Continuing Education

Continuing education activities should involve active participation, reflect pursuit of professional development and encourage self-reflection, ultimately enhancing your instruction skills and expanding knowledge related to the EAAT industry. Continuing education hours are referred to as clock hours.They are not limited to events sponsored by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.).

  • Documentation of a minimum of 20 continuing education hours (clock hours) obtained during the previous 12 months to include core requirements of:
    • Minimum of 6 hours of disability education.  Disability education is defined as educational activities that provide the student with greater understanding of the physical, social, cognitive and/or behavioral impacts experienced by individuals with disabilities, mental health disorders or emotional trauma.  The education received should help the instructor understand how to communicate with and more effectively instruct a wide range of EAAT participants in order to increase the efficacy of the learning environment.  Examples include but are not limited to:

      • Disability related conferences/meetings (e.g., ADD, ADHD, autism, Down syndrome, learning disabilities, sensory processing, etc.)
      • Special Education conferences/meetings
      • Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy or Speech Language Pathology conferences/meetings
      • Veteran related education (emotional trauma, phantom limb syndrome, PTSD, traumatic brain injury, etc.)
      • Conferences/meetings on general mental health-related issues for adults and children
    • Minimum of 2 hours relevant to each certification held:
      • Master, Advanced and Registered Riding Instructors – Receive 2 hours of riding lessons OR mounted OR unmounted coaching; OR Attend a clinic with an emphasis on instruction/teaching techniques
      • Driving Instructors – Receive 2 hours of driving lessons OR coaching (put to or ground driving); OR Attend a clinic with an emphasis on instruction/teaching techniques
      • Interactive Vaulting Instructors – Receive 2 hours of vaulting lessons OR mounted OR unmounted coaching; OR Attend a clinic with an emphasis on instruction/teaching techniquess
      • Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning (ESMHL) – Receive 2 hours of unmounted lessons on groundwork skills and/or horse behavior
  • Documentation of current Adult & Child CPR and First Aid certifications no longer needs to be submitted for annual compliance, but may be requested for Quality Assurance purposes.

Guidelines for additional activities submitted to fulfill the minimum of 20 hours:

Formally organized educational events

    • Equine welfare, management, behavior or skill clinics
    • Attending/auditing PATH Intl. workshops
    • PATH Intl. Horse Expo
    • Higher Education courses that provide a greater understanding of persons with disabilities (socially, cognitively, behaviorally) and human behavior
    • College-level anatomy, physiology and biomechanics courses

Individual professional activities

    • Writing and submitting papers, articles or materials for publication (includes PATH Intl. materials)
    • Presenting on topics or research related to EAAT at professional conferences, symposiums, clinics and panel discussions
    • Instructing PATH Intl. workshops (NOTE for Evaluators: each workshop may be applied to both instructor and evaluator compliance)
    • Retaking PATH Intl. Online Courses/Exams

Professional conferences

    • Attending conferences, symposiums and panel presentations with the objective of gaining knowledge pertaining to the EAAT industry

Providing or receiving coaching – (max of 4 hours in addition to core requirements)

  • Participating in hands-on exercises to strengthen areas of focus pertaining to the EAAT industry to increase professional competence.
  • Coach must be a compliant PATH Intl. Certified Instructor with 5+ years involvement in the EAAT industry.
  • Student must be a compliant PATH Intl. Certified Instructor with fewer years of experience than the coach
  • Includes instructor candidate mentoring ONLY for Mentors who have completed the PATH Intl. Mentor Training course

Educational webinars and videos

Academic or Outcomes-based EAAT research

    • Participation in and development or analysis of research pertaining to the EAAT field. Name of research institution must be provided.)

Receiving lessons and/or evaluation for skill mastery (max of 4 hours)

    • Receiving lessons from a qualified instructor or professional to strengthen a specific riding/driving/vaulting/instruction/groundwork skill
    • Teaching evaluation by a PATH Intl. Certified Instructor with 5+ years therapeutic instruction experience

Volunteering for PATH Intl. (max of 2 hours)

  • Horseshow judging for a PATH Intl. Member Center, the Special Olympics or Paralympics
  • Attending a PATH Intl. Member Center volunteer training

Activities that will NOT be accepted

  • Participating in exercise classes or personal training
  • Horseshow judging, competing or volunteering at events not hosted by a PATH Intl. Member Center, the Special Olympics or Paralympics
  • Recreational riding (e.g., trail riding, cattle sorting, cattle drives, steeplechase, fox hunting, etc.)
  • General Horse Expo or Fair attendance (NOTE: attendance at specific activities that fall into the accepted CEU categories listed above WILL be accepted, please list the individual activities attended to receive credit)
  • Providing human or equine massage, Reiki or acupuncture or acupressure as a service
  • Community service related volunteering
  • CPR, First Aid, EMT, Paramedic and/or First Responder training
  • Observing or administering veterinary care
  • Observing farrier services
  • Observing or providing therapeutic sessions or riding lessons (EXCEPT when providing mentoring or coaching)
  • Day-to-day job duties

Mentor Training

The Mentor Training Workshop was created in response to the need for a more formalized education process to enhance the skills of those mentoring. The objective is to increase the number of qualified mentors available to instructors in training. Another added benefit is to provide current PATH Intl. Certified Instructors with a continuing education opportunity while enhancing personal observation, evaluation and feedback skills. See the mentor training page for information on this continuing education opportunity. Visit the PATH Intl. Events Calendar for workshop dates.

To review continuing education hours you have earned at PATH Intl. Regional and National Conferences, visit the My Professional Development page (you must be logged in).


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