All About Driving Horse Bits

There are many different driving bits with many subtle variations and strange names. While there seem to be new types of riding horse bits being created all the time, driving horse bits tend to be more traditional. Here are some of the most common driving bits you'll see. Here is a brief overview of each bit. Clicking on the title of the bit will take you to more details.

  • 01 of 07

    Liverpool Bit

    Liverpool bit

    K. Blocksdorf

    The Liverpool Bit is probably the most common driving bit. It's used on every type of hitch from light one-horse rigs to draft horses at pulling competitions.

  • 02 of 07

    Antique Full Cheek Snaffle

    Antique full cheek snaffle

    K. Blocksdorf

    This vintage full cheek snaffle has ornate cheek pieces to go with a formal harness and rig. The large cheek pieces will prevent the bit pulling through the horse's mouth and from hooking into the harness.

  • 03 of 07

    Half Spoon or Half Cheek Snaffle Bit

    Half spoon or half cheek snaffle bit

    K. Blocksdorf

    Like the full cheek snaffle bit, the Half Spoon or Half Cheek snaffle bit is designed so it does not pull through the horse's mouth. These bit are occasionally used for riding too.

  • 04 of 07

    Butterfly Bit

    Butterfly driving bit

    The butterfly bit gives the driver the ability to adjust the bit severity for every horse on the team, and still use the same bit for a unified looking turn out.

    Continue to 5 of 7 below.
  • 05 of 07

    Wilson Snaffle Bit

    Wilson snaffle

    With its two sets of rings, there are two different ways that this snaffle bit can be used. The severity of the Wilson snaffle depends on whether the reins are attached to two rings or one on each side

  • 06 of 07

    Straight Bar Snaffle

    Straight bar driving snaffle

    The straight bar snaffle is a bit you will often find lying rusty in dusty boxes at a farm auction. Back when horses were the main power of the family farm, these bits were popular. While no longer as popular, as more comfortable and effective bits have become available, the straight bar snaffle is still used occasionally although most horses will find them an uncomfortable mouthful.

  • 07 of 07

    Buxton Bit

    Buxton driving bit

    The Buxton Bit looks ornate, but it is similar in action to a Liverpool. This is another bit like the Liverpool or Butterfly bit that can be adjusted to each horse on a team so that all horses will be wearing the same bit for a uniform look.