2017 Virtual Conference

2017 Virtual Conference

virtual conference bannerPATH Intl. Virtual Conference

May 17th and 18th, 9 a.m. to 4 p.m. (MDT)



Member Rate: $249

Non-Member Rate: $309

Center Price: $495 (max of 3 people eligible for CEUs)


The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International's first ever virtual conference is an online learning experience that provides an important professional education opportunity to individuals in the equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) field. This virtual event will consist of 10 total educational sessions on May 17th and 18th, 2017, consisting of 5 hour-long sessions each day from a variety of speakers with expertise in their fields, such as healthcare professionals, individuals from the education and special education fields, mental health professionals, center program directors, administrative personnel and credentialed professionals. The two-day event will be held completely online so that participants can conveniently participate from anywhere they have access to a computer and the internet.


The 2017 PATH Intl. Virtual Conference is designed for those individuals who work in the EAAT industry: PATH Intl. Certified Registered, Advanced and Master Instructors, and PATH Intl. individual members. The content is best suited for those individuals from the novice level to the master level.


We know that not everyone can attend the annual PATH Intl. Conference. PATH Intl. is excited to offer this educational experience online in efforts to reduce participant costs and to increase the availability of the wonderful benefits of gathering individuals involved in EAAT for a learning experience. Creating a completely online event gives PATH Intl. the opportunity to provide exceptional educational material to our members in a new and improved way. We want to help attendees find the educational materials that will engage and advance the previous knowledge they have in EAAT and create a long-term impact through the use of technology.

Technology Requirements

What you will need:
- Adobe Flash Plugin
- Broadband Internet
- Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari or Google Chrome
- Compatible with IOS and Android based tablets and smartphones


The 2017 PATH Intl. Virtual Conference will have a total of 12 CEUs. The breakdown is forthcoming. 


We have hand-picked the individuals who will lead the sessions at the 2017 PATH Intl. Virtual Conference. These speakers were chosen because of their reputation and expertise in specific EAAT topics and are also individuals who we believe are able to make this online format as empowering as our annual in person conference and meetings. Here is a preview of some of the speakers you can expect:

Advancing Our Skills
Joelle Devlin

All instructors want to offer the very best to their students. Therapeutic riding is right on the edge of the medical profession, which is constantly evolving, discovering more about disabilities and how best to serve them. Our partner, the horse, also deserves the very best of care and understanding using the latest information on feeds and training techniques. We, ourselves, need to be energized, to grow and refresh our skills to be at our best. All of this requires life-long learning. No one knows it all and we never will, but if we can stay open to new ideas and keep adding to our knowledge and skills, we can be assured that we are offering the best quality of service available to us. It may take some creativity to find ways to accomplish learning opportunities, but where there’s a will, there’s always a way.

Joelle Devlin is a PATH Intl. Certified Master Instructor. She is current chair of the PATH Intl. Therapeutic Riding Instructor Certification Subcommittee and lead evaluator for registered, advanced and master certification levels. During her 20+ years in the therapeutic riding industry, she has mentored numerous candidates to become effective, successful therapeutic riding professionals. Above all, she is a therapeutic riding instructor at SIRE, a PATH Intl. PAC in Houston, TX, committed to improving her students’ quality of life through interaction with her partner, the horse.

A Task Analysis Approach to Social Skills Teaching
Melissa Abbey

There are a number of things a student must know how to do before they can post the trot… What are the building blocks of social skills? How can we help students develop a solid foundation that will enable them to build mutually fulfilling relationships among their peers and in the work world? This class will assist the EAAT professional in conceptualizing “Social skills” and constructing lesson plans that address the components of pro-social behavior.

Melissa Abbey is a Marriage and Family Therapist, a PATH Intl. Certified Registered Instructor and an Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning. She is currently an Instructor at Lichen Oaks Adaptive Riding Center in Felton, CA, as well as the volunteer coordinator for that program. She has taught at past PATH Intl. regional and International conferences.

Program Sustainability at Year 70: Practical Advice and Choices from Green Chimneys
Michael Kaufmann

Green Chimneys is a 70 year old residential treatment school, a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center and is well known for a wide variety of nature based programs as part of their services. This session will review the evolution and growth of Green Chimneys as an organization and will offer some insight for others to benefit from. The goal is for participants to gain insight into how they may apply that knowledge to their own sustainability journey.

Michael Kaufmann is the Farm & Wildlife Director at Green Chimneys and the Director of The Sam and Myra Ross Institute at Green Chimneys, dedicated to research on the human connection to animals and the natural world. He served the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the American Humane Association (AHA) as a key program director in animal-assisted activities/therapy, humane education and animal welfare. He has contributed to defining publications in the field and has served on numerous national boards and committees. He has lectured internationally on humane education, animal-assisted activities as well as how the link between child abuse and animal cruelty offers opportunity for collaboration between various helping professions.

Our Love of Horses: Understanding the Therapeutic Value of Animals in our Lives
Dr. Aubrey H. Fine

Companionship, pleasure, affection, nonjudgmental acceptance, love, connection to the outside world, a reason to live are just a few of the countless benefits enjoyed by those who share their lives with other species of animals. The session will provide the participants with an overview of the human animal bond and will foster a greater appreciation for understanding our unique kinship with all living creatures, including horses. Attention within this portion of the discussion will be to explain why these relationships are so meaningful as well as highlight some of the physiological and psychological benefits derived.

Dr. Aubrey Fine received his graduate degree from University of Cincinnati in 1982 and has been on the faculty at California State Polytechnic University since 1981. His leadership among faculty and teaching excellence earned him the prestigious Wang Award in 2001, given to a distinguished professor within the California State University system (23 universities), in this instance for exceptional commitment, dedication and exemplary contributions within the areas of education and applied sciences. Dr. Fine is also a licensed psychologist who opened his practice in Southern California in 1987. His practice specializes in treating children with ADHD, learning disabilities, developmental disorders and parent child relations.

How to Develop A Grief and Loss Program
Jenna Turcotte

This is an overview of programs that create a therapeutic environment for clients who have experienced some kind of grief or loss. Specifically, this presentation will focus on a six-week pilot program called Healing with Horses and programs for Gold Star families. These are not equine facilitated psychotherapy programs and can be done without a mental health professional, making this program ideal for centers that do not have access to those resources.

Jenna Turcotte is the program director at Windrush Farm, a PATH Intl. PAC in North Andover, MA. She is a PATH Intl. Certified Registered Instructor and an ESMHL. She holds a BA degree in therapeutic recreation from Gordon College and enjoys developing new programs and curriculum.

Sustainability Through Diversity: Providing Multidisciplinary Therapeutic Experiences Within The Context of a Therapeutic Riding Program.
Jonathon Friedlander, Stacy Friedlander, Lindsay Alberts & Erin Bullock

Four years ago EquiCenter began looking at ways to provide other related programming to expand our ability to serve our growing population of participants while exploring opportunities for center sustainability. We looked at our center with a set of fresh expectations and realized that there was other programming that we could offer and those lessons could help sustain not only the participants but also the center itself. In the intervening years we have added classes in therapeutic horticulture, farm-to-table culinary classes, adaptive yoga, and canine-assisted therapy. We also redesigned our unmounted equine-assisted learning classes to broaden and improve the scope of our horsemanship programming.

Jonathan Friedlander- EquiCenter, Inc. Co-founder and CEO/President; Stacy Friedlander- Co-founder of EquiCenter, PATH Certified Instructor, Certified Yoga Instructor (including adaptive certification); Lindsay Alberts- EquiCenter Program Manager, PATH Certified Instructor, Licensed Veterinary Technician; Erin Bullock- Landscape Architecture, Cornell University; founder of Community Supported Agriculture Farms and EquiCenter Farm Advisor.


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Additional Sponsors

AdequanEQUUS FoundationMarkel Insurance CompanyCavalloRIDE TV