A driving show is for horses, ponies, and very small equines (VSE's) either alone (single) or with another horse, pony or VSE (multiples).
The purpose is to demonstrate how well the equine can pull a carriage calmly and precisely by responding to the long reins, voice and gentle whip from the driver.
The equines are put to the carriage with a driving harness and its traces. In performance classes the turnout, which is the combination of carriage, equine, harness and driver, is challenged to maneuver through a prescribed course of obstacles. These may be pairs of cones set up in a ring, or fences, bridges, water or trees in a cross country course.
In a pleasure turnout event the driver, equine and carriage gather together, separated according to division, in a ring and present their best and showiest appearance to the judge and the spectators.
Drivers may be asked to demonstrate the walk, slow, working and extended trot in their equines or move in a circle, a serpentine or a figure eight pattern.
The equines have to pay close attention to the various signals from the drivers who in turn show their skill in eliciting optimum cooperation from their equines.
Drivers are also known as “whips” and are expected to wear gloves, a hat, apron, and to have a whip in hand at all times and never to leave their carriage unattended.