Continuing our exploration of different driving disciplines, today we will look at a particular type of driving that is based off historical carriage driving and rooted in tradition.
The horse and buggy were the primary mode of both public and private transportation around the world before modern methods were created. Carriage Pleasure Driving classes pay tribute to this heritage. The great thing about this type of driving is anyone and any breed of horse can participate. Classes are usually divided by type of hitch; single, pair, tandem, unicorn, or four-in-hand, and can even further be categorized by what they are being judged for, such as amateur ladies only classes or classes restricted to a type of vehicle like phaetons only.
Carriages that are used can vary greatly. Many are replicas of older carriage types or actual working antiques. Modern day presentation carriages are also acceptable. Ladies and men wear traditional attire, and you will find men wearing sports coats or suits and ladies wearing blouses, jackets, and skirts. Both ladies and men will wear a traditional lap apron or lap robes that cover them from waist down. Whatever the driver wears it must compliment the horse, harness, and the carriage.
Drivers can participate in a variety of classes that are judged on many different criteria. In reinsmanship, the driver’s skill and ability are evaluated more closely, while a turnout class is judged on the appropriateness and quality of the vehicle, harness, and driver’s appointments. In a working class the performance of the horse or horses is most important. Obstacle classes also can be offered which tests the driver’s ability to navigate a course of cones.
Keep your eye on the BreyerFest Blog as we explore our final Driving discipline next week!
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