Carriage driving day - HELP!

Can anyone help with a rather strange request? It's my mums 70th birthday in April and the whole family is going away for a week in a big holiday house in Exmoor. She has told everyone absolutely no presents.... We were going to get her a horse bronze.... As she has everything she needs. But my sister and I want to get her a surprise and spoil her a little bit. She has always fancied carriage driving and had dreams of getting a pony for years but has never quite done it. So we thought we could try and get her a day or morning of instruction to try it out.

So does anyone know of anywhere in the Exmoor/Devon area where we could do this?
 

Wally

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Apr 16, 2000
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There's a place called Dartmoor driving, doesn't look like an LHHI, but he's offering lessons and trips.
 
Yeah I saw that place, infact there are quite a few in the area arnt there. I just wondered of anyone had any personal experience of a place. My mum is a bit old school, used to groom for showjumpers and hunting yards, so I'd like a really nice place with good horses if possible. She loves everything horsey so it would be great to go somewhere and see some great horses bring driven really well. I think she would have loved to have had a go at competing in cross country driving a few years back but its an expensive sport! It's so hard to know from people's websites isn't it.
 

Wally

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If they don't teach coachman rein handling that, to my way of thinking, speaks volumes.

A good place should teach coachman, ask if they are an LHHI or have any of the BDS certificates.
 

Wally

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Coachman rein handling is how you "ought" to be taught to drive, not John Wayne style with a rein in heach hand like you are riding.

Reins are held in the left hand and the right hand helps, You only need two sets of reins when driving Tandem or a team, pairs and singles just use one set.

There are a lot of disadvantages to holding the reins as though you are riding. A good driving centre ought to teach you the basics of coachman rein handling.

I am not sure long reining in the school is a good idea as it really is a different art to actually carriage driving. I'd not want my good horses upset by a novice on the ground long reining badly.
 

mystiquemalaika

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Hiya sorry I camt help with where to go but wallys post caught my eye,when I was working at a big yard in surrey a lovely lady had a driving cob and she took me out a few times and she taught me the coachmans rein,her mare was a lovely driving pony and very experienced as was the owner and I will agree with wally that its totally different to riding with reins.melody was a very light responsive mare using the coachmans rein wally described and the owner showed me the difference in her by picking up 2 reins with both hands and she was a different horse.
Sounds like your mum will have a wonderful day what a lovely thing to do for her :smile: have a fab time and do let us know how plans are going.
 

Wally

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Apr 16, 2000
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Hiya sorry I camt help with where to go but wallys post caught my eye,when I was working at a big yard in surrey a lovely lady had a driving cob and she took me out a few times and she taught me the coachmans rein,her mare was a lovely driving pony and very experienced as was the owner and I will agree with wally that its totally different to riding with reins.melody was a very light responsive mare using the coachmans rein wally described and the owner showed me the difference in her by picking up 2 reins with both hands and she was a different horse.
Sounds like your mum will have a wonderful day what a lovely thing to do for her :smile: have a fab time and do let us know how plans are going.

A driving horse has to be light as a ferather in the mouth, imagine a horse that pulled, then imagine driving 2 horses that pulled, then imagine a team that pulled. It would be impossible to drive them.

4 horses all being controlled with your left hand alone.....and pulling like a train.:hot::hot:
 

mystiquemalaika

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Jan 7, 2013
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I really enjoyed my few driving outings with melodyand was very lucky to find such a lovely owner who was as experienced and willing to share her knowledge and beautiful pony.
It was amazing the difference,she literally picked the reins up as you would to ride for 10 seconds to show me and melodys whole way of going changed,she asked me to ride her a few times to help with exercising and again even when riding I used the coachmans reins as this was what melody understood and I was amazed at how light and responsive she was just the lightest aid and very responsive to voice.a lovely experience to have had and very grateful for it.
Yes wally I wouldn't fancy a team of strong horses!one is bad enough I would hate to think what driving a team would he like!
 
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