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Metta Baxter Driving Clinic
April 9 @ 8:00 am - April 10 @ 5:00 pm
This popular course which teaches you how to train your horse to safely drive was first organized by the late Metta Baxter. It was Metta Baxter’s aim to share the knowledge and enthusiasm of the local driving community with newcomers interested in learning about the sport. The course has been offered for over 20 years and continues to grow in depth and volume of information for the new driver or those drivers just wanting to sharpen their skills.
The course is an intense two-day event consisting of lectures, demonstrations, and hands-on sessions. Day 1 will begin with lectures on safety, harness, carriages, and bits. Driving safety is a major aspect of the course to minimize risks to horse and driver. The afternoon sessions will consist of small groups of students to allow “hands-on” experiences. “Rein board simulators” will be available to learn the “feel of the reins” as well as begin to appreciate “contact” and whip handling. Harness assembly, carriage selection, and carriage maintenance will round out the group sessions. A demonstration on how to start a horse in harness with ground driving as preparation for “hitching” the horse to a carriage or cart will complete the afternoon.
Day 2 continues with a demonstration on “Harnessing & Hitching” followed by a hands-on session where participants will practice harnessing a horse. Next participants will actually ground drive horses/ponies. After lunch, a demonstration on “Driving Gaits & Cones” will be given. Then students will have the opportunity to actually drive a variety of horses/ponies and carriages/carts. All harnesses, horses/ponies, and carriages/carts are provided by members of The Florida Whips. All that the participant needs to bring is enthusiasm, a pair of riding/driving gloves, appropriate footwear, and a helmet. Food and drinks will be provided onsite.