Since this question seems to arise fairly regularly I thought a thread of info and resources would help answer some of the initial questions Can I drive my horse? Provided it is old enough to be ridden, fairly sane, sensible, fit and healthy then yes you can. No-nos are - bad in traffic, very spooky, kicks, bucks (a lot), generally hard to handle or nervous etc. Any breed can drive, some are just generally better suited than others (generally the calmer working breeds - eg arabs can and do drive but can be harder to break to drive and then potentially not a novice drive). I have been told (or my horse acts like) it has been driven before Always assume a horse has never been driven unless you have actually seen it for yourself. Its safer that way. So start from scratch with the early stages. Can I break my horse to drive myself? Yes, but do make sure you get some driving lessons, preferably some experienced help and at the minimum never attempt it without plenty of helpers on the ground in case things go wrong. Do not attempt it if you are not generally experienced around horses and if in doubt go back and repeat previous step rather than moving on if horse seems uncertain of something - better safe than sorry, accidents with a vehicle attached can be nasty. Where do I get lessons? If possible get to an LHHI (Light Harness Horse Instructor) - if in the UK. There are not many of them but they are well worth going to and trained to a very high standard. Find instructors here http://www.britishdrivingsociety.co.uk/ failing that contact your local branch and ask their advice for help/finding someone for lessons. Where can I buy a carriage/harness? Here are a few useful websites for this (bear in mind these are all different qualities and the prices generally reflect that - they are merely a list rather than necessarily recommendations!): New Carriages http://www.bellcrown.com/ http://www.bennington.co.uk/ http://www.hartlandcarriages.co.uk/index.shtml http://www.fenixcarriages.co.uk/ http://www.blackhorse-enterprises.co.uk/show_category.asp?CATEGORY=10 http://www.coyaltix.com/ http://www.take-the-reins.co.uk/vehicles.php http://www.ponyandcarriage.co.uk/index.htm Secondhand carriages/harness http://www.carriagesales.com/ http://www.carriagelink.com/ New harness/accessories http://www.plasequestrian.co.uk/ http://www.equifor.com/ http://www.hartlandcarriages.co.uk/index.shtml http://www.nfed.co.uk/johnwillies.htm http://www.carriagedriving.flyer.co.uk/ http://www.whitehorseequestrian.com/shop/index.php?fuseaction=home.showCategory&id=8 http://www.rideanddrive.co.uk/ http://www.classequestrian.com/bits12.htm http://www.dragondriving.co.uk/ http://www.take-the-reins.co.uk/harness.php http://www.ponyandcarriage.co.uk/index.htm Choosing a carriage Think first about what you are aiming to do with your horse/pony and what your budget is. This has an affect on what you buy. However, especially if horse is just getting broken to drive, the best bet to start with is an exercise vehicle which will often look something like this http://www.voituresrobert.com/pictures/exercise-cart.jpg or if you have a bit more cash some of the cheaper Bellcrown pleasure vehicles are very nice and they do a good starter set with synthetic Tedman harness, whip and video starting at £970. Benningtons are lovely but more pricey (keep an eye out for them secondhand) and Fenix are very very very nice but more for the serious competitor or someone with plenty of pennies to spend! When looking at exercise vehicles make sure welds etc are safe as there are some very dodgy home-made vehicles out there. Avoid mini wheels and axles as they make the carriage very heavy, motorbike wheels are generally fine. Once you have got going you can move onto the marathon/three phase vehicle suitable for HDT or the gig for private driving or just decide what vehicle you want for pleasure driving (sticking with the exercise vehicle is always an option here). Choosing a harness Again think first about what you are aiming to do with your horse/pony and what your budget is. Again don't spend ££££ on a show harness if just starting. Your best bet are probably the good quality synthetic harnesses such as Tedman, Duraweb etc, alternately John Willie do a very good exercise harness that Wally and I can vouch for as virtually indestructable (mine is 15 years old - hers is older - and both are still going strong!). Cheap synthetic harnesses can be a false economy as they are at best stiff and inflexible and at worst actually missing vital parts and unsafe! Avoid cheap indian leather harnesses for the same reason as you would in riding - poor quality leather liable to crack and snap, and often very poor workmanship. What can I expect to spend? This is hard to say exactly as it depends on horse size/your requirements/where you live etc. But at a rough guide I would expect to spend on average £250-£550 on a basic starter vehicle £200-£500 on a starter harness Obviously you can spend more or less but a whole lot less and you may be looking at a false economy of poor quality (and possibly dangerous) equipment and a lot more and you may regret it if you or the horse don't take to driving or you snarl yourself up in the early stages and scrape your beautiful vehicle down a wall etc. Books/videos on driving Can get all from - http://www.britishdrivingsociety.co.uk/ (or of course Amazon!) these are a good base to start from: Starting out - Jane McInnes - Between the Shafts (Video) Breaking to drive Sallie Walrond - Breaking a horse to harness (book) Claire Wigmore - Breaking to harness (Video/DVD) General links http://www.carriagedriving.info/ http://www.britishdrivingsociety.co.uk/ http://www.starimage.co.uk/scda/index.htm (Scottish Carriage Driving Association) http://www.harnesshorse.co.uk/ http://www.carriage-driving.com/viewAll.php http://www.carriagedrivingworld.com/index.php http://www.indoordriving.co.uk/ http://www.horsedrivingtrials.co.uk/ http://www.scurrydrivers.co.uk/ Some very quick definitions: Private Driving - this is the showing side, focussing on traditional turnouts such as this http://www.britishdrivingsociety.co.uk/images/thimbleby_champ_pic.jpg Horse Driving Trials (HDT)- this is the three day eventing of the driving world, with dressage, cones (equivalent to showjumping), and a marathon (equivalent to roads and tracks) and obstacles (equivalent to the cross-country). http://www.horsedrivingtrials.co.uk/ Indoor Driving - this is the winter equivalent of HDT but takes place in one day (as do some of the club level HDT events) in an indoor arena. Often a good place for novices to start HDT. http://www.indoordriving.co.uk/ Scurry Driving - fast and furious sport, consisting of pairs of small ponies competing against the clock around a cones course, usually at full gallop. http://www.scurrydrivers.co.uk/ www.osborne-ref.co.uk Carriage driving clubs (UK) Generally clubs are geared to particular interests, however don't be put off if your local one is primarily a driving trials group as most have picnic drives too and most of the BDS areas have some competition driving as well as pleasure drives, so do contact your local groups and ask. Drivers are generally known for their friendliness and welcome new drivers. Driving trials clubs: http://www.horsedrivingtrials.co.uk/links.htm Pleasure/private driving: http://www.britishdrivingsociety.co.uk/ Scurry driving: http://www.scurrydrivers.co.uk/ www.osborne-ref.co.uk Indoor driving : http://www.indoordriving.co.uk/ Outside the UK? http://www.acds.org.au/ (Australia) http://www.americandrivingsociety.org/ (USA) If anyone has any more useful links/info please pm Wally or I and we will add them N.B Please note that the links are just that, they are not necessarily recommendations as we do not have personal experience of all the sites/companies. Have fun and drive safely!