The equestrian sport of combined driving is similar to 3-day eventing (which I discussed in an earlier post). There are regional and international competitions with a single horse in harness, a pair, two pairs and three pairs (the latter being quite the handful with the reins).
A good friend of mine has wanted me to go in with her for such a competition. She's even gone so far as to consider what kind of horses would excel at such an event. Actually, all breeds of horses are capable; but she was thinking of specific ones.
The horses in the You Tube presentation of combined driving held at the 2005 Laurels are Norweigan Fjord Ponies. These ponies are a draft type that have evolved over the centuries in Norway.
But, my friend was looking for something different; something unique. She feels a kindred spirit towards the draft breeds. I told her that Shires, Clydesdales, Percherons, Belgians all need extra large stalls, extra large horse shoes, extra large harnesses, considerable more hay and feed than other horses, notwithstanding the wagon one needs to purchase to have a pair or two to pull, or the horse trailer to haul them to shows in. Too bad draft horses didn't come in pony size.
Well they do. There are a variety of draft pony types of draft horse breeds crossed with ponies. The unique draft ponies come in a colour variety of pintos, paints, appaloosa spots; apart from the regular colours.
Now I wait to see if my friend goes out to purchase a pair, and wait...