The above video link is a video made by the British to present to the FEI so they could host the 2010 Para-Driving Worlds... Most of the video is of the 2008 World Championships in Greven Germany. I'm in it a few times, look for the American flag, and the one being pushed in the cones walk with my service dog Dove. If you look closely at the driver of the Gypsy Cob you will see she has no arms..
Might inspire a few of you to take up driving:-)
Diane, I just wanted to say thanks for your willingness to answer questions and share ideas with other para drivers. You have been a huge help to my neighbor who is a paraplegic. He has been driving for almost a year now and doing well in driving shows. Next year we'll try CDEs. He's having a blast and I am delighted to be able the help him. You have been a real resource to us and words can hardly express our appreciation.
In the morning she brings me my shower chair to my bed, and my shoes. She shuts doors, and dresser drawers.
Feeding the horses,
I feed pellets and I scoop the food in buckets and stack in my lap, after I dump the food in the feeders, I toss the buckets and she takes them back to the barn and puts them up on the feed bin. I have 2 horses in a large pen with loose feeders and she goes and gets those and brings them to me.
She brings the dog dishes to me.
If I decide to drive by myself. I hitch the horse up in the breezeway of my mare motel with a gate shut in front of the horse (but not latched) I get in the carriage and she then pushes the gate open so I can drive out. When I get back she does the reverse and then brings my my wheelchair.
Loading horses in trailer,
I load the horse she pushes the trailer door shut.
She will bring me a brush i have dropped, a halter or lead rope on the ground.. A rake, broom, shovel... Or anything I ask of her. If the horse pulls free of me she will go and get the horse's lead rope and bring it to me.
I can give her something to take to someone.
I hold onto her harness and she pulls me around the grounds, she will drag horse blankets to me, bags of feed, she will jump into the trailer and get me whatever I need. Whether it be the duffel bag with jackets, or a whip or a brush or ....
She is absolutly wonderful and she is also the naughtiest dog. She is mostly off lead and she has discovered that horse trailers contain carrots, and horse treats. I have to be careful or she raids everyones trailers.. The minute I am not looking. She does not ride on the carriage on marathon day. So someone is usually holding her leash while they are watching and she barks her head off when she sees me. She is my cheering section:-)
She is my second service dog.. She just turned 8. I don't know that I could do what I do without a service dog.