About PATH Intl.

Member of the Month: Sheryl Mankel

Sheryl Mankel of Connected-Healing, LLC in Sand Lake Michigan first joined PATH Intl. in 1999 because she wanted to become certified, she’d been a center volunteer since 1977! Her favorite thing about belonging to the EAAT community is helping facilitate the connection the horse provides in healing and learning.
Sheryl’s first and current career is bookkeeping, definitely a great skill to have in any field. But that’s not all; she’s also a Nationally Certified Animal Acupressure Practitioner!

Sheryl shared about her favorite horse, Brandy, whom she purchased at six years old, “She could do anything I asked...cattle, dressage, trail, and she was a top notch therapeutic riding horse for two major centers in Kent County, Michigan. She traveled to Wichita, KS with me and helped many children learn to ride. Upon returning to Michigan, she was my go to partner working with many veterans within the PTSD arena. She traveled many miles with my adventures!

Brandy was my 'everything' horse and it wasn't until she passed from colic in 2014 and I shared on Facebook, that I was aware of just how many lives this mare had touched, from her lesson clients, to instructors who had 'borrowed' her, to volunteers who were very sad to hear of her crossing over, she had over 200 hits! My daughters took it really hard, as put by my youngest, ‘This mare has always been in my life that I can remember. She came to us when I was 5 years old.’ She never moved a muscle in those days as we groomed her always aware of where we were; she was there as my parents went through a divorce; she was there when things were tough in high school; she was there when I left for the Marine Corp and when I came back from boot camp; she was there when college was tough and close relationships dissolved...this mare has been my ONE constant, I truly don't know what the future looks like without her."

We asked about a favorite participant and she gave an answer we are seeing in many of these profiles, “SO many!” She went on to tell the story of Amber. ”Amber is a friend who served our country with three tours of action for the US Marine Corp. She did not come to us originally for help, just as a friend wanting to help with the horses. We worked with her being comfortable and learning to read body language along with her controlling her emotions/body so the horses would react positively. She brought other friends out now and then. While working on a regular basis with the horses, her psychologist noticed a huge difference in Amber and another service member and asked to come see what we were doing. From that moment Dr. Kane and I worked together partnering with my horses and his clients. Amber continued to heal and lead a more normal life. She loves to ride, but it was difficult at first due to her TBI. We have worked on balance and helped with her back issues. It has been a VERY positive experience and one I will continue to foster.”

We asked Sharon to share with us a life lesson she had to learn the hard way and she said, “Be safe, but let things happen as natural as you can. The first clinic I attended with EFHMA taught me SO much.”

If she could have a wish fulfilled for the next 50 years of PATH Intl. and EAAT? “I feel PATH Intl. is headed in the right direction. I would love to have more 'skills' clinics. EAGALA gets together and practices often, I would love for PATH members to do the same.” When asked how she feels when she wears or displays her PATH Intl. logo she said she feels, “Certified!”

Not a member yet? Join PATH Intl. today! Click here to see all the benefits a membership provides.

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