Je Suis Prest

Fraser School of Driving

255 N Boulder Road, Deer Lodge, Montana  59722

Alex & Kayo Fraser    406-846-3686  Mountain time

info@drivehorses.com 

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The Fraser School of Driving

 The Fraser School of Driving is open year round to work with people of all ages who want to learn how to drive horses the first time or who have been driving but want to improve their skills for show, pleasure, work or commercial businesses. We have plenty of horses here to use for lessons or students may bring their own horses if they are well trained to drive. To begin you lessons you need a horse that knows what to do so you are not wrestling with an untrained horse and learning how to drive at the same time. It would be like taking a college class from a student who is just leaning their ABCs. We have some wonderful driving horses for sale and we order-buy horses if we don't have something of interest.

 We custom order harness for our clients using several harness makers depending on what is need. We can get harness made from leather, nylon or synthetic; with brass or stainless steel hardware and either with a neck collar or breast collar depending on the use. There are many styles to choose and we can order it with the right furnishings. We sell a few wagons and carriages  or we can suggest a vehicle that might be right for you.

 We take students by the hour, day, weekend or week. Many students take a week first then come back for more lessons later. We can't teach you everything you need in just one week, but that will give you a good basic idea on whether or not you want to progress. We are flexible on the days and time for  your lessons and can usually work within your schedule so Contact Us for the month you want to begin and we will see what dates are available. We attend a few shows and some weeks are already booked up.

Questions: How long does it take to learn how to drive?

  That depends on you and your ability to grasp what we have to teach. We suggest at least two weeks to be comfortable with the basics, but it may take longer depending on what you want to do. Most accomplished horse-back riders find it difficult to stop neck-reining and using leg aids. Once you understand the different use of the reins (lines) for communication, then the art of driving can begin. There is a lot to learn so schedule as much time as you can. If you can only take a week at a time - you will lean the basics and then decide for yourself if you would like more experience. Some people can go home and drive a well trained horse after a week of lessons, but it is like anything else - you just can't learn it all in 5 days or even 2 weeks. It takes time and practice to be safe and efficient.

 
  For the Rates click here. A deposit will be required at the time of booking to save your dates. If for some reason you are not able to attend on those dates- please give us plenty of notice. Deposits will not be returned if you cancel but you may rescheduled for up to a year.

 This is Kathryn, one of our students competing at the Teddy Bear CDE in WA in 2008. She didn't come to us to learn how to compete but when we invited her to participate at one of the shows she eagerly accepted and had a ball. She is driving Fritz in the photo to the left. (you can see him on the Horses for Sale page) This photo was taken by kathi.s@comcast.net

We strongly recommend you take professional training before you attempt to train a horse to drive - or before you drive in public!

The following is a quote on the American Driving Society web site under FAQ

Q: Is it possible to learn how to drive on my own or should I take lessons from a professional?

A: Here is what master of driving - Fairman Rogers, who wrote "A Manual of Coaching" - has to say on the subject:

"Although a boy may acquire -- confidence and learn a great deal about horses and driving, by 'knocking about' and finding out things for himself, the beginner should not fail to take lessons from the most competent teacher that he can find. That man who thinks he can deduce from his 'inner consciousness' all the knowledge which is the result of the long experience, and the accumulated ingenuity, of generations of performers, is assuming a great deal. 

"Every art is perfected by the successive inventions of its masters, which, observed by or communicated to one another, are slowly formed into a system much more perfect that it is possible for any one man to create for himself. A self-taught man inevitably contracts bad habits which he will find very difficult to abandon, even when he knows the better way, and the longer he drives without competent criticism the more fixed these bad habits become. 

"There is no teacher so good as a professional teacher; he is paid to do what even a very skilful friend is not willing to do: find fault, in addition to giving instruction. A pupil should make up his mind to do precisely what his instructor tells him, as long as he is driving with him; to drive with a teacher and to be constantly objecting to or criticizing his methods is a mistake, although not an uncommon one. 

"In addition to taking all the regular lessons that he can get, the beginner will find it greatly to his advantage to observe carefully any skilful performer alongside of whom it may be his good fortune to be placed; even when a man is well advanced, he will often learn much by watching another who does not drive as well as himself, if only by noticing the mistakes."

from the April 2001 Newsletter 

 Horse activities can be dangerous.  You will be safer and your horses will be happier if you know what you are doing BEFORE you take up the lines/reins.

 We also work with Commercial Carriage and Wagon Businesses to help them be as safe as possible while giving the public rides. Please do not start a business until you have had professional training. You put other people's life at risk - and the entire carriage horse industry is at risk with untrained drivers. Alex has served as expert witness for many cases and often the accident was caused by inexperienced drivers.

 We also coach drivers to improve their abilities - improve their responses with the horses - improve their scores and even fix some basic errors many people make so driving can be more fun, relaxing, easier on the hands and body and safer.

There are several motels and restaurants close to the school and lots of fun things to discover Montana Sites and Accommodations

Telephone: 406.846.3686 

Je Suis Prest translates as "I am ready".  It is on the Fraser Family Coat of Arms which we have redesigned to suit our needs. The Coat of Arms is copyrighted and no permission will be granted for its use to anyone other than ourselves. No photos or any part of this site may be used without written permission.

Copyright 2003, through 2013 Fraser School of Driving. All rights reserved.