Therapeutic Cart Driving was established in England in 1975 and is growing with great success in the United States. This type of horsemanship uses a cart pulled by a horse and “driven” by an instructor and a student who are seated in the cart. Cart driving provides a therapeutic class for those who cannot mount a horse for various reasons, such as size, weight, or confinement to a wheelchair. Students may learn to harness and also drive the carriage. Shining Stars has a variety of carts including a specially adapted cart with a wheelchair ramp which makes it easily accessible and very safe.
In addition to the enjoyment of this recreational sport activity, drivers can benefit greatly from opportunities for emotional, physical, cognitive and social progress.
Cart driving provides physical activity which can improve balance, coordination, muscle tone and strength.. The student may be required to lift and place harness pieces on the horse, using large muscle groups such as the triceps, biceps and core. Students may also learn to buckle the harness, using small muscles and dexterity control.
Practice and application of mental skills are also an important part of the driving program, especially with concentration, perception, motor coordination, and awareness of surroundings. Building trust, improving self-confidence and fostering a sense of independence are valuable emotional areas which may show student growth.
The Shining Stars cart driving program offers students a challenge to try something unique and different from any other sport.
Open to all ages. 45-minute classes, $25.00 per class.