Here at Thompson House Equestrian Centre Chris Ainscough specialises in teaching carriage driving to a range of clients from complete beginners through to seasoned competitive drivers including those with disabilities and additional needs.
Although we very happily teach a lot of complete beginners who initially have no competitive aspirations our main focus is coaching and training towards the three phase sport of ‘Competition Carriage Driving’ of which Chris is an active international competitior.
We have experienced schoolmaster ponies for complete beginners, so no equipment is required to ‘have a go’ and see if the sport is for you other than a riding hat and a pair of gloves. We also have ponies that more experienced drivers can have lessons with to develop their skills, feel and ‘eye for detail’ which they can then take forward into driving their own horses.
Chris aims to train driving horses and ponies towards excellence with a real focus on correct biomechanics of the horse in particular rhythm, balance, straightness, tempo, lifted rounded back and engaged hindquarters. Chris says ‘When a horse is working biomechanically correctly he is able to use his body more efficiently to pull the carriage with less effort, the horse then becomes more athletic and the driver should then have more subtle control, as all of this improves then progression through the levels of the sport should become easier and more logical’.
With clients who are competing with their own horses, Chris does expect them to fully commit to the system although he is happy for drivers to come for ‘taster training sessions’ to see if the system suits them, Chris insists there are no quick fixes or short cuts to success.
The main of the teaching is done here at Thompson House Equestrian Centre with excellent facilities including indoor and outdoor arenas, full size grass dressage arena, cones course, solidly built obstacles.
It is often useful for clients to come for intensive training for a few days with either their own horse and or using our ponies. We can provide stabling for your horse and drivers are welcome to stay in their horse boxes, rent an onsite lodge or we can recommend hotels locally. We also have the beautiful stable door café on site to eat in and relax between training sessions.
Chris is also happy to travel to teach clinics around the country if there are sufficient numbers to make it viable.