Driving... 3 types

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midnight star stables

Well-Known Member
Jul 2, 2005
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Pefferlaw, Ontario
I have a show this staurday, I am entered in 3 driving classes:


working &


I got working... & i think reinsmenship(sp??) & cones....

But i need a paturne for cones

thanks guys
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I went to a Pinto Horse Show this past weekend and they had a bunch of Miniatures there also showing. I watched the Reinsmanship Pony/Mini Driving class and i have to admit i couldn't see anything different from Pleasure Driving. I will be interested in any answers you get too.
isn't reinsmanship judged on the driver, like in a showmanship or equitation class? jennifer
Yes, Reinmanship is judged on the driver, its an equitation class. I say, practice the way you hold your reins, keep your feet forward, and sit straight up.

I have never done cones, but do they supply you the pattern?
Reinsmanship is a regular driving class (whichever one they choose to do, I have done both dressage and a regular rail class) but the driver is judged rather than the horse. Course just like showmanship, the better the horse does, the better it reflects on the driver.

In most organized events you will be given a sheet with the pattern for the cones. In any event you will have the time and opportunity to walk the course before the class.

Good luck and have fun.

Is this show going by ADS rules? These are the same classes the Iowa State Fair offers, and they go by the Carriage section rules of ADS. This means wood wheels on your cart, a whip with a tip that reaches the horses shoulder, and a dress code: brown gloves, long sleeve blouse or jacket, hat, and lap robe. You also need russet (brown) reins even on a black harness.

The Open show in Texas this weekend has these 3 classes too, but not going with a dress code. They DO require the wood wheels though, because they also have a pleasure driving class for "bike tires" or pnuematic tires.

A review of the classes:

Working--a pleasure driving class in which entries are judged on the suitability of the horse to give a pleasant drive. To be shown both ways of the arena at a walk, slow trot, working trot and strong trot. To stand quietly, both on the rail and while lined up, and to rein back (back up). All entries chosen for a workout may be worked both ways of the arena at any gait requested by the judge, and may be asked to execute a figure of eight and/or perform other appropriate tests.

To be judged:

70% performance, manners, and way of going

20% on condition and fit of harness and vehicle

10% on neatness of attire

Reinsmanship--pleasure driving class where entries are judged primarily on the ability and skill of the driver.

To be shown at the walk, slow trot, working trot and strong trot. Drivers shall be requested to rein back. All entries chosen for a workout may be worked both ways of the arena at any gait requested by the judge, and may be asked to execute a figure of eight and/or perform other appropriate tests.

To be judged:

75% on handling of reins and whip, control, posture and overall appearance of driver

25% on the condition of harness and neatness of attire

Cones--a timed class through pairs of cones. There are tennis balls on top of the cones, and there is a 5 second additional penalty for every ball knocked off. There are a couple of ways to run this class--as a pattern everyone does the same way; as a "pick your route" where you can go through in any order but can only go one time through each set (ie you can't circle through a set you've already done to take a shortcut); or progressive cones where each pair is closer and closer together.

The cone width are supposed to be set based on the width of each drivers wheels, or it isn't fair for the big guys.
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thanks guys!

just for practise, does any one have a cone class layout?

does any one ever have their horses rasored in driving... i have halter classes just befor... i'll be whiping it of, but does any one do it?

thanks again!
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NO ONE razors at a carriage show. You would stick out like a sore thumb!! We get teased for pulling our mini's forlocks over to the side or if we have a loooong bridle path (don't have those anymore unless there's an "oops")

We get questioned ablout body clipping too--sometimes our ADS shows come right after a AMHR show. I clip with a 10 on the head and bridle path, and clean up the feathers for a carriage show. NO baby oil or "shine". Most of my horses are shown in a natural coat if possible, especially the performance-only horses. I sure wouldn't razor at an open show even if doing halter, IMO. Clip the muzzle with a 30 or 40 and use a little baby oil (wipe off before driving!)

Get 10 sets of buckets or cones and make yourself patterns--my kids love to do this. Practice bending and precision at a slow trot, then work up to speed. Cones ROCK
!!!! Our horses that do it LOVE it--they get so fired up when they know it's next!
Where are your arms supposed to be? The show i watched some had them totally out stretched or elbows bent coming out level by their hips and one had the elbows toward her side and the arm almost straight up. They didn't announce the placing of the classes until about 2 or 3 classes had passed so you couldn't tell who was doing it right and winning.

Patty's arms are pretty good, but she's leaning forward a bit and her shoulders are rounded--you can see she's tense. She is holding the reins and whip (which you can't see) correctly


Trevor's arm position is pretty good, but he needs to be sitting up straighter. Great smile!


Trevor is leaning in way too much, and he isn't holding Sunny with the outside rein on the turn, allowing her to fall to the inside.


Devin (in green) looks great-posture, hands, whip, reins.


Gabby looks pretty good too, but her reins are a little loose. Whip position is good.
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You are doing all this with your 26 year old horse?? The one you were going to retire and not work?? Or have you got another one that you are using instead???
BTW--this is a schooling show, so there was no dress code (except helmets were required) So, no long sleeves or gloves.

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