Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) International Instructors can be certified at the Registered level through the following methods:

Method 1:  Attend and successfully complete a PATH Intl. Approved Training Course.  
For additional information please refer to the section on Approved Training Courses below.

Method 2: 
Complete a multi-step educational process that includes the following:

  • PATH Intl. Pre-Certification Self-Assessment online course
  • PATH Intl. Online Standards Course
  • PATH Intl. Instructor Self-Study online course
  • Current CPR and First Aid certification  
  • Completion of 25 teaching hours under the guidance or direct supervision of a PATH Intl. Certified Instructor or someone approved through the PATH Intl. office
  • Video yourself demonstrating the riding pattern and instructing a class of at least two students with disabilities

To find a detailed description of this method, please see the International Certification Application Booklet.

One of the most effective and comprehensive ways to prepare for Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) therapeutic riding instructor certification is through attending a PATH Intl. Approved Training Course (ATC). These carefully screened training sites have developed an extended, intensive curriculum reviewed by PATH Intl. for content and relevance. Each ATC combines lecture series and hands-on application of concepts to provide a thorough foundation of competency in therapeutic riding instruction. ATCs are an effective method to prepare for both PATH Intl. Registered and Advanced therapeutic riding instructor certification.


NOTE: While many PATH Intl. centers offer instructor training courses, only those listed below are identified as Approved Training Courses. In some cases, training courses are offered through colleges or universities and may take several months or even years to complete. Others are offered at PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Centers and may last a few weeks to several months. Instructors interested in an Approved Training Course may contact the Approved Training Course directly to obtain information on course fees, schedules and entrance requirements.

811 Pemberton Hill Road
Building #4
Dallas, Texas 75217
(972) 412-1099

High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc.
36 Town Woods Rd
Old Lyme, CT 06371-1142
(860) 434-1974

St. Andrews University "Ride Like a Knight"
9167 Hast Rd
Laurinburg, NC 28352
(910) 277-7363

Therapeutic Riding at Centenary
400 Jefferson St
Hackettstown, NJ 07840
(908) 813-1984


horse-carriageCarriage driving is a fast-growing sport and is becoming increasingly recognized for its therapeutic value.  Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) Centers can use driving as a means to offer students with physical, mental, or emotional disabilities the rewards of interacting with a horse or pony while driving from a carriage – either in the carriage seat or in their own wheelchair, using a carriage specially modified to accommodate wheelchairs. Using a horse and carriage gives participants an alternative to riding, opening up the world of horses to those who may be unable to ride due to weight, balance, physical limitations, fear of heights or other issues.  

Therapeutic Driving offers a unique set of skills and benefits, by providing the student with a distinct range of movements and a vast set of motor-sensory experiences. Therapeutic Driving is about imparting knowledge of safety, horses, harnessing and driving skills to children and adults using teamwork. It takes 3-5 volunteers to make one driving turn out!  In addition to therapeutic lessons, drivers with a disability who are interested in competing are welcome at traditional carriage driving competitions, such as pleasure driving and combined driving events, where they compete on an equal footing with able-bodied competitors. As with riding, there are precautions to driving.

How to become a PATH Intl. Certified Driving Instructor

horse-womenTo obtain a PATH Intl. Driving Certification, candidates must complete a driving workshop and pass the PATH Intl. On-Site Driving Certification. Workshops are offered in two different formats: demonstration only and hands-on.  Information on each format can be found in the workshop booklet.  Driving Certification includes practicum portions and examinations, which will determine whether or not an individual meets the requirements listed below for each level.  At the conclusion of the certification, the candidate will be informed of the evaluator's recommendations for certification of Level l or Level ll.  Candidates will be notified of their final results in writing by the PATH Intl. office.

Level l:
  PATH Intl. Driving Instructor Level l is an individual who has at least 200 driving hours in a turnout, is safety-oriented, is able to teach basic driving skills, has knowledge of disabilities, knows parts of the harness along with their purposes and proper fit to the equine, can long line, and has knowledge of vehicles and their maintenance.

Level ll:  PATH Intl. Driving Instructor Level ll knows all the information a Level l Instructor is required to know, and also has at least 400 hours in a turnout in various settings with different horses, can teach challenging and beneficial lessons to individuals with disabilities, can identify and manage problems with students/equine/volunteers, and possesses the organizational and leadership skills to be the head instructor of a driving program.

Level III: PATH Intl. Driving Instructor Level III has a thorough knowledge of horse care and horse handling and has at least 1,000 hours of driving experience.  He/she is a commanding, sensitive driver with considerable teaching experience who demonstrates a deep understanding of the relationship between specific disabilities and therapeutic driving.  This level enables the driving evaluator/faculty to serve as a mentor to others in the discipline, demonstrating leadership in the therapeutic driving industry and conducting driving instructor workshops and certifications.

Download the workshop and certification booklets for more information.

Forms & Links

Visit the PATH Intl. Events Calendar to search for a list of all driving workshops and certifications.

Driving now has a Community Connections. To join, click here.

5Interactive vaulting, like carriage driving, is a fast-growing equestrian sport for both therapeutic and recreational purposes. Often equated to gymnastics on horseback, vaulting uses a surcingle to allow riders to perform seven standard movements (called compulsories of vaulting positions) and many freestyle movements on the back of a horse on a lunge line. The therapeutic value of vaulting is immense, as it promotes strength, flexibility, balance and coordination through the physical moves; as well as confidence, trust, patience and critical thinking as participants must learn routines and develop the skills necessary to perform these on a moving horse. Traditionally, all three gaits are used, though the intensity of the speed and movements can be easily adjusted for therapeutic programs.

6If you are interested in utilizing this exciting and unique discipline in your program and would like to become a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) Certified Vaulting Instructor, you may read the certification booklet below and attend a PATH Intl. Interactive Vaulting Workshop to learn all the necessary skills and precautions. After participating in the PATH Intl. Interactive Vaulting Workshop and practicing the skills taught, you may be ready for certification. You can sign up to attend a vaulting certification, which is conducted at a host site, once you have completed all the following prerequisites:

  • Attend PATH Intl. Interactive Vaulting Workshop within a two-year time frame
  • Completion and documentation of 30 lungeing hours and 20 Interactive Vaulting Teaching hours
  • Current certification as a PATH Intl. Registered Level Instructor
  • 21 years of age
  • Application materials complete with fee paid

Once you have met these requirements, the Interactive Vaulting Certification process will consist of the following components:

  1. Lungeing test - Candidates will have 20 minutes to show their ability to warm up, work the horse in both directions in side reins at all three gaits, and cool down. Immediately following the practical component, candidates will be asked to evaluate their horse and their lungeing performance. As safe and correct lungeing is the basis for interactive vaulting, candidates who do not pass this portion will not be permitted to continue testing.
  2. Vaulting positions on the vaulting barrel - Candidates will have 15 minutes to teach the vaulting position movements to an uneducated vaulter, with an emphasis on safety and empathy for the horse. The candidates will then perform the vaulting position movements themselves on the barrel.
  3. Interactive vaulting lesson - Candidates will have 20 minutes to teach a lesson to three vaulters. All three gaits should be shown and use of the barrel is required. Focus should be on safety, consideration for the horse, teaching new skills and fostering interaction within the group. Candidates will receive profiles on the vaulters and the horse the evening before they are scheduled to teach. A lesson plan should be provided to the evaluators.

8At the conclusion of the certification each candidate will be notified of results and given written and oral feedback from the evaluators in a one-on-one setting.

***Please refer to the PATH Intl. interactive vaulting specialty standards in a current version of the PATH Intl. Standards and Accreditation Manual. These very detailed standards address some of the most important safety concerns for interactive vaulting. In addition, they contain information about what is needed to start interactive vaulting program.

*PATH Intl. acknowledges that both spellings "lungeing" and "longeing" are correct and used in the literature when discussing use of the horse on a circle. PATH Intl. uses the spelling "lungeing" in all documents.


horse-riding-treesDefinition: A PATH Intl. Registered Level Instructor is able to conduct a safe, basic equestrian lesson to individuals with special needs. 

Method 1:  Attend and successfully complete a PATH Intl. Approved Training course. For additional information please refer to the page on Approved Training courses. 

Method 2:  Complete a multi-step educational process that includes the following:

  • Apply for PATH Intl. membership.
  • Submit PATH Intl. instructor certification application to the PATH Intl. office.
  • Complete two online courses and exams.
  • Complete a Horsemanship Skills Checklist.
  • Obtain current CPR and First Aid certification (online not accepted).
  • Complete 25 hours teaching group lessons (two or more riders) with disabilities under the guidance or direct supervision of a PATH Intl. Certified Instructor
  • Attend and successfully complete an On-Site Workshop which includes two-and-a-half days of both classroom and hands-on learning. To find the dates and locations of upcoming On-Site Workshops, see the events calendar. The workshop is explained in detail in the Registered Booklet, located on the left side of your screen.
  • Attend and successfully complete an On-Site Certification in which candidates can complete their certification by demonstrating their riding ability and instruction to a class of at least two students with disabilities. To find the dates and locations of upcoming On-Site Certifications, see the events calendar

To find a detailed description of this method, please review the PATH Intl. Registered Instructor Certification Booklet.

New Procedure regarding Instructor in Training (IT) Letter

Method 3: Attend a PATH Intl. Higher Education Member college or university. Click here for additional information.


PATH Intl. Registered Instructor Certification Booklet (2018)

For information and forms, visit the TRI certification page




Frequently Asked Questions




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