Driving bit dilemmas

chunky monkey

Well-Known Member
May 2, 2007
Ok I have a reversible Liverpool for chunky. He's ridden in an egg butt snaffle. Riding no issues. But the Liverpool he head tosses in. He's had some time off from driving over winter and I've put him back in and he's still head tossing. He starts as soon as I put bridle on. Nearly clonks me in the head as im doing the throat lash up etc. So he's not happy with it. Ive persevered with it for a year now to see if his behaviour improved and with time off he would forget but no. Not sure what to try. I feel I need some brakes for the odd spook but he's generally relaxed with the driving. Could it be the straight bar he doesn't like. Could I get a jointed snaffle with slots. Or are they not recommended.

Billy the new one was driven in a happy mouth butterfly bit. I've been riding him in an egg butt snaffle. However it's very clear that he is extremely green and not safe for me to drive on the road at present. I want to continue riding and to long rein in the driving bridle to help with the traffic training ready for driving but yesterday when I went out long reining he spooked at several things and I couldnt hold him. He was in the driving bridle with an egg butt snaffle. Today i put the reversible Liverpool on him an just walked him round paddock, so no spook issues there. I trotted him on, then asked for a stop. As I pulled on the reins he did stop rather abruptly. I did pull quite hard and the reins were on the lowest port. It was more a controlled test to make sure he didn't panic. Obviously I don't want this permanently but I did feel that as he stopped so abrupt at least I had brakes and more control. Will test him on the road next long rein session. My issue is that he continually chews and salivers on the bit. He does this with the egg butt snaffle riding as well. I know there ment to saliver but I feel that billy is too excess. Which is also hampering his concentration. So do I sport out and buy a happy mouth butterfly. Was what the person who broke him recommended when I bought him. Although I'm going back to the start seeing as though he's not traffic safe. Will it give me the same control as the Liverpool.
Ive been reading that some horses chew through it in no time. So if billy does chew on it as bad as the snaffle, could it break easily.
If I sport out on one I could try chunky in it. The happy mouth is supposed to encourage relaxation.
What other options should I try.


Well-Known Member
Dec 20, 2004
Suffolk, UK
I'd try Billy in the Liverpool and decide after, depending on how he goes, if you need to look at something else for him. The happy mouths do have a cable through the middle so even if he chews he can't chew through it mid ride and the bit break in half, though it can get costly if the keep chewing them up, perhaps he needs a metal bit for a while to learn not to chew on it.
For chunky have you tried driving in your snaffle? To see if that cures the head tossing, it may not be technically correct but I've driven a few in snaffles, including Hank and I see no reason to change him unless we wanted to get into showing as he's perfectly responsive in it.


Well-Known Member
Apr 16, 2000
Butterfly Pelham with French link?

All the Shetlands I have ever driven HATE a Liverpool and fuss and never settle, I drove them wither in a Wilson Snaffle or a Butterfly Pelham with a French link
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chunky monkey

Well-Known Member
May 2, 2007
I agree, I am going to try the road long reining in the liverpool then see if I have control. Re chunky not driven him in snaffle, might try tonight with brave pants on. But when I was training him the one occasion he tanked off was when I was pulling the tyre. The bit I was loaning got returned so I thought I'd just put snaffle in. It ended in disaster. When I have done fun rides it's a little hair raising as he's very strong. He's quite forward driving more than riding. Just not sure I will have control if he panics with anything.
Thanks Wally you did tell me before what you used. Will see how the tests go then I might order one.
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