Learning carriage driving | Living the Country Life

Learning carriage driving

Living the Country Life Radio Program with Betsy Freese

Not as easy as it looks

Listen to this radio show (MP3 download) or read below.

Radio interview source: Danute Bright, Mid-Atlantic regional director, American Driving Society

My high school boyfriend and his family trained carriage horses in Maryland, and I would ride in a little cart with him around the track. It was fun!

Carriage driving is a popular sport and past time, especially among women. Although the competitions get the most press, recreational driving is much more common. There's a thriving network of enthusiasts, too, who participate in regional club activities and organize scenic rides through parks and private estates.

We asked Dana Bright, the Mid-Atlantic regional director for the American Driving Society, to explain the biggest misconception about the sport.

"Driving, when it's done well, looks easy. And that can be very tricky," Bright says. "You cannot just march out to the horse you have, throw a harness on him, and expect him to drive. And one of the most frightening things you can do to a horse is strap something to it and say, 'Guess what? You're going to pull this now!' It's a whole set of skills, and it takes a while to teach a horse to become accustomed to that."

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