How to Start a PATH Intl. Center

wheelchair-leading-horseThe idea of starting an equine-assisted activities and therapies program or opening a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) center can seem overwhelming at first, and many questions immediately come to mind.  How will I fund it?  What makes a good employee or volunteer?  Where do I advertise?  Thankfully, PATH Intl. has many resources available to help answer these questions, including instructional publications, a mentor program and online forums.

One of these great resources is the "How to Start a PATH Intl. Center" book, designed to give prospective PATH Intl. center members an idea of the many facets involved in the planning stages of starting an EAAT program.  The start-up book contains information about selecting equines, budgets, personnel, facilities, instructor certification, information on the discounted insurance package offered through Markel Insurance CO., and much more. In addition, the PATH Intl. Standards for Certification & Accreditation provides direction as you plan your center’s site and program activities according to PATH Intl.’s administrative, program and facility standards.

PATH Intl. strongly recommends that you do some networking with other existing PATH Intl. Centers in your region. Networking with other PATH Intl. Centers can offer valuable information not found in any book. You can access a list of PATH Intl. Centers on the "Find a Center" page. Contacting your PATH Intl. Region Representative [link to region landing page] can also be every helpful. Many Region Representatives are also center owners, directors or instructors who work in the field and have gained valuable experience and information that they can share with you.

A Step-by-Step Guide to Starting a PATH Intl. Center

  1. Become a PATH Intl. individual member. This will give you access to resources discounts on merchandise.
  2. PATH Intl. suggests you purchase the start-up kit which provides information and guidelines to help set up your center according to PATH Intl. standards.  This kit includes guides to financial planning, program development, staff and volunteer training, facility requirements, and other important factors to consider when starting a PATH Intl. Center.
  3. You or someone affiliated with your center needs to become a PATH Intl. Certified Instructor.  Use the Registered Booklet for a guide on becoming a PATH Intl. Certified Instructor.
  4. Once a staff or volunteer affiliated with your has achieved instructor-in-training status, you are ready to apply for your PATH Intl. center membership.
  5. Joining the PATH Intl. Community Connections Administrative group is a great resource for your center. Click here to join this group, or visit our Email Groups page.
  6. To help our centers fund their important work, PATH Intl. now offers the Foundation Directory Online, a searchable database of over 98,000 grantmakers available as a member benefit in the Center Members Only section of the website.  Use this to find grants and funding sources that might support your program.
  7. Continue to provide the best EAAT services possible by attending workshops and conferences to stay connected and current in the field, and reading PATH Intl.’s industry publications for updates and insight from other centers!

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