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  1. #1
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    Feb. 27, 2008
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    Default The waterford bit?

    In the search for a new bit (a slow twist) and ran across a waterford. Can anyone tell me what the waterford bit is used for? I have never had any experience with it or ever seen one in person, so I thought I should know what it was!

    Thanks
    *Paige*
    ~*It's not about the ribbons, but about the ride behind it"
    R.I.P. Teddy O'Connor



  2. #2
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    Dec. 1, 2009
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    Default

    From what I understand, the waterford is used for horses that lean on the bit and get strong. The many links in the mouthpiece prevent the horse from taking hold of it since the bit is mobile. It is not a severe bit--but uneducated hands may make it severe.

    Here is an excerpt from House and Hound about it:

    The Waterford snaffle looks like a line of ball-and-chain link. It usually comes with plain loose snaffle rings although you can also buy Waterfords with full cheeks or gag-type rings.


    It is a flexible bit that moulds round the horse's mouth, creating an even pressure. It is moveable in all directions and horses find it difficult to lean or take hold of it, giving the rider good levels of control.


    Martyn Welsh, bitting expert at Equiport, adds: "Strong horses seem to accept the Waterford rather than a Pelham or curb-type bit as its action is broken when the horse goes to set its jaw. The bit is very loose in the horse's mouth so they seem to mouth more with this bit."



  3. #3
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    Aug. 30, 2004
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    Default

    A Waterford has a bunch of round balls linked together to form almost like a rounded chain. It is a mild bit that discourages leaning because of the little balls. It can also be good for horses that get tense in their jaw because they don't lock onto it. I currently use it xc on my young tb mare -- she will lean when galloping on a regular snaffle and ignore half halts in that. The waterford is different enough that she will respond to a half halt and not lean on it while galloping. She has a very soft mouth. I tried this bit with my other mare who is very strong while galloping and it made zero difference compared to a regular snaffle. So, if you have a horse with a pretty soft sensitive mouth, it might be all you need to get more responsiveness. If you have a tougher horse, it might make zero difference.
    I also saw this bit used when I did some dressage training in Portugal. All the school horses went in the waterford because they felt it was soft and even if the riders got a bit stiff in the elbow, the horses would not lean back. So no pulling contests would get started.



  4. #4
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    Feb. 22, 2009
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    Default

    I used a Waterford XC for my OTTB rescue boy who was super sensitive, but tended to be a runaway at times. He grabbed the bit and went to town. It worked wonders without me having to start a fight.
    Jessica Bortner-Harris
    www.rockystartstables.com
    "Throw your heart over the fence and your horse will follow."



  5. #5
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    Default

    Huh. This thread reminded me that I might ought to try my waterford back on my guy for XC.



  6. #6
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    Default

    I started using it on my guys, they are very light mouthed and hate most bits (all related horses) but they love to gallop in the open and can get heavy...(very odd issue i know :-)... this bit has totally done the trick they are happy since it is soft and forgiving but they will not take a hold of it and pull.
    if you have more than one horse i would consider it a worthwhile asset...
    owner and friend of members of the Limping And Majestic Equine Society.



  7. #7
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    Default

    I was recommended the slow twists because my mare needs a little more bit because she tends to ignore my half halts and she can get super strong at times. Which bit would be better for this? The waterford or the slow twist?
    And yes. I have several horses.
    *Paige*
    ~*It's not about the ribbons, but about the ride behind it"
    R.I.P. Teddy O'Connor



  8. #8
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    Default

    They have two totally different effects, honestly. You'll have to see which works better.

    A twist is going to back her off the bit, waterford simply keep her from bracing.

    Speaking from experience and needing to ride my horse in a happy mouth to teach him to accept contact after ruining his mouth by changing bits- what I would do is get in a program with one teacher and see if you need to switch bits at all.



  9. #9
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    Default

    Quote Originally Posted by eponacowgirl View Post
    Speaking from experience and needing to ride my horse in a happy mouth to teach him to accept contact after ruining his mouth by changing bits- what I would do is get in a program with one teacher and see if you need to switch bits at all.
    Should I just stick with the bit she is in now until I get with Amy? My school trainer never said to get a new bit, but when I did a clinic with Michael Tokurak, he told me to get a slow twist because we were having trouble getting her to collect a lot, BUT what he was asking of her, she wasnt used to AT ALL!
    *Paige*
    ~*It's not about the ribbons, but about the ride behind it"
    R.I.P. Teddy O'Connor



  10. #10
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    Yes- stay with one bit. Becky sees you ever day and Michael saw you once. Plus- it appears he's a H/J rider. Generally, H/J are going to jump to a new bit before eventers simply due to the nature of the discipline. Work through the issue in a snaffle.



  11. #11
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    Thank you bunches! You are so helpful all the time! I am not sure what I would do with out you! haha! Plus you saved me money!!
    *Paige*
    ~*It's not about the ribbons, but about the ride behind it"
    R.I.P. Teddy O'Connor



  12. #12
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    Well, I learned from enough mistakes that I figure someone else ought to benefit from my blunders as well.



  13. #13
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    Default

    Thank you! I'm on one forum where several posters call the waterford a "torture device, designed to crush a horses lips and tongue in several places".

    Nice too see I'm not the only one whose horse responds happily to this bit!



  14. #14
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    Default

    I'm curious now about the Waterford. Does anyone school dressage in it? I know they are not legal but was curious, because my guy is very, very fussy about his bits(he hates french links and really has little use for any three piece) and I've found one that he mostly likes (one of the myler wide barrels that are legal)but he does lean on it at any given chance. He is also super tight in the right jaw and will run right through a half-halt at times. Just curious if anyone uses them for something other than XC. TIA!
    Helen



  15. #15
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    Not dressage, but I do fairly serious eq/medal flatwork (3rd level-ish, horse expected to be thru) in a waterford. Spent all summer in a sprenger duo, essentially an expensive flexible piece of plastic, but wanted a bit more braking power to produce more prompt downward transitions (kind of critical when you're supposed to fit in several changes thru the walk down a long side, or canter into a line and trot out). I show in the waterford so it was on hand.

    Dittoing what others have said, this is a horse that is not hard mouthed. Also, he doesn't appreciate single-jointed bits. Hence the duo and the flexible rubber mullen pelham.
    The Evil Chem Prof



  16. #16
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    Quote Originally Posted by eponacowgirl View Post
    They have two totally different effects, honestly. You'll have to see which works better.

    A twist is going to back her off the bit, waterford simply keep her from bracing.

    Speaking from experience and needing to ride my horse in a happy mouth to teach him to accept contact after ruining his mouth by changing bits- what I would do is get in a program with one teacher and see if you need to switch bits at all.
    There was a study done by the swiss I think, that showed changing bits around actually helped as even the best balanced bit creates some pressure points in the mouth and all horses could benifit by having changes here and there thus giving the area a vacation from that pressure point.
    I have found most happy mouths create some sores at the corner of the mouth and a nathe usually is better.
    Last time I used a waterford was a students hard pulling during X/C Appy (strong huge body horse he was) helped her tons not getting into a pulling contest and both were happier!



  17. #17
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    Default

    Thanks, Peggy.
    He does have a fairly soft mouth, it's his jaw and neck that he will set against you. I've tried him in a happy mouth mullen, which he did like, but he pulled like a freight train. I think he might have a low pallet(sp). The dentist has never said anything but he loves to have the roof of his mouth rubbed after a ride and doesn't care for 3 piece bits at all and will tolerate a simple snaffle but isn't thrilled with it. It might be something to give a try. I'll ask my trainer and see what she thinks.
    Thanks again.



  18. #18
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    Default

    I loved the waterford on my parch/tb cross on xc - he was the kind of horse that was pretty rank at the beginning and if I started pulling and trying to manage him he would just get worse and worse, but if I just kind of rode it out for the first two minutes he would be extremely rideable and good. The waterford really helped both me as a rider because it didn't let the two of us get into a pulling match and also him because it acted in a way that didn't panic or over restrict him in those first hairy moments.



  19. #19
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    Default

    I think it's something you have to try and see if your horse responds well to it.

    I tried it on my Trak. who had a low palate and a thick tongue. I thought the way it draped would work for him.

    Not a chance! He curled right up behind that bit and would not take any contact at all. That's why if you can borrow one before you buy it would be a good idea.

    Lots of people like them.
    Equine Ink - My soapbox for equestrian writings & reviews.
    EquestrianHow2 - Operating instructions for your horse.



  20. #20
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    Quote Originally Posted by Bogie View Post
    I think it's something you have to try and see if your horse responds well to it.

    I tried it on my Trak. who had a low palate and a thick tongue. I thought the way it draped would work for him.

    Not a chance! He curled right up behind that bit and would not take any contact at all. That's why if you can borrow one before you buy it would be a good idea.

    Lots of people like them.
    So if i may ask what does your Trak. go well in?? My big guy has the same mouth issue and so far he has not really liked anything- he starts by locking his jaw as soon as a bit goes in and this is followed by locking his poll and pretty much everything else.... would love to know what works for your guy!!
    Thanks!!!
    owner and friend of members of the Limping And Majestic Equine Society.



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