THE Cornish Snaffle is a double-ringed bit, also known as the Scourier or Scorrier. It looks like the Wilson snaffle, and was also traditionally used for driving, but the Cornish Snaffle has a different mouthpiece, with a serrated edge.
How does it work?
THE Cornish Snaffle has four loose rings, with the inside two attaching to the cheek pieces. This adds a squeezing action to the mouth, which increases the effectiveness of the rein aids. The reins attach as normal to the loose outer rings, applying pressure on the tongue and roof of the mouth. The serrated, squared-off mouthpiece gives a more direct effect by putting pressure on the bars and lips.
What horses does it suit?
“THE Cornish Snaffle hails from the driving world, but I have customers who use it in the show jumping field, as stronger horses tend to respect it,” explains bitting expert Lucy Nicholas of The Saddlery Shop.
“The bit is often used by professional riders requiring braking power, but it is potentially severe and should only be used by experienced riders with sensitive hands.”
Who uses it?
SHOW jumper and trainer James Fisher has competed in more than 25 Nations Cup competitions and has ridden several horses in the Cornish Snaffle.
“I find it ideal for those that grab the bit,” he explains.
“It seems to help me hold them in a good shape and stops them leaning on the bridle. Idle Dice, who won the Hickstead Derby Trial in 2004, went in this bit, and he’s very difficult in most other strong bits.”
Where can I buy one?
THE Saddlery Shop stocks the Cornish Snaffle for £14.99. Tel: 01409 220315 www.thesaddleryshop.co.uk
This Q&A was first published in Horse & Hound (14 June, ’07)