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What's Carriage Driving?

CCRIG2.jpgIt could be said that Carriage Driving is the oldest equestrian discipline, since humans were hitching horses to various wheeled vehicles long before they rode astride. Modern-day Carriage Driving preserves the traditions of earlier times - and although you're not likely to see anyone in a Roman chariot at a Driving event, you will see a variety of conveyances reminiscent of the 19th and early 20th centuries which are still being built by a handful of craftspeople.

Carriage Ponies

Although it may look relatively easy, Carriage Driving requires a great deal of skill to accurately guide one or more horses without mishap. Carriage Driving events present competitors with a course of natural and Carriage man-made obstacles to negotiate, ranging from stream crossings and narrow, curved trails through woods to mazes of guide poles that must be threaded without knocking any over. Larger events provide more divisions for carriages in a wide variety of shapes and sizes which can be drawn by up to four horses. There are strict rules preserving the presence of traditional personnel who, in times past, would normally be part of a carriage's livery.

mulecart.jpgCarriage Driving events are not just colorful reminders of the past; they are highly competitive events demanding great concentration on the part of the driver and equally great agility and strength from the horses.

You can learn more about Carriage Driving from the American Driving Society.

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