Friday, April 13, 2018

Horse driving

When I was a kid and read Black Beauty by Anna Sewell, Born to Trot by Marguerite Henry, Winter Pony by Jean Slaughter Doty, The Black Stallion's Blood Bay Colt by Walter Farley, The Gallant Gray Trotter by John T. Foster, and The Horse Comes First by Mary Calhoun, I wanted to learn to drive a horse. Now that I have arthritis in my neck, even the thought of riding is uncomfortable. I looked at Driving Horse-Drawn Carriages for Pleasure by Underhill (1897) and liked the pictures of the carriages. The village cart was my favorite 2-wheeled vehicle. Until I knew that driving a 4-wheeled wagon was more difficult, I liked the runabout and the hooded road wagon. Driving Horses: How to harness, align, and hitch your horse for work or play by Bowers and Steward (2014) is fantastic as it shows all of the parts of the harness, different types of harnesses, step-by-step harnessing and unharnessing! I'm also reading Driving the Horse in Harness by Kellogg, 2nd ed. (1986), which says that the 2-wheeled vehicles are the safest, which I hadn't realized when viewing Underhill's book. Sharp turns and backing are easier, as the cart pivots with the horse when turning and backing takes much less space than 4-wheeled carts. I'd like a one-horse (or pony) cart to hold 2 people side-by-side on a single seat, with a compartment/trunk for things like groceries. I'm not sure about a hood or shade (and buggy, the word for a covered vehicle may be from the Punjabi ਬੱਗੀ "bagī"?).

I'd like to attend some events at the Metamora Carriage and Driving Association like the Combined Driving Event 2018 in MI June 22-24: Friday: Combined Test (a cross-country obstacle course) or Saturday: Dressage/Cones. Or, on 7/7, "Terry Picket and Carol Becker will present a safety talk regarding equipment, animals, and self in the a.m. Non-members may ride with members in the p.m. but must also be present for the a.m. talk" at Squeky Windmill Farm (Dryden). Update 8/1/18: missed it this year because of arthritis wrist surgery, so hope to attend 2019 June.

We're trying to find someone who gives driving lessons within 50 miles of us or so, for next year. Taylor Creek is a 2-hour drive.

There are interesting organizations like the American Driving Society (ADS), the Carriage Association of America, Driving Essentials, the Michigan Horse-Drawn Vehicle Association (MHDVA), the Carriage Museum of America's vehicle collection, Driving News USA, and my work library has issues of the magazine Whip in its databases.

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