The Horse Physio - Delivering care with expertise since 1992

20.11.2022 Jan and Rebel (31)

A Guest Blog By Jan Daley

It has been a relief to return to road driving after a long wet winter. We both loved, and learned in, the indoor school. It also improved Rebel trailer loading, so we had lots of positives from that experience.

In anticipation of competing in combined driving trials – the whole reason for our foray into the indoor school – I joined the Northern Ireland Carriage Driving Association, our national body for competing.

At the beginning of April, we had our safety check with committee members. They were very kind, very supportive, and helpful, offering practical harness advice such as different uses for quick release shackles, and fitting. They also explained that my beloved HyperBike is illegal under the rules of British Carriagedriving: no legs outside the carriage; dashboard must be 50cm from the hind quarters of the animal; no sulky-type vehicle can be used. Carrying oxygen added a whole new dimension to the insurance-driven consternation. I learned later this had been a topic of considerable debate at a committee meeting.

The verdict was in; Jan and Rebel cannot compete in CDT using the HyperBike. Nor can they drive the courses before or after the event as a fun drive.

Whilst hugely disappointed – mostly because I felt I had clearly explained what I felt would be seen as issues: lack of dashboard, sitting so close, legs outside the vehicle – I wasn’t desperately surprised by by the outcome.

I cannot fault the helpfulness of the committee members. Within 24 hours they were back in touch with the offer of loans of 2 Bennington vehicles, suitable for competition, and the right size for my pony (an amazing accomplishment, when it took me over a year to find something reasonable to start the pony in!). Another member contacted me offering to adapt my HyperBike to comply with the rules!

Now. I may be seen as a spoiled, petulant brat, but … I declined these very generous offers.

Having used traditional, feet-on-the vehicles, I have been unable to find a safe, secure means of carrying my oxygen concentrator which doesn’t hurt my back and shoulders, and tire me excessively. (Infinite detail can be supplied!). I feel safe and secure on my HyperBike, and it’s size, light weight, strength, and dismantle-ability all suit my particular and unique circumstances. My whole desire to compete was centred around pitching my vehicle against traditional winners and players, and perhaps extend my social life;but most of all to safely and comfortably have fun with my pony.

The Association has graciously refunded my membership, and will welcome me back at any time (as soon as I come to my senses! – my interpretation, not what they’ve said!)

Rule 31: Stand your ground; 2nd best will never make you happy

Keep an eye out for my next book, ‘Recognising Pain in Ridden Horses: Performance, Partnership and Potential’, co-authored with Dr Sue Dyson, published by J A Allen, due 2023. Sign up at to be kept up to date with new information as it comes available. Watch a FREE 30-minute documentary on recognising pain in ridden horses here.

Here’s a FREE 30-minute presentation by Sue Palmer on how to recognise pain in your horse.

Other books by Sue Palmer M.Sc. MCSP:

‘Horse Massage for Horse Owners’

‘Understanding Horse Performance: Brain, Pain or Training?’

© Sue Palmer, The Horse Physio, 2022

November 20, 2022
Sue Palmer