I do this all the time, using the Smart Shape horizontal bracket with the endpoints facing down. I keep my all my ligature brackets horizontal and at the same height, as much as possible. If you attach the endpoints to beats, the brackets will stretch to accommodate resizing of the measure (you apparently can't have this shape attach to notes or noteheads). I also use the "Snap to Beats" function when entering the bracket. When the bracket is entered with the snapped values, I then run a Finalescript that uses the JW Change plugin both to align all the brackets to the same vertical plane, and to nudge the right endpoint to where I want it, slightly different for whether the stems of the enclosed notes are up or down.
What's nice about entering the brackets this way, is that you can copy any bracket that encloses the same rhythmic values anwhere else in the score and the alignment and attachment points will accompany it.
I am sorry you have been experiencing problems. What doesn't work for you?