What is Carriage Driving ?
Carriage Driving is a generic term – associated with harnessed horses. There are many ways that horses are used and enjoyed in draft (in harness) as opposed to being ridden.
Carriage Driving Magazine, printed monthly, contains features based on the recreational use of the harnessed horse, including reports of club activities and competition results.
Club members are entitled to 10% discount from their annual membership renewal. Please contact the club secretary for a promotion code.
Why Carriage Driving?
Unlike horse riding, driving a horse-drawn vehicle includes friends and partners as active participants.
An experienced whip can accompany students.
Mums can accompany children learning to drive. An experienced whip can demonstrate to a student acting as backstepper.
Age is no barrier to carriage driving.
The Jargon – all sports have jargon – here’s some that is associated with carriage driving.
Turnout – a carriage driving unit comprising horse(s), driver and backstepper (groom)
Whip – the driver of the horse(s)
Box Seat – the seat on which the driver sits.
Backstepper (also known as Groom) – the one or two people responsible for balance when off-road, help guiding the whip through obstacles during obstacle driving and for navigation during a pleasure drive on or off road.
Outside of club events, 2-wheeled carriages are sometimes driven without a backstepper. Club policy, in the interests of safety, is for a backstepper to be present on all types of carriage. The backstepper is always on hand to attend to the horse(es) should the driver need to get down from the box seat or to adjust the harness whilst the whip remains in control on the box seat.
Put to – the term describing setting off from a standstill
Via the horse-drawn traveller community, my first experience of driving a horse was along a residential road in Great Barr, Birmingham. From that moment I was hooked. I bought a gypsy cob from the travellers together with a simple 4-wheel cart, then later graduated to a Polish-made Wagonette with disc... Tony Cowles, Joined 2011