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Driving ponies...what type??

Joined
27 December 2011
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Shropshire
Since looking my lovely Shetland boy a few years back and since then I've been dithering over getting another little chap with a view to driving just for a bit of fun.
My question is would a Mini/Shetland, mini cob or Welsh type be best? It must be small and friendly as will basically be a fun pet lol. Would only be required to pull a really lightweight cart with one adult in :)
 
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pennyturner

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Joined
1 August 2006
Messages
2,594
Don't rule out a Dartmoor, or a small NF. The smaller ones are often cracking ponies, about the same size as a welsh A.
Here's my selection of littles.

Dartmoor
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1ezlJO3DgiWN5TIvG9_OG2l63EXABBQji

Shetland
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1KUBKOttgaH4ghcAgcAzorvZrzPJwFwvr

Welsh
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1NBYX53gcyrsVXWYk7voQ_EnGW2BBOpjP

New Forest - the fact that these 3 are co-operating here with my first attempt at a unicorn just shows how easy they are to work with!
The chap at the front is only about 12.3hh (those at the back are 14hh)
https://drive.google.com/open?id=1RBzcV283g-wi1b_6NNL8nIBGDGq4K7X3
 

mcgreggor

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23 March 2017
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50
I broke my mini shet to drive and I can't fault him - brave, bold, quick to learn and willing. Pulls one adult no problems! My ridden horse is a sec D and I find the welshies are generally a bit more firey/silly at times. If I wanted to do more driving wise i'd probably get a decent standard shet (easier to transport pony and carriage too!)
 

Dancing_Diva

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I own a traditional gyspy cob, his a fab driving horse and out on loan to a driving home.

I’d get a Shetland tho, awesome little ponies and good fun :)
 

Leo Walker

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I'd get mine. 14.2hh, really big chunky cob so will easily carry an adult to drive and would literally pull a mountain if he was asked to. He doesnt even notice 2 it adults up for everyday driving.

Or if you are stuck on a shetland type, I know the most lovely and fenuine little pony thats up for sake. I really want him ut can barely manage my own at the minute so am being sensible!

If you do a search I posted at the back end of last year looking for ideas for a second pony which was quite interesting. My new one will have more blood and slightly less height but I want to compete so a slightly different situation.
 

MotherOfChickens

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I thought you should only ever drive with a groom? its the reason I never continued my Exmoor's driving education-because I only ever have someone to come with me once in a blue moon.
 

ester

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shetlands in two wheelers don't need a groom from a balance perspective (last indoors with rara was shetland city!) so I guess it depends when/where you want to drive. I know a few who have OHs that walk with them rather than ride with.
 

Orangehorse

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25 November 2005
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10,602
I had a Shetland I borrowed and I used to drive it alone but led it when I had children on board. I have a very close neighbour who drives and he goes out alone when exercising.
 

ILuvCowparsely

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5 April 2010
Messages
12,600
Since looking my lovely Shetland boy a few years back and since then I've been dithering over getting another little chap with a view to driving just for a bit of fun.
My question is would a Mini/Shetland, mini cob or Welsh type be best? It must be small and friendly as will basically be a fun pet lol. Would only be required to pull a really lightweight cart with one adult in :)
Mine is a Welsh Section A - she was broken to harness in 2013 and took less time than normal to start with her harness, everything with her is quick as she loves it and being only 12 hh she is small but friendly with it, having this journey again I would still buy a welsh section A , I enjoy having a welshy and I would only want a small pony to drive and nothing over 13.2 hh
 

Nudibranch

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Shetlands are great for driving. Welsh As can be but ime can have that edge and be too spooky for a safe drive. Not all but potentially. Next one for me will be a Dartmoor or Fell.
 

ILuvCowparsely

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Shetlands are great for driving. Welsh As can be but ime can have that edge and be too spooky for a safe drive. Not all but potentially. Next one for me will be a Dartmoor or Fell.


So glad my Welsh A is in the group of non spooky - we have a great safe drive with her, in fact she is the least spooky of my horses.
 

MotherOfChickens

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shetlands in two wheelers don't need a groom from a balance perspective (last indoors with rara was shetland city!) so I guess it depends when/where you want to drive. I know a few who have OHs that walk with them rather than ride with.
ahh, I would only be driving out and about-have no interest in driving (or riding lol and I don't have one) in an arena-OH would be my groom or my walker and tbh he just doesn't have the time to do it often.
 

Leo Walker

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I drive on my own in the school, but theres always someone within earshot. I wouldnt ever go out on the roads on my own. Its been drummed into me from the day I started that you just dont do it. It does seem to be much more common with shetland people though. Just the thought of it gives me the heebie jeebies though. So much can go wrong and so quickly. Even if it doesnt, how are you meant to see at road junctions?
 

millikins

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I'd like to try driving a Dartmoor, saw a pair doing scurry last year and they were stunning, so good looking and well behaved. Re driving alone, I do but only because I drive a single, small pony. I was told by by some one respected that it isn't recommended but it is relatively safe if you can get out and get to the pony's head quickly if things do go wrong, which can't be done with larger vehicles and equines. There is only one road junction near me where I can't see properly, I always choose a route where I turn into it or could hop out and lead if I had to turn out of it.
 

katastrophykat

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24 November 2011
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Every pony is individual. I currently have two A’s, full brothers and chalk and cheese. Big brother is stroppy, calm, east to work with and very straightforward. Little brother is sharp, flashy and a soppy sweetheart when he’s not finding a new quirk. I’m on breaking the first now but I’m so looking forward to the second!

I’d go for bigger, 11-13hh, which gives you so much more in terms of options if you find that you do want to do more, (longer drives, friends round for a jolly, etc) and you have a mini that physically can’t.
 

Nudibranch

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I'd say no to a mini but my old standard Shetland used to do miles and miles. She was as fit as a fiddle and we regularly did 2-3 hour drives with plenty of trot work. This was in N Wales with lots of hills as well, although I did get out on the steeper ones. They're very versatile.
 

pennyturner

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It is possible to drive out alone, as others have said above. Obviously it's not as safe as having a groom. You have to know and trust your ponies not to be spanners, and in extremis, you might have to tie up to something, which is a driving no-no really.

I have well driven singles which I wouldn't take out without help, and a pair who I regularly drive alone, in traffic, and XC at speed. The difference is that the pair will stand still when I need them to, no matter what (including one day when I put the harness on the wrong ponies, and realised a mile into the drive that the reason that they weren't steering too well was that the cross reins were on the outside! - I had to pull up and re-route the reins).

I started off driving when I had small children and my only carriage was a governess car, so whilst I was not alone (technically), a couple of toddlers is hardly a help, and 'getting to his head' can only be done the long way around! I trained the pony trained accordingly, by necessity. :D
 
Joined
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Shropshire
Is it that addictive?? Lol.
I've been offered a 7 year old Sec A that's been a companion all his life...would he be worth a look or should I stick to a Shetland?? Ideally need to stay under 11.2hh x
 

ILuvCowparsely

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Yes it is adictive


No harm viewing the welsh A as he or she maybe perfect and take to it like a duck to water. My trainer always says it is better to have a passenger in emergency situations , like if you come across other horses having a freak out at the cart, it would be your passenger 's job to get out and hold the pony in case he freaks at the other horses panicking. I would not personally drive out alone unless I had others with me either in the cart or hacking out on their horses alongside me, which we do many times and it desensitises the yard horses to the pony and trap.
 
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