Training Level: A Column and Forum for New Driving Enthusiasts

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I’m watching weather as always as the holiday season begins, and see that the Midwest has already gotten snow. We are just starting up our driving season here in south Florida as people in much of the rest of the US are packing up their equipment for the winter. Here it’s still in the 70s at night and 80s during the day, which is just about the best weather we ever get.

Do those of you who drive in these areas with “real” winter break out sleighs when you have snow? Growing up in West Virginia, I rode in the snow but driving sleighs in it must really be a blast!

A big thank you to Russ and Wanetta Dyer of Dyer Buggy Works, who made me a cart to fit TigerLily’s ample measurements and even widened my carriage shafts. Did I mention TigerLily measured 87 inches around her girth? So thanks to my brand new cart, I’ve been taking advantage of the great weather by putting her back to work to try to regain her girlish figure.

She’s been a pasture potato since April and was not thrilled to be in harness again. The first few times I worked her, she threw a hissy fit every time we turned back towards the barn. Due to my work schedule and the time change I usually can only drive on the weekends, but I’m fortunate that I have room to drive in the safety of my own property. I don’t have to go out anywhere until she reconciles herself to being a wellbehaved driving horse again.

After driving the cart a few times, I pulled my carriage out of the garage and found the tires low enough to need some air. The side of the tires says they are supposed to be inflated to 32 pounds of pressure— should I go with that? This made me wonder what other kind of maintenance I should be doing on a carriage that has been sitting in the garage for the past six months. Carts and carriages are not cheap and I’m wondering if there are some things I should be doing to keep mine safe and useful. As a newbie, I’m not sure what to do other than make sure my tires are properly inflated and knock off the major layer of dust.

What do you do for your vehicles when they have been sitting for a while? Do you do anything special when you know you are going to put them away for the season? Advice, as always, is greatly appreciated.  Contact me at

Have a wonderful holiday season!

Photo: Deby Stewart and Tiger Lily
Article from The Wheelhorse-The American Driving Society Newsletter