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A Driving Passion

With its variety of styles and levels, driving is gaining popularity. Here is a list of the best resources.

From Horsetrader sales staff - May 15th, 2014 - Special Section

Art of Driving
Templeton (805) 434-9443

Art of Driving teaches the classic German Driving and Riding System, offering a comprehensive spectrum of services to support you in having fun and success with horses. In its lessons, Art of Driving improves your skills and knowledge in driving or riding horses. Theoretic instructions help you understand the basics of the riding and driving system, and also about function and purpose of tack and all riding and driving equipment.

The main goal of the German Training System for horses is a high level of rideability and/or driveability. The Art of Driving helps you reach that goal by using the combined training system of lunging, riding and driving your horse in an intensive training program.

Art of Driving offers lessons and education for driving single, pairs or multiples; dressage and jumping; horsekeeping/caretaking and grooming; navigating for carriage driving; harness and carriages — as well as everything else that has to do with driving! The teachers are also available by arrangement for clinics or seminars at your facility or a location of your choice.

In addition, Art of Driving offers full service for your show participation and competing, including preparation, coaching and support based on their rich experiences, benefitting you, your team, and/or your horses. And if you are interested in having your horse professionally shown in driving or riding events, Art of Driving can do that for you, too, as well as help you find answers to all questions about the selection and purchase of horses, carriages and harness.

California Draft Horse & Equipment Sale
Tulare (559) 334-7731

California’s leading Draft Horse, Mule and equipment auction is once again coming back to the Tulare County Fairgrounds on Oct. 30-Nov. 1. The fall sale offers consignments of draft and saddle horses, mules, wagons, carriages, buggies, tack, horse trailers, antiques and collectibles. Enjoy a free Draft Horse Driving Clinic conducted by the California Draft Horse and Mule Association; a Fall Packers Challenge, hosted by the American Mule Association.; a Friesian Horse Demonstration; along with Jerry Tindell clinics. Mark your calendars for this great event!

Carpe Diem Farm
Lancaster (661) 722-2010

At Carpe Diem Farm, Patricia Demers offers training and lessons for pleasure driving and recreational driving, combined driving (driven dressage, hazards/ cross country, cones), horsemanship (English,  sidesaddle, and Western), cowboy speed trail events (cowboy extreme racing), practical trail and showing. Professional services include course design – for both driving events and ridden trail; judging – for both riding and driving; and clinics – driving, showing, dressage, cowboy trail, colt starting. Patricia incorporates ‘Natural Horsemanship’ methods which make a horse look forward to willingly working, and understanding his job, with gentle, quiet obedience. She works with minis to drafts, equines, mules and donkeys. Working with beginning drivers and riders is her specialty.  

She actively participates in showing with clients and her own equines in carriage and riding shows, and is a member of local riding and driving clubs (Whip R Snapper Driving Society, ETI). Patricia is also a member of the American Driving Society (ADS), Carriage Association of America (CAA), and the U. S. Equestrian Federation (USEF). She participates in the CAA’s Driver Proficiency Program, where she has earned her Levels I, II, III and recognition as a Level II instructor. In April 2013, Patricia earned her Evaluator for Level 1 status. Here at Carpe Diem Farm, you get the trainer 100 percent, not an untrained, anonymous assistant. You are treated as a guest and friend. If you are looking for a facility that offers plenty of room to drive and a quiet, family atmosphere, where fun and safety are stressed, here it is!

Driving Naturally with Nattie
Durham (530) 680-7974

Nattie Book started training horses professionally in 2004 and then began giving lessons in 2006. She grew up on the Book Family Farm in Durham and as the eldest of 11 grandchildren (including eigth girls) she had the opportunity to follow her father around everywhere she could, eventually finding her father’s passion and love and passion for draft horses herself. She has had a set of lines in her hands since age five, and has had the unique ability to be able to experience driving draft horses in almost every fashion imaginable — from wagon and carriage rides in downtown Chico to parades all over the North Valley, plus small and large venue Draft Horse shows, harvest festivals, wagon trains and all kinds of farming in the past 20 years. 

If you have a horse and are interested in driving, Nattie offers several services including (but not limited to):  driving training, driving lessons, harness fitting/measurements, horse evaluations, driving refresher courses for both people and horses and everything in between. She specializes in starting young horses in their driving journey, in a natural way that allows the horse to retain their dignity while keeping us both safe and having fun. She works with all breeds of horses while focusing on pleasure and farm driving. In addition, she offers lessons drive either a team of horses or a single. 

G & F Carriages
Bloomington (951) 660-1114

G & F Carriages, owned and operated by founder George Liblin, has been in business since 1980 — and has never missed an event. They have a wide variety of horse-drawn vehicles pulled by beautiful horses,  several of which have pulled the Queen’s float in the Rose Parade over the last several years. G & F Carriages has even taken a horse and carriage on stage at the Kodak Theater and the Shrine Auditorium for televised awards shows! G & F drivers are very experienced and exceptionally professional in their manner and appearance. Over the holidays, you can find G & F Carriages at the historic Riverside Mission Inn for their annual “Festival Of Lights”. They are the original Cinderella carriage maker, and also manufacture wagonettes and stagecoaches.

In addition, G & F has the tools and 50 years of experience to train horses that are halter broke to drive down the road, as well as riding horses that might need help overcoming problem behavior (bucking, rearing, shying). By driving them, they gain more confidence when riding. Driving training and lessons are available for commercial driving companies, as well as for members of the public. Call to learn more!

Saddle and Harness Association
Norco (951) 734-2258

The Saddle and Harness Association is a Southern California non-profit organization that strives to bring together equine enthusiasts to promote the sport of riding and pleasure driving, to further the education of competitors, as well as the audience, in equine sports and activities, to learn everyday, to encourage beginners and to do all this with everyone’s safety in mind and a good sportsmanlike attitude. The club considers beginners and new members equally as valuable as veteran members, riders, drivers, and trainers. Exclusive attire, equipment, equines and carriages are not required to participate. Safety is the top priority. 

Saddle and Harness is a premiere Norco horse club and hosts seven horse shows each year. The club also participates in several local equestrian parades. Saddle and Harness also participates in events with other clubs and encourages its members to support local equine events, activities and shows. Saddle and Harness serves the Inland Empire, Riverside, San Bernardino and surrounding communities.

Sweetwater Ranch & Carriage Company
Lancaster (661) 902-9892

Monica Whitmer is the trainer at Sweetwater Ranch & Carriage Company. She is Level 1 certified by the Carriage Association of America and has been driving horses for 20 years. She has trained a variety of breeds to pull carriages – from Miniature horses to Warmbloods. She also teaches novice drivers in basic reinsmanship. 

Monica’s unhurried technique produces a willing harness horse and focuses on safety over flash. She teaches people how to safely hitch their horse with correct equipment that is correctly adjusted. Monica partners with her husband Jack to provide commercial carriage services for weddings and all special events. Their Vis-a-Vis carriage provides a classic and comfortable ride.

Sweetwater Ranch has full boarding facilities – with exceptional driving trails right out of the gate and a full sized driven dressage court. They are also developing a set of CDE hazards in the field outside the ranch. 

Whip’r Snapper Driving Society
of Southern California

The Whip’R Snapper Driving Society of Southern California was founded in 1989 to promote the sport of driving and to educate the public about driving, safety, and to include the public in our activities and events. We are a non-profit organization and a recognized organization of the American Driving Society.

More than 80 Whip’R Snapper members represent a variety of skills and interests in driving activities; including serving as official and volunteers at events or participating by driving in combined driving, pleasure driving, arena driving, dressage, or just driving for the pure enjoyment and sport of it. We also have members who build and restore carriages of all types and distribute a variety of driving equipment. We have several members who compete on an advanced level as well as novice drivers who are just getting started and benefit from the help and advice of veteran drivers.

Numerous events are offered throughout the year to accommodate the varied interests of our members and the driving community. We sponsor a Driven Dressage Festival in May, hold our “Halloween Hustle” and Traditional Day of Driving in October, and have our annual Driving Trial in February. We host a variety of events and clinics covering all phases of driving. You can look forward to pleasure and picnic drives and show with the club throughout the year. In addition, we support driving events sponsored and hosted by other clubs and organizations throughout the western states.

Zilco Driving Harness

Zilco is a world leader in the design and production of synthetic harness and saddlery, and exports to all major equestrian markets world-wide. Discover the Zilco Advantage and learn why we say that if it’s branded “Zilco”, it’s branded “Quality”.

The conception of Zilco Harness came about from the idea of replacing leather with synthetic strapping. This was in Australia in the early 1960s. Zilco International has long since diversified into a widely based equestrian company, yet it has always remained true to its ideology and continues to innovate in the area of synthetic saddlery.

The first Zilco Driving Harness dates from the mid 1970s and was produced in our Sydney factory. Thus we were one of the first, if not the first company to make this type of harness. Racing harness had already been made since 1963, so expertise was already well established when production of regular driving harness began.

As well as in Australia, the first harness was sold in the UK at that time. This makes Zilco driving harness a key brand for over 30 years in both countries. Since then Zilco has continued to become the choice of serious competitors worldwide. It is now a highly respected brand at the highest levels of competition in Europe and North America.

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