Hello, I have become interested in learning how to drive and possibly have my own small pony and cart someday. Mostly, interested in something very simple and capable of going down gravel roads and possibly some open fields. I am picturing a 2 wheel cart and maybe a mini. Anyway, I would like to find a 1-2 hour lesson for myself and DH to learn a little bit about driving in general and perhaps have a bit of hands on reins time if appropriate. Anyone have any recommendations in the Northern Virginia area? Thanks!
You might want to consider joining the Piedmont Driving Club (http://www.piedmontdrivingclubva.com/)...always looking for members. Lots of "picnic" drives and there's usually a spot available. It's a good way to meet the local group of whips (drivers).
For driving, I'd suggest a pony over a mini. They can pull a lot more and lots more carts out there to buy (used is a good thing).
You'll find the driving fraternity to be friendly and inclusive. In fact, Piedmont is looking for help during the Upperville Horse Show to work on the cones course...you'll have a chance to watch the talented drivers compete.
I don't have any recommendations for VA, but for starting out take a couple of lessons and then you'll be bitten badly by the bug. That's what happened to me anyway!
Rather than a mini I'd look for a medium/large pony- there is far more equipment available out there and lots of great buys on lovely used carts and harness. You can do a lot more with a bigger pony. I ended up with a small pony kind of by accident, and am having a terrible time finding harness/cart/even halters to fit him.