"Driving is more dangerous" - The Horse Forum

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post #1 of 53 Old 10-17-2013, 10:36 AM Thread Starter
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"Driving is more dangerous"

My friend bought a cart for her horse, that 16 years ago, was in the national top 10 for driving in Arab Nationals. Her horse loves driving. She had her horse pull the cart at the end of her wedding.

But now, she won't drive at all, because it is way too dangerous. Too risky, the horse could flip, bolt, etc etc. Yet she continues to ride, even though the same thing coukd happen, just on top of the horse.

Do you think riding and driving are equally dangerous, or one is more dangerous than the other?
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post #2 of 53 Old 10-17-2013, 11:07 AM
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Quote:
Originally Posted by KylieHuitema View Post
My friend bought a cart for her horse, that 16 years ago, was in the national top 10 for driving in Arab Nationals. Her horse loves driving. She had her horse pull the cart at the end of her wedding.

But now, she won't drive at all, because it is way too dangerous. Too risky, the horse could flip, bolt, etc etc. Yet she continues to ride, even though the same thing coukd happen, just on top of the horse.

Do you think riding and driving are equally dangerous, or one is more dangerous than the other?
I think driving can be more dangerous because of the inexperienced getting in the cart with out knowing the proper safety techniques and they panic if something goes wrong or drive a horse before it is trained properly.
A lot of people use a parade as there 1st time out in public and that scares me also.

If you fall off riding, the horse may run back to the barn or stop soon. If you fall out of the cart and the horse is loose it is much more dangerous to the innocent bystanders because something is chasing them which is wider and will bounce and hit things which will make it keep running.

If a horse is loose other horses should be ok but when a horse is loose and pulling a cart it can be upsetting to other horses.
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post #3 of 53 Old 10-17-2013, 11:37 AM
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They both have their dangers. Personally I've always seen driving as just a little bit more dangerous than riding (because of the distance of contact). With that said though, an experienced person in the cart is more than capable of handling it just as well as a person riding.

I've been in carts with horses who throw ungodly fits and me and my boss have handled it as well as we could when riding the horse. The problem I see is when people who haven't ever driven, consider it 'the same' or 'too similar' to riding and just jump in and go. Driving is another ball game when something happens because:

In riding an accident: you have to account for you, the horse, getting clear of the horse, your surroundings, and where your horse will go.

In driving an accident: you have to account for you, the horse, the cart, getting clear of the horse AND cart, your surroundings, the cart flipping, where your horse will go, where your cart will go and if you have to (like if the horse has slipped and fallen) how to extract the horse quickly from everything and get it under control.

In some ways I think that driving requires you to know the horse inside and out and know what they're going to do and what stops them. But riding can be just as dangerous as driving. The only bad thing I've ever had was when we had a horse bolt and then slip and fall in the traces. It took me and my boss about thirty seconds to have him clear of harness, cart and people. She always instilled in me that driving requires you to act quick and determinedly and know that gravity doesn't care about where you are in relation to the cart. So long as you know how to react in a situation I think it's just as safe as riding. :)
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post #4 of 53 Old 10-17-2013, 11:44 AM
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I'd say driving for sure, for all the reasons listed above.
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post #5 of 53 Old 10-17-2013, 11:53 AM
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Country Pleasure Driving Class Gone Wrong! - YouTube
I think that driving is more dangerous for both the horse and the driver and bystanders... this video shows why I think that!
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post #6 of 53 Old 10-17-2013, 08:32 PM
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Why not look at all the classes where this doesn't happen. If we succumb to overthinking everything we may as well chain ourselves to the bed and not venture past the bedroom door.
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post #7 of 53 Old 10-17-2013, 09:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Saddlebag View Post
Why not look at all the classes where this doesn't happen. If we succumb to overthinking everything we may as well chain ourselves to the bed and not venture past the bedroom door.
Agreed! If he has been otherwise safe in the past I don't see any reason to discontinue.
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post #8 of 53 Old 10-18-2013, 02:19 AM
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Well that is an absolutely horrifying video, and I am glad you posted it because I was considering taking up driving as a "retirement hobby"! I've changed my mind now!
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post #9 of 53 Old 10-18-2013, 09:39 AM
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Originally Posted by KatieQ View Post
Well that is an absolutely horrifying video, and I am glad you posted it because I was considering taking up driving as a "retirement hobby"! I've changed my mind now!
your going to let one video change your mind? Here are some photo's for you to consider before you decide:

Wouldn't this be fun to trot down a back dirt road? The steady foot fall of your favorite mount, the crispness of fall, watching your horses ears as they go along?


Before you say that driving is "bad", if you look close, there is a 3 year old little boy in my lap helping me drive two 1800lb Percheron mares hitched to a wagon. Not all driving animals are high strung or hot or going to cause a wreck:


First time I drove a team, my mare Smoke and my mentor who is on the box, Bob Brennan, with his mare Rosie, in an arena, having only about 16hrs of driving time with a team and a wagon with no undercut, I placed 2nd:


In an arena, it was windy, the loud speakers were right above us on either side and a large crowd, I am on the lines. Doing public education with our mares, you can tell they are so upset :


The point I am trying to make, don't let one video of a horse we don't know the history of, how far along in it's training, how long it has been driving, etc. put you off on a sport that yes, holds its dangers, but so does everything else we do with our equines. A well trained driving horse, or team, can bring so much joy to you, your family, grandchildren and children a like. I don't compete anymore, nor do we do public education, we just enjoy. You develop a bond with your driving horse, they trust you and you trust them and when that happens, there isn't anything you can't do. I have been in situations with my mare's that yes, I should of thought it out a bit more, but....I trusted them to get me through the rough trail and the tight spot, I had the knowledge to get us out as well and we did it. Have I had a bad wreck and/or witnessed them? Absolutely.

Go driving with someone you know and who is skilled.
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post #10 of 53 Old 10-18-2013, 10:19 AM Thread Starter
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Originally Posted by Saddlebag View Post
Why not look at all the classes where this doesn't happen. If we succumb to overthinking everything we may as well chain ourselves to the bed and not venture past the bedroom door.
I want to know the statistics compared to riding on how many accidents in both.. If I didn't do anything that is considered dangerous with horses, I wouldn't be riding, driving, in hand, or even being near them! I would rather take the risk of danger than live in fear.. Last winter I ended up rigging a sled to my horse and taught him how to pull it.. Even with my 5 year old brother driving it!
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