Pleasure Driving

Pleasure Driving is show ring competition for horses or ponies hitched to antique vehicles or replicas.

Classes or divisions are based on the animal (pony, mule, draft, mini), the driver, and/or the experience of horse or driver. Classes or divisions can be further divided by the size of the animal, the kind of vehicle, and the number of animals in the hitch.

Classes are also based on what the judge is looking for. For example, in a reinsmanship class the ability of the driver is most important. In a working class, the horse’s performance is most important. And in a turnout, the quality and suitability of the vehicle, harness, and driver is most important. Some classes are designated specifically for gentlemen, ladies, or juniors; and some are for specific vehicles–runabouts, gigs or coaches.

Open Carriage Pleasure Driving competitions are open to all breeds of horses and ponies, and sometimes there are shows or classes just for one breed.

Another kind of carriage driving competition is Combined Driving, which is an international sport especially popular in Europe. 

Discipline Association: American Driving Society

(Information provided by the U.S. Equestrian Federation and the American Driving Society.)

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