Wendy, This looks like a Glory bit, which is what I use. They have their supporters and detractors (surprise, huh? ) but it's been a good driving bit for my Haflingers. It's a little hard to tell from the two dimensions of a photo but if you could see the bit in person you would be able to tell that it's very possible to buckle your reins into the first slot.
The bit has 3 snaffle settings and two curb slots, so there are lots of possible rein settings. It's a mild bit. Even the first curb slot is a quasi-snaffle setting, unlike some Liverpool bits where the first slot gives more curb action. Again, hard to describe and hard to see from a photo but if you could hold the bit in your hands, you would quickly understand it. I drive a single pony on the 'rough cheek' snaffle setting and the pair goes out in the first curb slot. It works quite well for my ponies.
My bits have swivel cheeks. I haven't had any problem with them pinching their lips. I do allow a little extra room with my driving bits. The boys take 5.5" snaffles for riding but I use 6" driving bits on them. Works well for me but my boys are not overly fussy about bits in general. As they say, it's the hands attached to the bit that matter the most.
I use one of those glory bits on the donkey and it is great allowing for the donkeys thicker tongue than a mullen liverpool, being slightly arched mouthed as well. It is used with a buckled on leather curb strap which is also kinder on a donkey with its short jaw.
I will say that you should not need the last slot on the end. I call that the Oh $#!t slot. As you will be eventually saying it if the horse is that hard to control. That said I know an older gentleman that drives a team with the bits set to the last notch. He has excellent hands but not the strength that he used to have so this gives him a little safety net. LF
I want two slots only. I don't plan to use the third, and it makes the bit ugly and unweidly looking.
Considering I drive her now with a plain D-ring, I would have the 2 slots to fall back on if necessary - never the third.
I am trying to decide if we want fixed ckeekpieces or swivel. Our bit now has swivel & she's used to that, but it is also her riding bit. Maybe for a pretty green driver, that might be *too much information* going out for the horse?