Harness types and carts and carriages

Discussion in 'Driving' started by Midnight_Ashes, Oct 28, 2011.

  1. Midnight_Ashes

    Midnight_Ashes New Member

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    Now I have decided that Truffs will eventually be a driving pony I have got quite caught up in the idea and I have dived off into the world of harnesses, carts and carriages....

    ...and I have realised that it is a whole new world and I don't know what any of it is!! :eek:

    It will be a while before I can afford anything for him (and a while before he needs it) and the plan for the winter is long rein, long rein, long rein! However, could someone please satisfy my curiousity and tell me the main differences between everything. What kind of harness and cart will I be needing and how much will it eventually set me back?
    Also, other than driving for pleasure (as in, driving round the lanes and to the village shops) is there anything he can actually do? Are there competitions locally for driving (like the equivalent of local/RC dressage/showing etc) and if so does anyone in my area (Durham/Cleveland/Teesside) know of anything?
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  2. Wally

    Wally Well-Known Member

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    There are all manner of silly things the BDS get up to. Driven Le Trec, pic-nic drives, meets where you just get together and drive, treasure hunts. Join your local BDS branch and you'll soon find out what's going on.

    Dressage with cones and BBQ is a popular one, just for fun, you generally do 2 dressage tests, a dead easy one and a more advanced one, but you pick which one you want to count and be judged for the prize giving, so you might do a really crap intermediate test and a really good novice, it does not matter as you choose the novice one to be judged but you get to have a shot at both and the judge will give you the notes so you get to see where you went wrong. Then after you do a cone driving course. No canter, just trot. It's all very light hearted.

    If you get involved and offer your services as a course builder, gofer, back-stepper for the day everyone will be more than happy to show you how all the different carts and harness work. Someone to find the balls and put the cones back up is always needed and very much appreciated.....specially when the course has been ploughed through by a pair of Shetlands (***cough-cough***)

    Here you are pick your nearest club and join and start offering to help out at events.

    http://www.britishdrivingsociety.co.uk/contacts/affiliated_clubs.pdf
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  3. Wally

    Wally Well-Known Member

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    Whatever you get to start with get a light 2 wheeler, 4 wheelers and novice horses can tip easily.
    Whatever harness you get for a 2 wheeler make sure it has a sliding back band, how much it all costs is up to you. A good little cart on pneumatics can be £500 (but not all competitions allow pneumatic tyres) A good set of synthetic harness can be picked up second hand for £250. Buy a good name, it will last and have a re sale value if you ever want to sell.
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  4. laceyfreckle

    laceyfreckle Active Member

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    Hi Wally, sorry to gatecrash the thread but do you know if places like the BDS would want a (very sensible) 9yr old helper/gopher? My son helps at a local equestrian club on show days and does everything from making tea to putting jumps up, helping to steward to driving the little tractor and trailer at the end of the day to pick up all the poo. He REALLY has a interest in driving ponies though. He can ride but it's not really his thing. I don't know that much about driving but if HE could learn (even just in the end so he could help someone else by backstepping etc) then I don't mind encouraging him. Would he be a use to them though? Wouldn't want him to be seen as a nuisance.
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  5. Wally

    Wally Well-Known Member

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    you can but ask. There is all manner of junior camps run by the BDS to encourage kids to drive. I think John Parker is the English junior rep at Swingletree stables, he's very approachable and keen to get kids driving. In Scotland the Junior rep used to be Jack Clyne I think.
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  6. laceyfreckle

    laceyfreckle Active Member

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    Thanks I will have a look and a ask around. It's something he's been mentioning for about a year. Because he's allergic to horses (mildly and has meds) he likes the idea of being with them albeit slightly further away then sitting on them!
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