Training Horses to Drive

For Agricultural work, Carriage Driving, Singles & Pairs; training horses into harness

As a member of the British Driving Society, Marc is currently undertaking his Instructor Qualification with the aim of becoming an Assessor for the BDS.  This will enable us to become a full training centre for teaching horses to drive and you will be able to get your official driving certificates from us.

In the meantime, Marc is fully insured and experienced to break horses into harness.  We have a selection of carriages, agricultural training equipment and harness to get horses used to driving.  All is done with the safety of the horses and drivers in mind.

Marc offers driving training livery and once he’s spoken to you about your horse and your expectations, we will be able to give you a better idea of how long this process is likely to take.  Some horses will take better to driving than others to please don’t expect a horse who hasn’t driven before to be driving smoothly in a week! It’s a bit like asking a primary school child to sit their A-Level’s in a week.

We will be honest with you about what can be achieved and won’t string out a process.  We always provide our clients with a livery contract and an estimated timescale and goals that you would like to achieve before any horse arrives.   Above all we want you to enjoy teaching your horse to drive.

The Cavalry of Heroes - Driving Horse and Carriage, Herefordshire and Wales

Examples

“I had a client recently with a horse that had been put in harness but never really done much driving work.  In a week, I had the basic long-lining techniques established, and in two weeks there was confidence enough to long line without a lead person and the horse had accepted a weight being pulled behind it.  The next stage was to introduce the horse to carriage work with another experienced driving horse.  This took some getting used to, first the horse was acting lazy and then over zealous, so the process slowed down at this stage and it was another two weeks before I was confident to let the owner start driving.  The horse stayed with us for just over 6 weeks in total before going back home.  We then helped the owners find a starter carriage and harness and I’m pleased to say that they are still going strong.”

Please remember that this is just one example as every horse is different.  More examples can be found below but the best thing to do is contact us and we can talk you through the process.

Medieval Wedding at Bolton Castle with knights and horses provided by The Cavalry of Heroes Ltd

Malteser

Malteser was a lovely appaloosa horse who had a very specific role he needed to perform back at home which was to take guests on tours by the river.  He came to us having had quite a bit of ground and ridden work under his belt but he had yet to be introduced to harness.  It took 4 weeks and we were able to help Malteser get comfortable in harness and pulling a carriage before he went home.  After he went home we joined him for his first outing at home in his new carriage that we’d found for him and his owners were delighted and have continued to progress his driving training themselves.  He is much loved by visitors.

The Cavalry of Heroes - Teaching Horse to Drive in Harness, Herefordshire and Wales

Zara

Zara was a lovely 15hh bay mare who’s owner didn’t want to ride anymore but didn’t want her to become a field ornament.  She had a lovely trot and although she had been ridden hadn’t been driven.  We took things quietly and steady as although she was an older horse she was a little unnerved with new situations.  Zara’s owners were happy for her to stay with us so that she got she could really settle into the work before going home.  In the end Zara’s owners decided to sell her, and she was sold as a ride and newly taught to drive.

Wedding Horse and Carriage from The Cavalry of Heroes featuring a pair of Appaloosa's and Landau Carriage with Marc Lovatt as Head Coachman and Carriage Master, taken at Malvern College, Worcestershire, Midlands

Dosh and Jethro

A 13hh mare and colt (mother and son) combo who came with us together to learn how to perform agricultural work so that they could help on the farm back home.  Dosh (the mare) was steady and having been long lined a lot took to driving quickly.  She soon became a steadying influence on Jethro who was a typical young horse full of enthusiam and very opinionated.  We helped their owners with the hardest part of teaching a horse to drive (the introduction of a weight behind the horse) until they were both comfortable with the idea to pulling a harrow and small cart. They then went home where they have continued their work and education on the farm, gaining experience each time they work.

Prices

Training a horse to Drive livery

Livery is available at our HQ for horses who we are training to drive a carriage which includes training sessions, stabling, hay and turnout and all covered by a livery agreement and full PLI (your horse is in safe hands with qualified staff on site 24 hours).   Training with livery is at £190 per week incl. VAT.

The length of time your horse is with us will depend on many factors such as how much handling they have already had to how quickly they learn.  There are exercises you can do at home if you would like to give your horse a head start before they reach us and likewise if your horses reaches a stage where he just needs miles on the clock, then we can show you how to continue his training at home.  On average it takes between 4-6 weeks to introduce a horse to harness, but please don’t hesitate to call us to discuss as each situation is unique.

If you are looking to learn to drive a horse and carriage yourself Marc also teaches new drivers how to drive a horse and carriage.  See here for further details, or take a look at one of our online courses.

Wedding Horse and Carriage from The Cavalry of Heroes featuring a pair of Appaloosa's and Landau Carriage with Marc Lovatt as Head Coachman and Carriage Master, taken at Malvern College, Worcestershire, Midlands

“This generation doesn’t mark the end of our partnership with horses… it’s a new beginning” – Marc Lovatt

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