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Driving horse breeds

Driving - description

Driving, when applied to horses, Ponies, mules, or donkeys, is a broad term for hitching equines to a wagon, carriage, cart, sleigh, or other horse-drawn vehicle by means of a harness and working them in this form. It encompasses a wide range of activities from pleasure driving, to harness racing, to farm work, horse shows, and even International combined driving competition sanctioned by the FEI. The term in harness often is used to describe a horse being driven.

For horse training purposes, "driving" may also include the practice of long-lining, wherein a horse is driven without a cart by a handler walking behind or behind and to the side of the animal. This technique is used in the early stages of training horses for riding as well as driving

They may draw carriages at ceremonies, such as when the Queen of the United Kingdom is Trooping the Colour, as well as in parades or for tourist rides.

Harness racing

Horses can race in harness, pulling a very lightweight cart known as a sulky. At the other end of the spectrum, some draft horses compete in horse pulling competitions, where single or teams of horses and their drivers vie to determine who can pull the most weight for a short distance.

Combined driving

An internationally-recognized FEI competition where horses compete in one, two, and four-horse teams, pulling appropriately designed light carriages or carts. They are expected to perform an arena-based "dressage" class where precision and control are emphasized, a cross-country "marathon" section that emphasizes fitness and endurance, and a "stadium" or "cones" obstacle course.

Draft horse showing

Most draft horse performance competition is done in harness. Draft horses compete in both single and multiple hitches, judged on manners and performance.

Carriage driving

Using somewhat larger two or four wheeled carriages, often restored antiques, pulled by a single horse, a tandem or four-in-hand team. Pleasure competitions are judged on the turnout/neatness or suitability of horse and carriage.

Pleasure driving

Sometimes called Carriage driving in some nations: Horses and ponies are usually hitched to a light, two-wheeled cart (four-wheeled fine harness carts are also seen, particularly at the highest levels of competition), and shown at a walk and two speeds of trot, with an emphasis on manners. Nearly any breed of horse can be trained for pleasure driving.

Fine harness

Also called "Formal driving," Horses are hitched to a light four-wheeled cart and shown in a manner that emphasizes flashy action and dramatic performance. Refined pony breeds and certain light saddle horse breeds noted for their action are most often seen in fine harness. Most fine harness competition requires horses to perform a bit of a walk, and two types of a high-action "park" trot, a slow trot with more controlled but elegant action, and a faster, flashier trot where the horse exhibits the most animation possible, often announced by the command "show your horses." (Or, "show your ponies" in the case of pony shows)

Roadster

A horse show competition, usually for ponies, (a few light horse breeds also offer roadster classes), where exhibitors wear racing silks and ride in a sulky in a style akin to harness racing, only without actually racing, but rather focusing on manners and performance. Roadsters are shown at two types of trot, known as a "road gait" and "at speed."

Driving horse breeds list

 
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