Harvest Moon Farm

Bucks County, Pennsylvania

Our Sports
Combined Driving is similar to the sport of eventing (see below). The driver and horse (or pony) compete in three different phases--dressage, marathon, and cones. Each phase tests different skills, and preparation takes many hours of dedicated training.

The first phase of a combined driving event (CDE), dressage, tests precision, balance, and obedience by requiring the team to perform a prescribed pattern, which then receives a numerical score. The second phase, marathon, requires each team (and a navigator who rides on the back of the carriage to help with balance) to tackle a 10 to 15 kilometer course. There are obstacles (also called hazards) with sets of gates to negotiate. The goal is
to post the fastest times in the obstacles and also finish each portion of the marathon phase within the prescribed time window. The final phase, cones, requires the team to negotiate 20 sets of cones, with just a bit of clearance between the wheels of the carriage and the cones. At the end of the event, the team with the lowest score (once the scores from each phase have been added together) is the winner.

There are 4 CDE levels in the U.S.--Training, Preliminary, Intermediate, and Advanced. In addition, there are divisions for ponies and horses, and divisions for singles, pairs, and 4-in-hands. As they say--something for everyone.




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Pleasure Driving
 harkens back to the days when horses were the main or only mode of transportation. Modern-day pleasure driving shows embrace the traditions of yesteryear--most of the carriages are antiques, and even new carriages are typically antique reproductions. Turnouts are judged on fit and cleanliness of harness and carriage, condition of horse or pony, dress of the whip (and groom and/or passenger if one is riding in the carriage), and, of course, performance.



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Eventing
, also called combined training, was originally developed as a test for mounted military units. It was incorporated into the Olympics in the early 1900s and, while some of the logistics have changed over the years, the premise remains the same--to test horse and rider through 3 phases of competition--dressage, endurance (cross country), & show jumping.

The dressage phase is similar to the same phase in combined driving--the focus is to test the training of the horse and rider before they are allowed to continue on to the jumping phases. Cross country is an outside jumping course that covers all types of terrain--in addition to a plethora of solid cross country fences, there are also drops, ditches, water obstacles, and a combination of any or all above.
Show jumping brings the team back into the arena to jump a course of rails that are lightly resting in their cups--just a whisper of a hoof can dislodge them.

There are 6 U.S. levels in eventing--Beginner Novice, Novice, Training, Preliminary, Intermediate, and Advanced; at the international level, stars (*) indicate the level of difficulty. The one star (*) is the lowest international level; the four star level (****) is the highest.


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Sidesaddle riding keeps a bit of history with us. It takes a special horse and a dedicated rider to learn to communicate when both of the rider's legs are on one side. However, once you get the hang of it you'll find it easy to incorporate sidesaddle in to any riding discipline--whether it's foxhunting, show hunters, eventing, or western. 



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