his head when I tried to check him into jumps.

    For hacking and dressage we use a french link snaffle with no issues, however this didnt give me the control i needed when I tried a dutch gag version for jumping.
    What would I do without you, my loyal and precious friend?
    Part mischief, but all blessing, and faithful to the end.

  10. #10
    Join Date
    Sep 2009


    jay doesnt go well in any other bit than the waterford, i get atleast 0.5 size up form his normal size

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