Guest Author - Kim Wende
What happens when the child outgrows the pony? I've seen it many times where parents buy a pony for their children the child outgrows them then the pony stands in the pasture doing nothing. This does not have to be the case. Teach the pony to pull a cart. Driving is a fun equestrian sport that can be enjoyed by all members of the family.
There are several things you can do with a pony that knows how to pull a cart. If you like to compete there are driving events such as CDE's (combined driving events), dressage, playdays where they have barrel racing and pole bending, trail driving and shows that have driving classes. Don't worry if the pony is not registered as some of the events do not require them to have registration papers.
Many adults just enjoy hitching the pony up and going for a Sunday drive while others love to participate in parades. So before you think about selling the pony consider having them trained for driving by a professional or if you have experience with horses teach them to drive yourself.
There are several DVD's on the market that will give you instruction on teaching the pony to pull a cart. There are also driving organizations that you can get involved with.
To get started you will need a good quality leather harness as it will conform nicely to the pony. A leather harness will remain soft and supple with good care and is easily adjusted. Don't be tempted to buy a nylon harness as they can be stiff and very hard to adjust.
You will also need a cart. There are several types of two wheel carts on the market which are called easy entry carts. You can purchase the cart new or used, but used carts are hard to find. Make sure the cart fits the pony and do your research before investing in any cart. If you plan on competing make sure you read the rule book on the requirements of the cart.
When the kids have outgrown the pony don't kick them out to pasture or sell them. Teach them to pull a cart. If you are not comfortable teaching the pony to drive, then hire a professional. If you've never driven then take lessons. Driving is a lot of fun if done properly!