Should You Teach Your Horse How to Drive?


Michele CookDriving horses is often associated with something from another era. After the advent of cars, there was no need for us to ride in horse-drawn carriages anymore.

We could hop in our cars and get there much faster than in a pony-powered wagon. While driving your horse to the grocery store or work might not be practical, teaching your horse to drive has some amazing benefits for you and your horse.

bay pony
Photo by Michele Cook.

Spook Proof Your Horse

Last week I had the pleasure of going out driving with a friend of mine. He hooked his favorite welsh pony to a four-wheel cart and we set out to view the countryside. My friend teaches all of his horses to drive, he considers it part of their basic training, and after just a few miles, I understood why.

The rigging jingled and the cart rocked as we headed down the driveway onto the road. The pony kept going. A large feed truck zoomed by without a tap of the brake. The pony kept going. Four dogs jumped a fence and ran up to the pony barking and carrying on (and scared the bejesus out of me). The pony kept going. I think you get the idea. This pony was pulled from a field as a stud, gelded and trained just three months before we took our little drive.

Driving your horse gives you the opportunity to expose your horse to many different things that they wouldn't see in the ring or on the trail. That exposure will help your horse trust you and teach him that not everything is a horse eating monster.

Michele Cook
6/29/2018 3:25:30 PM

I agree a good trainer would be invaluable here is a link to the American Driving Society to get anyone who would like to find a good trainer started.

6/29/2018 8:16:57 AM

If you don't have any experience with driving, I would strongly recommend you seek a trainer in your area to get started. Things can "go South" very quickly with driving, even with the best equine. A good trainer can help you and your equine and make your experiences fun and safe. Most states have carriage driving clubs, and you can Google them for contact information.

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