Types of horse-drawn transport: working, traveling, sports

two person riding horse with carriage

The transport in which a horse can be used has many variations: passenger and cargo, sports and amateur, work and front, summer and winter. There are both national types of horse-drawn carts, as well as models that are common throughout the world.

person doing polo sport

Working horse-drawn transport


A cart is a cargo two- or four-wheeled vehicle that develops a speed of up to 8 km / h. Approved for road use. Consists of axles, wheels, housing, shafts, rotary mechanisms. It is controlled by the pressure created by the shafts in contact with the horse. The most maneuverable carts with different wheel sizes: the front wheels are one and a half to two times smaller than the rear ones.


Sleigh is a winter type of horse-drawn transport, historically used in the summer because of the budget design. The main material for the sleigh is specially treated wood or metal. The sled is ideal for riding a young horse into a harness, as the runners allow the sled to glide easily and reduce the load on the horse’s muscles. The metal-coated skids improve snow grip and increase the stability of the sled.


The sledge is the lightest and most simplified design of the sled, which includes skids, a body and shafts without side walls and a seat. Traditionally, a horse harnessed to a sledge is driven standing or sitting on a bed of straw. The absence of walls allows you to transport bulky goods, such as logs.

Outgoing horse-drawn transport

man riding horse


The carriage is a type of four-wheeled closed spring carriage, made in the most festive design. Modern models accommodate an average of four passengers, not counting the coachman, but in past centuries, the carriage, being the main means of transportation for noblemen, could accommodate ten or more people.


Phaeton is a summer city carriage with a convertible top. Has a quiet ride. “Phaeton”, translated from ancient Greek, means beautiful, pretty, which is the most suitable for this fashionable dandy cart.


The wagon is an elongated, lightest passenger carriage, which, unlike a carriage, allows transporting large companies of six to ten people. There are both covered with an awning, and open models.

Sports horse-drawn transport

rocking chair

Rocking chair – a carriage designed for training and testing trotting horses on the track of the hippodrome. It consists of a shaft, a seat, two axle shafts, two wheels and a roll for fastening the lines. The main characteristic of a rocking chair is weight. The less the rocking chair weighs, the more sharpness the horse harnessed to it will show.

Driving crew

Driving crew – for presentation, dressage and parkour, a spider is usually used, which is derived from a phaeton in design, however, other types of carriages, including gigs, are also acceptable. For a marathon, a special type of carriage is usually used, made of steel, using light alloy materials. This crew is unusually strong, stable, has a low center of gravity, a reduced turning radius and other technical features. All modern carriages are equipped with hydraulic brakes.