"Carriage Driving : A Logical Approach Through Dressage Training" was the first book I bought when I started getting
interested in driving, before I even started taking lessons. It is an excellent
book, and is still one of my favorite driving books. Anyone starting out in driving
should get this book, and I'm sure even seasoned whips would get a lot
out of it.
This book starts at the very beginning and takes you through understanding your horse as a herd animal and
prey animal, and how your horse's gender and living conditions can influence
its behaviour as well as acceptance of, and cooperation with, the
Equine mechanics are covered, with a discussion of conformation's
influence on the horse's ability to pull a load, and how proper training will
develop the appropriate muscles to allow true collection and pulling power.
Conformation of the neck, the throat, the poll and angle of the head to the neck,
the back, the loin and croup, the shoulders, the legs and the feet are all
discussed as they relate to the driving horse.
Choosing the right bit, harness and carriage for your horse are all
discussed. From there we move on to basic ground training, and pre-hitching
training. This section on
preparing your young horse to be trained as a driving horse is worth the
price of the book alone. If every young horse had the benefit of this type
of training following the procedure outlined, slowly and
step-by-step, they would have a strong foundation on which to proceed in
life as either a riding or driving horse.
Further topics are covered, such as handling the reins, lateral and
longitudinal bend, transitions, impulsion, straightness and
collection, which are very advanced topics.
This is a good book with an engaging writing style, in which the authors'
obvious respect for the horse, and love for driving, comes through.
Check out the book author's website for more information,
including missing chapters from the original manuscript, at