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NARHA Improves Driving Instructor Certification at NARHA

This year the NARHA instructor certification for driving has been updated and improved, according to Sddita Fradette, NARHA’s manager of certification. “The new format for completing the NARHA driving instructor certification process includes a three-day NARHA driving workshop as a prerequisite for the traditional two-day NARHA driving instructor certification—better preparing instructors for the rigorous certification process,” said Fradette.

Information about the new certification can be found at http://www.narha.org . Click on the Therapeutic Driving pull-down menu on the right side of the page.

Carriage Driving is a fast growing sport in numerous NARHA centers. It offers people with physical, mental, sensory, or emotional challenges the rewards of interaction and control of a horse or pony while driving from a carriage seat or in their own wheelchair. Using a horse and carriage gives a participant an alternative or an addition to riding—opening up the world of horses to those who may be unable to ride due to weight, balance, fatigue, fear of heights, the inability to sit astride, or other issues.

Therapeutic driving instruction is all about imparting knowledge of safety, horses, harnessing, and driving skills to children and adults using teamwork. It takes 3-5 volunteers to make one driving turn out! Drivers who are disabled and who are interested in competing are welcome at mainstream carriage driving competitions, such as pleasure driving and combined driving events, where they compete on an equal footing with the able bodied, and drivers in wheelchairs are seen at these competitions.

About NARHA:

NARHA was formed in 1969 to promote equine assisted activities and therapies for individuals with special needs. At over 700 member centers, a total of 42,000 children and adults find a sense of independence through involvement with horses. These member centers range from small, one-person programs to large operations with several certified instructors and licensed therapists. In addition to therapeutic equitation, a center may offer any number of equine assisted activities including hippotherapy, equine facilitated mental health, driving, interactive vaulting, trail riding, competition, ground work, or stable management. Through a wide variety of educational resources, the association helps individuals start and maintain successful equine assisted activities and therapies for individuals with special needs. There are more than 24,000 volunteers, 2000 instructors, 5,700 therapy horses and thousands of contributors from all over the world helping people at NARHA centers.


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