DRIVES & FUN DAYS
Drive Hosts: Click here for the Event Waiver. It has 2 sides which must be printed on the same piece of paper, front and back.
Pleasure drives are the very reason that many of us are members of the driving club. Drives “make us” set aside time for one of our favorite activities, and enable us to go out in a group situation. Just as with people, some horses may prefer to go out alone, but many enjoy the company of others as they go about their work and play. We try to "mix it up" with afternoon drives, camping weekends, and fun days. We like variety: parks with horse trails, quiet country roads, cross country, and fun days for desensitizing your horse and practicing obstacles. Are peacocks more scary than deer? Depends on the horse! Route terrain varies from "you can stand on a pop can and see Minneapolis flat”, to hills where the only appropriate comment is "you're kidding". Group drives are generally conducted at a walk but sometime people may move ahead of the group if their horses "walk" faster than others. (We generally have a mix of draft, light horses, and ponies.)
Drives are generally held within an hour or so of the Twin Cities from May through October. With the expansion of the metropolitan area, we're needing to go farther afield to find those quiet country roads that are so conductive to pleasure drives. We've even expanded a couple of events into 2 day Camp-N-Drive fun weekends so that we can maximize the number of hours of fun/gallon of gas. You do not need to attend the whole weekend to participate. There is still a designated Pot-Luck-Drive-Day when we will depart for a drive together and have a scheduled time to meet so we can enjoy each other's company over a meal.
Not all members have trailers that will transport both their horse and vehicle. These folks will "trailer-pool" (2 horses in 1 trailer and 2 vehicles in another). Some members welcome other members to "hitch" a ride in an empty seat on the drive, as there are usually some available. (You may want your own individual hold harmless agreements for this.) Meetings are the place to make arrangements.
On designated Pot-Luck-Drive days we generally have a mid-to late morning hitch time and a "drive-off" time about 1 hour later. This way, people have an arrival window with ample time to get ready so they can drive off with a group if they so choose. We allow 3 hours for driving and then hold our pot luck.
Just before the actual hitching of the horses to their vehicles, there is a very short "stand-up" meeting. The drive host hands out any maps, gives an overview of the driving area, and makes sure that everyone signs a waiver for the day’s event. And of course, lets everyone know what time we plan to eat. This is the best time to deliver your contribution to the meal location, because those who get back first often begin the meal set-up.
Many drives have multiple routes planned to accommodate the speed and condition of the horses and drivers. For example there may be a 3 mile and a 9 mile loop and some cross country trails at the same drive. Don't forget your camera!
Sometimes members brings a horse but no vehicle and ride along. We call this out-riding, and its a good way for you and your horse to get familiar with group driving. However, the first sighting of another horse hitched to a vehicle can be very scary for a horse. So, if you plan to be an out-rider with a green horse, come early and lead your un-tacked equine around the staging field to help him become comfortable and assess his reaction to the scene. If he is not adjusting calmly, it would be best not to ride that day. If he is "Ho-Hum" about the goings on, you can think about tacking up and riding around the vehicles. Remember though, he may very well think differently when the vehicles start to move. When you and your horse are confident around the hitches, you've mastered another step on your road to becoming a driving team. You must be a member of St. Croix Horse and Carriage Society to bring an equine to any event.
Things to bring besides your horse, harness and vehicle, whip, fly spray, etc.: Dish to pass, lawn chair, plate, cutlery and something to drink. Don't worry if you forget something...we always have plenty.
Click on each individual drive name on the CALENDAR for maps and details.
You must be a member of St. Croix Horse and Carriage Society to bring an equine to any event. For insurance reasons we can give NO rides to the public.