United States Driving for the Disabled Free Para-Equestrian Developing Driver Clinic a Success

Lisa Miller driving Quackers, owned by Elle Weisfeld. Photos by: Provided by Diane Kastama.

Howell, NJ – August 20, 2013 – United States Driving for the Disabled, Inc. (USDFD) hosted a successful free driving clinic at Celtic Charms Therapeutic Horsemanship in Howell, NJ on August 10-11, 2013. Sponsors for the Para-Equestrian Developing Driver Clinic included the United States Para-Equestrian Association (USPEA) and United States Equestrian Federation (USEF). The Para-Driving clinic is held in conjunction with USDFD, USPEA, USEF, Celtic Charms Therapeutic Horsemanship, and Ann Miles of the Carriage Barn in New Hampshire. The clinic was for all levels of drivers and included clinician Sara Schmitt.

The clinic provided instruction in driven dressage, hazards and cones and lessons were adapted to the skill level of each driver.

The Para-Equestrian Driving Clinic was a raging success. There were 8 driving lessons on Saturday and 7 on Sunday, August 11. There were 9 participants over the course of the weekend and 2 Para-Equestrians were Nationally classified. All the drivers and potential drivers used provided horses and ponies.  Borrowed horses/ponies included: Wilbur, a Halflinger, and his Glinkowski 4-wheel carriage loaned to the program by the Neuberg’s at Nearaway Farms; Quackers, a Standardbred, and his Meadowbrook cart loaned by Ellen Weisfeld and Mary Alice Goss; Misty, a Halflinger pony, owned by Celtic Charms and Nancy Forsyth’s Pacific Cart; and clinician Sara Schmitt brought her own competition horse Savanah, a Frisian Saddlbred Cross mare, used by the advanced para-equestrians.

Saturday, August 10, started with pairing drivers with horses and carriages to figure out what would work best.  There was a cones course of 10 FEI cones setup and Sara Schmitt worked with each driver on steering accurately through the cones and working on getting the horses to go forward and straight.  Ann Miles worked with many of the beginning drivers on the basics of driving straight. This was executed by following a young man, Josh, who jogged the cones course in front of them.  Sunday, the drivers were introduced to a hazard and another cones course where the beginners drove gates A, B, and C and the more advanced A, B, C, D.  Diane Kastama and Sara Schmitt discussed how to drive hazards and take into consideration the ability to turn left or right depending on one’s own disability.

Boo Fitch driving, Sara Schmitt navigating, with horse Wilbur owned by Nearaway Farms
Boo Fitch driving, Sara Schmitt navigating, with horse Wilbur owned by Nearaway Farms

The clinic was very successful resulting in 4 para-equestrian riders who are hooked on driving and want to continue to pursue the sport of Combined Driving. Our most advanced driver worked on her cones skills and hazard skills to help her in her future shows at the Intermediate level in Open competition.  Many drivers were enthused to see how fast they could drive and plan to continue their instruction at Celtic Charms Therapeutic Horsemanship center.

For more information on the Developing Drivers Clinic in Howell, NJ, or to make a donation to support USDFD’s efforts, please contact Diane Kastama at dkastama@verizon.net or call 805-343-6026.

2013 USDFD Para-Equestrian Developing Driver Clinic Fast Facts:

What: 2013 USDFD Para-Equestrian Developing Driver Clinic

When: August 10-11, 2013

Time: 9:00 a.m.

Where: Celtic Charms Therapeutic Horsemanship, 671 Fort Plains Road Howell, NJ, 07731. www.celticcharms.org

Contact Information: Diane Kastama at dkastama@verizon.net or call 805-343-6026.

Host: United States Driving for the Disabled, Inc.

Sponsors: United States Para-Equestrian Association (USPEA) and United States Equestrian Federation (USEF)

About the United States Driving for the Disabled, Inc.

United States Driving for the Disabled, Inc., a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization, seeks to improve the lives of physically challenged individuals throughout the United States and Canada by providing the experience of driving horses in a safe and challenging environment. Our mission is to provide the extraordinary benefit of therapeutic driving to as many people as possible through sharing knowledge, experience, and serving as a resource for innovations in adaptive equipment for drivers, trainers, and programs offering carriage driving. The Sybil Dukehart Memorial Fund seeks to provide financial assistance to equip and train disabled drivers through providing scholarship funds to applicants. USDFD fosters opportunities for drivers to compete in national and international amateur competitions by training and providing financial support for Team USA.

United States Driving for the Disabled, Inc.
32450 S. Wright Rd.
Molalla, OR 97038
Ph: 503-550-9384

President: usdfdpresident@gmail.com
Offices: usdfd.org@gmail.com
Website: www.USDFD.org

Written by: Diane Kastama

To view an online version of this press release with more photos, please visit: http://uspea.org/category/recent-uspea-press-news/.

About United States Para-Equestrian Association:

The USPEA is a network of riders, judges, national federation board members, and equestrian enthusiasts.  The association gives athletes the ability to get involved and expand their knowledge and experience in the Para-Equestrian sport. The USPEA encourages para-athletes to participate in all disciplines under the para-equestrian umbrella.

The USPEA is a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF) which serves as the National Governing Body for the equestrian sport.  This relationship between the USPEA and USEF is to encourage para-equestrian competitors, leisure riders, coaches, fans and enthusiasts to network and get involved with the entire equestrian sport.

Ultimately the goal of the USPEA is to foster growth in the para-equestrian discipline.  From growth in the number of participants to growth as a team, and growth in the experience and knowledge of all involved.  From local horse shows to international Olympic Games, the USPEA will provide para-equestrians the knowledge of what they need to succeed.  The USPEA connects with the International Olympic Committee (IOC), the Federation Equestre Internationale (FEI), the United States Dressage Federation (USDF), and USEF which provides Para-Equestrians the top equestrian resources.

In June 2010, the USPEA earned its 501 (c)(3) status which has encouraged supporters to help supply funding to the Para-Equestrian Team as a recognized affiliate of the United States Equestrian Federation (USEF).

For more information about the USPEA, please visit www.USPEA.org or contact USPEA President Hope Hand by e-mail: Wheeler966@aol.com or by phone: (610)356-6481.

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