A few weeks ago I took my ponies to a friend's place. They were having a Turn Out Training day there for the beginning of our season. One of my ponies had not been driven off my property and this seemed like and ideal opportunity to get them out, have some fun and give others the chance to catch the bug!
The little pony (10 hh) has been driving for around 18 mths. He likes to go fast, so although he can be ridden, he's a bit forward for the size of child who can ride him. I usually event, so I enjoy a challenge and we get on pretty well.
The bigger pony (13 hh) is a New Zealand Kaimanawa pony (Feral ponies running wild in the Kaimanawa ranges) and come in as a wild stallion in June 2010. He was a stroppy little thing at first and would gladly attack with teeth and feet. Gelding him fixed a lot of that behaviour, but giving him a real job has been the making of him. He is fabulous. He goes under saddle and in harness. Is great for nervous or beginners and barely reacts to dogs, children, calves, balls etc etc! I started him in harness just to "have a go" and he is such fun!!! I don't have a proper cart / carriage for him so we can't do CDs - and I can't afford one. I also struggle to find a reliable groom. I'll do some local stuff with him where I don't need a good cart nor a groom, but he's really on the market. He's grown on me every day.
None of my gear is flash - most of it is second hand. The little cart is a starter cart that a friend has widened to competition width for me. I've had a huge amount of support getting into the driving.
Oh my goodness- the cold and windy really shows in those photos... I've seen toastier sleigh rallys! I love to see those open bridles! Weather like that can be a challenge for even an experienced horse- it looks like the beginners were doing great!