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Therapeutic Driving Instructor

Experience the rewards of equine interaction from a carriage.

Carriage Driving offers students with physical, mental, sensory or emotional disabilities the rewards of interaction and control of a horse or pony 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 for safety, ethics and effectiveness in this specialty discipline.

Steps to Certification - Level 1

  • You must be 21 years of age or older
  • Create a portal and purchase a PATH Intl Professional Level Membership 
  • Audit a PATH Intl. on-site Driving Instructor workshop OR attend a Demo Only workshop prior to starting your teaching hours (optional but recommended)
  • Submit Driving Level I Instructor Application
  • Submit a completed Driving Instructor Equine Management Skills Checklist
  • Proof of current adult and child CPR and first aid certifications (100% online courses are acceptable)
  • Successfully complete the PATH Intl. Standards course and exam (Valid for one year)
  • Complete the on-site Driving Instructor workshop OR a Demo Only workshop at a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center no less than 60 days prior to attending certification.
  • Successfully complete online proctored Driving Instructor exam with a minimum score of 90% after the workshop and before certification (valid for 2 years) Have completed at least ONE of the below within 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 
  • Have a minimum of 25 hours teaching driving to able-bodied students
  • Have a minimum of 200 hours 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
  • Have a minimum of 25 hours working with individuals with disabilities if the candidate is not already a current PATH Intl. Certified 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.).
  • Attend an on-site PATH Intl. Driving Level I certification event at a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center NO LESS than 60 days following completion of the workshop

Driving Level I Handbook

PATH Intl. 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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