Combine carriage driving with lunch at The Horse Guards. Cotswold Carriage Driving is based just a stone's throw from The Horse Guards in Long Newnton. Stephanie Dale, owner of Cotswold Carriage Driving, has been showing people how to carriage drive for over seventeen years.
To encourage people to have a go at carriage driving, Stephanie gives from two hour tasters, half days (3.5hrs), full days and up to ten days of lessons with her wonderful cobs. For those who would simply like to enjoy a horse-drawn carriage drive in the countryside, a favourite is to The Horse Guards for lunch. The drive usually includes going along the Fosse Way track, used by horses and carriages for two thousand years, through the River Avon (when possible), along Cotswold lanes and to The Horse Guards, then afterwards returning to the start. Guests are encouraged to come early, at 10.30am, to watch the harness being put on the horse(s) and see how the carriage is attached to the harness. The drive is from 11.30 to 3pm. There may even be an opportunity to briefly drive the horse on the way to the pub or back. Gift vouchers for special occasions are particularly popular for carriage lessons and pub carriage drives.
Stephanie's approach to carriage driving is that it is good fun, but the safety of the trainee whip (driver), passengers, horses and other road users is always of paramount importance. Carriage driving instruction is given using the traditional English coaching method of rein handling, as it is probably the safest method of driving, and is recommended by the British Driving Society.
Practice is in a field or driving on the 2000 year old Roman Fosse Way and exploring the local Cotswold lanes. Stephanie handles the horses using the 'natural horsemanship' way. Body language and voice are used to communicate and build trust. A good carriage driving horse will frequently flick an ear back to listen to you. You will also learn what the carriage horses are telling you in return!
Stephanie's greatest sense of achievement comes from taking people carriage driving who were perhaps previously a little frightened of or had no experience with horses. However, even experienced riders come away with a sense of enjoyment and achievement having learnt a different way with horses.
Whether you have had any experience with horses or not, a session learning to carriage drive or going to the pub for lunch is a great way to do something completely different and to spend time with some amazing animals. A carriage driving lesson or pub drive gift voucher certainly makes for an unusual present too!
"A Multitude of Pastoral Pleasures in the Cotswolds
Carriage driving at Tetbury
For a spectacularly Arcadian excursion take a horse-drawn carriage along the lovely Fosse Way between Tetbury and Malmesbury. Stephanie Dale offers carriage driving lessons or an open air day out to The Horse Guards pub at Brokenborough; 2 hour sessions from £75"
- The daily telegraph saturday 13 February 2016
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