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Blog | Access Adventure
TRAINING FOR DRIVERS WITH DISABILITIES

TRAINING FOR DRIVERS WITH DISABILITIES

United States Driving for the Disabled sponsored a training clinic for carriage drivers with disabilities on March 31 and April 1 at Clay Station Horse Park near Wilton, California. Marcie Quist, Committee Chair for Team USA to international driving competitions, and USDFD President Diane Kastama hosted the event, featuring renowned clinician, trainer and instructor Sara Schmitt from Centerline Farm in Califon, New Jersey. Access Adventure was represented by former USDFD President Michael Muir, Secretary Brenda Duncan and Director Randie Boardman, with our home-bred mare Stonewall Calypso. A total of eight drivers with disabilities attended this event, including our former students Stefanie Putnam and Abigail Stockinger, as well as our new students Cecilia Kirks and Caroline Strongman. Three able-bodied drivers also participated. Most brought their own horses, but a wheelchair accessible carriage and experienced competition horses were also provided for participants in this unique event. Beautiful spring weather and conditions prevailed after our long, wet winter. Sara Schmitt was greatly appreciated by attendees for sharing her experience and training techniques with the wide variety of drivers and horses participating. This event was one of three held across the country by USDFD to encourage more participation by disabled drivers in equestrian competition, and to increase the pool of potential members of Team USA to future international driving competitions. The next World Championship for Drivérs with Disabilities will be held in August 2018 in the Netherlands. Photos by StormHalation... read more

STEFANIE PUTNAM WINS PEGASUS AWARD

We often meet people profoundly struggling with the shattering experiences of a crippling injury or a devastating diagnosis of disease that will alter the course of their life. We teach them to focus on what is possible to do, rather than lament what they have lost. It doesn’t have to be a tragedy because you cannot walk anymore. We will teach you how to roll with abandon. Stefanie Putnam, a beautiful young woman who rode show jumpers with considerable success came to Access Adventure after a catastrophic accident that left her quadriplegic. She wanted to ride again. Michael gently guided her away from getting back in the saddle and encouraged her to learn to drive horses. Under his care, she began competing in Combined Driving, enjoying the challenges of this exciting life. She now trains with National Champion Leslie Berndl in California and under the direction of accomplished trainer and exhibitor Scott Monroe. Stefanie has competed in the 2016 World Championship for Drivers with Disabilities held in Beesd, Netherlands. She finished fifth in the Grade One division, a remarkable accomplishment for a quadriplegic driver. Stefanie is now poised for medal contention in future world championship events.   Photo by Nancy... read more
BERKELEY NONPROFIT HELPS DISABLED PEOPLE

BERKELEY NONPROFIT HELPS DISABLED PEOPLE

Access Adventure has a long history with Bay Area Outreach Recreation Program. We are delighted to see them several times a year. Activities and Outreach Director, Lori Gray attends every event and serves Access Adventure by providing our volunteers training in service to people with disabilities.

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OAKLAND DANCE COMPANY REACHES OUT TO VETERANS

OAKLAND DANCE COMPANY REACHES OUT TO VETERANS

Judy Smith is the Artistic Director of AxisDance Company and an avid horsewoman. Judy thought her active life with horses was over when she became a quadriplegic at the age of seventeen. After we met, she became a successful student of Access Adventure and learned the exciting sport of carriage driving.

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FULFILLING OUR MISSION

FULFILLING OUR MISSION

This is what Access Adventure is all about. Dear Michael, Thank you so much for a very enjoyable afternoon at Rush Ranch! When we visited the ranch on September 25th, we weren’t sure what to expect. Our experience couldn’t have been better-from the very first and positive impression of the ranch, to the terrific volunteers, to meeting you and you taking us on a beautiful ride; then seeing Jamie’s face when he felt the reins in his own hands…it was all fantastic! Click title to read more…

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AN INVITATION

AN INVITATION

You are invited to join Access Adventure founder Michael Muir from Napa, to see The Caravan featured in the 30th Napa Valley Film Festival. The Caravan will show Tuesday, November 8 at 1:30PM at the Gliderport in Calistoga. The film will play Thursday, November 10 at 5PM at the Farmstead Theater in St. Helena. The final Festival showing of The Caravan will be Sunday, November 13 at 12:30PM at the Napa Valley College Theater in Napa. Click here to view/download the Napa Valley Film Festival 2016 Poster.... read more
ACCESS ADVENTURE GRADUATE SPARKLES IN WORLD CHAMPION DEBUT

ACCESS ADVENTURE GRADUATE SPARKLES IN WORLD CHAMPION DEBUT

Using a system developed by Access Adventure, Stefanie Putnam became the first quadriplegic to represent the United States in International Paralympic Equestrian Competition. We often meet people profoundly struggling with the shattering experiences of a crippling injury or a devastating diagnosis of disease that will alter the course of their life.  We teach them to focus on what is possible to do, rather than lament what they have lost.  It doesn’t have to be a tragedy because you cannot walk anymore.  We will teach you how to roll with abandon. Stefanie Putnam, a beautiful young woman who rode show jumpers with considerable success came to Access Adventure after a catastrophic accident that left her quadriplegic.  She wanted to ride again.  Michael gently guided her away from getting back in the saddle and encouraged her to learn to drive horses.  Under his care, she began competing in Combined Driving, enjoying the challenges of this exciting life. She now trains with National Champion Leslie Berndl in California and under the direction of accomplished trainer and exhibitor Scott Monroe. Stefanie has competed in the 2016 World Championship for Drivers with Disabilities held in Beesd, Netherlands.  She finished fifth in the Grade One division, a remarkable accomplishment for a quadriplegic driver.  Stefanie is now poised for medal contention in future world championship events. In her own words: “I cannot express how much I cherish and appreciate the help that everyone, and of course Michael, gave to me.  Access Adventure and Michael offered me the incredible reconnection with horses which I so desperately needed in my life.  This reconnection with such an important, life-sustaining... read more

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“Everyone needs beauty as well as bread, places to play in and pray in, where Nature can heal body and soul.” ~ John Muir