I love your website and how much useful information I have garnered here! My question is regarding driver training. Does CHA do any kind of certification system for horse drivers? Do you have any information on driver training, or know of a good place to inquire?
Glad to hear you are enjoying our website; we work very hard to make it useful for our members and visitors. In answer to your question, I am sure by now that you have discovered that the liability involved in driving horses is much greater than in riding. This is due to the fact that more people per horse are involved and with the inherent risk of attaching a moving vehicle to a horse being potentially explosive.
It is excellent that you have good safe harness horses, but your equipment and the drivers are equally important in the equation. CHA has a harness driving certification in development at this time and we expect the program to be up and rolling in the next couple years. This program will be targeted toward driving instructors, carriage operators, hay wagon drivers as well as recreational drivers. As with all CHA programs, the focus of this program will be on safety and effectiveness. We will keep you updated on the development of this program in our magazine, The Instructor.
In the meantime, I suggest that you contact the North American Horsemen’s Association (NAHA) at (800) 328-8894 or www.arkagency-naha.com. They publish risk reduction programs for all types of programs, including for horse drawn vehicles. This information includes driver’s age, experience, knowledge and training, emergency procedures, hitching/unhitching and resting animals, as well as information on equipment, managing employees, customers, passengers and horses. I am sure you will find some useful information there.