Pleasure Driving

Pleasure Driving cover a wide range of activities from taking a drive around the farm to competing at a formal Pleasure Driving show. Horses, whose normal routine includes casual drives around the farm and through the woods, are tested in the show ring. At a Pleasure show, one competes against other competitors who are driving the same or similar types of vehicles and the same number of horses hitched to their carriages.

Jack Goodman (KY) driving Arab/Saddlebred pony gelding, Pittsburgh Playboy
Kay Van Natta (MI) driving Norwegian Fjord pony gelding, Brynjar


Pleasure Driving show require a "turnout" of you, your horse, harness and the carriage—country to formal (with grooms). The competition may consist of ring classes which evaluate you and your horse in terms of reinsmanship and turnout, or may involve a series of obstacles. Simple obstacle, cones with balls placed on top of them, which when disturbed by the carriage, drop to the ground to more advanced obstacles,  including bridges and ground poles placed parallel to each other in different configurations such as "L", through which the driver must negotiate the carriage, test the horse and driver's skill. The level of the obstacles can be matched to that of the driver by decreasing with width between the obstacles and/or timing the event.

Most Pleasure shows have a "cross country" course set up outside the ring. This class takes competitors over a timed course where they are expected to navigate through a series of obstacles found on a typical village or farm—water, bridge, gates.

Pleasure Driving shows are a great way to meet drivers, get helpful suggestions from others and develop a strong sense of camaraderie. Driving is a social activity, one that can be enjoyed at Pleasure Driving events, competitor get-togethers at shows, or simply by a quiet drive on an afternoon through the countryside with friends and family.

Barb King (OH) driving chestnut Haflinger pony geldings, Adirondack, Golden Dandy (Dan Speece, groom)
Linda Sadler (IL) driving bay Morgan geldings, Barnum & Bailey (Dave Sadler, groom)