Tuesday, 28 May 2024

Combined Driving

Combined driving is a thrilling sport in which riders drive a carriage pulled by one or more horses, participating in three exciting events. This unique sport shares similarities with Equestrian Eventing and showcases the remarkable bond between horse and rider.

The Three Stages of Combined Driving


The dressage stage of combined driving takes place in a specially marked arena, typically measuring 40 x 80m to 100m. Riders showcase their skills by seamlessly transitioning between speeds and gaits while performing various movements such as figures of eight, circles, and diagonal crossings. This stage tests the horse’s athleticism as they execute movements like working trot, extended trot, collected trot, walk, canter, halt, and rein back. The goal is to make these movements appear effortless, and precision and finesse are key.

Cross-country Marathon

The cross-country marathon is a true test of both the horse’s fitness and the rider’s pacing knowledge. The course, which spans 10 to 22 kilometers, is divided into three to five sections. Each section requires the horse to be driven at a walk or trot. The final section includes up to eight specially constructed obstacles that challenge the horse and rider’s agility and stamina.

Obstacle Cone Driving

The obstacle cone driving stage combines accuracy, speed, and obedience. Competitors navigate through a course containing up to 20 cones. The course must be completed at both walk and trot. This stage truly showcases the horse and driver’s unity and ability to maneuver through challenging obstacles with precision.

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At the end of the competition, the winners are determined based on the combined points earned across all three stages.

Similar Sports

While combined driving is a unique and exhilarating sport, there are several other equestrian sports with similarities. These include:

  • Eventing: In eventing, riders compete in dressage, cross-country, and show jumping in a single competition.
  • Scurry Driving: This sport involves ponies pulling a carriage with two riders around a track.
  • Chuckwagon Racing: A chuckwagon, typically pulled by four thoroughbred horses, races around a track.
  • Harness Racing: Horses trot or pace while pulling a driver in a sulky.
  • Pleasure Driving: This horse and carriage sport focuses on the horse’s manners, performance, quality, and conformation.
  • Skijøring: Skijøring involves being pulled by a dog, horse, or motor-operated vehicle while skiing.
  • Chariot Racing: This exciting sport features horses pulling a driver riding a chariot (currently extinct).
  • Horse Racing: A popular equestrian sport featuring jockeys riding horses or being pulled along by horses.


Q: What is the goal of combined driving?
A: The goal of combined driving is to showcase the partnership and skill between horse and driver as they navigate through the three stages of dressage, cross-country marathon, and obstacle cone driving.

Q: How are winners determined in combined driving?
A: Winners are determined based on the combined points earned in all three stages of the competition.

Q: Are there any other sports related to carriage driving?
A: Yes, there are other sports related to carriage driving, such as scurry driving and pleasure driving, each with their own unique aspects and challenges.

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Q: Where can I find more information about horse sports?
A: If you’re interested in learning more about horse sports, visit Auralpressure, a comprehensive website dedicated to all things equestrian.


Combined driving is an exhilarating and challenging sport that showcases the incredible bond between horse and rider. With its three stages of dressage, cross-country marathon, and obstacle cone driving, this sport offers excitement, precision, and teamwork. Whether you’re a participant or a spectator, combined driving is sure to captivate and inspire. Visit Auralpressure to discover more about this remarkable sport and other equestrian endeavors.