AMHA Carriage Class Proposal

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Lost Spoke Ranch

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Hi Everyone:

We received this e-mail from Gary Barnes and he asked us to forward it to all of you. Please read. The proposal is below his message.

Dawn


Many of you have heard about this new driving division. The Performance Committee started on this concept four years ago and it has changed and evolved into something very important to this ever evolving industry. The concept originated with input from many people. I originally started on it the year before AMHR came out with "Western" driving. It is on it's fourth name and has input from the likes of Mike McCabe (senior judge and LOC member), Austin Van Wyck (Judge and LOC member), Diane Morgan Stasiak (Judge of many performance breeds), Nancy Idom Judge of many performance breeds, my wife Lisa Barnes and so many other concerned parties that I don't have time or space to thank them all!

Please take the time to read both the attachments.

Whether you are a "Performance" person or not this has benefits. It gives the breeder (halter or performance) another much needed avenue for sales. It gives the competitor (youth, amateur, or open) another place to compete. It will reduce entries in our crowded Country classes at the World and Championship level and by reducing splits should take minimal extra show time. But will still increase entries at the local shows and stimulate much needed entries on the local level.

Many of us own horses that are already perfect "Carriage Driving" horses. AMHR has the Western driving division now and we need those "A" people to come back. We also can really benefit from the opportunity to bring other horse people into the wonderful world of AMHA! This is also a win/win for our vendors.

This needs to be addressed at our June meeting. I submitted it following this years annual meeting for Show Rules determination. If you can,PLEASE take the time to attend the Show Rules meeting Friday, June 13th 8:00 AM till noon. Here is a link to the AMHA website for additional information:

http://www.amha.org/index.asp?KeyName=210

If you cannot attend it is imperative that you email, write or call your directors and ask them to attend. It would also be prudent to send the Performance Committee and AMHA's office a copy of whatever you send. You can do that by replying to:

[email protected]

or by mailing to:

Gary Barnes

1900 Campbell Road

Tolar, TX 76476

Thank You and PLEASE help us spread the word!

Gary Barnes

Co-Chairman

AMHA Performance Committee

(254) 835-4534

AMHA Driving Division Proposal

Submitted for consideration to the Show Rules Committee at the June, 2008 AMHA meeting by the 2008 Performance Committee.

Please read the attached rule submission entitled “Carriage Driving”.

Background:

AMHA’s main purpose (according to the AMHA Articles of Incorporation) is to, “Aid and encourage the breeding, exhibiting, use and pepetuation (spelling as per the current rule book) of Miniature Horses; promote and encourage exhibiting of Miniature Horses in open classes; coordinate and cooperate with the US Equestrian Federation in providing qualified judges for Miniature Horse shows; and in devising and adopting Miniature Horse show rules, regulations and standards.”

While the Performance Committee has no ability to directly affect the judging portion of AMHA’s licensed purpose we do feel that the following criteria for effecting this additional Driving Division warrants its inclusion.

AMHA Growth:

It has been proven to the association through careful auditing by this committee that the performance portion of AMHA has been steadily growing. In fact Performance has surpassed the Halter aspect of our industry. Here is a quote from an article published in our MHW magazine;

“The average number of classes shown per horse for performance has risen to 3.74/horse where as the halter number is 1.69/horse. Furthermore in 1992 66% of the class entries at our National show were Halter entries, in 2005 50% of the entries were from halter. The shift is over 30%!”

These three quotes from Wayne Hipsley (recently hired as a consultant by AMHA) also concern this committee and directly support this proposed division;

“And it appears based upon AMHA figures, the number of horses being shown at AMHA shows is slowly declining…..”

“Third, a breed association has administrative responsibilities to govern with fairness, applying their rules and regulations, and administrative policies and procedures equally for all, while serving the financial responsibility for perpetuation of the breed…”

“Fourth, to provide its membership with communications and support on many issues and programs necessary to sustain their activities and involvement with the breed.”

This committee feels that we as an association should build a foundation that will promote additional interest, participation and growth for the future of our industry.

Current Driving Divisions:

There are a few different schools of thought about our current Driving Divisions. One being that “creep” has affected the Country classes (creep down of un-competitive Single Pleasure horses). Another suggests that our breeding programs have produced a more up-right necked horse and that these horses have influenced the judging of our Country classes. But either way times have changed since the adoption of the Country Pleasure division. By the way when introduced it was feared that Country Pleasure would be poorly attended, now we have splits in almost all of our Country classes at the World show.

Many have suggested that we try to add a division in between Country and Single. The judges and LOC members consulted have commented that the “lines” between the classes would be very small effectively making it very hard to judge. We would also like to raise the level of our Single Pleasure Division, slowly, in order to create bigger differences between the divisions. It is our feeling that making these changes will invite more participation.

Marketing:

This committee also feels that we need to create this division in order to bring more new people into the fold (as the above stated AMHA article of incorporation states is AMHA’s purpose). The three years of work and input we have given to this plan carefully takes into consideration other breeds, associations, and the “lost” AMHA members that have taken to showing at AMHR events. Our current leader based his campaign on finding ways to bring those people back to our shows. AMHR has a Driving Division called Western that although not as well defined as the attached proposed rule will give those members what they are spending their money on at AMHR. It also combines (while still fitting nicely in our structure) our Driving Obstacle and new Reinsmanship classes to offer to ADS members a set of classes worthy of their participation in our shows. ADS membership is growing like gangbusters in all parts of the country. It also opens the doors to our ability to market newcomers from other breeds in a class that they will hopefully consider as an “entry level” driving class.

Participation:

It is often reported that people shy away from our shows because of money. While some feel that we need to only breed more competitive horses, the fact of the matter is none of our breeding programs are able to only produce the “best of the best” (hence the terminology). Why not create a new division with clear and concise rules that makes us more accessible to more people in these trying times? The trainers involved in the creation of this division welcome it with open arms as it will allow them to increase their show strings. Trainers support our local shows tremendously. Remember the “Performance” horse averages about four classes per show.

Horse sales:

The bottom line for many of our members is sales. We can sell good Halter horses and we can sell good Driving horses. They have value because our members feel they can win with a good horse. This new division creates another avenue to sell a good horse. Many of our horses can be good Carriage Driving horses. Many Halter breeders have horses that could be sold as Carriage Driving horses.

Number of classes:

This division will add classes. A minimum of nine should be offered. It is the committees feeling that a substantial number of existing Country Pleasure horses will be more competitive in the Carriage classes. If so we should see a number of Country classes that have been split at our Championship and World shows will not have to be split. If a class is split once then the A, B and Drive-off take approximately 30 minutes each. If adding this division reduces splits we could conceivably save time at these shows. Not forever though as the committee believes this could become even more popular than Country Pleasure.

To recap:

We feel that we can bring old members back. We will create an excellent avenue for our breeders to sell horses. This creates a new way to market our association to existing horse owners. More horses shown helps our local clubs economy. And our “Mission Statement” tells us this is good sense!

CL-034 CARRIAGE DRIVING

(drawing)

Balance shall be 50% to rear

The CARRIAGE DRIVING horse shall be shown with contact on the reins at all times. Neck carriage should remain low and head set by horse being on the bit and face perpendicular to the ground. Stride should be sweeping and ground covering.

A. Carriage Driving is a single horse driving class, hitched to an “open” wheel cart with either wooden or metal spoke wheels. A Basket is mandatory, a boot is optional. To be judged on the following criteria, in the listed order:

ATTITUDE Settled in the bridle, smooth gait transitions.

MANNERS No gapping at the bit. Horse should appear willing to work.

PERFORMANCE Steady in each gait and definite gait changes.

QUALITY A ”pretty” picture with appropriate action for class.

CONFORMATION As correct for CARRIAGE DRIVING.

The ideal CARRIAGE DRIVING horse should excel at all of the above items.

B. Class requirements:

Horse to be shown both directions in the arena at the Walk, Pleasure Trot, and the Working Trot. Horse will enter counter clockwise at the Pleasure Trot. Horse will be required to stand quietly and back readily.

C. Gait requirements:

1. Walk; A four beat, flat-footed and ground covering gait.

2. Pleasure Trot; A two beat diagonal gait. Overall balance as shown above. Horse must demonstrate freedom of movement, be relaxed and easy going, demonstrating impulsion.

3. Working Trot; A lengthening of stride from the Pleasure Trot. Horse must demonstrate freedom of movement.

D. The use of a Martingale is optional. (See CL-030-K)
 

MinisOutWest

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it's late and I am lost. Is this a Carriage class, between a country and Single horse class or is this a Western Driving class, like the Quarter Horses?
 

Tango

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Okay, very confused on this. Is this new proposed class going to go by ADS rules? Also, it sounds like this class is being proposed in hopes to capitalize on those that compete in CDE and drive by ADS rules. That is fine, but folks need to realize that horses are trained COMPLETELY different to drive "Carriage Style" than they are to drive in breed show arenas. Also, unless rules have changed in ADS, martingales are not allowed. Will AMHA be hiring ADS judges to judge this class? If not, current AMHA judges will not know what they are looking for and how to judge this class unless they have ADS experience.

My biggest concern here is that if this newly proposed class is not going to adhere to ADS rules, then people who show in this class will be under the mistaken notion that they are actually competing in a real "Carriage Driving" class. True Carriage Driving is a whole different world, far far away from breed show driving.

Nikki
 

keely2682

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is this an obstacle, reinsmanship, or rail class?

if we want a carriage driving style class, it should be :

(wearing my flame suit)

"side checks optional"

"breeching mandatory"

"martingales and overchecks banned"

plus pull them off the rail and make them drive
 

Al B

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Gary may want to further clarify this but I'll give it a try. This has nothing to do with ADS...

This is a new division of driving for the AMHA driving horse. It will be in addition to Single Pleasure and Country Pleasure. I will not use the term below because there is no above or below in the classes but it will be for the more easy going driving horses with less animation than the Country Pleasure horse. Much like the Western Pleasure AMHR classes.

As Gary stated this is about the 4th name given to this class and while "Carriage Driving" may conjure up thoughts of ADS style carriage driving it is not meant to be and has no association with that set of rules.
 

targetsmom

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Add me to those that are confused. I saw "Carriage Driving" and thought ADS, wooden wheels, driving aprons, etc. But now I see that is not what is meant at all. For someone who is really interested in carriage driving, I think this will be very confusing. If the idea is to appeal to those who enter the AMHR Western Country Pleasure Classes, wouldn't it make more sense to also call this class "Western Country Pleasure Driving"?
 

bingo

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The way I am reading it this will be comparable to the AMHR West Pleasure class. They might have thought about it prior but after seeing this class work and be popular in AMHR they want to include the same thing however they surely can not call it Western Pleasure

I think that is a HUGE mistake and calling it a Carriage class leads to lots of confusion and brings to mind ADS ifyou are going to add another driving division call it West. Pleasure take out the confusion and quit worrying about comparing yourself to AMHR that will help the cause more in bringing people back to AMHA from the R shows

JMO
 

justagirl

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Yep , clear as mud


I agree , don't worry so much about "copying" AMHR , call it something that folks can actually equate with ..... or would that be too logical.

Edited to add some more thoughts ......

Yes, I agree adding another division will thin out the CP classes and it will give one of my horses a better place to compete in AMHA , this , I like , he doesn't have the head carriage needed to be competitive in CP , unless I jack it up and then tie it down and that ain't gonna happen .... I don't do this to tick off my horse, I do it to have fun .

Yes, Western CP was concieved in the AMHR registry , but after 2 years , folks have a good idea of what is expected in the class , to be compeptitive . If this new AMHA division is meant to mimic , or be similar to AMHR's WCP , why not call it that . I mean , if it looks like a duck , and sounds like a duck , call it a duck.

If you confuse people , the class will be empty .
 
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Ginia

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I agree that it would be a good class to add, but if called "Carriage Driving" I think it should follow ADS guidelines. Swallow your pride and call it "Western Pleasure Driving" because it is basically the same as the AMHR Western Pleasure Driving. Otherwise you're going to lose the interest of the CDE and ADS people
 

JourneysEnd

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When I see the word carriage, I think four wheels.

I thought cart was two wheels, carriage four.

Certainly could be wrong.

Western Country Pleasure makes more sense.
 

Field-of-Dreams

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I agree. "Carriage Driving"= ADS, four wheels, etc. The name is VERY confusing!

It's OK to call it Western Country, honest. We won't be offended, fact is, we'd be estatic! We NEED a place for those lower moving guys....


Obviously I'm biased, though....
check out my signature.....


Lucy
 

keely2682

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i agree western country is a good amhr class

it allows a lot more horses to compete

no reason to add confusion by naming it something different and intending it as wcp

if they want to draw ads people

then add a carriage class too but make it for those ads people

ie- ads rules and off the rail
 

MinimotionW-S

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It's great to see interest in our new class proposal!! We have been working long and hard on it. The name has been kicked around quite a bit. We were going to call it Hunter Pleasure. That to give some idea in the name as to what motion the class will be looking for; motion somewhat like a hunter under saddle horse only in harness. If you looked at the class description you'll see(drawing). We will have an actual drawing of how this type of horse should look. There are already horses in our industry that will benefit from this new class. The Country classes are full; and not all horses in them can be competitive. The lower headed horse with a sweeping stride may or may not catch the judges eye in our current Country classes. That horse will be just what we are looking for in the new class; whatever the name is.

Carriage driving can be found in other breed shows as well. Our class will allow 2 wheeled carts only but they can be either wooden wheeled or spoked wheeled carts. Martingales will be "optional"; you don't have to use one if you don't want to. As far as an overcheck or sidecheck is concerned you shouldn't need to have it tight on this type of horse.

This information was put out to foster input. We will take your suggestions into consideration.

Thanks, Darlene Bridges (AMHA Performance Committee Co Chair)
 

keely2682

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i think hunter pleasure is a more accurate name if that is the look you are after

save confusion for those doing other disciplines

and not give the ads people false hope that you are having true carriage style driving
 

JourneysEnd

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i think hunter pleasure is a more accurate name if that is the look you are after

save confusion for those doing other disciplines

and not give the ads people false hope that you are having true carriage style driving
That's true, but why have a different name than AMHR class since most people show both registries ?

The driving classes tend to be confusing as it is to a lot of people. Look at all the questions asked on the forum about the difference between the classes. Western may have not been the best name, but we're already getting used to it and it does bring to mind the lower head set of the Quarter Horse.

I do prefer Hunter Pleasure over Carriage though. To me carriage would be more of a Park Harness class.

When other breeds use the term "Carriage driving" isn't it the only driving class they have ?

It's been a while since I showed TWH and I never drove mine, but I think they only had one driving class.

Anybody know the answer to this ?
 
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MiniHGal

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I really don't think the name is appropriate for the class, as has been stated. While I do think it is a very good idea to try and split the country pleasure, calling it hunter or western pleasure would be a MUCH better name choice.

Carriage driving class calls to mind aspects of ADS-type driving...and while I would love to see a class like that in breed shows....this proposed class is not it.

For a serious carriage driving class, horses should be allowed to show with any heighth of headset and style of movement(sweeping, high stepping, etc)--those are not nearly as important as how the horse is carrying himself and properly using his muscles in true dressage form. Breeching should at least be encouraged, and sidechecks optional (no overchecks). And if you really wanted to go for a carriage driving style, aprons, hats, jackets, gloves are all to be encouraged or required. The Morgan rules are pretty close to exemplifying what I am trying to say.

You say that other breeds have carriage driving classes--well, the ones that I have found that do, look very much like the Morgan rules I have posted below. Not at all similar to your proposal.

XIII. CARRIAGE DRIVING SECTION

A. MORGAN CARRIAGE DRIVING

The term Carriage Pleasure Driving is used to encompass an exciting and beautiful

equine art form. Carriage Pleasure Driving can provide a marvelous opportunity

for the Morgan to prove himself as one of America’s premier driving horses. It is

very important that a Morgan judge understand the spirit and philosophy of the

horsemanship involved; he should also understand the distinctions between these

classes and regular Morgan show pleasure classes. Carriage Pleasure Driving classes

may be operated under the rules of the American Driving Society (ADS) and the

United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) Carriage Pleasure Driving Rules. The

exceptions are the Cavalcade American Class, which is judged under local rules and

the Morgan Heritage Class, a creation within the Morgan breed. Judges and individuals

seriously interested in the sport should obtain the ADS Handbook which

will convey more completely the spirit, philosophy and competition specifications

than these few paragraphs. The ADS address is: The American Driving Society,

Inc., 1837 Ludden Dr. Ste. 120, Cross Plains, WI 53528; (608) 237-7382; fax: (608)

237-6468. The ADS website is www.americandrivingsociety.org.

At all gaits, the Morgan Carriage Horse should be relaxed and supple and yet

move forward energetically without rushing. On the straight line, he should

move powerfully without wavering with the haunches following the shoulders

directly and with no lateral bend to the head, neck, or body. On circles and in the

corners, the horse’s neck and body should be laterally bent evenly from the poll

to the tail so as to conform to the arc of the path it is on, and the hind feet should

follow the front feet with no side-stepping or falling in over the inside shoulder.

The frame, the outline of the horse, should be such that his face is perpendicular,

or just in front of the perpendicular, and such that his neck is flexed evenly with

the poll the highest point. At the more collected gaits, the neck should be higher

and more flexed, the motion should be more elevated with all the joints of the

legs more articulated, the stride should be shorter, and the haunches should be

somewhat lowered.

GAITS - CARRIAGE PLEASURE DRIVING SECTION

The standard gait descriptions are a walk, slow trot, working trot, strong trot

(trot on), halt and rein back.

1. The WALK is a free, regular and unconstrained gait of moderate extension.

The horse(s) should walk energetically, but calmly, with even and determined

pace showing direction and purpose. A walk is always a four-beat

gait. Rein contact should be light but in no case loose. Depending on his

conformation, the horse’s hind feet should at least step into the prints of

the fore-feet or moderately over.

2. The SLOW TROT should be maintained with forward impulsion while

showing submission to the bit. The trot is slower and more collected, but

not to the degree required in the Dressage collected trot. However, the

horse should indicate willingness to be driven on the bit while maintaining

a steady cadence. The slow trot should not be the result of a pulling or

holding back of the reins but rather of the horse working himself up to the

bit. The slow trot is a two-beat gait.

3. The WORKING TROT is the pace between the slow trot and the strong

trot. It is the relaxed horse’s natural trot and as such may be individual to

each horse in terms or rhythm and length of stride. It should be a trot in

which the horse is balanced and in self carriage and which the horse can

maintain comfortably for long periods of time. The horse(s) move forward

easily and straight with freely swinging hind legs and freely reaching

shoulders: on a taut, but light rein. The position should be balanced and

unconstrained. The steps should be as even as possible. The hind feet

touch the ground in the footprints of the forefeet. The degree of energy

and impulsion displayed at the working trot denotes clearly the degree of

suppleness and balance of the horse(s). The working trot is a two-beat gait.

4. The STRONG TROT is a clear, but not excessive, increase in pace and

lengthening of stride while remaining well-balanced and showing appropriate

lateral flexion on turns. Light contact to be maintained. Excessive

speed will be penalized. The term “trot on” should be used to call the gait.

5. The HALT: Horse and vehicle should be brought to a complete square stop

without abruptness or veering. At the halt, horse(s) should stand attentive,

motionless and straight with the weight evenly distributed over all four

legs and be ready to move off at the slightest indication from the driver.

6. REIN BACK is defined as a backward movement in which the legs are

raised and set down simultaneously in diagonal pairs with the hind legs remaining

well in line. Rein back is performed in two parts:

a. The horse must move backward at least four steps in an unhurried

manner with head flexed and straight, pushing the carriage back evenly

in a straight line. The driver should use quiet aids and light contact.

b. Move forward willingly to former position using quiet aids and light

contact.

c. A horse should not be penalized for the cocking of a carriage as long as

he himself is moving straight back and without resistance and did not

cause the cocking by a wrong move.

B. BITS

Proper, comfortable bitting of the carriage horse is of paramount importance. In

carriage competitions, snaffle bits and other types of traditional driving bits are allowed.

Burr, gag, and twisted wire bits of any type are not permitted. The use of

conforming but non-traditional driving bits should not be penalized, provided the

horse delivers a good performance. Bits may be covered with leather or rubber.

C. STYLE OF DRIVING

1. The driver should be seated comfortably on the box so as to be relaxed and

effective. Either the one-or two-handed method of driving is acceptable.

Common to both methods, the elbows and arms should be close to the

body with an allowing, but steady hand enabling a consistent “feel” with

the horse’s mouth. Drivers should not be penalized or rewarded for using

one style over another.

2. When there are passengers, the driver should sit on the right-hand side of

the carriage.

D. DRESS OF DRIVER: See USEF rules for proper dress of driver.

E. STYLE OF VEHICLE

Drivers should strive to present an appropriate turnout. “Appropriate” indicates

the balance and pleasing appearance of the combination of horse and

vehicle. The way of going of the horse may also affect the overall appearance,

i.e. a high-action horse is more suitable for a formal vehicle; the low-going,

ground-covering horse presents a more pleasing appearance for a country or

road type vehicle.

F. STYLE OF HARNESS

It is the driver’s responsibility to see the harness is in good condition, is clean and

fits properly. Bridles must have a throatlatch and a noseband or cavesson.

Black harness is considered appropriate for painted vehicles and natural vehicles

having black trim (i.e. shaft coverings, iron work, dash, and upholstery).

Brown or russet harness is considered appropriate with natural wood finished

trimmed in brown. All metal fittings should match.

Breast collars are appropriate with lightweight vehicles. Full collars are suggested

for heavy vehicles such as coaches, brakes, phaetons, dog carts, etc.

A correctly fitted harness is important to the comfort of the horse. A wide harness

saddle is suggested for two-wheeled vehicles as more weight rests on the

horse’s back. Narrow saddles are more appropriate for four-wheeled vehicles.

Martingales are permitted only if appropriate for the vehicle being used.

Martingales and overchecks are prohibited in Dressage and obstacle classes for all

vehicles.

Failure to comply will incur elimination. Sidechecks are optional.

Italics are mine, showing the major points I wanted to show in the rules.

Thumbs up to everyone on the rules commitee for forming another class; I think it is certainly needed! However, please don't call it the carriage driving class--it gives the wrong impression entirely.

It also combines (while still fitting nicely in our structure) our Driving Obstacle and new Reinsmanship classes to offer to ADS members a set of classes worthy of their participation in our shows. ADS membership is growing like gangbusters in all parts of the country. It also opens the doors to our ability to market newcomers from other breeds in a class that they will hopefully consider as an “entry level” driving class.
I don't understand how this class will attract ADS members when it is not a carriage driving class under ADS-styled rules. You still have to have a check on--something that a whole heck of a lot of ADS members are not interested in putting on their horses. But thats not really my problem with the idea...its more that it sounds precisely like the Western Country Pl. of R, with a totally incorrect name. If you want to attract ADS members, then make a class styled under their rules! I would jump at that class!
 

targetsmom

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I think Hunter Pleasure gives a better idea of the look you are after, and would be the name I would pick - if there wasn't already a Western Country Pleasure Driving Class that people are just getting used to. But I would vote for either of these names over Carriage Driving, which I think will only cause more confusion. We love long sweeping strides ourselves and have minis that could show in this class!
 

hobbyhorse23

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keely2682 said:
if we want a carriage driving style class, it should be :(wearing my flame suit)

"side checks optional"

"breeching mandatory"

"martingales and overchecks banned"

plus pull them off the rail and make them drive
Dang straight!

Al B said:
This is a new division of driving for the AMHA driving horse. It will be in addition to Single Pleasure and Country Pleasure. I will not use the term below because there is no above or below in the classes but it will be for the more easy going driving horses with less animation than the Country Pleasure horse. Much like the Western Pleasure AMHR classes.
As Gary stated this is about the 4th name given to this class and while "Carriage Driving" may conjure up thoughts of ADS style carriage driving it is not meant to be and has no association with that set of rules.
Either create another division for lower moving horses ("Hunter" or "Western" Pleasure Driving) OR create a performance division for Carriage Driving horses who may have action of any type but wear breeching, don't use checks, and are trained entirely differently. Don't try to mix the two! All it does is give the impression that ADS-style horses have no action which is far from the truth.

You almost made me interested in trying AMHA shows with this but lost me as soon as it was still "checks required" and no different except for the action and headset expected.
Plus it's not fair to require a different set of equipment (open cart with wooden or metal-spoked wheels) without actually changing the driving or harnessing requirements to match. If all you're doing is creating a division for the lower-action, lower-headset horse then don't change the equipment requirements so people can't use their current close-wheel show carts or pneumatic tires. Most of the competitors you are trying to entice into the shows with this class can't afford wooden wheels.

JourneysEnd said:
When I see the word carriage, I think four wheels.
I thought cart was two wheels, carriage four.

Certainly could be wrong.
"Carriage driving" and "carriage harness" both refer to the ADS style of driving with breeching and a more substantial harness, not to the particular vehicle used. Park harness is very much a fine harness discipline and has nothing to do with carriage driving at all.

MinimotionW-S said:
It's great to see interest in our new class proposal!! We have been working long and hard on it. The name has been kicked around quite a bit. We were going to call it Hunter Pleasure. That to give some idea in the name as to what motion the class will be looking for; motion somewhat like a hunter under saddle horse only in harness. If you looked at the class description you'll see(drawing). We will have an actual drawing of how this type of horse should look. There are already horses in our industry that will benefit from this new class. The Country classes are full; and not all horses in them can be competitive. The lower headed horse with a sweeping stride may or may not catch the judges eye in our current Country classes. That horse will be just what we are looking for in the new class; whatever the name is.
Thanks, Darlene Bridges (AMHA Performance Committee Co Chair)
I think "Hunter Under Harness" would have been a far better choice of class name for both AMHA and AMHR. It's much more descriptive and doesn't lead people to try and create miniature peanut rollers with no impulsion at all.
I'm entering the AMHR Western class because that's where my horse's action fits the best but it's annoying having to drop his head back down to a less-attractive level than he's capable of (unchecked) in order to fit the guidelines. It sounds like your division is an improvement on that but frankly, calling either division "Carriage Driving" would be a sham and very misleading to new drivers.

Thank you for offering new classes like Reinsmanship and Precision Driving though, those type of classes DO catch my interest and will be enough to attract my entries when I believe the judges have been properly educated in how to judge them.

Leia

Edited to add: Breanna posted while I was writing and I have to say- "I want a Morgan now!" That division sounds like a dream to show in. Why can't we have something like that?? The goals are clearly stated, the rules well laid-out, and the horse described is both lovely to watch and fun to drive. Now THAT would bring new competitors in.
 
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Al B

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"Either create another division for lower moving horses ("Hunter" or "Western" Pleasure Driving) OR create a performance division for Carriage Driving horses who may have action of any type but wear breeching, don't use checks, and are trained entirely differently. Don't try to mix the two! All it does is give the impression that ADS-style horses have no action which is far from the truth.

You almost made me interested in trying AMHA shows with this but lost me as soon as it was still "checks required" and no different except for the action and headset expected. Plus it's not fair to require a different set of equipment (open cart with wooden or metal-spoked wheels) without actually changing the driving or harnessing requirements to match. If all you're doing is creating a division for the lower-action, lower-headset horse then don't change the equipment requirements so people can't use their current close-wheel show carts or pneumatic tires. Most of the competitors you are trying to entice into the shows with this class can't afford wooden wheels. "

I am not on the Performance Committee nor did I have any input into this proposal. I simply stated what it was not based on my conversations with Gary. I know the Committee has put in a great deal of work to come up with the proposal to be submitted to AMHA. Any positive suggestions should be addressed to them not the generic "they" or "you".
 

hobbyhorse23

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Gee willikers, Al!
I thought I was posting on a public forum where our opinions and input had been asked for.
Next time I'll be sure to address my reply to the "right" people instead. :DOH!


Honestly, I wasn't addressing that to you, personally. Please don't take offense at something that wasn't meant to be offensive.


Leia
 
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