Adaptive driving allows students with physical, cognitive, or emotional disabilities the opportunity to interact with a horse through carriage driving.
Adaptive driving students have the option of driving from the seat of the carriage, or from their own wheelchair in our specially adapted carriage. Outfitted with an electronic lift, the carriage allows students with limited mobility to participate without any additional transfers to and from their wheelchair. Each lesson targets the goals of individual students, including:
- Imparting knowledge of horses, harnessing, and carriage driving
- Encouraging teamwork and appropriate social interactions
- Improving focus and attention during split attention, and multi-step activities
- Increasing strength and postural control
Though carriage driving is a seated activity, students are encouraged to maintain an upright posture with raised hands while seated on a dynamic surface. As the carriage moves, students must make adjustments to their own posture to stay centered.
Though some students choose to participate in adaptive driving and hippotherapy or adaptive riding concurrently, many seek out adaptive driving because they are unable to ride. This may be due to:
- Impaired balance
- Allergies or asthma
- Fear of heights
- Inability to sit astride a horse
As of February 1, 2016: please note that due to personnel changes, NCEFT’s Adaptive Driving program is currently unavailable. We hope to restart the program in the near future! We appreciate your patience and apologize for any inconvenience.