About PATH Intl.

Alaska - Carrie Drury, State Chair

Happy Spring from Alaska!

Save the Date and join us for our 2018 Alaska State Conference! This networking and educational event will be held on July 21st at EKG Stables in Chugiak. Earn CEUs with Jenny Nell, a PATH master instructor, and other talent as they share their knowledge and industry expertise! Bring a friend, a volunteer, a mentee, who will benefit from this professional experience of learning to empower our riders with special needs! Make sure to join our PATH Region 9 FB page for more details coming soon!

STRIDE, Inc. Networking and New Horse

It's been an exciting winter for STRIDE Inc in the Mat-Su Valley! Lots of networking going on in anticipation of this summer's program. From the 4H Horse Symposium to presenting at the 100 Plus Women Who Care MatSu Chapter meeting, STRIDE is rubbing elbows and meeting new talent at a rapid rate!

Most exciting news is the addition of a new horse to the herd, Cherokee, pictured here just before our welcoming, get-acquainted “Tea with Cherokee” in late March.


Equine Assisted Therapy Alaska

EATA would like to thank everyone who made the Cowboy Ball so spectacular! There was dining and dancing and with everyone coming out to support EATA's event, funds were raised to help the growth of EAAT industry in Anchorage!

Various non-profit organizations gathered for the Mitzvah ('do a good deed') Mall, including EATA, and it was a joy to talk and network with representatives from each group, and purchase gifts to benefit their missions. A huge thank you to all who participated!

 Alberta/BC - Karen Tanchak, State/Provincial Chair

Message from Karen Tanchak, State/Provincial Chair for BC and Alberta

It is the middle of March and I am beginning to wonder if I am going to see the dirt in my arena by June.


My EAAT horse “Albert” is wondering when he gets to go back to work.

Many of our smaller programs do not have access to an indoor facility so we are dependent on Mother Nature being kind and allowing the warmer and dryer weather to bless us.

Many programs are preparing for the Spring Sessions beginning in April. I know we share the passion of working with our wonderful participants and I encourage all of you to take some photos and share some news in our next newsletter. Let’s raise the profile of our BC and Alberta members and introduce ourselves to our Region 9 peers.

On a more serious note: I need some assistance in creating our State/Provincial Meeting for 2018. I have only heard from one member with ideas for our meeting. Please share with me what you would like to see (demo or education opportunity) in a full day event and at what location (city or facility) and month would be best suited for you. I am hoping that one or two people will be willing to assist me with the planning. You can reach out to me at ‘This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.’.

Wishing everyone a Spring in your Step alongside your equine partners!

Idaho - Annie Mabry, State Chair

Message from Annie Mabry, Idaho State Chair

It seems that our Idaho centers stay busy all year long, with new and exciting things happening on a regular basis, so collecting news for our Region 9 Quarterly newsletter was a snap. Thanks to all of you who shared with me.

By the time this newsletter is sent, news of our Idaho State Conference/Meeting should be out and registration open. If you haven’t seen it, please contact me and I will make sure it gets to you. Our 2018 Conference will be held at Swiftsure Ranch Therapeutic Equestrian Center in Bellevue, Idaho on Saturday, May 5th. We have an exciting array of topics and some fantastic presenters, so be sure to mark your calendar and join us!

Innovative Therapeutic Riding Program: The Incredible Horse Exhibit

Innovative Therapeutic Riding Program in Idaho Falls has the privilege of being featured in The Incredible Horse exhibit at the Museum of Natural History in Pocatello, ID, which has over 700,000 artifacts catalogued. This exhibit will be on display from January 2018 to January 2019. The exhibit has skeletons that date back 50-0.3 million years ago starting with Hyrarptherium, Mesohippus, Merychippus, Pilohippus, and Equus simplicidens ( The Hagerman Horse). The exhibit also includes examples of modern day usage of horses including ranch work, rodeo, dressage, jumping and equine facilitated activities and therapies. Interesting fact: Did you know the Pony Express was only active for 19 months?

Ride for Joy: TR and Veterans

ride for joyRide for Joy (RFJ) in Emmet, ID. Has kicked off the spring session with both our therapeutic riding and Veterans program. RFJ serves ages 4-104 years old during therapeutic riding, as well as working with the Veteran community to continue to serve and grow the Veterans program at the barn. The 2nd Ruck Up and Rebuild Veterans Retreat (R&R) takes place this May and is designed for veterans to rejuvenate, connect with other veterans and community professionals, try new and healthy activities, and learn coping skills that can be used in every day life. This three day, two night event is free to Veterans. RFJ also introduced a new program in the fall of 2017 called a “One Time Ride”. The program is for those who wonder what it would be like to ride a horse, but may not be able to commit to a full session. 2018 will be another amazing year for both two legged and four legged members of RFJ.

Ride for Joy’s wonderful Veteran’s program!

Rising Stars: Unruly Donkeys and Basketball

rising starsVolunteers from Rising Stars enjoying a rousing game of Donkey Basketball!

Rising Stars, in Twin Falls, ID. took part of one of the most unique fund raisers imagined! On Friday, March 9th Rising Stars volunteers, staff and cooperating therapists participated in the Kimberly FFA Donkey Basketball game. For those who have never played or witnessed such game, it consists of riding gentle but unruly Donkeys up and down an indoor basketball court as you pass the ball, or in some cases curl your body around the ball as your donkey makes it’s way down the court toward the hoop. As in basketball the idea is to score the most points but it is complicated by numerous unknowns along the way. The donkey might duck its head as you lean forward to catch a pass leaving you hovering in mid air befofe crashing to the floor or you might be drug off your trusty steed by an opposing player as they latch onto the ball in attempt to steal it. Some things are for sure; your donkey won’t go where you tell it to with the reins, your donkey won’t go the speed you want it to, and when you jump off the donkey to chase a loose ball he won’t follow behind as you lead him toward the ball. The list goes on and on and the possibility of coming away with several bumps and bruises is likely even for the best of “cowboys”. However, at the end of the night after coming in 2nd in a sudden death overtime championship game all of the Rising Stars players said they would do it again in a heartbeat!

Rising Stars is working hard to get things in order to open for the summer session in their new facility the beginning of June!



running w ranchRunning W Ranch Therapeutic Riding Program: Boaz, Mustangs, Veterans and Seniors

Tracy and Boaz the Mustang

Running W Ranch Therapeutic Riding Program is booming! They have started a new Veterans program, which they are purposely starting slowly as they work hard to get the word out and begin networking with other organizations. Head instructor and Founder, Cyndie Wiltsie, is taking the PATH online Veteran’s course in April to further advance her skills in working with this special population. In April they will be headed to the BLM in Boise to adopt two mustangs to train for the Veterans program. Cyndie states that these mustangs will be a mirror for those struggling with PTSD and trust issues, as you have to be black or white when working with mustangs. There is no gray. Running W already has a fantastic mustang in their program, Boaz, who many of us were able to meet last summer at our Region 9 conference. Cyndie says that a young girl named Tracy who rides Boaz in the hippotherapy program, is doing so well using her whole body to ride. She has Arthrogryposis and Boaz’s wonderful movement and calm temperament is helping her make amazing strides.

seniors and saddles(Left) Senior citizens on their way to the Seniors and Saddle program at Running W Therapeutic Riding Center

 Another great program at Running W is the Seniors and Saddles, I remember when… program. Assisted Living centers in the area bring their residents to a pre arranged 2 hour class where they can interact with the horses on the ground. They have close to 25 participants who come to visit and almost all of them will start with “I remember when…” and then they will tell you their story and are transported back to that special moment in their lives when horses were a part of it. It makes them so happy! They are then treated to a BBQ to continue to socialize and share their special stories.

Running W Seniors and Saddles participants visiting with a new friend!

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Swiftsure Ranch Therapeutic Equestrian Center: Natalie, Bob Woodruff, arena improvements, goodbye Tim

Swiftsure Ranch Therapeutic Equestrian Center has had a very exciting few months! They announce the addition of Rocky Mountain College graduate and PATH Int’l. Certified instructor, Natalie Sheffer to the team. Natalie completed her summer internship with them this past summer and proved herself as a great fit for their team. They are very excited to see how they can utilize her experience to help them better their program.

Swiftsure just finished up with a successful fund raising event, specifically for growth of their Veterans program. It was a fun evening with ABC reporter Bob Woodruff and his wife Lee as they spoke about their experiences after Bob was hit by a roadside bomb in Iraq. Bob and Lee have created the Bob Woodruff foundation to insure that our injured service members are given the opportunity to thrive in life after service. Lee also joined us for a morning coffee talk as the wife dealing with the ups and downs the family went through – inspirational to say the least!

After 2 years of fundraising, planning and execution, Swiftsure’s previously covered outdoor arena is now FULLY ENCLOSED and in use! They now have the largest building in the county on their property giving them the ability to hold up to 4 – 7 lessons at one time indoors (with both arenas). They would like to THANK all of their generous donors for supporting this project!

With heavy hearts, Swiftsure is announcing the departure of their long time Ranch Manager, Tim Bennett, and would like to thank him for his dedication to not only the ranch but also their program and mission. They are happy to announce tha current Facilities Assistant, Salvador Ruiz, will be taking on the responsibilities of this role.

Swiftsure is looking forward to hosting the Idaho State Conference on May 5th!

Montana - Stephanie Richardson, State Chair

Message from Stephanie Richardson, Montana State Chair

With the ground thawing and the snow melting in Montana, we are gearing up for the Montana State Meeting. We will be joining together June 1 and 2, 2018 at Eagle Mount in Bozeman. Friday night is a social time to get to know other and enjoy everyone's company. Saturday will be focused on education. Your Montana state task force is looking forward to bringing everyone together. Keep an eye out for registration.

Please keep in touch Montana! We are an amazing state with exceptionally talented people that love our horses very much. Looking forward to connecting with everyone!

Sense-Ability School and Eagle Mount-Great Falls Join Forces

sense abilityBoth children and adults who have Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) and faced every day, even every minute, with sensory struggles, problems with communication—both verbal and nonverbal, repetitive behaviors, fears and compulsions. As one person with ASD put it: Autism feels awful. Adults can’t hold down jobs or have normal relationships; children fail at school and have no friends. Specialized schools have been created to help children receive education in a therapeutic setting where they learn the usual academics but also how to cope in a world that doesn’t understand them. One such school has recently opened its doors in Montana – Sense-Ability School in Great Falls. A group of committed people are dedicated to bringing options and hope to families touched by ASD.

Research has found that the wonderful world of horses can contribute a new world to folks with autism. With that in mind, Sense-Ability School has partnered with Great Falls Eagle Mount to include equine therapy in the school curriculum. Using the triangular treatment team model, the horse, the equine specialist and the mental health therapist partner together to provide a safe learning environment which is specialized to the specific needs of each child.

Children have the opportunity to build relationships with horses— enjoying acceptance from these gentle giants; acceptance is something they often do not experience outside of their own homes. They learn to tolerate sensory stimulation; they learn to tolerate sights, sounds, and smells of the arena. They face their fears in a safe environment. They learn to recognize the boundaries the horses set and how to set their own. They develop balance and coordination while riding. They learn to focus on their environment learning mindfulness skills. They learn about body language and to speak up for their needs. They learn about health and self-care by learning about horse health. They learn new skills which are often scary, and they learn to keep themselves safe while looking out for the safety of others.

We have seen “Mary” tolerate the smell of horse manure. We have seen “Johnny” stand patiently until the horse turned and invited him to come closer, and standing patiently was something he had little success doing previously. “Bobby” learned about sitting up straight and balancing with his arms outstretched as he rode around the arena. “Susan” got to lay her head against the horses belly and listen to the mysterious sounds of the inside of the horse. “Andrew” got to not only learn to halter the horse but to lead her around the arena. “Phillip” got to see horses set boundaries with each other. “Karen” learned it is just fine to speak up and say she was afraid.

Sense-Ability and Eagle Mount-Great Falls are excited to be able to create this learning environment. Our goal is that these children learn in an environment where they are happy and are successful to their full potential. We want to see them grow up to contribute their unique talents and gifts to their community. Our world needs what these kids have to offer, and we want to help them see their possibilities and be all they can be. To learn more about this program, call Sense-Ability School at 406-952-0281.

Oregon - Amanda Garrison, State Chair

Message from Amanda Garrison, Oregon State Chair

The Oregon State Meeting is scheduled for June 1st in Bend at Healing Reins. Please contact Oregon State Chair, Amanda Garrison at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or Polly Cohen at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. if you are interested in presenting or if there is something specific you would like to see!

Recently, Senate Bill 1533 and House Bill 4100 passed, allowing equine assisted activities and therapy centers in Oregon to do hippotherapy and equine facilitated psychotherapy on Exclusive Farm Use land, even if the client is not in direct contact with the equine during the entire session. This clarifies vague laws that were restricting client services at centers. Now we can continue to expand programs and better serve our communities.

Healing Reins

(Left) A rainbow “sign.” Healing Reins has started a collaboration with Treehouse Therapies Associate, with a farm clinic onsite at Healing Reins. With the barn on the left and the clinic on the right mere steps away from each other, this is therapeutic services at its best.

(Right) Hollie and Hope participate in Dr. Seuss week at Healing Reins

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forward stride

 Forward Stride

Forward Stride welcomed a new member into their herd, a Haflinger gelding named Bennie. With his extensive driving experience, Bennie will help Forward Stride move forward with adding a carriage driving program.

Forward Stride’s Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy program added a 10 week Women’s Trauma Group. This group will provide support, aid in trauma processing, and promote healing in a safe group environment.

Forward Stride just hosted a very successful auction and gala. It was their most successful event yet. The event was also attended by Oregon Governor, Kate Brown. 


Washington - Teresa Bron, East WA State Chair, West WA State Chair Devon Stone

Message from Teresa Bron, Eastern WA State Chair:

I will be contacting centers to visit them whenever I’m in the area. We have also added Devon Stone from Little Bit to help with the western side of the state as the western State Chair. Hopefully this will help us to reach out to everyone in our PATH Intl. centers in the State of Washington!

See you all in Ellensburg at Spirit Therapeutic on June 1 and 2, 2018 for our WA State Meeting,

Teresa Bron
Equine Coordinator/Instructor
Pegasus Project Yakima

New Indoor Area in Yakima

We have had a remodel to our indoor arena here at Pegasus Project in Yakima. We added an enclosed playroom for the kids, and the parents can sit in there to watch lessons as well. It’s heated so we can keep our parents and family members/ care givers more comfortable during the winter season. We had our annual Spurs fundraiser in January and we were very successful in raising funds again this year, so we have some nice projects planned ahead.

One of those projects is a Carriage Driving Demo this fall for people who are interested in becoming either an Able Bodied Whip for a therapeutic driving program or for drivers who may want to even get PATH Intl. certified.

Honoring Volunteers at Equest Special Riders

Equest Special Riders Inc. of Tacoma, WA has been in existence since 1982 and is our featured program in WA state for this newsletter. Here is a wonderful story of how they honor their volunteers:

Our program has been through many volunteers, horses and riders. For the last 4 years we have been celebrating our volunteers for all the time they’ve put in to volunteering at Equest Special Riders Inc. and to show them just how much we appreciate them.

On February 10, 2018, we celebrated 30 Volunteers (not all present) and 8 board members (also not all present) with a total of 2967 Hours volunteered for the 2017 year. Everyone receives a certificate no matter the amount of hours they have volunteered. We also give out items according to the bracket of hours that the volunteers fall under.

The top 3 volunteers with the most hours got a vest with our logo, their name and the year embroidered on it. Volunteers with anywhere between 1-25 hours receive a trophy and a key chain with our logo engraved on it. Volunteers in between those hours got beanies, hoodies or jackets according to their hours volunteered. The Vice President of the board presented the awards. We had at least 20 of our volunteers show up, some with family, to celebrate with food, beverages, beverages and reminiscing on the previous year. We plan to continue celebrating our volunteers every year so that they know we truly appreciate all their hard work.

Little Bit Starts New Literacy Program: Pages with Pete

little bitLittle Bit Therapeutic Riding Center is starting a new literacy therapy program! Pages with Pete will be led by Leslie Delorenzi, a licensed Speech Language Pathologist and licensed Dyslexia Therapist. The group will consist of pre-reading activities such as listening, rhyming, and syllable awareness. (Skills will be tailored to the needs of the group). This fun group will feature active play in the clinic and arena with Pete, our mini horse.

1. is developmentally at the age of 4 or 5 (but chronologically no older than 8 years old)
2. is able to sit and attend for 10-15 minute periods of time.
3. is able to follow directions and complete age-appropriate work, such as crafts, with some independence.
4. is able to appropriately engage with similarly-aged peers.

1. Listening skills
2. Rhyme recognition
3. Hearing words in sentences
4. Awareness of syllables




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Additional Sponsors

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