This combined driving instructor interview is the first video in a series of educational videos intended to teach children about different horse sports. I’m not an “in front of the camera” type of person, so please excuse my terrified expression. 😉

Allpony interview combined driving horse instructor gloria susan

For the video series, I ask each horse sport instructor the same seven or eight questions in an interview format and then do a little hands on learning as a way to help to expose a whole new generation of kids to different horse sports in 4-5 minute long informational videos.

The questions I ask each instructor:

  1. What is your experience with the sport?
  2. What level of experience do you recommend a kid have before they start learning your sport?
  3. What basic skills do you teach kids in the first few lessons?
  4. What do you wear to lessons?
  5. What type of tack and equipment do you need?
  6. What types of horses/ponies are good for the sport?
  7. What types of competitions are there in the sport?
  8. What do you wear in competitions?
Allpony interview combined driving horse laughing

We have filmed interviews with combined driving, hunter, show jumper, eventing, polo, and equestrian vaulting instructors. I will post those videos as the editing is completed.

Combined Driving Instructor Interview

Video Transcript:

My name is Susan DiFelice. I am here today talking about the horse sport combined driving with Gloria Riverton at her farm in Pittsboro North Carolina.

I am Gloria Ripperton and I have been enjoying this sport for about 10 or 12 years and I love sharing it with anyone.

Allpony interview combined driving horse instructor gloria

If a kid we’re interested in coming out to learn about combined driving, what sorts of things would you teach them in the first few lessons?

The most important thing is to understand that for horse cannot see behind him. He drives with blinkers on his eyes so he only sees a little bit to the side and directly in front.

Allpony interview combined driving horse instructor safety vest

What types of clothing would a kid wear to their first lesson?

You must have a helmet and you must have a safety vest. Otherwise you wear what is comfortable equipment to drive with his helmet and safety vest the vest is to protect your ribs and front and your backbone in case you fall off speed.

We don’t have to wear a particular type of foot gear. You need shoes that you can be around the horse and work around them in that offer some protection.

Allpony interview combined driving horse instructor tacking up

It is expected when you drive that you wear gloves.

The other thing is noise. You need to be fairly quiet when you’re working with the horse because I don’t have legs on the horses side. The only aides that I have in driving are the reins and my voice.

Allpony interview combined driving horse susan gloria

What types of horses and ponies are good for combined driving?

A great many types of horses are usable in combined driving. The reason you choose one particular horse would be that he has a good trot. The most important factor is temperament.

The most common driving horse in this area is a morgan but you can drive welsh ponies, and you can drive minis (miniature horses). You can also drive quarter horses. All sorts of horses are suitable.

Allpony interview combined driving horse carriage

What types of competitions are there in combined driving?

Combined driving is split up into three sections similar to eventing. You have your dressage, you have a marathon section, and you have a cone section.

Allpony interview combined driving horse instructor

I’ll ask her for ten minutes of really hard work and then drop the reins and go walking around the wildlife.

The other two types of driving competitions are pleasure driving and is driving in a ring at a show. And the third type are pleasure driving shows where you show a specific breed.

We don’t have many kids that are actively involved in this sport but are there is no reason why they couldn’t be. We just need a little more access to horses and ponies that are quiet

Thank you to Gloria Ripperton of Terrell’s Creek Farm for sharing her time and expertise, and our talented filmmaker, Meg Daniels of Mad Mad Productions!