HorseChannel’s Online Bit Guide: Waterford Snaffle


Waterford snaffle bitWaterford Snaffle: This bit looks as if it’s constructed from over-sized, bubble-shaped links of chain. Rather than having just one or two joints, the mouthpiece of a Waterford bit has numerous joints.

  • The rounded chain link design of the Waterford prevents a horse from locking onto the bit and pulling against the rider’s hands.
  • The flexible design also distributes the bit’s effect across the horse’s entire mouth, from lips to the entire tongue.
  • When the rider exerts strong, even pressure with both reins, the Waterford’s links work as a solid unit, creating a unified bridge across the horse’s tongue. Due to the many bubbly bumps, there are numerous points of pressure or contact. In essence the Waterford transitions from a fairly mild bit to a more severe one.
  • When used on a strong horse that pulls on the bit, the Waterford is most efficient when the rider isolates one rein aid at a time, which initiates the rolling effect produced by the shape of the bit’s mouthpiece.

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  1. My horse gets excited easily, especially when we are at a show. I recently used a Waterford bit, because a 3-ring gag bit wasn’t allowed at the hunter/jumper show I was entered in. I absolutely love this bit, he responded well to it, & I was able to control him.


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