Awards

2010 National Award Winners

Congratulations 2010 Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International Exemplary Award Winners!

Reino-adult-equestrian

2010 PATH Intl. Adult Equestrian
Recognition Award
Reino Taveras
Region 1
Horse Power, Inc., Temple, NH
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)

Evan-Dustan-Child-equestrian

2010 PATH Intl. Child Equestrian Award
Evan Dustan
Region 6
Midwest Therapeutic Riding Program, Inc., Racine, WI

mcginnis-independant-adult-equestrian

PATH Intl. Independent Adult Equestrian Recognition Award
Sean McGinnis
Region 3
Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program, Clifton, VA
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)

Bemis-Youth-Equestrian

PATH Intl. Youth Equestrian Recognition Award
Sam Bemis
Region 11
Giant Steps Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Petaluma, CA
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)

Rodriguez-Horses-for-heroes-equestrian

PATH Intl. Horses for Heroes of the Year
Gregory Rodriguez
Region 7
BraveHearts at the Bergmann Centre, Poplar Grove, IL
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)

Leek-Sis-Gould

PATH Intl. Sis Gould Award
Eileen Leek
Region 8
Riding Unlimited, Ponder, TX
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)

equine-striker

PATH Intl. Equine of the Year Award, Sponsored by American Quarter Horse Association
Striker
Palouse Area Therapeutic Horsemanship
Pullman, WA
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)

volunteer-carol

2010 PATH Intl. Volunteer of the Year
Recognition Award
Carol Ten Broek
Foothills Equestrian Nature Center, Inc.
Tryon, NC
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)

instructor-roxanne

2010 PATH Intl. Instructor of the Year
Recognition Award, Sponsored by Purina
Roxanne C. Elliott-Crandall
Main Stay Therapeutic Riding Program, Richmond, IL
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)

Molly-Sweeney

2010 PATH Intl. James Brady
Professional Achievement
Molly Sweeney
Horses and Humans Research Foundation

teresa-morris 

 2010 PATH Intl. President's Award
Teresa Morris
PATH Intl. Past Board President
Program Director, Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center
Chagrin Falls, OH
(Premier Accredited Center)

 

2010 PATH Intl. Volunteer Leadership
Recognition Award: Programs and Standards
Ainslie Kraeck

 

2010 PATH Intl. Volunteer Leadership
Recognition Award: Membership
Kelly Hall

 

2010 PATH Intl. Volunteer Leadership
Recognition Award: Education
Lynn Petr
Shangri-La Therapeutic Academy of Riding
Lenoir City, TN

Region 1 Equine of the Year Duncan Flying High Farm Lunenburg, MA
Instructor of the Year Susan Lutz

Windrush Farm Therapeutic Equitation, Inc.
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)

Boxford, MA
Volunteer of the Year Colleen Dichard UpReach Therapeutic Riding Center, Inc.
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Goffstown, NH
Region 2 Equine of the Year Bandito's Toy Boy "Toy" Heritage Christian Stables
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Webster, NY
Instructor of the Year Nicole Whilden Heritage Christian Stables
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Webster, NY
Volunteer of the Year Michelle Baranowske STAR Equestrian Center Hagerstown, MD
Region 3 Equine of the Year Hawk Heroes on Horseback
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Bluffton, SC
Instructor of the Year Tracy Vyrnes Misty Meadows Mitey Riders, Inc.
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Waxhaw, NC
Volunteer of the Year Carol Ten Broek Foothills Equestrian Nature Center, Inc.
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Tryon, NC
Region 4 Equine of the Year Jacquie O Achievement Centers for Children--Camp Cheerful
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Strongsville, OH
Instructor of the Year Amy Newman Cheff Therapeutic Riding Center
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Augusta, MI
Volunteer of the Year Beverly Thompson The Equestrian Therapy Program(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center) Cridersville, OH
Region 5 Equine of the Year Magic Sarasota Manatee Association for Riding Therapy Bradenton, FL
Instructor of the Year NA
Volunteer of the Year Twila Stringer Montgomery Area Nontraditional Equestrians
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Pike Road, AL
Region 6 Equine of the Year Amlet Midwest Therapeutic Riding Program, Inc. Racine, WI
Instructor of the Year Katherine Kneesel Midwest Therapeutic Riding Program, Inc. Racine, WI
Volunteer of the Year Robert (Bob) Nielsen We Can Ride, Inc.
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Minnetonka, MN
Region 7 Equine of the Year Taco Walk On Barrington, IL
Instructor of the Year Roxanne C. Elliott-Crandall Main Stay Therapeutic Riding Prrogram
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Richmond, IL
Volunteer of the Year Nate Harris Therapeutic Horsemanship
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Wentzville, MO
Region 8 Equine of the Year Mr. Big Riding Unlimited
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Ponder, TX
Instructor of the Year Jen Donahue EQUEST
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Wylie, TX
Volunteer of the Year Ken Suggerman EQUEST
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Wylie, TX
Region 9 Equine of the Year Striker Palouse Area Therapeutic Horsemanship Pullman, WA
Instructor of the Year NA
Volunteer of the Year Phil Simmons NorthWest Therapeutic Riding Center Bellingham, WA
Region 10 Equine of the Year Canyon Horse Warriors/CIREQUUS Jackson, WY
Instructor of the Year Michelle Weed Horses Help
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Phoenix, AZ
Volunteer of the Year Kari Dean Loving Thunder Therapeutic Riding Rio Rancho, NM
Region 11 Equine of the Year Katydid Giant Steps Therapeutic Equestrian Center
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Petaluma, CA
Instructor of the Year Sandy Webster Giant Steps Therapeutic Equestrian Center
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Petaluma, CA
Volunteer of the Year Nance Limbacher Over The Reinbow, Inc. Martinez, CA

More about the Award Winners - Coming Soon

2010 PATH Intl. Adult Equestrian Recognition Award

Reino Taveras
In 2006, during a horse race, the leading horse fell due to broken leg and was killed instantly by a broken neck. World-class jockey Reino Taveras was thrown and suffered a traumatic brain injury. He was told he would never ride a horse again.

Where many would have given up, Reino was willing and determined to face the very thing that changed his life and he has the courage and perseverance to overcome any obstacle.

His first mounted lesson was in September 2009. As he was getting ready to mount from the ramp, the instructor said “Riders Up” and the beam from his face could have lit up a race track in the night. As the lesson progressed, it was clear that this former jockey had not lost his touch. He had wonderful balance, gave his mount lots of pats, steered with one hand and simply felt comfortable again on a horse.

When Reino was asked what he would like as a goal for himself, he said, “To race again.” One big goal for him was to ride independently again. Reino has now gone from needing a leader and sidewalker to being completely independent.

Occasionally he is physically unable to complete certain exercises due to his brain injury, but his spirits are always high and he always gives his best. As Terry Devlin, the program director at Horse Power, says, “He is a very sweet, patient, loving life soul. He has managed to touch so many in so many ways.”

Reino is a manifestation of hope and perseverance to all who know him. He is PATH Intl.’s Adult Equestrian of the Year.

2010 PATH Intl. Child Equestrian Award

Evan Dustan
Evan has autism, and overcoming his sensory issues made equine therapy a challenge at first. He would hide under a blanket if new people were around. Loud noises disrupted him. Then two years ago, he was diagnosed with acute myeloid leukemia.

But if anyone has known the power of the horse to change lives, it is Evan. As one volunteer said, “Perhaps one of the most remarkable things about the whole situation is that for a child with autism who spent over a year in the hospital and had to end almost all aspects of normal life, the one thing he has hung onto is his love for horses and this program.”

When Evan is on a horse, he is a different child. He loves to trot and he picked up how to post in one lesson. He loves riding with a surcingle, because he loves to do tricks. His favorite is to do a backward flip off the horse!

Stephanie Kubarth, director of Midwest Therapeutic Riding Program, says, “Here is a child who went from major sensory issues, shutting down, and having melt downs to a child who asks if he can ride in our fundraisers. Less than a month from our fundraiser, he went septic, and we almost lost him. He was in ICU with two one-on-one nurses, and his priest was called in. When he was able to start talking again, all he talked about was getting better because he had a fundraiser he had to ride in.” With unbelievable determination, Evan got better and was able to ride in the fundraiser. The stands were filled with staff from the hospital, and when he dismounted and walked over to the emcee, he received a standing ovation.

With his deep love of horses and his PATH Intl. center, Evan truly deserves the title Child Equestrian of the Year.

2010 PATH Intl. Independent Adult Equestrian Recognition Award

Sean McGinnis
If you asked Sean McGinnis to describe his long-term goals and ambitions, he would say that he wants to be involved in the Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program as much as possible. Sean is not just a rider with this program, but is also a volunteer. He cares for the horses in both feeding and mucking the stalls and as has taken on projects such as digging trenches for water control.

His greatest skill is his ability to connect with the horses, especially the horse he rides most often, Harmony. Elizabeth Schneck, a volunteer and a PATH Intl. instructor-in-training, says, “He listens and remembers the comments made by his peers and by me. More importantly, he listens to his horse, Harmony, and remembers what she communicates to him. When riding, he thinks of how his riding affects her. He tries to engage Harmony in a dialogue, a conversation.”

Christina Knott, another volunteer, agrees. “He is always upbeat and energetic when it comes to volunteering and riding. The first day I observed him in a lesson, I noticed that he and Harmony had a rapport and synergy I rarely see.”

Harmony is a horse who, like many of us with special needs, is hesitant about the world around her. She requires a rider who gives her the confidence and assurance she lacks. Sean provides this for her.

Sean is very kind and gentle with the horses, thinking more about their needs than his own. He is able to calm his energy and relate to all of the horses in the barn.

Elizabeth summed up his abilities and his heart for riding when she said, “His strength,” she says, “is that he thinks and rides with his heart. He has the gift a rider can’t be taught.”

2010 PATH Intl. Youth Equestrian Recognition Award

Sam Bemis
Sandy Webster of Giant Steps Therapeutic Equestrian Center has had the opportunity to see the progress and positive changes in many people with disabilities. One such individual was Sam Bemis. When Sam came to Giant Steps over a year ago, Sandy says, “He had no friends his age, and he was getting into nasty fights on a regular and routine basis. He would not even make eye contact, not with anyone, when he first joined our center’s program. But he began to develop an outstanding rapport with his horse Scarlet, a bit of a loner herself, not always comfortable with the other horses. These two, horse and rider, had a common issue.”

As Sam’s riding skills flourished, so did his bond with Scarlet. He began to take pride in caring for her, looking out for her around the other horses, always making sure her water was topped off and clean.

Sam was invited to participate in the center’s drill team, and he began to interact more with his peers and with the volunteers. He began to look them in eye and exhibited a tremendous willingness to participate and be a volunteer himself. Sandy says, “Hungry to learn and eager to accelerate, Sam came to orientation and training with a serious attitude toward his education in this area, and he has never missed a class of volunteering since he began. He is now wonderful with the little children with disabilities, showing genuine compassion and empathy for their needs and self-esteem.”

Sam is excited to perform with the drill team at the Region 11 conference in June, and he has informed staff that he someday wants to be a PATH Intl. therapeutic riding instructor.

Through equine-assisted activities, Sam is letting nothing get in his way!

2010 PATH Intl. Horses for Heroes Recognition Award
Gregory Rodriguez
Gregory Rodriguez had two dreams in life – to be the best Marine possible and to ride horses. As a proud member of the United States Marine Corps, Greg’s first dream was cut short by a devastating auto accident just prior to him being deployed to Iraq, which left him with a serious traumatic brain injury. While receiving treatment, he learned of a program that could provide therapy to aid in his recovery while helping to fulfill his second dream of riding horses. Greg became one of the first Veteran participants at BraveHearts Therapeutic Riding Center in Harvard, Illinois.

When Greg first came off the bus in his wheelchair, he was barely able to communicate. He mounted a smaller horse using a wheelchair lift and then rode with two sidewalkers and a leader. He only lasted 20 minutes before complete exhaustion took over. Now, four years after his injury, Greg walks off the bus unassisted, mounts from the mounting block with little assistance from the instructor, and begins his ride, no sidewalkers, no leader. Just Greg and his horse, the achievement of a dream.

Even as a physically challenged rider, Greg embodies those qualities that made him a great Marine: courage, strength, determination, loyalty and pride. A tragic accident may have robbed him of one dream, but nothing has kept him from achieving his dream of becoming a true horseman.

Tom Chambers, the general manager for BraveHearts Therapeutic Riding and Educational Center, writes, “Greg is the embodiment of what a true military man should be. He is proud, determined, committed and an example his peers can look up to. His mind, body and spirit are the essence of what we would wish for every veteran who participates in the Horses for Heroes program.”

2010 PATH Intl. Equine of the Year Recognition Award, Sponsored by American Quarter Horse Association 
Striker

It seems almost as if Striker were destined to be a therapy horse. While still a successful youth show horse, his teenaged owner was in a serious car accident, which left her in a coma with multiple broken bones and a severe closed head injury. With his picture by her bed and because of her desire to ride him again, Striker became her incentive to recover. Seven months after the accident, she rode him for the first time on a lunge line. “He was just an amazing horse,” she said. “He gave so much. He would just keep going, no matter what.”

When Striker came to the Palouse Area Therapeutic Horsemanship center in Pullman, Washington, they knew they had a great horse. “He is extremely patient and tolerant with our riders,” said one instructor. His unflappable attitude and consistent nature inspire confidence in riders.”


One rider who has gained confidence from Striker is Sam Solan, a teenager with autism, who has been riding Striker for several years. “They say a child needs to have just one special individual in their life,” says Virginia, Sam’s mother. “If you have that one individual, your prognosis for success goes way up, especially if you are a child who is isolated, different. A special horse is just such an individual for my son.

“Since the day when their eyes first met, Sam has been devoted to this beautiful, patient horse. … Working with Striker has inspired him to focus on another’s feelings rather than his own. This horse is always responsive and alert, and quickly obeys all of Sam’s instructions. Striker has dedicated his life to connecting with children who desperately need connections. He is a fine example of the most noble of horses.” 

2010 PATH Intl. Sis Gould Award
Eileen Leek
Eileen has quite a varied background in the equine industry. She was born and raised in England where she was the only “horsey” person in the family. After marrying and moving to the United States, she began riding in earnest, competing in hunter and dressage shows. When her daughter Jillian was born, she became heavily involved in Pony Club and also began volunteering at a local therapeutic riding center. This led to her becoming a certified instructor.

In 2004, Eileen came to a beginning driving clinic taught by me and she was bitten by the driving bug. Since then, she has accomplished so much. She was my co-presenter at a Region 8 conference with a program entitled “The Value of Miniature Horses to a Therapeutic Riding and Driving Program.” She was all for helping – as long as she got to drive and didn’t have to talk. She helped many EAAT professionals realize the value not only of miniature horses, but also of driving.

Eileen and I perform with our students in many driven drill team competitions and she also exhibits with individual drivers at the Chisholm Challenge and Cedar Creek ADS competition. She is currently working on getting driving approved as a demonstration class at State Special Olympics.

Eileen’s joy in driving is very clear. She competes at the Prelim level in CDE competition and never misses an opportunity to drive. She offers her talents to two centers, belongs to two driving clubs and serves on the board of directors of Tejas Carriage Association. But most of all, she is an advocate for Therapeutic Driving, always looking for ways to expand the programs where she is involved, as well as looking for venues for her students to showcase their skills. 

2010 PATH Intl. Volunteer of the Year Recognition Award
Carol Ten Broek

As soon as Foothills Equestrian Nature Center in Tryon was formed, Carol Ten Broek jumped in with both feet to volunteer. She started as a program volunteer but within a year had become the volunteer recruiter and coordinator. This daunting task includes coordinating the schedules of approximately 50 volunteers as they currently assist with 17 riders and 8 horses, including transporting the horses for all 60 lesson days. In addition, Carol represents the center at community functions and takes the lead in recognizing other volunteers’ efforts through tokens of appreciation, personalized cards and an appreciation dinner. When she isn’t coordinating the volunteers, she’s in the ring serving as a sidewalker or leader as needed.

All of this would be enough for any volunteer. But Carol doesn’t stop there. Because the Therapeutic Riding Center of Tryon is a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center, Carol has taken it upon herself to understand PATH Intl.’s standards and procedures so that all the volunteers conform to PATH Intl. standards. She keeps current on the latest training techniques so the center’s volunteers function effectively, and she attends talks and workshops to improve her own skills as a volunteer and as a volunteer coordinator.

Norman Powers says of Carol, “She is the perfect example of how a small program in a relatively rural area can grow on the energy, dedication and passion of individuals like her. In many ways, she has become the face of our program, known throughout the community for her involvement and commitment. Without her, our small but growing program could never have commenced or continued to operate.”

It is with pleasure that we name Carol Ten Broek PATH Intl. 2010 Volunteer of the Year. 

2010 PATH Intl. Instructor of the Year Recognition Award, Sponsored by Purina
Roxanne Elliott-Crandall

Easy to measure are Roxanne Elliott-Crandall’s long hours at Main Stay Therapeutic Riding Program, her range of responsibilities, her teaching aptitude and talent with equines. What is hard to measure is her ability to care, the depth of her willingness to do what is right, her compassion and her unwillingness to let the standards of her PATH Intl. program slip. The huge heart she shares with each of her unique students, the encouragement she gives volunteers when they need extra insight into a particular horse, and her unconditional love for the center’s families is unsurpassed.

A co-worker writes, “From the first time I watched her teach, her abilities were obvious! She was a natural teacher and had an easy, real bond with her student, the horse and the family – all necessary traits in our industry … Her natural talent allows her to find the utmost ability in all of her students and reach their souls while doing it. All of her students light up and shine when she comes round the corner.”

One parent writes, “My daughter, Sierra, has been riding with Roxanne for several years. I have watched her go from a little girl with a leader and two sidewalkers to a confident young lady who now rides independently …. As a parent you always want the best for your child, and I never imagined finding an instructor who goes above and beyond to make my child feel truly wonderful and give her so much knowledge about horses and riding. It brings me to tears, happy of course, to think of the wonderful connection Sierra has with this instructor.”

Roxanne gives so much from her heart to her students. She represents the best in our industry. She is PATH Intl.’s 2010 Instructor of the Year. 

2010 PATH Intl. President’s Award
Teresa Morris

Teresa is the Program Director at PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center, Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center in Chagrin Falls, Ohio. Her program currently serves 792 participants with 35 horses and nearly 400 volunteers. Teresa’s bold innovation has resulted in Fieldstone offering the only therapeutic riding high school in the country, helping students who require an alternative learning environment. In addition to Gaitway High School, the center offers: academic enrichment, carriage driving, competition opportunities, EquiClub which provides social and experiential learning opportunities, Equine Adventure Club summer camp, hippotherapy, instructor training Program, work experience, and  therapeutic riding lessons.

Her enthusiasm for this industry and PATH Intl., the association, is infectious. Teresa has been a PATH Intl. member since 1992 and is a PATH Intl. Advanced-level Certified Instructor. She is also the past-president of the PATH Intl. Board of Trustees. She has been a PATH Intl. Accreditation Site Visitor since 2000 and has served on the Programs and Standards Committee and as the Region 4 representative. 

Teresa has a Bachelor of Science degree in Agricultural Engineering from Pennsylvania State University.

2010 PATH Intl. James Brady Professional Achievement Award
Molly Sweeney

Molly is a lifelong horse-woman, born into a strongly equine-focused family. She claims that horses simply are in her genes.
 
When endorsements started arriving in the mail to nominate Molly for this prestigious James Brady award, the warm accolades were impressive and touching.

One of the endorsements read: “I write at this time to give my strongest possible endorsement and support that Molly Sweeney should be presented with the 2010 James Brady Award. Frankly, I am a little dumbfounded that we have not given it to her already! Her efforts on behalf of Equine assisted activities, SIRE, PATH Intl., and the Horses for Humans Research Foundation, are legion, and legend. What is even more outstanding, however, is that she has accomplished all these things with exceptional grace and kindness.”

In fact, stability might be the word that characterizes Molly the best. She melds her lofty visions into a methodical, steady and a stabilizing influence on any meeting or endeavor she joins. Usually Molly is taking a leadership role, but she is just as comfortable being a committee member or even as a member at large of our association. Regardless of the role, she keeps the group focused and communicating in ways that get things accomplished.

Joelle Devlin told us Molly’s affiliation with Equine Assisted Activities started in 1989, when Molly decided to donate a saddle to SIRE, which was then a small program in Houston, TX. Molly loved the concept of EAA and started volunteering, and by 1994 had been recruited to the Board of Directors. By January, 1997, she was elected President of the Board. A position she held that position for 12 Years.

During her tenure and under her leadership, SIRE grew from serving 83 riders per week, to one of the largest programs in the country with 3 operating sites serving more than 200 students weekly. She was totally committed to not only her role as president of the board, but also her position as volunteer Equine Coordinator, responsible for the evaluation, selection and training of the SIRE horses – and of course as a fund raiser, donor, staff advocate, etc. If you drive out to the SIRE programs you will enter a road that is named “Molly Sweeney Way”

Molly’s vision is always large – so it was not a surprise that her next step was toward national affiliation on the PATH Intl. board in 1996. She served as Secretary of the board from 1998-2002 and was awarded the President’s Award in 2005 for her outstanding contributions to the Association.

Molly has also chaired a PATH Intl. national conference – but it was by default, and it was planned and carried out in record time that will probably never be duplicated in PATH Intl.’s history.

PATH Intl. staff member Kaye Marks said:

“Many will remember the fall of 2005 as the year of the gulf hurricanes. Some of you may not know that the PATH Intl. National Conference was originally scheduled that year to take place in New Orleans. We all hopelessly watched our televisions with hearts breaking for the victims of that dreadful disaster. But at the PATH Intl. office, even as we mourned, we were compelled to action – we had to shift into plan B mode regarding the conference - quickly. Molly Sweeney stepped in, like the angel she is, and helped us pull–off a great success story. We had a completely new staff, only one of whom had even been to a prior conference. Molly and her host committee helped us relocate to Houston and pull it all together in only four weeks. I’ll never forget the teamwork set into motion by Molly’s leadership. We will always be grateful.”

Molly, a strong believer in therapeutic riding, sensed a need for a planning and processing among the therapeutic riding leaders. In 2004 Molly hosted and sponsored a Masters’ Symposium. This was an invitational meeting for all PATH Intl. Master Instructors to gather to create a vision to guide the future. Many of the thoughts and ideas surfacing at that meeting became the springboard for projects that have moved the industry ahead in the years since.

The ultimate compliment we can pay Molly is to say she is a true horseman. She has been involved with horses from childhood, but more than simply the love and addiction so many of us share, Molly has studied the horse. She has approached that love as she does everything else in life – she looks for ways to help, to improve their welfare.

She has taken horsemanship to a new level, beyond expertise in riding and handling, into a realm of caring, communing and healing. She has an innate ability to comprehend and understand horses, and she has followed an educational path to acquire still more from other masters. The result is her uncanny aptitude to know and understand more than most horse lovers even imagine. If you were to observe her impact on ailing equines she would explain she simply facilitates energy work utilizing the life force – or energy - of a client to self heal.

Although Molly is not a researcher herself, she has never outgrown that childhood phase where one is always asking, but WHY? Molly recognized early that all EAA progress would hinge on learning the facts, not relying on anecdotal input. The field could not move forward without developing evidence-based practices through the highest levels of published scientific research. She was one of the first to recognize that until rigorous research was established everything would be held back, including fundraising, third party reimbursement, development of best practices, community acceptance and mainstreaming EAA into its rightful place in society.
 
When it did not appear that any existing organization was prepared to put the needed focus and funding into research, she stepped forward in her quiet, resolute, steady, focused manor and established a team to create a publicly funded foundation to guarantee the needed research would be realized. Her unwavering support and leadership of the Horses and Humans Research Foundation has already ignited exciting research results. Perhaps even more importantly, her efforts in establishing this foundation have helped spread interest in and commitment to rigorously developed research, creating the momentum needed to carry it into the desperately needed depths of achievement.

Molly has a lofty vision of a world where programming is available to all who would benefit from EAA, where medical and rehabilitation practitioners readily prescribe EAA, where equines are widely appreciated for their unique and remarkable attributes and where equine assisted activity and therapy programs receive third party reimbursement as well as generous sustainable support. What is more she is sincerely committed to turning that vision into reality. In fact, she will not stop until it is so.

2010 PATH Intl. Volunteer Leadership Recognition Award: Programs and Standards
Ainslie Kraeck

Ainslie Kraeck has been a member of PATH Intl. since 2001. She is a PATH Intl. Certified Advanced instructor, Accreditation Lead Visitor, Certification Lead Evaluator, Chair of the Accreditation Committee and a member of the Program and Standards Oversight committee. She served for four years as the Region 11 Representative and served as chair of the Region Council. She has chaired or helped with several Region 11 conferences. Ainslie was the co-chair for the 2007 PATH Intl. National Conference and Annual Meeting in Anaheim, CA.

Ainslie has done so much on behalf of PATH Intl.. The quality the staff currently recognizes her for is her undaunted efforts at organizing the Accreditation Committee. She has been hard at work ensuring that this very important PATH Intl. committee offers our members consistency and clarity on how the committee members make the decisions they do, how they can work more efficiently using online/electronic technology, and it documents its processes.

Recently an associate visitor had to back out of a site visit two days before the visit when she became ill. Rather than trying to reschedule the visit, staff picked up the phone and asked Ainslie if she wanted to travel across the country the next day. She booked a ticket and headed out. That’s typical Ainslie. 

2010 PATH Intl. Volunteer Leadership Recognition Award: Membership
Kelly Hall

Kelly Hall was born into a horse family, landed her first job in the horse industry at age 15 and discovered therapeutic riding in her early 20's. With a $1,500 grant, assistance from her family, and a group of volunteers, she started Equi-Partners on her family farm in 1995. Working with local mental health and foster care agencies, children and teens participated in equine assisted therapy activities.

During this time, Kelly completed a Master of Social Work degree. Her experience with Equi-Partners led to an invitation from the dean at Ohio University Southern to join the faculty and start a therapeutic riding program. Soon after, she became a PATH Intl. Master Level Instructor. Kelly has been actively involved in PATH Intl. since 1995. As a Group II Faculty Member at O.U. Southern, she is currently the Director of the Equine Studies Program and oversees a four track Associates Degree Program. She also coaches the Inter-scholastic Dressage Team and teaches a course for the Human Services Technology program. The Ohio Horse Park Center for Therapeutic Riding is a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center. The center also provides training for university students who seek to work within the therapeutic riding industry.
 
Kelly joined the regrouped PATH Intl. Higher Educaton Committee in 2009, co-chairing with Denny Smith throughout the review and board approval process of the new membership category after having served on the original Higher Ed committee several years back. She tirelessly listened to feedback from other committees and members, recommended adjustments to the membership and has contributed personal and student practicum hours in support of the launch. Her efforts along with the other members of the task force have resulted in three universities and colleges signing on as new PATH Intl. members.

2010 PATH Intl. Volunteer Leadership Recognition Award: Education
Lynn Petr

Lynn is the founder and Executive Director/Program Director of Shangri-La Therapeutic Academy of Riding (STAR) in Lenoir City, TN a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center. Lynn has been a member of PATH Intl. since 1979 and a life member since 2005. She is also a PATH Intl. Certified Advanced instructor, PATH Intl. Accreditation Lead Visitor, CAT Faculty, Associate Visitor Training Faculty, and served four years as the Region 5 Representative. Lynn has presented at the PATH Intl. National Conference and at region conferences and hosted the region 5 conference at STAR in 2009.

Lynn's latest volunteer incarnation is an exciting and challenging one. She now serves as the chair of the Education Oversight committee. Supporting educational content for PATH Intl.'s various programs has historically been developed within the program or certification committee. Ensuring that there is a longer view plan for refining and enhancing educational content is a challenging assignment. To that end, she created a work group to assess the way PATH Intl. trains its faculty that then trains evaluators and site visitors. She is participating in the discussions about separating education and certification. She is leading the discussion about a potential PATH Intl. text book and updating PATH Intl. educational publications.

Either Lynn likes working on the assignments for which there is the least amount of direction or she just really loves a challenge. Either way, the PATH Intl. staff loves her commitment and style.

 

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