Newbie Driver, Old Pro Haffie
I just got a driving harness. When I bought my Haflinger, I knew he'd been driven before. The people who had him before he showed up at our therapeutic riding center have a carriage business up in the Bay Area (they sold him, someone bought him and donated him to the therapeutic riding place) so he's a pro. I even got to meet his carriage family when I went up to the Bay Area a few years ago to visit my relatives.
So I've known for years he could drive, and my barn owner who used to drive their Saddlebred mare heard about it, and has been asking me when I'd be getting a harness. Well, I got one. Second hand, but everything looks good (wasn't gonna argue since it was a giveaway). I've gone over it. No dangerous parts. It's serviceable and sound, and is a good jumping off point for us. I'm hoping, with Christmas coming, a new biothane driving harness might find its way under the Christmas tree.
We've got a cart already. The barn owner has three in their carriage/old car barn by the entry gate. One's an ez-entry blue cart that's too small for the Saddlebred mare, but will fit Mitch fine. And then there's the wooden two-wheeled cart, and a four wheeled buggy/surrey that apparently freaks all the other horses out, so we probably won't be able to drive that. We're going to start with the ez entry, and maybe go to the wooden cart.
I've driven before. Not a lot. But enough to get an idea for it. The BO showed me how with the Saddlebred mare and for a while we had a mini with a cart and I got to take him around a few times. My barn owner told me to tell him when we were ready to do this, and he'd supervise for a while, so I'm not jumping in blind. The pony hasn't driven in years, but he's a smart cookie and doesn't forget things. I'm actually looking forward to it. He's the only horse on that ranch that can drive, so it'd be something pretty unique.