What Makes a Good Driving Horse?

Irish-eyesMost prospective hobby drivers have got their driving horse already.
  • Is it laid back and easy to handle?

  • Is it healthy and fit?

  • What breed is it?

  • What size is it?

If you are still looking for the ideal driving horse, take your time. Look around on horse sales.
Talk to more experienced hobby coachmen.
And always have somebody with horse- and driving- experience beside you!!!

Look out for an experienced, good natured animal with the right size for you and your needs.
Let an independent vet of your choice do a vetting do ensure the horse's health status is satisfying.

In our modern, motorised world our four legged friends have got a rather "easy" life; they spend usually more time inside a stable or on a pasture than being worked hard.
On the other hand traffic has increased hugely and everywhere we have to deal with visual and noise related challenges. We need to decide and act in seconds and so needs the animal.

Therefor, a good driving horse for the hobby coachman should have a very good temper, be relaxed and be trusted in every situation, so you can drive relaxed.

Light driving horse breeds are usually used for lighter draft work and make a good picture in front of elegant two-wheeled vehicles or light carriages.

Heavy horses are used for hard draft work and make a good picture in front of heavy vehicles or agricultural horse-drawn equipment.

It depends very much on the intended use for which breed one will go: Want to drive an elegant Landauer? -- Take colour matching Warmbloods or a pair of Friesians! Or an Gypsy bow-top caravan? -- a Gypsy draft horse looks really nice.

For my first pony, a Shetland pony, I had a small cart and a sledge. Both of them were customized, self-built vehicles that fitted my mare well and were very light vehicles. With that I could keep her reasonably happy and driving was safe enough. And beside all that I had a great time and enjoyed every single carriage and sleigh ride.

Maintaining your horse's health through appropriate nutrition or regular healthchecks and effective good hoof care. is really important.

It is rather hard work for an equine: imagine, it has to pull your vehicle, it has to concentrate on your voice and beside all that, has to go straight forward reliably all the time!

The animal is easily stressed by lots of environmental factors (traffic, oncoming vehicles, noises, unexpected situations,...) and needs somebody, who leads it through all this "trouble". And exactly this one, whom it trusts the most is far behind it.

All these are stressfactors. And stress does impact on the horse's health.

Further Interesting Pages

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