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Therapeutic Driving Instructor

Experience the rewards of equine interaction from a carriage.

Therapeutic carriage driving offers students with physical, mental, sensory or emotional disabilities the rewards of partnership with an equine while driving from a carriage seat, or in a carriage modified to accommodate their wheelchair. The PATH Intl. Driving Instructor Certification is offered for individuals who seek to maintain the highest standards of safety, ethics and effectiveness in this specialty discipline.

Steps to Certification - Driving Level 1

  • You must be 21 years of age or older
  • Read the PATH Intl. Driving Instructor Level 1 Certification Program Handbook in its entirety to be sure you understand the purpose, all the requirements, and all the fees before purchasing the application or registering for an event
  • Create a portal and purchase a PATH Intl. Professional Level Membership ($100 annually)
  • Purchase PATH Intl. Driving Level 1 Application and Student Manual bundle ($175)
  • Submit completed PATH Intl. Driving Level 1 Certification Application 
  • Submit proof of current adult and child CPR and first aid certifications (100% online courses are acceptable)
  • Submit a completed Driving Instructor Equine Management Skills Checklist
  • Submit proof of attending at least ONE of the following in the last 2 years:
    • 2 public driving clinics
    • 6 hours of private lessons
    • Competed in 1 sanctioned Arena Driving Trial at the preliminary level
    • Competed in 1 sanctioned Combined Driving Event at the preliminary level
    • Competed in 1 sanctioned pleasure or breed show in the driving division
    • Competed in harness racing or distance driving
  • Submit 25 hours teaching driving to able-bodied students
  • Submit minimum of 200 hours of experience driving 2 or more different equines in a turnout, including 25 hours of receiving lessons (private, group, or clinic) or being directly supervised by a driving instructor while driving
  • Submit minimum of 25 hours working with individuals with disabilities if the candidate is not already a current PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor. These hours must be supervised by a PATH Intl. Certified Professional holding current certification appropriate for the type of activities being conducted (riding, driving, vaulting, etc.)
  • Submit completed reference forms
  • Complete online PATH Intl. Standards Course and Exam (valid for 1 year)
  • Attend an on-site PATH Intl. Driving Level 1 workshop ($800) and certification testing ($650) event at PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center 
  • Successfully complete the online Driving Level 1 Instructor exam with a minimum passing score of 90% (valid for 2 years)

PATH Intl. Driving Level I Instructor Certification Program Handbook

PATH Intl. Professional Code of Ethics

Accommodations

Certification Levels

Level 1 Driver

Level I PATH Intl. Driving Instructors have at least 200 driving hours in a turnout driving two or more equines. They are safety-oriented, able to teach basic driving skills to others, and are knowledgeable of disabilities. They can identify the parts of the harness, the purposes of those parts, and how to properly fit them to the equine. They can ground drive and are knowledgeable of vehicles and their maintenance.

Level 2 Driver

Level II PATH Intl. Driving Instructors have, in addition to the knowledge and skill of a Level I instructor, at least 400 hours in a turnout in various settings with different equines, can teach challenging and beneficial lessons to individuals with disabilities, and can identify and manage problems with students, equines or volunteers. They have the organizational and leadership skills to be the head instructor of a driving program.

I love being able to witness that first connection a participant makes with their favorite horse or see parents become so emotional over the independence they see developing in their child when they ride a horse or say their first word.

Candace Brown

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