Saturday, 30 August 2008

How easy is carriage driving?

I was asked recently how easy is it to carriage drive?

The answer is, of-course, not straightforward.

You will notice that the most proficient of people always make even complex tasks look so easy. When someone remarked about Johnny Wilkinson's amazing luck scoring goals in rugby (even from angles and distances you would not think possible) a commentator replied that the more Johnny practiced the luckier he got!

It's not until you begin carriage driving do you realise how much is involved and how much you, as the driver, need to practice. Even developing the muscles to hold the reins correctly if you drive 'coachman' style - the seemingly one-handed style recommended by the British Driving Society - takes discipline and effort.

When I watch masters like George Bowman and John Parker carriage driving I realise how just easy they make it look, and they drive teams!

Carriage driving may not be as physically demanding as horse riding but it nevertheless demands a level of skill, particularly when driving on the roads, that even the most proficient rider would respect.

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