[The girls harnessing Jerry ]

The girls harnessing Jerry

[Jess]

Jess

[Steph]

Steph

[The group]

The group

[Theory session ]

Theory session

[A photo of the boys taken from the back of the carriage whilst Joyce drives ]

A photo of the boys taken from the back of the carriage whilst Joyce drives

September 22, 2011

For a few years now Iíve been slowly studying to become a carriage driving instructor.

Today I had my first real taste of teaching, as the Southern Highlands Carriage Club ran a junior training day. Joyce, the mother of two of the children (who drives a pony), wanted to learn to drive a pair. As my driving instructor is recovering from a back operation, she asked if I would take her to have a drive with Bobby and Moochie. I was so proud that Sheryl considered both me and the ponies competent enough to teach. I explained how the pairs are driven using coupling reins, we harnessed up, hitched them to the carriage, and drove for about an hour.

Whilst we were having a pairs lesson, the 7 juniors who attended the clinic had some theory to work through. They were shown different types of harnesses, whips, bits, discussed driving aids and how to harness up a horse.

In the afternoon, we had a practical lesson. I took Jerry along, with a second set of reins hooked up to his bridle in case the junior drivers had some difficulties. Jerry was marvellous, and the two girls I taught, Jess and Steph, were both eager and quick to learn.

Typically carriage driving is a sport that people pick up in their adult life, but we are pushing to get more youngsters involved. Most of the children who attended already rode, but driving is a great way for them to continue to enjoy their ponies once they have become to tall to ride them.

I am thrilled at how good my ponies were, and enjoyed the experience thoroughly.

I received a lovely email from Joyce (who also supplied the photos on this web page):

Hi Amanda thank you so much for a great day yesterday. Driving you lovely pair of ponies was a great treat thanks so much for your time and patience. The girls had a lovely day and they are both pestering me to do more driving.

Posted by Amanda on September 22, 2011 08:43 AM