Therapeutic Driving Program
What is Therapeutic Driving?
Therapeutic Driving is a method that utilizes a horse and carriage to provide participants with the experience of interacting with and controlling the movement of a horse without actually riding. Participants learn to drive the horse by sitting in the carriage driver’s seat.
This method is a great alternative for people who are unable to ride a horse. There are many reasons people may choose driving over riding for therapeutic purposes. For instance, the person may struggle with fear issues, balance issues or be unable to sit on the horse comfortably. The person may also just lack interest in riding. Therapeutic Driving may also help those new to Therapeutic Horsemanship to learn the basic horsemanship skills necessary to eventually begin riding. In addition, the cognitive skills and physical movements required to drive a horse may be transferrable and help individuals learn to drive an automobile.
Specific benefits of Therapeutic Driving include:
•Improved fine and gross motor skills.
•Improved posture, core strengthening and stability.
•Development of bilateral movement and body awareness.
•Unique movement experience.
•Enhancement of cognitive skills such as sequencing and spatial, environmental and directional orientation.
•Increased sense of independence, self-esteem and confidence
As with other forms of Therapeutic Horsemanship, Therapeutic Driving is an effective method to help people with physical disabilities, developmental disabilities and metal health issues enhance their lives. Therapeutic Driving is unique, however, because it allows participants who are unable or unwilling to ride with the opportunity to experience the connection that working with a horse can provide.