Over at The Literary Horse, Jane has been posting some great questions. One of which was if you had unlimited funds what horse sport would you like to try? For me I think that it would be combined driving. I had heard of it before but the first time I had seen it up close was at the World Equestrian Games and I have to say that it's awesome! It was so amazing to see close up.
So what is combined driving? Well, with my limited knowledge, in the marathon portion, you have four horses hooked to a cart, there are three people in the cart, one person who hangs off the back and controls the back brakes and if the horses get tangled or stuck they hop off to help them out.
There are several phases to a course, there are obstacles and then there are open stretches for the horses to take a breather. The obstacles are timed and can include water and must be navigated as fast as possible. Some parts of the obstacle course may have objects, that when bumped, can fall which results in a time penalty. Besides these obstacle courses (marathon), which I would equate to cross country, there is a cones course and a driven dressage. Very similar to eventing in my opinion except with carts instead of riders.
One thing that I love about combined driving are the horses. There's such a wide range of breeds that participate because you want something that has good stamina and can be fast, yet also perform in dressage. I saw Quarter Horse/Friesian crosses, Perchron/TB crosses, Swedish warmbloods and more.
Here's a couple picture from WEG that I took. So breathtaking to be up close in a crowd of people all cheering for the different teams regardless of country!