Therapeutic Driving

Please see FORMS section to download participant paperwork, participant handbook, scholarship application, and 2014-2015 calendar.

Therapeutic Driving is an equine activity for people with various disabilities, in which the participant sits in a cart, pulled by a horse and learns the skills necessary to drive a horse. Driving is available for any participant who is interested in learning this skill, and also offers further independence and opportunity to participants who are unable or uninterested in riding for various reasons.

Benefits include:

  • Learning motor operational skills and planing movements in advance, which could transfer to learning to drive a car
  • Improves trunk control and posture
  • Encourages development of bilateral movement, body awareness, and spatial orientation
  • Development of independence
  • Learning cause and effect relationships
  • Improves fine and gross motor skills
  • Improves verbal and non-verbal communication
  • Development of sequencing skills

Therapeutic Driving Fact Sheet

Does UpReach operate year round?

  • Yes, our 90’X175’ indoor arena is available for year round lessons. The arena is insulated keeping temperatures relatively warm in the winter and cool in the summer.

Is outside driving available?

  • The outdoor ring is available for outside driving when weather and footing permits.

What times are available for lessons?

  • Lessons are held Monday/Tuesday/Wednesday/Thursday from 10am-7pm and Friday from 10am-1pm.

How often does someone take lessons?

  • Participants take lessons 1 time weekly. UpReach operates in 6-week & 8-week terms, so participants attend lessons the same day and time throughout the term

How long are driving lessons and what is the cost?

  • Driving lessons are ½ hour long and cost $40 per lesson ($240 for 6-week term & $320 for 8-week term).

What is the format for driving lessons?

  • Driving students drive their horse for the ½ hour lesson, developing skills and independence. All driving lessons are 1:1.
  • Driving participants do not assist with grooming and harnessing prior to driving.

Are there any weight restrictions?

  • Yes, for the safety of our driving students, volunteers, and horses we have a weight limit of 240 pounds for driving.

Is funding assistance available?

  • There are many ways to seek funding for our services. For a list of possible funding sources contact Karen Kersting at This e-mail address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it . UpReach also provides funding based on income when scholarship funds are available.

Are the services UpReach provides billable to insurance?

  • Our services are not typically billable to insurance companies, therefore referrals are not required.

How do I become a participant in the driving program?

  • All individuals interested in driving must complete the following forms: Application & Health History, Liability Release, Emergency Medical Consent and Photo/Video Consent, Physicians Statement (must be completed and signed by the physician), and Availability Form.

What happens once the paperwork is received?

  • If the paperwork reflects that the applicant can safely be served, the applicant is put on the waiting list until an opening arises.

How long is the waiting list?

  • The length of time an applicant will be on the waiting list is determined by the applicant’s hours of availability, horse, arena, and instructor availability.

What happens once I am offered a lesson day and time?

  • Once a lesson day and time has been scheduled, you will be scheduled to attend an intake with the instructor that will be teaching your lesson.

What will take place at the intake?

  • You will receive a tour of the facility, meet your instructor, review paperwork, discuss individual goals, and UpReach policies and procedures and have a question and answer opportunity for UpReach staff and the participant.

Is any special attire required?

  • Everyone taking driving lessons must wear an ASTM/SEI certified helmet. UpReach has an assortment of ASTM/SEI helmets for client use.
  • Clients must wear a closed heel, closed toe shoe. A boot or shoe with a heel is recommended, but not required.
  • During winter months it is suggested you dress in layers and wear gloves.

Therapeutic Driving Testimonials

From a Driving Student:

“I like driving because I like horses. I like to walk and trot. I like to do the obstacle course. I LOVE the serpentine! I like to play horse bingo. I like to drive because it makes me feel good. It makes me happy because I like to be independent and take care of my responsibilities.”