My sweet Morgan filly, Angel, is 3 years old. She is broke to ride but needs a different job for several reasons. So yesterday my friend and I took her up north of here about 2-1/2 hours for "boarding school" with a Morgan trainer I've known for several years. She is going to teach Angel to drive a cart. There are different types of driving within the Morgan breed - Park, Pleasure, and Carriage. Angel seems best suited for Carriage, but we shall see. Park Harness is shown in a 4-wheel cart. Pleasure Driving is shown in a 2-wheel cart, as shown below. Carriage driving is an old fashioned carriage of which there are many styles. The people in the carriage dress in garments traditional for the time so it's really rather charming.
Beau (my riding horse) learned how to drive as a youngster, either 2 or 3. He was shown in Pleasure Driving before he was trained to saddle. This is Beau driving in a show at Santa Barbara about 5 years ago.
From what I understand, he really enjoyed the driving. His focus now is Dressage and I don't know a local driving trainer, so he hasn't done this in 2 years since I got him.
Even though one of my other horses, Phoebe, also did Pleasure Driving, I had never driven the cart because she was shown by my then-trainer. Yesterday, Angel's new trainer had her stallion, Rick, hooked to the cart for training while we were there. She offered to let us drive him. So I said Yes! I had seen her horse win the recent Morgan World Championship under saddle. He is a big mover so I hesitated a little. But she told me he was a "very good boy" with the cart, so off I went. It was such fun! No one took a photo of me, but I am pretty sure I will do it again next time I drive up to visit Angel.
This is "Rick" winning under saddle. Isn't he gorgeous?
Morgan horses are very versatile in their abilities which is only one of the reasons we love and enjoy them so much. If you ever get a chance to see a Morgan show in your area, it's a lot of fun to watch all the disciplines being shown. Next time I visit Angel, I promise photos.