I've heard a waterford described as anything from "Soft" to "Jawbreaker". I've heard the debate on all different bits and generally agree that my french-link snaffle is my best friend. But this bit confuses me. I don't see how a round metal ball on the bar of the horses mouth could at all be soft.
I am going to be taking my horse off property to school cross for the first time. We are only going to be doing little things with him and trotting in. I would like to have another bit with me so that if he does get hot-headed and unwilling to listen I have something else in my bag with me. Of course, if I did bring another bit I'd be sure to school in it first to be sure that on home turf where he's comfortable the bit doesn't bother him.
My idea is just to have his regular bit with a running martingale and a flash attachment so he can't open his jaw and grab the bit on me if he gets too excited. But my coach has always said that a waterford once and a while can be a good training tool to get them off your hand (which he does tend to do). I've also read articles by top trainers/riders that say they recommend changing up the bit for a ride or two every month or so just so the horse doesn't get too 'dull' to responding to the bit.
What are your opinions on a waterford? Think it'll be a good thing to bring? Honest opinions welcome - even if you loathe them entirely - I would like to know. I'm not one for consulting 'gimicks' to fix problems, but I believe to communicate sometimes with a hot head horse that thinks he knows what you're asking without listening they can be a good tool to go to before you go back and train. (Don't even know if that makes sense besides in my head... me and words sometimes just don't get along.)
So what do you think about waterfords?