Driving Lessons »

Driving Lessons

Carriage driving Reinsmanship skills is an art and beautiful to watch when correctly executed.  All three driving aids should be utilized when asking the equine to drive on the trails, exhibit in a parade, perform driven dressage test, negotiate a cones course or obstacle in a marathon.  Our voice, use of whip and most importantly our contact with the hands are essential to having a successful and pleasurable drive. Our focus is on two main styles of rein handling.

  • The Achenbach style of holding the reins is efficient, effective, and classical. This style of rein handling is widespread over continental Europe.  It was ultimately inspired by Benno von Achenbach, the founder of a very practical, safe and comfortable approach to drive horses.
  • The Hungarian style of holding the reins is also commonly used for quick turning and very popular for individuals that are more comfortable with the two handed style of driving.

Some students may start on a reinboard before actually being put behind the equine.  They will also learn about proper harnessing as well as the correct fit of harness.  The proper hitching and unhitching sequence is a part of the complete learning experience.

Driving with arms out and a rein in either hand as you would riding can lead to the following problems:

  • Leaning on the horse’s mouth or dropping contact altogether – and partly because the horse is some distance away and according to the gradient, there is a lot of lengthening and shortening to do.
  • The right hand holds the whip and it is not preferred to apply the whip with a hand that still has hold of the rein! It means you’re giving the horse all sorts of contradictory signals.

Debbie Banfield is the instructor at the Gayla Driving Center has over 35 years of experience. Her congenial and patient manor along with the love for the horses is a perfect combination for an enjoyable introduction in learning to drive or continuing education for the experienced competitor.

LESSON – $50.00 per hour with your horse