Learn to Drive Clinics
Get Ready for the Time of Your Life
A full, spring day with experienced clinicians/drivers provides an excellent opportunity to learn how to choose and fit harness, how to harness, how to choose a cart/carriage, and see how to start a horse to drive. The clinicians demonstrate what they teach using a member's horse. Harnesses and carts/carriages are present so you can see them up close and ask questions. In addition, you'll hear the questions and answers from others in the clinic...and learn even more! The clinic concludes with several members driving their horses through a derby course. Clinic participants can observe a range of horse types, horse/cart/carriage combinations, and experience levels among drivers.
Clinics for Members
Fun Opportunities for Your Driving Skills Development
MDS offers skill development clinics at no cost to members. The focus of these clinics includes learning about safety inspections and how to stay safe with your horse, teaching your navigator important techniques for balancing your carriage, learning how to drive slopes and inclines safely, and how to drive obstacles such as the water, covered bridge and more.
Frequently Asked Question
How can I become an MDS member?
Complete our Membership Application HERE
Manitoba Driving Society (MDS) hosts a series of driving competitions and developmental clinics throughout the year. Everything is low cost or no cost for members. The clinics, among other things, teach drivers of all ages and levels contemporary best practises for safety. Safety is important knowledge that benefits both the recreational trail driver as well as the competitive driver. MDS competitions are held in Eastern and Western Manitoba locations, and are designed to challenge drivers from the beginner to the most experienced. Those who wish to participate just for fun can enter in the recreation class of all of the Club's events. During the winter months there are social events to which all members are invited.
Memberships start at $25 for a year.
Can I be involved and not own a horse?
The sport of driving relies extensively on conscientious volunteers. Driving competition courses need to have volunteers who can measure and set cones accurately (training provided), and who can relay to officials information such as knock-downs on course or a competitor having incorrectly completed the required course. Many of the club's competitions are located at Birds Hill Park in the area of the Club's large, covered wooden bridge and water obstacle. Volunteers receive a front row seat to the competition as they are located on the course during a competition, while spectators must remain much further away in designated spectator areas. Snacks, water and rest break areas are provided for the larger and longer competitions. The volunteers for MDS are sincerely appreciated and valued.
Volunteering at a driving competition can be a good way for people who are thinking of joining the sport to see firsthand what it is like, to assess whether they think it might be for them and their horse, and to learn from seeing many drivers compete up close.
Which is better, a 2 wheeled cart or a 4 wheeled carriage?
Safety is the first factor which must be considered when choosing what type of vehicle to drive. A two wheel cart is best for beginners. With a cart, where the horse goes the cart goes. Driving a four wheeled carriage is quite different; there are two separate paths of travel. It's sort of like driving a fifth wheel trailer. Easy entry carts are, as the name suggests, easier for you to safely get into and out of than for example a Meadowbrook cart whose shafts you must climb over to get in and out. A carriage, with its shafts moving independently of the horse, provides a smoother ride.
I have a horse already. Can he be trained to drive?
Most horses can be trained to drive, but not all horses enjoy being a driving horse. Horses prone to kicking can be a challenge to drive; sometimes with careful observation and understanding what is bothering your horse, kicking can be resolved.
Can retired track horses be trained to become pleasure drivers?
Yes. A good horse temperament and patient driver/trainer are the key to success.