What Would You Do

Local know-it-all “helped” someone introduce their Friesian to Driving.
Quotes as it ended poorly, with a crash.
This gal Talks the Talk, but push come to shove, her knowledge is lacking. Dangerously.
Told a Newb Driver friend (of us both) her mini would not back because he “did not like” breeching.
Newb drives trails & IMO, that is a place breeching is important.
Eventually another friend with more knowledge got Newb to use breeching and successfully back her mini.
Back to the Friesian:
I never got details of the mess, but KIA posted a mea culpa “all my fault” on FB
Um… who else would be to blame?
I finally saw the cart used & it is (now was) Accident To Happen material.
#1- pony sized, large pony, but not horse-sized
#2-which means shafts were too short for the horse
#3-one heavy metal shaft was broken in half by the crash. Not lightweight tubing, this was pretty solid.
My thought is getting poked in the shoulder when asked to turn might have been the impetus for the crash.

AFAIK, Friesian has not been driven since.
What advice would you give HO?
Besides "Get the right size cart’ :smirk:

Find the best harness trainer in your area and send the HO there for guidance on gear and skills. That’s if they still want to drive. If they’ve decided to ride or just lead and feed after the accident (who could blame them?) let them be.


Has the Friesian had any driving training, at all, prior to the wreck? Ground driving, dragging weight?? Ditto the owner. How bad was the actual crash- was it a runaway, a flip??

Horses are funny creatures. About 8 years ago a younger gal (in her mid 20’s and a solid western rider- speed events and works cattle on a ranch) posted a photo of her driving her “go to” Paint horse. I know the horse very well and he’s a solid citizen. He was in a open bridle pulling a pipe cart with bicycle wheels and the cart was too small for the horse- she was seated way below his rump. She was driving him at a walk and trot down our dirt roads on his first ever drive. :slight_smile: That Paint just chugged along with zero basic driving training- hooked him up and off she went. Go figure.

My info is all secondhand.
From the damage to the cart, I assume he flipped and/or ran. Maybe both.
I “assume” Friesian was at least ground driven & :pray: soft-hitched.
HO may ride, but I do not think she had much - if any - Driving experience.
But KIA tends to do things Full Speed Ahead & bass-ackward, so…

This was obviously NOT a horse who could take a joke on a first drive.
I side with @Scribbler - HO needs to find someone with a whole & experienced brain to restart Driving training.

1 Like

So sorry to hear about the wreck. Owner needs to go for driving lessons and horse needs to go to a skilled horse trainer who has been informed of its accident history and driving training history.

Depending on the horse, it might drive, or it may NEVER drive. Being equines, they can be accepting of new things for a few times, THEN decide it is evil and wreck.

This is WHY we keep harping in doing things over and over, taking your time, building a “relationship” so equine knows you will not hurt them if things are scary.

We always say it is not the first or second drive/ride that horse argues, it is 5-6-7-8th time out that horse will react. He now knows how cart pulls on him, rattles, has his body balance again, so he may be confident enough to get stupid by then.

Experienced Trainer has learned what to look for as horse is unsure, scared. When to stop asking, end the session! Then back up and do some review work next time out, before trying to progress further.

Lessons for both horse and owner do cost you. May take a while to learn! But they are an excellent investment in preventing a wreck, ending any driving fun. They should progress as HORSE tells trainer he is ready. This is not a 30-60 day training issue. Horse MUST be rock solid in his responses to progress to the next step or it will come back to bite the driver.


I’m so cautious and slow with the few I’ve trained to carriage drive that I can’t imagine skipping steps. KIA needs to pipe down.

Yup, if owner is serious about Frits he needs an experienced trainer.

But, knowing her, unlikely. :expressionless:

So far, replies posted here jibe with my feelings.
Wish I had input with HO, but I do not.

Hopefully HO will divorce herself from KIA & find someone who knows what they’re doing to see if horse can be retrained & overcome the initial Stoopid “lesson”.


Goodhors, you nailed it right on the head. PTSD is a real thing in horses. I’m not sure I would take the chance with this particular horse if the wreck was as bad as it sounds. But yes, the owner definitely needs help from a skilled professional and MUST be honest about this horse’s history.

1 Like

Take the entire mess to a professional to evaluate - and put this back together SAFELY -

  • best not to have KIA help fix the toilet/ septic tank !
1 Like


1 Like

Here, let me fix this sentence for you:

Lessons for both horse and owner do cost you, but not as much as the resulting hospital, vet and equipment replacement bills will cost you

(applies to all things equine, but factor x10 in driving)


Good sentence modification!! Unfortunately people learning a new horse activity want “to keep costs down” and cut corners. Using an experienced trainer to learn driving from, starting a horse in driving, buying cheap equipment, are the worst places to save money on.

That expression “You don’t even know what you don’t know” is so true about driving horses!