by kpmautner

Normally, when one competes in Academy Pleasure Driving, one is permitted a “header” in the line-up.  I believe this is common in all Saddlebred driving competitions.

The “header” is an experienced person who stands in front of the driving horse and may assist if the horse suddenly decides to not stand quietly.  (I’ve discovered that it’s disconcerting to be sitting 10 feet behind the horse, rather than on top of it).  The header is usually responsible for things like getting the horse to prick up his ears for the judge and the camera. (A lot of times this involves a peppermint being noisily unwrapped.)

An experienced driving horse knows that when he comes into the line-up, his header will be there with his peppermint.

This is what happens when the header is late.