2016 PATH Intl. Conference and Annual Meeting

Thank you for attending the 2016 PATH Intl. Conference in Williamsburg! Look for information about the 2017 Conference in San Antonio, November 8-11, in late January, early February.

Click here for handouts from the 2016 PATH Intl. Conference and Annual Meeting in Williamsburg

2016-conf-logo-idea1E-for-web

Title Sponsor:

PURINA VERTICAL 06 16 sm web

 

 

2016 PATH Intl. Conference and Annual Meeting - November 2-5

Targeted at the ever-growing group of professionals in equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT), the 2016 Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) Conference and Annual Meeting, sponsored by Purina, will feature an impressive array of educational sessions presented by industry experts. The Horse Expo and keynote luncheon have been perennial highlights. Attendees also enjoy the opportunities to catch up with old friends at various discussion forums and social receptions and network while visiting our growing exhibit hall. And not to be missed is the annual awards banquet designed to celebrate the innovation, hard work and spectacular accomplishments of the EAAT industry.

You will want to visit this page often as we will update conference information as it becomes available. This includes online registration. A hard copy of the registration brochure and registration form will also be available in the summer Strides issue, so make sure your membership and contact information are up to date with the PATH Intl. office so you don’t miss this important issue.

Registration Information

Thank you for attending the 2016 PATH Intl. Conference in Williamsburg! Look for information about the 2017 Conference in San Antonio, November 8-11, in late January, early February.

2016 CONFERENCE LOCATION

WilliamsburgLodge-for-web

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Williamsburg Lodge

310 S England St,
Williamsburg, VA 23185
Phone: (757) 220-7976

VOLUNTEERS

PATH Intl. and the Conference Host Committee are always looking for members to volunteer at the conference. There are many places to volunteer. Click here for the Volunteer Contact Information form and job descriptions.

CONFERENCE SPONSORS AND EXHIBITORS

We have had many wonderful sponsors over the past years. Their participation is what makes it possible to host these fun and educational events and allows us to award scholarships to dozens of deserving attendees. We want to sincerely thank them for their support.

A highlight of the conference is our exhibit hall. With nearly 800 attendees, both exhibitors and attendees alike have had a great time networking and checking out what’s new in the industry.

Learn more about becoming a conference sponsor or exhibitor.

SILENT AUCTION AND REGISTRATION BAG DONATION

Do you know a company that would like to advertise by donating a piece to include in conference registration bags? Do you have an item you would like to donate? Download the donation form and letter.

AWARD NOMINATIONS

Do you know of an outstanding PATH Intl. Instructor or Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning, a hardworking volunteer, a dedicated volunteer veterinarian or dependable equine deserving of many carrots and hugs? We want to hear about them! Each year PATH Intl. honors riders, certified professionals, volunteers, volunteer veterinarians, equines and contributing professionals from each region at our awards ceremony—they are, after all, the backbone of and the reason for our incredible organization! We have simplified the nomination process. Visit our Awards Nominations page to read the instructions and to access the online fillable nomination forms.

SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS - closed for 2016

It is the desire of PATH Intl. to provide the maximum opportunity to underwrite registration scholarships for the PATH Intl. Conference and Annual Meeting, and the association works diligently to obtain funding sources for such scholarships.

Check back in 2017 for information on the following scholarships:

PATH Intl. Conference and Annual Meeting Scholarship
Marjorie V. Kittredge Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy and Learning Scholarship

Call for Abstracts - closed for 2016

PATH Intl. is actively soliciting abstracts on important research, best practices, trends and developments that are of significance to association membership and other conference attendees. The association is especially interested in receiving abstracts from presenters with information relevant to the field of EAAT. Abstracts describing innovative programs, research or other related information are welcomed.

The Call for Abstracts for the 2016 conference is closed. Look for information in January 2017 for the 2017 PATH Intl. Conference.

Click here for handouts from the
2016 PATH Intl. Conference and Annual Meeting in Williamsburg

Title Sponsor:

PURINA VERTICAL 06 16 sm web

 

2017 PATH Intl. Conference and Annual Meeting - November 8-11

Targeted at the ever-growing group of professionals in equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT), the 2017 Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) Conference and Annual Meeting, presented by title sponsor Purina, will feature an impressive array of educational sessions presented by industry experts. The Horse Expo and keynote luncheon have been perennial highlights. Attendees also enjoy the opportunities to catch up with old friends at various discussion forums and social receptions and network while visiting our growing exhibit hall. 

You will want to visit this page often as we will update conference information as it becomes available. This includes online registration. A hard copy of the registration brochure and registration form will also be available in the summer Strides issue, so make sure your membership and contact information are up to date with the PATH Intl. office so you don’t miss this important issue.

Registration Information

San Antonio
November 8-11

Registration information coming in July.

2017 CONFERENCE LOCATION

hyatt regency san antonio

Hyatt Regency San Antonio Riverwalk

123 Losoya Street
San Antonio, TX 78205
210-222-1234

To make reservations, click here. Or you may call the hotel directly at 1-888-421-1442. Please identify yourself as attending PATH Intl. to secure the discounted hotel rate.

Rate

PATH, INTL has negotiated the following discounted hotel rates. Tax is 16.75% per night. 

Single $195
Double $210
Triple $225
Quad $240

The contracted rate is good until either the room block sells out or until October 2, 2017. Availability and rate cannot be guaranteed once the room block is sold out or after this date. 

Travel Info

Air Travel

The San Antonio International Airport is located about 30 minutes (9 miles) from the hotel. Expect longer travel times during commuter hours.

Ground Transportation (from airport to the hotel)

• Taxis are available at the airport for approximately $25-30 one way.
• Public Transportation - Bus transportation is available from the airport to the hotel. Click here to check rates and available times.
• Airport Shuttle Info - Click here for shuttle information and pricing. Shared shuttles costs are approximately $18 one way and $25 round trip.

Driving Instructions

Driving instructions can be accessed by clicking here.

Parking

PATH Intl. has negotiated a discounted rate of $18 per night at the hotel for conference attendees. Additional parking lots are available around the hotel. Rates will vary based on activities in the city.

VOLUNTEERS

PATH Intl. and the Conference Host Committee are always looking for members to volunteer at the conference. There are many places to volunteer. Contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. for information.

CONFERENCE SPONSORS

We have had many wonderful sponsors over the past years. Their participation is what makes it possible to host these fun and educational events and allows us to award scholarships to dozens of deserving attendees. We want to sincerely thank them for their support.

Learn more about becoming a conference sponsor.

SILENT AUCTION AND REGISTRATION BAG DONATION

Do you know a company that would like to advertise by donating a piece to include in conference registration bags? Do you have an item you would like to donate? Download the donation form and letter.

SCHOLARSHIP AWARDS - Closed for 2017

It is the desire of PATH Intl. to provide the maximum opportunity to underwrite registration scholarships for the PATH Intl. Conference and Annual Meeting, and the association works diligently to obtain funding sources for such scholarships. As leaders in the industry, we are committed to providing our members with opportunities for continuing education and professional development to ensure sustainability within the field of equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT). We are excited to offer this unique opportunity for those new to the field and those who have been a part of the field to experience the PATH Intl. Conference and Annual Meeting. Please check back for scholarship information for 2018.
 
PATH Intl. Pat and Jackie Mullins Conference and Annual Meeting Scholarship

Marjorie V. Kittredge Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy and Learning Scholarship

AWARD NOMINATIONS - Closed for 2017

Do you know of an outstanding PATH Intl. Instructor or Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning, a hardworking volunteer, a dedicated volunteer veterinarian or dependable equine deserving of many carrots and hugs? We want to hear about them! Each year PATH Intl. honors riders, certified professionals, volunteers, volunteer veterinarians, equines and contributing professionals from each region at our awards ceremony—they are, after all, the backbone of and the reason for our incredible organization! 

CALL FOR ABSTRACTS - Closed for 2017

PATH Intl. is actively soliciting abstracts on important research, best practices, trends and developments that are of significance to association membership and other conference attendees. The association is especially interested in receiving abstracts from presenters with information relevant to the field of EAAT. Abstracts describing innovative programs, research or other related information are welcomed.

2011 National Award Winners

Congratulations 2011 Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International Exemplary Award Winners!

(Click on the name to read the bio below)

adult-equestrian

2011 PATH Intl. Adult Equestrian
Recognition Award
Shellie Muzzey
Region 9
Sagebrush Equine Training Center for the Handicapped
Hailey, ID

child-equestrian

2011 PATH Intl. Child Equestrian Recognition Award
Milee Huffman
Region 3
St. Andrews Ride Like a Knight
Laurinburg, NC
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)

ind-adult-equestrian

PATH Intl. Independent Adult Equestrian Recognition Award
Lara Oles
Region 10
National Ability Center
Park City, UT
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)

youth-equestrian

PATH Intl. Youth Equestrian Recognition Award
Carly Renguette
Region 6
Midwest Therapeutic Riding Program
Racine, WI

H4H-Ryan

PATH Intl. Horses for Heroes of the Year
Ryan Ohrmundt
Region 7
BraveHearts Therapeutic Riding & Educational Center
Harvard, IL
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)

sis-gould

PATH Intl. Sis Gould Award
Corie Brooks
Region 11
Equi-Ed
Santa Rosa, CA
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)

EFP-EFL

PATH Intl. EFP/EFL Recognition Award
Martha McNiel
Region 11
DreamPower Horsemanship
San Martin, CA

 

equine-region-5

PATH Intl. Equine of the Year Award
Valentino
Region 5
Therapeutic Animal Partners
Columbia, TN
Sponsored by American Quarter Horse Association


volunteer-region-4

2011 PATH Intl. Volunteer of the Year
Recognition Award
Jacob O'Brien
Region 4
Cheff Therapeutic Riding Center
Augusta, MI
(Premier Accredited Center)

instructor-region-10

2011 PATH Intl. Instructor of the Year Recognition Award
Trudy Chapman-Radley

Region 10
Horses with H.E.A.R.T.Chino Valley, AZ
Sponsored by Purina 

mary-jo-beckman

2011 PATH Intl. James Brady
Professional Achievement
Mary Jo Beckman

 

2011 PATH Intl. President's Award
Heather Hoff
 

michael-kaufmann

2011 PATH Intl. Volunteer Leadership
Recognition Award: Programs and Standards
Michael Kaufmann
Green Chimneys, Brewster, NY
(Premier Accredited Center)

Weber-Tracy

2011 PATH Intl. Volunteer Leadership
Recognition Award: Membership
Tracy Weber

2011 PATH Intl. Volunteer Leadership
Recognition Award: Education
Pat McCowan
 


2011 Region Award Winners

Region 1

Equine of the Year Tabano Ben
T.H.E. FARM (Tewksbury Hospital Equestrian FARM)
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Tewksbury, MA
Instructor of the Year Jonnie Edwards

High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc.
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)

Old Lyme, CT
Volunteer of the Year Deborah Welles
High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc.
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Old Lyme, CT
Region 2 Equine of the Year Shugs Gray Lady (Lady)
Circle of Hope Therapeutic Riding, Inc.
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Barnesville, MD
Instructor of the Year Doria Fleisher
Melwood Recreation Center Equestrian Program Nanjemoy, MD
Volunteer of the Year NA

Region 3 Equine of the Year Sadie EQUI-KIDS Therapeutic Riding Program
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Virginia Beach, VA
Instructor of the Year Kelsey Redfearn Gallagher
Northern Virginia Therapeutic Riding Program
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Clifton, VA
Volunteer of the Year Patty Revels
Astride With Pride, Inc. Bedford, VA
Region 4 Equine of the Year Dan's Red Sun (Dan)

Cheff Therapeutic Riding Center
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)

Augusta, MI
Instructor of the Year Tammy Porter
Discovery Riders, Inc.
Zanesfield, OH
Volunteer of the Year Jacob O'Brien
Cheff Therapeutic Riding Center
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Augusta, MI
Region 5 Equine of the Year Valentino Therapeutic Animal Partners
Columbia, TN
Instructor of the Year Lynne Evans
Saddle UP!
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Franklin, TN
Volunteer of the Year Elleene Morgan
Dream Quest EFP & TR, Inc. Bethlehem, GA
Region 6 Equine of the Year Stormy River Valley Riders
Bayport, MN
Instructor of the Year NA

Volunteer of the Year Kathy Jo Hanson
River Valley Riders Bayport, MN
Region 7 Equine of the Year Big Mac
Exceptional Equestrians of the Missouri Valley, Inc.
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Washington, MO
Instructor of the Year Jennifer Ann Lamoreux
One Heart Equestrian Therapy, Inc. Colo, IA
Volunteer of the Year Joan Castell
Main Stay Therapeutic Riding Prrogram
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Richmond, IL
Region 8 Equine of the Year Peanut Hearts and Hooves, Inc.
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Sherwood, AR
Instructor of the Year Anita Sepko
Riding Unlimited
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Ponder, TX
Volunteer of the Year Randy Hurt
ManeGait
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
McKinney, TX
Region 9 Equine of the Year Hercules Changing Rein, LLC
Graham, WA
Instructor of the Year Lisa Hanson
Sycamore Lane Therapeutic Riding Center
Oregon City, OR
Volunteer of the Year Bill Postlewait
Sagebrush Equine Training Center for the Handicapped
Hailey, ID
Region 10 Equine of the Year Tulip National Ability Center
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Park City, UT
Instructor of the Year Trudy Chapman-Radley
Horses with H.E.A.R.T., Inc. Chino Valley, AZ
Volunteer of the Year Cheri Bashor
TREC, Therapeutic Riding & Education Center
Pueblo West, CO
Region 11 Equine of the Year Tulips DreamPower Horsemanship San Martin, CA
Instructor of the Year Maxine Freitas
Equi-Ed
(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center)
Santa Rosa, CA
Volunteer of the Year NA

 

Bios

Mary Jo Beckman
When it comes to working with PATH Intl., there isn’t much that Mary Jo Beckman hasn’t done. She started as a volunteer in 1994 and is now a certified master instructor as well as a driving instructor. She is a PATH Intl. lead faculty and evaluator, preparing future instructors for certification. She is also a lead visitor, ensuring that centers meet PATH Intl. standards for accreditation. She has served on numerous committees and serves on the board of directors for Therapeutic Riding Association of Virginia.

But perhaps the thing that we know Mary Jo best for and what beats closest to her heart is her work with PATH Intl. Horses for Heroes. Herself a retired Navy Commander, she co-founded the Caisson Platoon program with Army Command Sergeant Major Larry Pence, which provided therapeutic riding lessons at Ft. Myer, VA, for wounded military and civilians receiving treatment at Walter Reed Army Medical Center. The program started as “recreational” therapy, but the results were so impressive that after only four sessions, it became one of the physical therapy options available to those at Walter Reed. It is now in its sixth year, with Mary Jo conducting each lesson as the instructor.

After connecting with the Caisson Platoon, learning about the work at ROCK in Texas and inspired by Mary Woolverton’s work with Vietnam War veterans, Mary Jo became focused—some might say obsessed—with providing EAAT services to veterans. She was not content to provide therapeutic riding experiences to veterans at Walter Reed. She envisioned providing EAAT to veterans of all ages throughout the United States. Through much work with the PATH Intl. Horses for Heroes Task Force, Mary Jo’s vision became reality in 2007, and today there are approximately 90 centers around the nation working with their local VA offices to provide services, and more than 125 additional riding centers have inquired about how to start a program. There are more than 260 members on the Horses for Heroes list-serve, two high-quality international pre-conference workshops and a number of regional workshops and educational events. She regularly connects with Veterans Affairs administrators, medical professionals and volunteers across the country, propelling PATH Intl. and EAAT into all major media outlets across the globe.

As much as PATH Intl. is the voice of the EAAT field, Mary Jo is the voice of PATH Intl. Horses for Heroes and is the “go-to” person for answering questions about how to implement and sustain a program working with wounded military and veterans. She not only answers questions from centers but also coordinates efforts across the country, meeting with members of Congress and the Veterans Administration to help facilitate funding for all PATH Intl. Horses for Heroes services.

Through her efforts to serve both the veteran community and the EAAT field, she has brought additional international visibility and credibility to PATH Intl. Her contributions and untiring commitment make her the well-deserving recipient of the 2011 PATH Intl. James Brady Professional Achievement Award.

Corie Brooks
According to those who have worked with her, Corie Brooks at EQUI-ED in Santa Rosa, CA, exemplifies outstanding dedication to the development and promotion of driving for individuals with disabilities through her continuous work on the PATH Intl. driving program. Over the past 10 years, Corie has served on the PATH Intl. Driving Committee, has written numerous articles and presented at regional and national conferences, and was instrumental in helping to write the driving workbook, which is the criteria for the driving workshop and certification. She is currently engaged in conversation with the American Driving Society to create webinars on therapeutic driving.

Corie has been around driving all her adult life. She has been involved in breaking and training horses to drive and competes in combined driving events in shows. Her extensive driving experience includes her own PATH Intl. Level III Driving certification, and she is a PATH Intl. Lead Evaluator.

Corie's contributions to the therapeutic driving field continue as she strives to increase the number of PATH Intl. Certified Driving Instructors and centers that provide driving. It is an honor to name her the Sis Gould Driving Award recipient for 2011.

Tracy Chapman-Radley
Instructors often need to think outside the box when it comes to gaining the trust of their riders as well as creating lessons and helping them to develop confidence. Trudy Chapman-Radley at Horses with H.E.A.R.T. in Region 10, is just such an instructor. According to her fellow instructors, Trudy shows creativity in each lesson. On one occasion, Trudy had a new rider with autism come in for an intake interview. She asked the parent whether or not the child had ever worn a helmet, and the parent said that it might be an issue. Trudy gave a safety helmet to the parent to take home so that the rider could practice wearing it before she came for her lesson in two weeks. Trudy even suggested that the child decorate the helmet. When the rider came two weeks later, the helmet had colorful stickers on it. The rider calmly put it on and wore it for the entire lesson. A fellow instructor said, “This creative thinking and foresight prevented stress and a possible struggle and set the stage for rider success.”

Trudy, who has been with PATH International since 1995, volunteers full time at Horses with H.E.A.R.T., logging in over 3,600 volunteer hours in the past three years. In addition to being a PATH International Certified Instructor, she has served as president of the board, executive director, board member and riding director at the center. She has missed only one national conference since 1997.

“I can’t say enough about this instructor,” says a mother of three riders with special needs. “Not only has she changed my family’s lives, she has changed hundreds of lives in the special needs community. My family is so blessed to have her in our lives. She is a special person and deserves to be named the best instructor in the country.”

Heather Hoff
Heather is the Farnam Senior Vice President; Equine Products. Heather joined Farnam in 1997. She holds B.S. and M.S. degrees in Agricultural Economics from Oklahoma State University. Under Heather's guidance, Farnman has donated dewormers to PATH Intl. centers and also funds grants for PATH Intl. centers through America's Horse Cares. She was raised in North Dakota where she and her family raised horses and cattle. She was active in 4-H and has been a rodeo competitor since the age of 4. She currently competes in breakaway roping.

Milee Huffman
It’s not unusual to see a child look forward to riding lessons or being in the barn. But Milee Huffman doesn’t just exhibit a love of horses but also empathy for them. She is truly interested in learning about and practicing horse care and always takes care that her horse is comfortable.

This 11-year-old has been riding for six years and in that time has learned to read equine body language and interpret what her mount is feeling. One day at the end of a lesson, Milee’s instructor took her for a short field ride to cool down. As they were walking, Milee’s horse stepped in a patch of very loose dirt and sank to his knee. The sidewalkers provided the support she needed while the horse hopped back up. Everyone was a little shaken by the incident and paused for a moment to catch their breath. Milee reached down to tell her horse it was okay. After the ride, she checked his legs and gave him extra attention to make sure he wasn’t hurt. She put aside any fear she might have felt and instead reacted like an equine professional – all about the horse!

Milee accepts all challenges placed in her way with a glorious smile and an attitude that says she can overcome anything. Even her favorite horse, who is sometimes picky with his riders, is in love with her. You can see it on his face whenever she is getting ready to ride.

One of her sidewalkers at St Andrews Ride Like a Knight says about Milee, “She has an infectious smile and laugh that impacts everyone who crosses her path. She is a true horseman and understands that every day and every ride offers something new to learn, and she is anxious to absorb it. I couldn’t think of a better recipient for the PATH Intl. 2011 Child Equestrian of the Year Award for everything that both it and PATH Intl. stands for.”

Michael Kaufmann
Michael is earning the award this year because of his relentless efforts in organizing standards for equine-facilitated learning. He managed to keep an enthusiastic task force focused on the objective that resulted in EFL guidelines that are included in the 2011 edition of the PATH Intl. Standards for Certification and Accreditation. Michael’s name has long been connected with the association’s history, having served on the board in the ’90s, participating in the formation of the mental health and learning community, chairing many task forces and committees and even serving on the association’s staff from 2000 through 2005. He now serves as the director of the Farm and Wildlife Conservation Center at Green Chimneys in Brewster, NY, one of the preeminent PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Centers.

Pat McCowan
Pat leads the review of the process for selecting and training the faculty for the association’s various programs as chair of the Faculty Development Task Force. Given the number and levels of our certification programs, this is a daunting task. This task force this year took on the project of updating the Association Visitor Training Course. Pat has been a PATH Intl. Life Member since joining the association in 1989.  She is an advanced instructor, a lead site visitor, faculty for the Center Accreditation Training course and the Associate Visitor Training course. She has been a member of the Accreditation Subcommittee. She also coordinated the Margo O’Callaghan Competition Fund.

Martha McNiel
Martha is the founder and director of DreamPower Horsemanship in San Martin, CA. Additionally, she is a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist with a private practice, a PATH Intl. Registered Riding Instructor and a Certified Equine Interaction Professional in Mental Health. Martha served on the EFMHA Board of Directors for five years and worked on the committee that brought about the merger with PATH Intl.

Martha presents seminars on equine-facilitated psychotherapy at regional and PATH Intl. conferences, and her seminars are used by mental health professionals to meet continuing education requirements. She currently supervises six psychotherapy interns in the practice of EFP and has successfully mentored six PATH Intl. Registered Therapeutic Riding Instructors through the certification process.

A gifted practitioner of equine-facilitated services, Martha reaches out to all the stakeholders in the field. Her center helps foster emotionally disturbed youth, veterans and their families, and others with mental and physical health challenges. Through her leadership positions at PATH Intl., she has encouraged others to reach for excellence and increased the professionalism for our industry.

Priscilla Marden, the executive director of Horse Warriors in Wyoming, said, “No one I know works longer, harder and more diligently to further and better the quality of work done by all of us in the field. Martha defines dedication to this field and has set the bar for the rest of us to strive toward.”

Shellie Muzzey
If there is an embodiment of the PATH Intl. vision to enrich and change lives through equine-assisted activities and therapies, it is Shellie Muzzey. Born with several physical challenges, Shellie has been in a wheelchair her entire life. Social struggles made her life even more difficult, and everything around her seemed to tell her that she couldn’t accomplish anything.

When she first came to Sagebrush Equine Training Center for the Handicapped in Hailey, ID, Shellie was closed, quiet and depressed, and she couldn’t read. Thanks to her team of volunteers incorporating word puzzles on the ground in the arena into her regular lesson plan, she is now able to read stories with only a little bit of assistance. Through her years at Sagebrush, Shellie has grown more confident. While her life has been hard, she has developed perseverance and an attitude that says she can do anything.

When she first came to Sagebrush, she was very afraid: of the horses, of the lift used to help her mount, of being up off the ground. Despite her concerns, she would take a big breath and say, “Okay, I’m ready!” She has bravely faced her fears with smiles, hugs, growing self-confidence and a huge amount of courage.

Despite her struggles, she is committed to coming to her session each week. She is always concerned about the health, happiness and overall wellbeing of the horses, the volunteers, the center’s staff, and all the other riders. Each week before her lesson, she takes a moment with her team to say a prayer for everyone who participates in the program. She recognizes the blessings she has received through therapeutic riding, and she wishes to give back what she can to everyone involved with the center.

Lindsey Jameson, Sagebrush’s program director, says, “No matter how bad Shellie is feeling, she always feels better when she comes to the center. This is a place where she can relax, be herself, open up and confide in her team, and enjoy the experience of riding. It is as if when she’s on the horse, her spirit is set free.”

It is with great pride that we name Shellie Muzzey the PATH Intl. Adult Equestrian of the Year.

Jacob O'Brien
It has often been said that PATH International Centers couldn’t do the wonderful work they do without volunteers. No one exemplifies that more than Jacob O’Brien of Cheff Therapeutic Riding Center in Richland, MI, region 4. Jacob has been with the program since he was 9, first as a student and then as a volunteer when he was 13, and he does anything that needs doing, logging now more than 200 hours a month.

As anyone who works in a center knows, there are many times that volunteers fluctuate, and Cheff is no exception. But Jacob comes in on a regular basis on days he is not scheduled simply because he heard that the center might be short and he wanted to be available.

Jacob is an integral part of the center’s activities, including interaction with riders. A new rider was very nervous about the entire horse experience. Jacob took notice of his nerves and stepped in to offer his assistance, sharing with this rider his own experiences from when he first started riding. In his calm, quiet and reassuring manner, he worked with this new rider, assuring him that the experience would be safe and fun. He worked as the off-side spotter in the mounting process and reassured the rider that he would stick with him throughout the ride. He helped give the rider the confidence and reassurance he needed. Kim Henning, the volunteer coordinator and instructor at Cheff, said, “It is at times like this that as an instructor I truly appreciate the impact a really wonderful volunteer can have on a rider and a lesson.” Tara East, Cheff’s executive director, said, “He is a shining example of everything a great volunteer should be and everything our program stands to accomplish.”

It is an honor and a privilege to name Jacob PATH International’s Volunteer of the Year.

Ryan Ohrmundt
Ryan Ohrmundt first came to BraveHearts Therapeutic Riding and Educational Center in Harvard, IL, region 7, because of high anxiety and stress when he returned home from War. His anxiety interfered with his life so intensely that he had to quit his job and find one less intense. Ryan soon found what can be accomplished through the power of the horse to change lives.

Ryan has been able to use riding as a detachment to clear his mind and reduce his anxiety levels. He enjoys riding because, as he says, he does not associate it to anything else in his life. It is the one time he truly is at peace. As soon as he enters the barn for his lessons, his entire demeanor changes. He lights up as he sees his horse and immediately appears calm and collected. He is gentle, loving and kind to every horse he rides.

Ryan’s gratitude for the Horses for Heroes program comes through as he introduces others to the program and as he helps out before and after lessons to keep the facility clean.

Whether it is grooming and tacking his horse, riding independently or participating in therapeutic driving, Ryan exhibits and eagerness to learn. In fact, he chooses to ride the horses that others feel can be difficult at times so that he can challenge himself. He rides once a week preparing for upcoming horse shows, demonstrations and drill team events.

Ryan truly deserves the PATH International Horses for Heroes award as he is the essence of what equine-assisted activities and therapies can accomplish.

Lara Oles
Lara Oles first became involved at National Ability Center in Park City, UT, a few years after an accident left her with limited use of her right side. Prior to her accident, she had been an avid equestrian and dressage competitor, and although she had worked herself up to riding her own horse independently, she was still lacking the confidence and skills to progress her skills to her pre-accident level. Shortly after attending the World Equestrian Games and witnessing the Para Dressage competition, she was inspired to reach farther than she thought possible and dream of one day competing herself in Para Dressage.

Toward this goal, Lara has been determined and hard working. Her drive to increase her skills and get back to the level she once rode at is amazing and her positive attitude is infectious.

Her instructor says, “The day Lara came into our center for the first time, I knew I had to be on top of my game! She came in with such determination and drive to start training for her personal goal of one day being in the Para Dressage games that there was never a moment of down time. From the start, we were setting goals only to break them in a matter of lessons.”

She had only been with the center for a few weeks when she first cantered. The sense of accomplishment that spread over her face was a joy to see. She told the staff that it had been since before her accident that she had allowed herself to trust the horse and herself enough to canter. Through this special relationship with her horse, she has allowed him to teach her the idiosyncrasies of the cues and feel of how they are supposed to be executed as he allows her to learn.

Lara’s drive for personal achievement has been an inspiration to other participants and staff, making her worthy of being name the PATH Intl. 2011 Independent Adult Equestrian of the Year.

Carly Renguette
Life changes in the blink of an eye. Most riders at PATH Intl. Centers come for equine-assisted activities and therapies because of a disability they were born with. But for Carly Renguette, our Youth Equestrian of the Year, life changed dramatically when she sustained a cervical spinal cord injury that left her a spastic quadriplegic and placed her first on a ventilator then in a wheelchair. Carly knows in a way that others sometimes do not what she has lost. And yet this 16-year-old young woman doesn’t complain and is always smiling. Her therapist at Midwest Therapeutic Riding Program said, “Even on the days she is in pain or having difficulty breathing, she always wants to try ‘just one more thing.’” 

Carly is a vocal proponent of EAAT, sending an email update about her progress to over 100 people. She has given speeches about program benefits and has participated in fundraisers. Most notably, she gave a 15 minute presentation in which she told her story to over 160 people and created a slideshow showing her progression since beginning her equestrian activities. 

Carly has progressed from a wheelchair to a walker and is now using arm crutches. Just recently she walked independently. As with most people, she was excited but a little scared on her first ride. Her white knuckles as she held on to the reins showed her nervousness. She needed side walkers to hold on to her to keep her balance and she only made it a few laps. But now? She rides rarely touching the saddle except to take a break. She once challenged herself and stood up in the stirrups for 20 laps just to say she could do it.

Carly credits her progress to horseback riding and wants to become either a physical or occupational therapist, incorporating hippotherapy into her practice. She says she wants to make a difference in other people’s lives. Little does she know, she already has. We are proud to name her PATH Intl.’s 2011 Youth Equestrian of the Year.

Valentino
Sometimes a horse seems destined to work with those who have special needs. Valentino, a Tennessee Walking Horse Cross in Region 5, was abandoned as a yearling and left completely alone in a pasture. Neighbors fed him when they could and called an equine rescue when he turned three, after he had been alone and neglected for more than a year.

At the same time, Therapeutic Animal Partners in Spring Hill, TN, was looking for fresh horses for its center. “We decided to consider bringing this one particular horse to our center,” says Director Terri Knauer. “After watching his training sessions at the state horse fair we were hooked. He was young, the perfect height for a therapy horse and full of potential.”

Valentino was adopted and trained specifically for EAAT. Every center needs a “go-to” horse, and Valentino is that. He is quiet, intelligent, kind and patient with his riders, intuiting when to respond to an exact cue and when to build confidence in a rider by giving the intended response. His eager attitude for interaction with participants shows that he loves his lessons. He loves toys and games and sometimes breaks a tense moment by picking up a toy in his mouth to help a frustrated rider.

One child came to the center missing the horse she used to ride at another center. On being introduced, Valentino gently blew on her neck then dropped his head so they could look into each other’s eyes, and the two held each other’s gaze for half a minute. That moment bonded these two and gave this young girl the hope that she could find love, trust, confidence and companionship with another horse.

Like many of PATH International participants, Valentino has overcome adversity and has found a permanent home as the rock of Therapeutic Animal Partners’ program.

Tracy Weber
Tracy Weber is the chair of the Community Initiatives Work Group behind the launch of the new member benefit, Community Connections. This effort grew out of the EFP/EFL Membership Task force chaired by Leif Hallberg, who is now working with PATH Intl. on a contract basis to launch the community initiative. Tracy is a relatively new volunteer to PATH Intl. although she has logged many volunteer hours with other organizations. Her unique approach has been refreshing as this new membership program takes off. She has experience as a marketing director, researcher, executive director of a non-profit, entrepreneur, farm owner and is considered a pioneer in the field of equine-assisted learning. She is passionate about integrating experiential learning and a holistic world view in to her farm program and faculty work with several universities where her focus is on leadership and relationship management. With a master and doctorate in the field of education, she has helped those launching PATH Intl. Community Connections embrace a member-driven, user-defined initiative.

Award Nominations

Do you have a talented equestrian at your PATH Intl. center? Do you admire a particular instructor or an equine specialist in mental health and learning? Does a special horse, mule or mini that has a priceless attitude call your center home? Do you know of a volunteer or veterinarian who generously gives time at a PATH Intl. center?

Now is the time to submit an award nomination for these special individuals and animals. 

Below are some important details regarding PATH Intl. annual awards. Award nominators must be familiar with this information in order to ensure that their nominees are appropriately considered for this year’s awards:

  • All nominations submitted before the deadline of midnight, May 15, 2017, will be considered for the 2017 PATH Intl. awards program.
  • All nominations must be submitted via the online fillable forms. (See categories below.) A total of two references are to be included in all categories except the equestrian award nominations, which will require three references. It is recommended you have all of your items ready before starting. The best way to get your references from other individuals into this form is to copy and paste from a word document, or type directly into the form. For your convenience, copies of reference forms in a Word document format are available for each category to distribute to the people who will be providing nomination references.
  • The nominating centers of all awards must be current members in good standing with PATH Intl., having renewed their membership and submitted all annual compliance requirements. Nominations from centers not in good standing will not be considered.
  • All information provided other than the nominee's name and contact information should be submitted in such a way that the judges are unable to identify the nominee. No indication of the center with which the nominee is affiliated, the name of the nominee, the nominee's gender, etc., should be indicated on the reference forms.
  • Since the nominee's name and contact information are kept separate from the judging materials to ensure the judges are not biased, it is critical that all of the nominating information be submitted in its entirety.
  • For Equine of the Year nominations, two clear electronic headshot photos at a minimum of 300 dpi (the setting for most digital cameras) must be included with the nomination. PDFs will not be accepted. Once the online nomination form is completed  the photos must be submitted via separate email. Send photos to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. and be sure to include your PATH Intl. Member Center's name, region number and name of the equine nominee.
  • The nominator will be asked to provide additional photos for publicity/promotional purposes should the nominee be selected as an award winner.
  • The nominator will be asked to provide phone numbers or email addresses of the nominee's local newspaper, equine magazine and other appropriate publications should his/her nominee win an award. Press releases will be sent for all award recipients.

If you have questions, email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. or call her at (800) 369-7433, ext. 103.

Forms

Nomination Forms Sample Forms        
Reference Forms

Equestrians of the Year

Equines of the Year

Credentialed Professionals of the Year

Volunteers of the Year

Veterinarians of the Year

Equestrians - SAMPLE
Equines - SAMPLE
Credentialed Professionals - SAMPLE
Veterinarians - SAMPLE
Volunteers - SAMPLE

These forms are for reference only, to help you prepare a complete nomination after reviewing the award criteria and nomination content. These forms will not be accepted for nominations; all nominations must be completed via the online form.  

Veterinarians

The PATH Intl. Veterinarian of the Year award nomination process has been simplified for 2017. We believe that every veterinarian keeping the herds healthy and happy at PATH Intl. centers are all winners and worthy of recognition. We also understand that the awards nomination process can be very time consuming, which can be discouraging to the people who would like to nominate their veterinarian. With this in mind, we have simplified the nomination process for the Regional Veterinarian of the Year award nominations.

To nominate your center’s outstanding veterinarian, simply fill out the short nomination form confirming he or she meets the criteria. Regional winners will be randomly selected from the nominations received by the deadline. If your center’s veterinarian is chosen as the regional winner, you will then be asked to submit two reference forms for judging to determine the 2017 PATH Intl. Veterinarian of the Year.

 

 

 

 

 

Equestrians of the Year

Equines of the Year

Credentialed Professionals of the Year

Volunteers of the Year

 

PATH Intl. 2010 Conference Presentations

Click on the link to download workshop and/or session presentations from the 2010 National Conference and Annual Meeting.

Pre-conference Workshops

NARHA Horses for Heroes Pre-Conference Workshop

NARHA Horses for Heroes bios of presenters

 

Thursday, General Session

Raising Money in December -- Some Myths and Some Methods

Getting Over the Fear of Asking

How to Raise $50,000 in Six Weeks

 

Thursday, Session A, Practical Applications Track

Developing a Horse Maintenance Program

 

Thursday, Session A, Administrative Track A

Event Planning Tips and Strategies

 

Thursday, Session A, Administrative Track B

Risk Management for NARHA Centers

Insurance Checklist for NARHA Centers

Reporting Incidents to Your Insurer

 

Thursday, Session C, Administrative Track B

Navigating a Successful Silent Auction -- 18 Mb

Silent Auction Tool Kit

 

Thursday, Session D, Integrative Programming Track

Dealing With the Loss of a Horse

 

Friday, Session A-B-C, Research Track

ASD Learning Styles and Interventions

Autism and THR

Introduction Autism Diagnosis

Handouts

Region 7 Presentation

 

Friday, Session A, Integrative Programming Track

Using Brain Gym to Ride With Confidence, Relaxation and Balance

 

Friday, Session A-B, Administrative Track B

Making Your Volunteer Program a Win-Win

 

Friday, Session C, Practical Applications Track

Enhancing Spinal Cord Injury Patient Education Through Interaction With Horses

"Craig RN helps patients build confidence with horse therapy," in Denver's Nursing Star

 

Friday, Session C, Administrative Track B

Basics of Budgeting

 

Friday, Session D, Research Track

A Narrative Study of Volunteer Experiences and Stories -- 3 Mb

 

Friday, Session D, Practical Applications Track

Tying Your Lessons Together

 

Friday, Session D, Administrative Track B

Transitions Toward Board Excellence

 

Friday, Session F, Integrative Programming Track

Denver Short

Final Corrected Centaur (5 MB)

 

Friday, Session F, Research Track

The Effect of EAAT on Balance in Older Adults

 

Friday, Session F, Practical Applications Track

Practical Considerations for Precautions and Contraindications

  

Saturday, Horse Expo

Looking Your Gift Horse in the Mouth, Over the Tail, Under ....

Horse Screening

New Horse First Evaluation

New Horse Second Evaluation

Regular Horse Evaluation

 

Giving Back to the Equine With Reiki

Giving Back to the Equine With Reiki

 

markel-insurance-company

adequan sm

equisure headercrop

Therapeutic RidingTherapeutic DrivingInteractive VaultingEquine Services for HeroesEFP-EFL

Additional Sponsors

AdequanEQUUS FoundationMarkel Insurance CompanyCavalloRIDE TV