Carriage driving is a challenging equine activity that is available to individuals who may not want to or are unable to ride. Carriage driving is an opportunity to create a working relationship and dialogue with a horse. Some disabilities affect an individual’s ability to sit astride a horse, so the security of the seat in the carriage allows for equine skills to be developed. Some individuals have gravitational insecurities that limit their desire to ride a horse. Other individuals enjoy the challenge of maneuvering the horse and carriage through a variety of different obstacles. Any and all of these challenges can be overcome in a carriage driving lesson. The benefits of carriage driving include: improvements in balance, posture, coordination and, emotional well-being.
Carriage driving provides a recreational and sporting experience with a horse as well as a mental challenge similar to that of riding. Driving yields the challenge of working in harmony with a horse and learning an equine skill step by step. In addition, there are physical benefits from carriage driving, such as: increased core strength, improvements in balance, and fine and gross motor coordination. Carriage driving encourages the development of self-confidence and empowers individuals to make choices and demonstrate a relationship with the horse as various maneuvers are learned. It can improve the cognitive skills of sequencing, following directions and differentiating between left and right, etc.
Driving is another venue for socializing with other participants, the volunteers and instructors, and of course, the horse. It offers another opportunity for developing relationships, equine and human, of mutual respect and trust.
Carriage driving serves a variety of people with varying degrees of disabilities and challenges.
Adaptive carriage driving lessons are for individuals with disabilities which last 30 minutes long. These lessons are just driving time only. Lessons cost $50.00 per lesson
Advanced carriage driving lessons are for anyone age 10 years and older who want to learn everything about driving a horse. The hour long lesson includes harnessing, hitching, unhitching and 30 minutes of drive time. Lessons cost $75.00 per lesson.
Lesson payments are made via cash, check for the whole length of the session (12 to 15 weeks depending on time of year) or paid by the first of the month for the whole month of lessons. Additional payment information is in the registration paperwork.
Watch this video about Inspire's wheelchair accessible carriage.
My daughter has congenital myotonic dystrophy and autism. Her disabilities made sports and communication very difficult at best. However, Melissa and Inspire have helped her because she has a recreational activity, like most kids. She is successful here. She gets to be the superstar every once in a while. She is excited to come. She is proud of herself. It's amazing to see your child excel when that's not always the norm for them. I love the interaction Maci has together with the gentle horses and amazing staff. She doesn't even realize she is getting therapy. It's not a typical, clinical setting for a change and its affordable. It's a blessing for my blessing.
Tiffany Thompson - parent of a driving participant