There are many factors involved in selecting a suitable equine for horse driving trials.
Height and build in relation to the driver and grooms who may be carried is a fundamental factor. Driving trials is a demanding sport and the horse/pony must be physically capable of carrying out the task without undue pressure. The level of event being attempted also has some baring on the horse/pony’s ability to complete the task. Certain breeds of horse/pony are better suited to all three phases of a driving trials in particular warm bloods, welsh and hackney and crosses of, are very popular demonstrating the necessary paces, agility and stamina for the task. Consideration should be made as to whether the horse is to be driven as a single or part of a multiple. The quality of the paces and agility required depends greatly on the level of event
Temperament is also a vital consideration when selecting your horse/pony. A successful driving eventer must be sensible and accepting of new and unusual objects and situations. The horse must have a desire to go forward confidently and enthusiastically yet remain calm and obedient even in difficult situations. The constant travelling, camping and competing at high levels can be very stressful on a horse and some temperaments do not lend well to this.
The required fitness of the horse/pony depends greatly on the level of event being prepared for. The horse must be capable of achieving the level of fitness required.
The age of horse/pony should be considered when planning training and eventing. A young horse is unlikely to be mentally or physically capable of completing a full marathon and dealing with the pressures of a large event. In this case the horse should be introduced to the sport gradually and allowed to build experience gradually. Likewise an older animal may no longer be physically capable of completing a long and challenging marathon and may need to be restricted to smaller events.
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