The coupling is an equestrian sport recognized by the Federation Equestre Internationale.
A team competition consists of one car, one, two or four horses and a leader assisted by grooms. The car used is specifically dedicated to this sport and is equipped with disc brakes on modern cars with stretchers hinged on models with 4 wheels.
All horses can be harnessed, but some breeds have a predisposition to that particular discipline. Some teams, including at high level, can make a stunning combination of some galloping horses while others trot. The important thing for the leader is to maintain control of his team.
Before becoming a leisure activity and sport, the coupling has long been the only means of transport. If the train and the automobile have eliminated crews, the coupling is reborn thanks to the numerous associations, various tests, with rallies and schools coupling, and thus save the heavy horse breeds.
Competitions complete coupling consists of three tests:
* The training: a recovery is made and the competitors are scored on style, leadership and quality of gaits, but also the presentation of the coupling. A leader is judged on his control of the coupling and technical riding. The quarry must measure 40 x 100 m or 40 x 80 m minimum.
* Marathon: timed, it takes place on different sections, each to judge the leader on a course in varied terrain, speed, agility and physical abilities of horses. Some sections are of the road, with free or imposed gait (trot or not), while others are home to natural or artificial barriers: cannot, ford, chicanes, ramps, obstacles ... the number of 5 to 8 are individually timed .
* The event handling: it is done on circuits punctuated by 16 to 20 ports marked by bullets put on cones, with one side vertical and the other way. Tracks can be arranged in a career of riding but the hardness of the soil is essential. As CSO, the penalties are imposed during extra time or for each ball dropped.
The contest "club" may contain only two of these épreuses. Some competitions do that within the event handling.
The TREC has drawn a "road" from 15 to 25 km and 20 "difficulties" that simulate those that might be encountered during a hike.
The Competition Carriage Driving Tradition (CAT) are organized by the French Association of Hitch (AFA) and reserved, in principle, the old horse-drawn carriages. The presentation (horses, harness, car) is so crucial in the final grade. It is complemented by superb handling and road with some difficulties that echo those of TREC harnessed.
The full rules are published each year by the French Equestrian Federation and the AFA to the CAT.
* The hot seat: fixed on the horse's back by the strap, supports the shafts through the cuffs or door-stretchers.
* The cloak: is the equivalent of the fifth wheel couplings for the pair.
* The bridle supports the bit which the guides are attached. The flange is fitted with blinkers for the horse did not see his own car.
* Guides: long strips of leather to direct the horses.
* The necklace part of the harness that transmits the traction force. Its size must be perfectly adapted to the horse's neck.
* The tinker: Coin synthetic leather or maintained on the chest of the horse and having the same function as the necklace. Unlike the latter, the strap is adjustable and can be used on any horse.
* The drain: large piece of leather around the hindquarters of the horse. This is one piece of traces that also includes bars and buttock-back straps that are attached to the shafts. All can retain the car during deceleration, stops and runs, and the reverse.
* The features: solid leather straps, now reinforced nylon, which are between the collar (or the breast) and the car to provide traction.
The term "garnish" when you put the harness on the horse and to strip when she removes.
Read also Amish