Downward thrusting head

My harness mare is rising 5 years ( unregistered Welsh cob type of Section C and Section D breeding, 13.2 hh) and I use her in combined driving events. She has been broken in for about 21 months. Previously driven for 10 minute periods for show training in a mullen mouth Spanish Snaffle by her previous owner/breaker. I use a mullen mouth Liverpool 12.5 cm/13mm to continue with the same mouth piece but with the added flexibility of different rein setting options. My mare has a responsive mouth but either due to pressure, boredom or nerves has developed a habit of downward thrusting of her head at a walk, trot and occasionally a canter, not so much if given a very loose rein at a walk. Recently back after a 7 week break this has become more pronounced. Also trying to 'grab' the shank of the bit (off side) with her lips at times and I suspect she also opens her mouth. She can be 'heavy' in my hands at times. She does not tend to do this in competitions so much where she is challenged/stimulated. I have only been driving for 6 years, previously a western style rider. I have Parkinson's disease which challenges me to keep even rein contact with my left hand (more affected) and the whip challenges me to keep even pressure with my right hand. We have no illegal bits with our governing body here (just must have a bit when competing) but I usually go for a thicker mouthpiece as I believe this to be softer when competing in the fast marathon event with lots of sharp turns. I drove her this morning and when more rein contact was applied in dressage training she was almost continually thrusting her head down and going behind the vertical. Please advise what bit type, size and thickness you would recommend. Thank you.

Posted in Driving, asked by Julie Mackay, 12 months ago. 294 hits.
Thank you. I have used the search engine on your web site and it is not bringing this bit up to be able to add to my cart and purchase. How do I go about purchasing this bit in 12.5 cm please? - Julie Mackay 12 months ago
Hi Julie, The new Driving range has not been put up on our website. Please would you email me on , I can then either process your order, or direct you to your nearest retailer. Regards, Claire@Bombers - Claire @ Bombers 12 months ago


Hi Julie,

Thank you for your question!

Pulling down is a sign that the horse is uncomfortable with the pressure. First off, does your Liverpool fit her well? 125/130mm sounds quite large for a 13.2hh pony, but I know that ponies can be wider in the mouth then we expect them to be.

The Mullen is quite a strong mouth piece that uses a significant amount of pressure over the whole mouth. It is this pressure that she is trying to relieve.

We have been designing a new Driving Range, focusing on softening the pressure of the bit, and thus allowing more control as the horse is not objecting to the pressure.

I recommend a Liverpool Loose Ring FX2 Narrow Tongue for your pony. I will attach a photo of the bit. This will relieve the tongue pressure, as well as softening the poll pressure. You will find that she will then stop pulling down.


Claire @ Bombers
12 months ago
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