Therapeutic Cart Driving

Not everyone is able to ride – or wants to – and cart driving is an excellent way to access the benefits of equine therapy. Learning to work with and control a horse as the driver of a cart brings many therapeutic benefits, similar to the ones for therapeutic riding. Cart driving is where a horse or pony is hitched to a wheeled cart and is driven around an arena, an obstacle course, or out on a trail. Driving is a fabulous opportunity to make new friends, gain a sense of independence, be out in the open air (weather permitting) and have fun!

When registering as a  new client, please  select
“New Rider Therapeutic Assessment”.
You will be contacted with further information.

Online Registration

Register and pay online for any PARDS program using the link below:

Register Now

Benefits of Therapeutic Cart Driving

  • Improved balance and muscle strength
  • Improved coordination and faster reflexes
  • Increased muscular control
  • Improved postural control
  • Decreased spasticity
  • Increased range of motion of joints
  • Stretching of tight or spastic muscles
  • Increased endurance and low-level cardiovascular conditioning
  • Stimulates sensory integration
  • Improved visual-spatial perception
  • Improved gross and fine motor skills
  • Improved self-confidence
  • Healthy self-esteem and self-image
  • Development of patience
  • Emotional control and self-discipline
  • Expansion of locus of control
  • Improved ability to assess risk
  • Sense of normality
  • Socialization and improved interpersonal skills
  • Increased perception of quality of life and life satisfaction
  • Stress reduction
  • Learning cart driving knowledge and skills
  • Learning safe behaviors for cart driving
  • Improved literacy and numeracy skills
  • Lessons are offered Monday through Thursday
  • Lessons are available from 9:00 a.m. to a final scheduled lesson time of 7:30 p.m.
  • Each lesson runs from 30 – 45 minutes in length

Clothing Requirements

In order to take part in a lesson, each driver must wear:

  • an ASTM/SEI certified riding helmet
  • riding boots or closed-toe shoes with a small, 1-inch heel
  • long pants
  • a safety belt (if recommended during assessment)
  • PARDS will supply the riding helmet, boots and safety belts, or, if preferred, riders may use their own. Our trained Instructors will ensure each rider has the proper safety equipment before each lesson begins.
  • We recommend dressing warmly and in layers during the colder months. Although the arena is heated, the temperature is kept at 5C.
  • For safety reasons, please do not wear loose or bulky clothing that may catch on equipment. Please ensure clothing is comfortable and well fitted.
  • Each 10-week Therapeutic Session: $250 per rider/groomer.
  • A $20 annual membership fee per rider/groomer is required. Annual memberships cover the rider for unlimited programs and sessions.
  • PARDS memberships are valid from January 1 through December 31.



  • PARDS accepts registrations throughout the year for all lesson sessions.
    • If you pre-register with us, we will contact you approximately 3-4 weeks prior to the start of the session to schedule your riding time and confirm the session details with you.
    • Registration includes 10 weekly lessons
      • depending on availability, a rider/groomer may register for multiple lessons per week; an additional session fee will be required
    • One Registration Package may be used for any or all of the three sessions in the program year (Fall to Spring).
      • New registration forms are required if personal details change.
    • There is a required PARDS Physician Release form in each Therapeutic Registration Package. This form is required to identify any contraindications to participation in our riding/grooming program. The information is also used to assist in identifying and defining goals for the client.
      • For riders diagnosed with a physical disability, the form must be completed by a physician and be updated as recommended by physician.
      • For riders diagnosed with a disability other than physical, the initial form must be completed by a physician, but any subsequent forms may be completed by a psychologist, special education teacher, occupational therapist, speech language pathologist or another relevant, qualified professional who has a good knowledge of the individual
      • If a prospective client has not been diagnosed with a disability, they are ineligible to participate in the Therapeutic Programs. Learn more about our public riding programs [here.]
    • Please note: If the registration package is incomplete, lessons will be limited to grooming and horse education until the required forms are received by the PARDS office.

    • Please contact us if you are having difficulty completing the registration information, or if you have questions.

Online Registration

Register and pay online for any PARDS program using the link below:

Register Now

Need Financial Support?

It is important to PARDS that everyone is able to access our services regardless of financial circumstance. If you are experiencing difficulty meeting the registration fee requirements, please contact the office for more information at 780-538-3211. Additional information, including proof of financial need, may be required.