About PATH Intl.

Equine Dentistry

By Isabel Wolf Gillespie, Member of the PATH Intl. Equine Welfare Committee

Do you know the difference between motorized vs manual dentistry technique?

Do you know which one is best for your horse?

Last week the equine dentist came onto the property to treat two of the middle-aged geldings in my herd of 26. The herd consists of wild horses that we rescued about three years ago, as well as 10 ‘domesticated’, working horses. The wild horses have become very relaxed in the three years living with us, but at this point in time they would never allow a human hand or metal instruments inside their mouths.

Dentistry has never been high on my priority list, due to the fact that my herd lives out, in mountainous terrain, with access to diverse grass and plant species allowing them to graze selectively as they should. Despite their happy, healthy lifestyle, two of the working geldings started to show these pockets along their jawlines, where most likely grass gets stuck behind a wolf tooth or possibly a broken tooth or hole.

The dentist arrived with plenty of boxes and an immense amount of equipment, which I couldn’t recall was necessary from my previous dentistry experiences. Upon questioning, the dentist outlined the procedure and that’s when I realized that he will be using motorized gear – a first – on my horses. It’s not that I hadn’t heard of the motorized technique before or that I am somewhat ‘old-fashioned’, still I was a little bit nervous and concerned for the well-being of my horses.  

According to Veterinarian Dr. Raymond Q. Hyde, DVM, who has been in practice for 26 years and at the same time is a certified equine dentist, the use of motorized gear has its beginnings in Germany over 60 years ago.

Dr. Hyde elaborates that the technology using motorized equipment was lost due to World War II, when afterwards horses were no longer considered ‘that valuable’. Equine dentistry as a result, took a backfoot so to speak and only more recently the need for more advanced dental procedures and care has regained importance.

The manual floating of teeth is a fairly simple procedure - I say fairly, as some horses as with their hooves, just don’t see the point of these procedures! If your horse is comfortable with a halter (and mouth prop) on its head, touching around the mouth and can stand still, you and/or the dentist should be fine.

One of the most severe differences between manual and motorized in my opinion, is that the horse has to be sedated for the motorized procedure. The equipment makes a lot of noise, and the vibrations the horse is exposed to during the use is just too much to stand for without a little help. Additionally, the possibility of injuries with motorized equipment is higher especially if the horse shakes its head or moves around.  

This is largely the reason why equine dentistry with the use of motorized equipment is often done by veterinarians, who are permitted and skilled in sedating our animals. If a dentist is not a vet, the vet will have to be called out for the motorized dentistry procedure, which impacts on our budgets for such procedures.

After my recent experience and doing some research into the equine dentistry field, I have come to realize and understand, that the dentistry procedure itself remains the same, whether motorized or manual equipment is used.

Whatever procedure you choose for your most precious four-legged companions, the key lies in selecting the right equine dentistry practitioner. Ensure you are choosing a highly skilled individual, someone with experience and good references, someone that will treat your horses kindly during the procedure. The danger does not lie in the use of equipment, but rather in poor technique or unskilled application.

Reference List:

http://www.equinedental.com.au/why-do-horses-teeth/power-tools-and-equine-dentistry/

https://ivcjournal.com/equine-dentistry/

https://wwe-idaho.com

https://horsedentistry.info

https://www.amscheqdentistry.com

Horse-Human Interactions and Equine Welfare in EAAT: Aligning Our Practices With Our Goals

PATH Intl. Equine Welfare Committee Guest Tip from Emily Kieson, PhD candidate at Oklahoma State University

The world of equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) is saturated with activities and horse-human interactions based almost exclusively on the historical use of horses for work and equitation. The same routines of haltering, grooming, riding, leading and lungeing that have been used for years in equitation have been adapted by the EAAT world to serve new purposes, and professionals in EAAT consider the horse a partner. These interactions, useful for training and schooling our horses for use in work and pleasure, may not, however, be in line with the goals of therapy. (Editor’s note: PATH Intl. Certified Professionals do not practice therapy but rather equine-assisted activities. Those participants in need of therapy are served by licensed physical and occupational therapists, speech/language pathologists and mental health professionals.) Researchers are learning more about how domestic horses communicate with each other and us, which can lead to improvements in equine welfare through better understanding of equine-human interactions and what it means for the psychological welfare of the horse. This means that, if we want to improve client-horse relationships and model good horse-human relationships for our participants, we may need to make different choices with regards to how we handle or interact with our equine partners.

As humans, we explore the world through our hands and express emotional connection through touch [1], [2], words and sharing of food [3]–[5], whereas emerging research shows that horses create bonds through proximity [6], time and mutual engagement rather than touch or pressure. Based on recent (unpublished) studies, horses engage in social connection with other horses through close proximity and a sharing of quiet space repeatedly over time. Instead, they stand quietly near their favorite partner and share mutual space while resting or grazing. Perhaps even more importantly, the relationships they build with one another are based not only on predictably safe interactions, but also mutual exploration and partnership in problem solving. Once a safe space has been established between two horses, they will begin moving and exploring together. Everything is mutual with no single leader or follower and even touch is always simultaneously reciprocated. One may demonstrate more confidence than the other, but there is no pushing or pulling to force engagement of the partner, just an invitation to join in curiosity and exploration. The joint involvement in uncertain environments is what makes horses build better relationships.

The same is true for humans, too. We build safe environments with each other over time in order to build trust and, once that trust is established, a relationship is strengthened by small challenges and uncertainties that are explored as a team [7]–[10] . These concepts have been supported by scientists who study marriage, families, friendships and work partnerships and have been studied in a wide range of species. It appears these same concepts apply to horses as well.

So how do we incorporate this into EAAT and what does this mean for welfare? Traditional equitation relies almost exclusively upon negative reinforcement (pressure and release) [11]–[13] which, when properly used, can adequately train a horse to engage in a behavior of our choosing. This use of small aversive tactics, however, does not align with how either species builds relationships. If we are hoping to work with horses in a way that both encourages and models balanced partnerships, perhaps we need to incorporate other types of interactions into our EAAT programs. This may mean, then, that we do not always ride or halter a horse and that the horse may have a choice to not engage with the participant. This may require us to set different expectations for participants and parents and help them understand why we are encouraging at-liberty work and what that means for building mutual communication and engagement for both horse and human. Horses have amazing memories and build unique relationships with each individual human that can build and develop over time. If we give our horses the choice of engaging with clients in a way that better aligns with their natural behavior, perhaps we can improve the welfare of our equine partners while simultaneously finding even better ways to build confidence, communication and emotional strength in our clients.

[1]         R. I. M. Dunbar, “The social role of touch in humans and primates: Behavioural function and neurobiological mechanisms,” Neurosci. Biobehav. Rev., vol. 34, no. 2, pp. 260–268, 2010.

[2]         A. V. Jaeggi, E. De Groot, J. M. G. Stevens, and C. P. Van Schaik, “Mechanisms of reciprocity in primates: Testing for short-term contingency of grooming and food sharing in bonobos and chimpanzees,” Evol. Hum. Behav., 2013.

[3]         J. Koh and P. Pliner, “The effects of degree of acquaintance, plate size, and sharing food intake,” Appetite, no. 52, pp. 595–602, 2009.

[4]         A. N. Crittenden and D. A. Zes, “Food Sharing among Hadza Hunter-Gatherer Children,” PLoS One, vol. 10, no. 7, 2015.

[5]         J. M. Koster and G. Leckie, “Food sharing networks in lowland Nicaragua: An application of the social relations model to count data,” Soc. Networks, 2014.

[6]         M. C. Van Dierendonck, H. Sigurjónsdóttir, B. Colenbrander, and a. G. Thorhallsdóttir, “Differences in social behaviour between late pregnant, post-partum and barren mares in a herd of Icelandic horses,” Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci., vol. 89, pp. 283–297, 2004.

[7]         J. K. Rempel, J. G. Holmes, and M. P. Zanna, “Trust in Close Relationships,” J. Pers. Soc. Psychol., vol. 49, no. 1, pp. 95–112, 1985.

[8]         B. Vollan, “The difference between kinship and friendship: (Field-) experimental evidence on trust and punishment,” J. Socio. Econ., vol. 40, no. 1, pp. 14–25, 2011.

[9]         R. J. Lewicki and B. B. Bunker, “Developing and Maintaining Trust in Work Relationships,” Trust Organ. Front. Theory Res., no. October, pp. 114–139, 2015.

[10]      R. J. Lewicki and R. J. Bies, “Trust and Distrust : New Relationships and Realities,” vol. 23, no. 3, pp. 438–458, 2018.

[11]      J. Murphy and S. Arkins, “Equine learning behaviour.,” Behav. Processes, vol. 76, no. 1, pp. 1–13, Sep. 2007.

[12]      P. D. McGreevy and A. N. McLean, “Punishment in horse-training and the concept of ethical equitation,” J. Vet. Behav. Clin. Appl. Res., vol. 4, no. 5, pp. 193–197, Sep. 2009.

[13]      A. N. McLean and J. W. Christensen, “The application of learning theory in horse training,” Appl. Anim. Behav. Sci., vol. 190, 2017.

Additional Resources:

J.M. Gottman, The Science of Trust: Emotional Attunement for Couples. New York City: W. W. Norton & Company. 2011

Feltman, The Thin Book of Trust. Bend, OR: Thin Book Publishing, 2008.

Rees, Horses in Company. London: J A Allen & Co Ltd. 2017

McGreevy, Equine Behavior: A Guide for Veterinarians and Equine Specialists 2nd Ed. Philadelphia: Saunders, 2012.

McGreevy, A. McLean, Equitation Science. Hoboken, NJ: Wiley-Blackwell, 2010

About the author: Emily Kieson is a PhD candidate at Oklahoma State University in comparative psychology studying equine behavioral psychology and equine-human interactions. She has a M.S. in Psychology, a graduate degree in Equine Science, is certified and practices as an Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning through PATH, and is certified as an Equine Specialist in a number of other EAP models. She has spent the last 20 years working full time in the horse industry and has focused the last 10 years on equine-assisted therapies. Emily, along with her colleagues at MiMer Centre, a Swedish non-profit, are helping to develop a research and education center at OSU with a focus on animal-human interactions and animal welfare.

Is a Horse in Transition the Right Horse for Your EAAT Program?

By Christie Schulte Kappert, Member, PATH Intl. Equine Welfare Committee

The call is one you’ve probably received many times: a local horse owner has heard of your organization and wants to donate a horse to the therapeutic riding program. A nice gelding is stepping down from a previous career, or maybe he’s been enjoying the semi-retired life in the pasture after his rider went off to college. Yes, he may be 23 and requires senior feed, individual turnout, joint injections and special shoeing; but he has several good years left. At The Right Horse we refer to these as horses in transition; horses moving from a variety of careers to new situations.

Perhaps it’s more of a true rescue case - from an auction, “kill pen” or homeless situation. A community member, volunteer, or staff member has come across a horse in need. Their compassion for others, which serves them so well in an EAAT setting, is calling them to help this horse, too.

A prevailing belief exists that older, retired or less-than-sound horses are in demand for therapy programs. Well-intentioned owners often assume it is a great option for a horse in transition, but most people don’t realize how physically and mentally demanding an EAAT job can be. Furthermore, it’s a compelling story to draw a parallel between a rescued equine that has overcome stigma and challenges, and clients in your EAAT programs.

Are these “free” horses the right fit for your EAAT program? Do you accept them? What resources and time will it take to turn them into successful program horses? And what happens if it doesn’t work out? These are critical questions to ask of any horse entering the program, but particularly one offered for donation or free. Rescuing a horse yourself may bring unexpected hurdles. The good news is you don’t have to play both rescue and therapy center to both save a horse’s life and reap the benefits for your program and clients. In fact, I’d argue you can help more horses and more people by not attempting to do both.

PATH Intl. Centers and Instructors have specific missions and clients who rely on them. Most are not set up to be a rescue, rehabilitation, evaluation and training program for horses in transition. However, that’s exactly what great rescues and adoption centers do every day! It’s their business and expertise to take at-risk horses and prepare them for a new home and career through adoption.

When you adopt from a 501c3 non-profit equine adoption center or rescue, you experience benefits that help take the risk and guesswork out of your new horse. Adoption organizations following best practices will:

  • Offer horses for adoption who are up to date on farrier and veterinary care including vaccinations, Coggins tests and dentistry work
  • Have evaluated the horses’ temperament and be honest about their personalities
  • Be transparent about each horse’s training level, preferably using the Basic Behaviors Profile for ground handling skills
  • Provide training according to each horse’s individual needs
  • Have adoption applications, contracts and procedures that are not overly intrusive or complicated
  • Not have a deadline for horses to be rehomed or pressure you into making a quick decision
  • Transfer legal ownership to adopters within a reasonable amount of time
  • Offer a friendly post-adoption support system
  • Have a policy to take adopted horses back at any time for any reason
  • Might even be willing to offer a free lease for an EAAT program

Most of all, a good adoption organization will have the primary goal of matching the right horse to the right person or job. Many groups offer additional benefits such as trial periods, free riding lessons with the prospective horse before adopting, and training support post-adoption. The average adoption fee for a riding horse is typically between $500-$1,000. This is a fantastic deal for a horse that’s vetted, evaluated and ready to go to work.

Be sure to look for all those elements when considering adoption. Many brokers, “feedlots” or “kill pens” may misuse the term “adoption” and do not offer the safeguards listed here. Ask plenty of questions – transparency, good customer service and responsiveness are the hallmarks of great adoption centers. Check that the rescue shows financial transparency and has basic legal boxes checked such as being a registered 501c3 charitable organization. A great place to start is by searching www.myrighthorse.org. Adoptable horses come in every breed, age, size, shape and personality to match exactly what your program needs.

At The Right Horse, it’s our goal to match the right horse with the right home. Adoption organizations have the unique ability to identify and develop prospects for EAAT careers. Strong partnerships with the right adoption groups can ultimately help very good people find very good horses.

PATH International is a partner in The Right Horse Initiative, a collective of equine industry and welfare professionals and advocates working together to improve the lives of horses in transition and massively increase horse adoption in the United States. Connect with The Right Horse at the 2019 PATH Intl. Conference and Pre-Conference in Denver or at www.therighthorse.org.

Tips for Feeding the Senior PATH Intl. Horse

By Jessica Normand, PATH Intl. Equine Welfare Committee Member

Modern horses tend to live long lives, thanks to advancing veterinary medicine and improved management. This means those of us caring for aging horses need to understand how to best meet their nutritional needs. While there isn’t a specific age that horses are considered “senior”, 15 is generally a good benchmark for when the horse’s health and nutritional needs may start to change. Of course, it’s imperative to work with your veterinarian to monitor each horse’s body condition, digestive health, immunity, and overall wellness as they age.

What happens in the aging horse?
You may notice senior horses in your care have a reduced body condition score (weight loss), loss of muscle tone including a sway back, dental changes, and a decreased ability to maintain the same workload as they could in their younger days. Older horses may also start to experience less effective digestive function, loss of bone density, a less robust immune system, less resilient connective tissue, and reduced cardiopulmonary function.

Feeding the Older Horse
Work with your veterinarian to monitor body condition and dental health carefully. Aging horses may have a harder time maintaining healthy fat cover and muscle tone as their digestive tracts become less efficient, and of course dental disease adds to this challenge. All horses need 1-2% of their body weight from forage, so you may have to adjust the sources of roughage provided to senior horses in your care, to accommodate their changing dental needs. Some options include complete feeds, which are formulated with a significant portion of fiber, as well as chopped forage, cubed forage, or soaked beet pulp. For senior horses not being fed a full serving of a fortified or complete feed, consider a balanced vitamin/mineral supplement to make sure their basic nutrient requirements are being met.

Aging equine digestive tracts may have a harder time absorbing protein from the diet. As a result, it’s important to provide high quality protein, meaning essential amino acids, rather than just focusing on the total (crude) protein percentage. Research* has shown that supplementing with the essential amino acids lysine and threonine, specifically, improves muscle mass in aged horses. This may be an excellent strategy for senior horses who lose their topline and develop a “pot belly” appearance from the weight of their intestines, due to loss of abdominal muscle tone. There are numerous equine amino acid supplements on the market, and several are quite economical.

Supplements designed to support the function of the digestive system by providing probiotics, prebiotics, and digestive enzymes can be a great addition to the senior horse’s program. Healthy horses in their prime manufacture their own vitamin C and B vitamins, but as their bodies become less efficient in these functions, supplementing with these vitamins may also be warranted. Additional antioxidants like vitamin E, as well as adaptogens and other herbs meant to support the immune system can be great additions to the senior horse’s program as well.

For senior horses that need help maintaining weight overall (not just lean muscle) consider adding more fat to the diet. Because fat is the most concentrated source of calories, it’s the most efficient way to help any horse gain weight. It’s also a “cool” burning energy source (won’t make horses excitable) and healthier than increasing calories from a grain that’s high in sugars and starches – especially for senior horses also being managed for endocrine/metabolic conditions. It may make sense to choose a commercial feed with a higher crude fat percentage, and/or to add healthy oil or a fat supplement to the diet. The ideal fat supplement comes from healthy fat sources such as flax seed, chia seed, or fish oil, which are high in omega 3 fatty acids. Avoid corn oil, which is high in inflammatory omega 6 fatty acids. Fat must be introduced slowly to avoid loose stool (of course, it’s good practice to make ALL feed changes slowly to reduce the risk of digestive upset).

Because arthritis is an extremely common aspect of aging, also work with your veterinarian to help keep your older horses comfortable. Besides plenty of turnout (to limit stiffness) and a consistent exercise program if possible, prescription medication and/or oral joint supplements can make a big impact on senior horses’ comfort level and quality of life.

In addition to dietary considerations, there are numerous other aspects of management that need to be adjusted as senior horses age. The following article from the American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) provides an excellent summary: https://aaep.org/horsehealth/older-horse-special-care-nutrition

Lastly, preventive care becomes even more important as horses age, so work closely with your veterinarian. Having a comprehensive physical exam performed twice per year instead of annually is an excellent idea to help you stay on top of the changing needs of the senior horses in your care.

*Graham-Thiers PM, Kronfeld, DS. Amino acid supplementation improves muscle mass in aged and young horses. J Anim Sci. 2005 Dec;83(12):2783-8.

Baseline Definition Summit

 
PATH Intl. is leading an initiative with the goal of term definition consensus among the major stakeholders in the field of equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT). Thank you to the initial workgroup comprised of Joann Benjamin, Michele Kane, Lynn Thomas and Dr. Wendy Wood for helping to lead this important initiative. And thank you to the Bob Woodruff Foundation for making this project possible.
 
 
We are pleased to announce the participants in that summit, representing a wide range of perspectives from the EAAT field. The participants in alphabetical order are (click the participant's name to be taken to their bio below):


Kathy Alm – CEO, PATH Intl. /former PATH Intl. Center Executive Director

Debbie Anderson – Equine Assisted Learning & Therapy/PATH Intl. Center Administrator

Emily Bader – Program Officer, Bob Woodruff Foundation

Joann Benjamin – Physical Therapist/Hippotherapy Clinical Specialist/American Hippotherapy Association

Dr. Octavia Brown – PATH Intl. Master Instructor/Professor of Equine Studies, Centenary University

Analisa Enoch – Program Specialist for the National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic (NVSSC)

Nina Ekholm Fry – Mental Health Professional/Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy and Counseling/University of Denver, Institute for Human-Animal Connection/HETI/CBEIP/ISES/American Hippotherapy Association

Margaret “Meg” Harrell – Chief program Officer, Bob Woodruff Foundation

Michele Kane – MA Clinical Mental Health/Veteran/PATH Intl. Therapeutic Riding Instructor  

Miyako Kinoshita – EFMHA/Equine Assisted Learning/PATH Intl. Therapeutic Riding Instructor

Martin C. Pearce – PR/Marketing/Communications/Parent of a participant

Lynn Klimas Petr – PATH Intl. Advanced Therapeutic Riding Instructor/PATH Intl. Center Founder & Administrator

Lissa Pohl – University of Kentucky, Community & Leadership Development/Equine Experiential Education Association (E3A) Master Trainer

Laurie Schick – Physical Therapist/Hippotherapy Clinical Specialist/American Hippotherapy Association/3rd party billing

Lynn Thomas – LCSW/Mental Health Professional/Founder & CEO, Eagala 

Wendy Wood, PhD, OTR/L, FAOTA, Professor of Equine Sciences and Occupational Therapy, Director of Research, Temple Grandin Equine Center, Colorado State University

Ken Minkoff and Chris Cline, Facilitators, Zia Partners, www.ziapartners.com

Biographies

Kathy Alm began her service as chief executive officer of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) in August 2014. For the previous 16 years she served as executive director of Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center in Woodinville, WA. She grew the previously grass roots organization from a $280,000 annual operating budget to a professional $2.1 million organization. Kathy’s board service includes the PATH Intl. board from 2005 – 2013, including the office of board president, founder/board member of the Director of Disabilities Organization, board member of the Alliance of Eastside Agencies as well as founder/board member of Theatre Puget Sound. Throughout her tenure in equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT), Kathy has served as a PATH Intl. region representative, chaired the PATH Intl. administrators’ committee, and presented at numerous regional and annual conferences all over the country. She holds a BA degree from Pacific Lutheran University. Her dedication to the field of equine-assisted activities and therapies spans more than 19 years with a passion that was ignited the moment she walked through the door at her first therapeutic riding center. 

Debbie Anderson has been on the cutting edge of the equine-assisted learning and therapy industry for over 35 years. Debbie has specialized in creating EAL programs in partnership with schools, corporations and many mental health associations. Debbie is also responsible for co- founding Strides to Success, the first center in the United States to become accredited in PATH Intl. mental health standards. Debbie has authored and co-authored many EAL curricula and resources that are considered industry staples. In addition to being involved on a program level, Debbie has dedicated her energy to PATH Intl. for the last 25 years serving on many committees as well as serving on the PATH Intl. Board of Trustees. She also serves as a lead site-visitor. Debbie is a well-known conference presenter, motivator, mentor and facilitator within the EAAT industry. Debbie was PATH Intl. certified in 1996 as a therapeutic riding instructor and is also certified as an equine specialist in mental health and learning. Additional certifications include Certified Equine Interaction Professional in Education, Equine Experiential Education Association (E3A) certified corporate trainer, Master HorseWork trainer and is also EAGALA trained. Today, Debbie serves as the founder/executive director at Strides to Success with a mission of spreading knowledge and assisting centers worldwide by promoting best practices within the EAAT industry. 

Emily Bader is a program officer at the Bob Woodruff Foundation (BWF). In this capacity, she is responsible for finding, funding, and shaping grants made to nonprofits addressing the needs of post-9/11 veterans, service members, military families, and caregivers. Emily manages BWF investments in mental healthcare programs and is the substantive leader within BWF on mental healthcare issues for post-9/11veterans. Prior to becoming a program officer, Emily held the roles of events coordinator and strategic initiatives officer. Emily started at BWF as an intern in January 2016 while pursuing her master’s degree in Near Eastern studies at New York University. During her time at New York University, Emily helped manage academic events ranging from intimate roundtable discussions to large-scale festivals. She concluded her master’s degree with the submission of her thesis on the impact of U.S. aid to Egypt between 1940 and 2011. Emily graduated Summa Cum Laude from St. John’s University with a BS degree in criminal justice, a concentration in forensic psychology, and minors in international studies and philosophy. She also studied Arabic at The Sijal Institute for Arabic Language and Culture in Amman, Jordan.

Joann Benjamin is a physical therapist, with a pediatric practice in the Los Angeles area. She has a particular interest in words and how we use them, whether writing curriculum for American Hippotherapy Association, Inc. (AHA), teaching courses, working with USEF and FEI 

in the para disciplines, or sharing the many benefits of using equine movement with patients. Her membership with NARHA (now PATH Intl.) began 35 years ago. She is a founding and lifetime member of AHA, having served in many roles, and was the AHA Therapist of the Year in 2017. She looks forward to participating in this project. 

Dr. Octavia J. Brown is a professor of equine studies at Centenary University in Hackettstown, NJ, where she directs Therapeutic Riding at Centenary, a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center. She teaches a PATH Intl.-approved instructor certification course as well as various courses in the equine studies department. She holds a Master’s of Education degree from Harvard Graduate School of Education and an honorary Doctor of Humane Letters from Centenary University. She is a PATH Intl. Certified Master Instructor and ESMHL and also holds EAGALA level 2 certification. Dr. Brown was a founding board member of NARHA, serving four terms on the board of directors. 

She served several years on the board of Horses and Humans Research Foundation, which led to exposure to funding applications from other countries and people/organizations not affiliated with PATH Intl. She is past president of the Federation Riding for the Disabled International (now HETI). She therefore brings significant international experience of terminology to the table as well as an historical perspective on the development of the entire field of EAAT in the United States. 

Analisa Enoch received her Bachelor of Science degree in business administration with a minor in marketing, Analisa spent the past fifteen years working for the Department of Veterans Affairs in different areas including Surgical Service, Mental Health, and currently for VA Central Office (VACO) in the Department of Veterans Affairs (VA) National Veterans Sports Programs and Special Events (NVSP&SE). The NVSP&SE office provides opportunities for health and healing through adaptive sports and therapeutic art programs. These specialized rehabilitation programs aim to optimize Veterans independence, community engagement, well-being, and quality of life.

In her current position as Program Specialist for the National Veterans Summer Sports Clinic (NVSSC), she serves as the special event coordinator for all operations, budget, and planning that affects this national rehabilitative sport clinic. The NVSSC is an adaptive sport program for recently injured Veterans that takes place annually and is hosted by the VA San Diego Healthcare System. The program is built on clinical expertise within VA, with essential support from Veteran Service Organizations, corporate sponsors, individual donors and community partners.  As an event with national participation, the planning and direction for this enormous undertaking is both highly complex and multi-dimensional, requiring a very high level of organizational ability, management, and leadership skills. 

Her full-time duties have national impact and consist of a full-range of planning, organizing, implementation, and evaluation of this program. In addition to planning for this event, Analisa also oversees volunteer support staff, active duty Air Force and Marine volunteers, and directs the work of the local organizing planning committee. In addition to working for the Department of Veterans Affairs, she is married with two teenage daughters and spends most of her free time watching her oldest daughter play field hockey and youngest daughter play softball.  She enjoys traveling around the United States and to distant places, such as Africa.

Nina Ekholm Fry is director of equine programs at the Institute for Human-Animal Connection and adjunct professor at University of Denver where her work focuses on horses in clinical services and on equine behavior and welfare. For the past 12 years, she has specialized in inclusion of horses in psychotherapy in the United States and Europe and is a certified clinical trauma professional. She currently serves on the boards of the American Hippotherapy Association, Inc. (AHA) and the Certification Board for Equine Interaction Professionals (CBEIP). In addition to client work and teaching, Nina conducts facilitation workshops and is chief editor of the HETI Journal, published by the International Federation of Horses in Education and Therapy. Nina is a practitioner member of the International Society of Equitation Science (ISES) and teaches equine behavior at Yavapai College. She is active in the equine welfare community in the United States and consults on equine behavior and facility design nationally. Nina brings national and international experience related to education, organization and regulation of professionals who include horses in their services. 

Dr. Margaret “Meg” Harrell is the chief program officer at the Bob Woodruff Foundation. She formerly served the Obama Administration as the executive director of force resiliency, within the Office of the Secretary of Defense, where she was responsible for the offices, policies, oversight and integrating activities pertaining to sexual assault prevention and response; suicide prevention; diversity, inclusion, and equal opportunity; personnel safety; and for Department of Defense collaboration with the Department of Veterans’ Affairs. Dr. Harrell spent 25 years at the RAND Corporation, where she researched military manpower and personnel, military families’ quality of life, and veterans’ issues. Her research portfolio includes approximately 70 publications. Concurrent with her time at RAND, Dr. Harrell served as a presidential appointee to the National Commission on the Structure of the Air Force, 2013-2014. From July 2011 to August 2012, Dr. Harrell served as a Senior Fellow and Director of the Military, Veterans, and Society Program at the Center for a New American Security, where her research focused on military veteran suicide prevention and response, veteran wellness, and veteran employment. She is a prior voting member of the Army Science Board, and has also briefed international audiences, testified before Congress, spoken extensively at conferences and guest lectured at the United States Military Academy. She holds a BA degree with distinction from the University of Virginia, an MS degree in systems analysis and management from the George Washington University, and a PhD degree in cultural anthropology from the University of Virginia, where her dissertation focused on the role expectations for Army spouses.

Michele Kane, Major, USMC (retired) retired from active duty Marine Corps in 2011 and moved from North Carolina to Fort Collins, CO, in order to attend Colorado State University’s equine sciences program. During that time, she also completed her master’s degree in professional mental health counseling (LPC). Michele learned about therapeutic riding while at CSU and decided to pursue PATH Intl. Therapeutic Riding Instructor certification. She was certified in December 2013 and hired by Hearts & Horses, Inc., in January 2014, mainly to work with veterans part time. Michele worked for the VA in Fort Collins until she was hired by Hearts & Horses as a full-time instructor and veterans program coordinator in January 2015. In January 2016, she was promoted to program director. She earned her PATH Intl. Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning (ESMHL) certification in 2018. Michele spent over 20 years on active duty, deployed multiple times and brings many years of military experience to the table. 

Miyako Kinoshita is the current farm education program manager at the Green Chimneys Farm and Wildlife Center. She serves as the key facilitator for over 200 children with psychosocial disabilities currently in residence and day school, and facilitates and co-supervises a wide range of animal-assisted programs. 

She has a master’s degree in educational studies, and specializes in animal-assisted activity and animal-assisted education. She looks back on over 20 years of working in direct service with children and animals as a PATH Intl. Certified Advanced Therapeutic Riding Instructor. Miyako is the former president of the Equine Facilitated Mental Health Association (EFMHA) and a former board member of PATH Intl., serving as chair of the board governance committee and as board secretary. Miyako was instrumental in reintegrating equine-assisted mental health programs back into PATH Intl., to cement the commitment to equines and equine welfare in the industry of therapeutic horsemanship. She is an author of several chapters in textbooks, including Handbook on Animal Assisted Therapy by Aubrey Fine. 

Currently, Miyako is playing a key role in the clinical study on nature-based program and its effect on positive youth development, conducted by the University of Denver Graduate School of Social Work. Miyako coordinates and supervises some of the data collection for the multi-year scientific study to assist the investigators from on site. 

Martin C. Pearce has almost 25 years of PR/communications/marketing experience on both the agency and client sides. He has had the privilege of working for a diverse set of clients across many industries, including consumer (Barilla, Mars, Starbucks, Dove), technology (HP, T- Mobile), automotive (Nissan, Vespa), fashion (Ted Baker, Eddie Bauer), and cause-related organizations (The Omidyar Group, Humanity United, Seeds of Compassion, Omidyar Network). What he likes most about what he does is finding the best/right way to communicate to audiences he is focused on. Communications is important yet frequently under-valued and misunderstood. That said, all messages are only as good as those created with an understanding of the audience. Words matter as well as how they are delivered. Lastly, and personally, Martin really understands the power of equine-assisted activities and therapies as the parent of a 13- year-old boy who has benefited from it for 10 years. 

Lynn Klimas Petr, MS, is the founder and executive director of Shangri-La Therapeutic Academy of Riding (STAR) in Lenoir City, TN. STAR is a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center in its 32nd year of operation. Lynn holds a bachelor’s degree in special education and a master’s degree in therapeutic recreation from the University of Tennessee where STAR was her master’s thesis project. 

Lynn is active in PATH Intl., being a lead site visitor for accreditation. She is a PATH Intl. Certified Advanced Therapeutic Riding Instructor, a mentor for instructors and executive directors, a certified equine specialist in mental health and learning, and faculty for both the mentor and standards courses as well as for the associate visitor training course. 

Lynn assisted in the rewrite of the instructor certification test many years back and has taken on roles of state chair, region representative, education oversight chair, health and education advisory member as well as helping to start (and finish) the faculty development task force, AVTC training revamp and mentor training review and development. Lynn was also part of the 

certification review and development task force, “Reinventing Certification” workgroup and the strategic initiatives review committee. 

She is committed to assisting PATH Intl. in a constant quest for improvement in the equine- assisted activities and therapies industry and was awarded the National Volunteer Leadership Award in 2010. 

Lissa Pohl holds a master’s degree in transformational leadership development and works in the University of Kentucky’s Department of Community & Leadership Development. She has facilitated equine-assisted learning workshops with students, nonprofits and executives across the United States, the United Kingdom, and in Qatar for the Qatar Foundation. In 2012, she conducted research on “The Effectiveness of Equine Guided Leadership Education to Develop Emotional Intelligence in Expert Nurses.” 

Lissa is a certified level two Equine Experiential Education Association (E3A) Advanced Corporate Practitioner (2012), and became an E3A Master Trainer in 2015. Lissa served on the E3A Board of Directors from 2012–2018 with four years as vice president. As a member of the PATH Intl. EAL workgroup (2013-15), she assisted in defining terms and creating guidelines for the practice of EAL. She has been a volunteer at Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center in Seattle, WA, and Central Kentucky Riding for Hope in Lexington, KY. 

Laurie Schick has been a physical therapist for over 24 years. In 2004, Laurie began developing her interest in the therapeutic value of horses and became a PATH Intl. certified instructor. In 2005, she brought hippotherapy to Forward Stride, a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center in Beaverton, OR, eventually expanding services to five staff therapists. In 2016, Laurie moved to Bend, OR, and started a private practice at Healing Reins, another PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center. During that time she was instrumental in removing hippotherapy as an exclusion under the state Medicaid plan. Laurie partnered with Treehouse Therapies, a nonprofit pediatric therapy clinic in 2017. There she led the effort to add equine movement as a treatment tool and helped open a new 3,000 sq. ft. clinic at Healing Reins. Through Treehouse Laurie now bills insurance for all of her sessions, with 30% of her caseload being Medicaid patients. Laurie is also an active member of the AHA Reimbursement Committee. 

Lynn Thomas, LCSW, founded and serves as CEO of Eagala, a nonprofit association headquartered in Santaquin, Utah. Providing training and certification in the Eagala Model of equine-assisted psychotherapy and personal development, Eagala has over 2,500 certified members in 45 countries, with over 600 programs providing Eagala Model services globally. Lynn received her Master’s of Social Work degree from the University of Utah and has over 20 years’ experience working with adolescents, families, individuals and groups in various mental health settings. She served as executive director for Aspen Ranch, a residential boarding school for troubled adolescents, where she first developed a program integrating horses as the primary treatment component. After founding Eagala in 1999, Lynn continues to work with an incredible team developing and growing the organization’s training program, resources connecting the global network and presence within the mental health community at large. 

Wendy Wood is director of research of the Temple Grandin Equine Center (TGEC) and professor of equine sciences and occupational therapy at Colorado State University. As the TGEC’s research director, Dr. Wood mentors undergraduate and graduate students (MS and PhD) in research of equine-assisted activities and therapies. Guided by Dr. Wood, these students have partnered with interdisciplinary teams of educators, equine specialists and scientists, health professionals and social scientists to conduct: 1) systematic mapping reviews of literature pertaining to equine-assisted interventions; 2) research of a program of equine-assisted activities for older adults with dementia; 3) and research of equine-assisted occupational therapy for children with autism. Dr. Wood, her collaborators and students have presented their findings at regional, national and international meetings, and also published findings in the American Journal of Occupational Therapy, American Journal of Alzheimer’s Disease and Other Dementias, and Journal of Autism and Developmental Disability. 

Dr. Wood serves on the scientific advisory board for Horses and Humans Research Foundation. 

 

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