I have three driving ponies (and three riding horses). I have been driving for fun for a few years, but don't know much about it except what I've learned myself.
My ponies are Jedi- 12 yr old Welsh mare, 11.3 hands.
Patchy- 6 yr old Shetland gelding, 10 hands.
Fable- 6 yr old Welsh/Arabian mare, 13 hands.
I have an easy entry and a little buckboard wagon. All my ponies drive single. I taught Jedi, Fable was started by the Amish and Patchy was trained when I got him, just needed a refresher. I drive a lot more than I ride these days, and I'm looking forward to being on a driving board!
I have to say the driving forum here on COTH is pretty darn polite compared to the rest of the forums. We seem to know how to disagree politely maybe? lol
Welcome to the forum.
I will have to agree with this statement. We are a bit, ...quieter over here. Its nice.
WELCOME ! and just so you know, there is one rule that should never, ever, ever be broken.....when talking about something cute, we need, no DEMAND pictures, so you best get a photobucket or other photo sharing site started so you can post links.
Hate to be the one to bring this up. Photos show a harnessed and hitched horse, with no bridle, tied to a tree with a halter on.
Having no bridle on a horse hitched to a vehicle, is one of the MOST dangerous things you can do in Driving. NOT removing the bridle of a hitched horse is usually the FIRST rule listed for any driving event. At an approved ADS show or activity you will be asked to leave!!
We are pretty big on safety, here in this Forum, so we want to help you prevent an accident. That is why I bring this up, since no one else has. Bridle removal may be something you never considered before or saw someone else do, so it looked like an easy way to restrain your animal without unhitching.
I come from a riding background, so I also didn't think this bridle off first was bad, until the consequences were explained to me by experienced Driving folks who had seen the wrecks happen. I changed my ways, even though I thought "my horse" wouldn't ever do that. Rules are rules, they made sense, and it IS a safer way to do things. As the years have passed, I have learned that unless your horse is made of fiberglass, there is SOMETHING that will set them off, so the rule makes LOTS more sense now.
Equines with vehicle attached, no bridle, means you have no way to stop them if they suddenly react to something. Kind of like leaving the truck and trailer in gear, hopping out, slamming and locking the doors!! That truck will stop WHEN it can't go any further forward, despite what it hits in it's travels!!
The VERY BEST equines have stupid moments or a bad day and with no bridle and reins on the head, there is no control, no way to regain control when they move out. With a vehicle behind them to catch on things, bang the horse, mow people down, the whole incident escalates immediately to MAJOR WRECK. Quite unlike a single riding horse who is running loose in a crowded show ground. Single, saddled horse is bad, but don't have attachments behind to make a swath of destruction like the Driving horse does.
Not trying to offend you, just sharing information, so you and those lovely children are more safely enjoying the time spent with the Driving equines at your house.
Thanks for the heads up. I don't know anything about driving except what I've figured out myself.
The ponies have all been tied like that at one time or another. They are also all trained to drive without blinders. I figured in case of an emergency they needed to know. It's paid off once, Jedi's headstall broke and I had to drive her home with only a halter.
I agree- in case of an emergency a horse should know they're being followed by something attached to them. Kudos for having such a well behaved pony. On the other hand I completely agree that you never unbridle a horse before you unhitch- regardless of the horse/pony. That said- I train all of mine to drive without blinders as far along in the training that I can get. Some of them never get to the point of pulling much without blinders on, but still made excellent driving horses. Others love/prefer to drive with an open bridle, but for safety's sake- I don't do that, it's only done in the training so the horse is aware of what we're teaching it do - as much as is safe to show them.
All mine will drive without the blinders. The one I had started by the Amish too, I had her pulling a tire before she left here, and I specifically told him she needed to be able to go with and without blinders.
She stayed there only three weeks. I was nervous about leaving her any longer, so as so0n as I could handle her I took her home.