PATH Intl. Centers

2019 Fall Region 4 Quarterly News

News, Musings, and Tidbits of Wisdom from Around Our Region by State:

Kentucky     Rep - Jenny Jackson 

ky jennyWelcome to Jenny Jackson, our new Kentucky State Rep!       

Jenny grew up in Lexington, Ky and now resides in Richmond, Ky. She is a graduate of the University of Kentucky with a bachelor’s degree in Communications and a minor in Sociology.  Jenny has been involved with horses for most of her life, showing, teaching and trail riding. She is a PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor, as well as an ESMHL and mentor.  Jenny competes with her horse in competitive trail riding and trail obstacle. 

Happenings in Ky

Healing Reins of Ky welcomes Monica Fella as their new Program Director. She grew up in Evansville IN and graduated from Western Ky University.  Monica returns to Ky after living in Montana where she was involved with Eagle Mount Therapeutic Equine Program.  Welcome and best wishes.  

Central Ky Riding for Hope is happy to have Toby Cross as their new therapeutic programming coordinator.  Toby is a therapeutic riding instructor as well as an occupational therapist. 

Indiana         Rep - Blair McKissock

It is hard to stay up to date on new information. Here are some articles that you may find helpful.

The following studies look at the mental health effects of therapeutic riding

We have been invited back to participate in the Hoosier Horse Fair, which runs this year from May 1-3!  As discussed at our Region 4 meeting in the spring, participating was a lot of fun!   We do not have to pay a fee to participate, and it is a great way to spread the word about PATH, Intl. and EAAT related activities.

Discussion was given to having a horse demonstration. Please give your thoughts via email to Tam, if you’d like to help this year.  (You do not have to live in Indiana to participate!)

Ohio Rep - Sarah Potts

ohioDreams Do Come True

After 46 Years, the Therapeutic Riding Institute Moves Home.

By Christine Pirot, Director of Development 

Therapeutic Riding Institute, Dayton, OH

                                                        September 2019

This article is written to all of you out there – the instructors, the founders, the board members, the volunteers, the volun-tolds, and the one-man bands – don’t give up, dreams do come true! But don’t just take my word for it…

Nearly half a century ago in 1973, two incredibly talented and inspiring women – Betty Lou Townley and Linden Moore - set out with a dream to help improve the health and lives of children and adults with special physical, cognitive, social and psychological needs. The program started in backyards. Volunteers trailered their own horses. The ones that behaved were used, the ones that didn’t went back on trailers. The program was run on an abundance of good intentions. Like so many of our programs, it would probably be accurate to say that it was often funded out of our founders’ own pockets. 

There was no challenge too big when it came to continuing this program. Quite simply, no matter what, it had to go on. Nothing highlights this more than our address history. Throughout the years, we have moved our program 14 times. 

In 2012, Betty Lou Townley walked into a board meeting and mentioned the idea of retirement. I wasn’t there at that meeting, but I imagine you could have heard a pin drop. She was the heart, the soul and the high bar by which we all measured ourselves. If she retired, who would make sure the barn doors stayed open? We had INCREDIBLY talented instructors, who, like so many, held full time jobs and weren’t able to take the reins. And let’s just be honest here, even if we weren’t working, who wants to step into a Founder’s shoes? 

I mean… have you met them? They’re the dream makers. They’re the ones who see the world not as it is, but as it should be AND they have the audacity to believe they can actually make a difference. They’re incredible. We all know it. 

But, in our world of EAAT, we so often see our Founders hold the reins too tightly. Over time, the program grows and as they continue to pull back on the reins to try to keep the program under their control, just a like a horse, it sours. Our programs only flourish when they are given the freedom of reins to march forward naturally. Too often, we see programs fall apart because founders cannot find it in themselves to trust others with their dream. 

But not the Therapeutic Riding Institute. Betty Lou Townley, our co-founder walked into a board meeting 40 years after starting this dream and said, “I’m ready to retire.” So, what’s next??” To reiterate – we didn’t have anyone internally. And so, without having an endowment or any big fundraising history, we hired our first paid administrative employee, an Executive Director.

Fast forward again to 2018. We had 5 full time staff and 3-part time staff – 5 of whom were also PATH Intl credentialed instructors. After looking for a farm for several years, we were presented with the ideal opportunity. Former TRI volunteers were looking to sell their equestrian facility and it was a great fit for us. We had only one problem – no endowment, no farm fund, no excess of dollars for a down payment and no money tree in the backyard. We were given six months to raise $500,000 in cash. 

With 46 years of hopes and dreams on our shoulders, we set to the task and in June 2019, after nearly half a decade, TRI moved to its first permanent home. 

Betty Lou passed away in 2017 without having the chance to see her dream come true, but her legacy – her and Linden’s dream – lives on in every single one of us here at TRI. 

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Fundraiser Fun

What could be more fun than a rubber duckie…. how about hundreds of rubber duckies! For the 4th year Breaking Free in Ohio has held a Duck Derby Race. Linda Lake, Executive Director, says it’s a great alternative to straight raffle ticket sales.  The day included the Duck Derby Race, Student Horse Show, silent auctions and raffles, Kids farm experience center and Domino’s pizza trailer.

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Michigan Jessica Moore

Here in our area of Michigan, we're winding down our busy summer programming of lessons, horse shows and summer camp.  At some programs, our horses enjoyed a much-deserved week's vacation, basking in the last of the summer sun and enjoying the cooler evenings.  As we ramp up for our busiest and longest session of the year, grabbing our pumpkin spiced latte and cider & doughnuts, I feel it's important to take an extra-long look at all our equine partners and their overall health.  As their coats get a little fuzzier, it may be tougher to tell if their saddles are fitting correctly.  Our older equine partners may need a little extra hay or a blanket to keep them in healthy, comfortable condition for the coming winter.  This is the perfect time of year to assess all the physical needs of our herd, to address any ill-fitting equipment, to alter any feeding plans, and to spend a few extra minutes with your equine partners.  For our equine staff members, the longest session tends to be the most trying, and most likely to unearth any bad behaviors or cranky attitudes.  It helps to make it a priority to "play" a little extra with our horses during the busy season, giving them a task to do outside of the work arena to keep them happy, refreshed and engaged.  Depending on the horse, this might mean a trail ride, some off line free lunging, a really good grooming session with a massage, maybe even a bite of that apple and doughnut - each is different, like us.  Our horses and ponies are the foundation of our programming.  Without happy, healthy equine partners, we can't provide our clients with their best experience either.  Happy Fall All!

 Ontario Canada Karen Pratt – Rep

ontario                     Great Lakes Carriage Classic       

                                     By Jean McLean

On August 21 to 23, 2020 The Fourth Annual Great Lakes Carriage Classic (GLCC) will take place at the Ancaster Fairgrounds in Southwestern Ontario. This three day pleasure driving show includes dressage, breed and specialty classes such as carriage dog, ride/drive, costume and winners take all scurry. Tri-County Carriage Association, in its 37th year of operation, is the proud host of this show. For the last six years Para/COOL/SN has been one of the core divisions at all of the club’s shows. At the GLCC five classes make up a core division: turnout, working, reinsmanship, cones and pleasure cross country obstacle. Judges are selected for TCCA shows that have experience judging competitors with accommodations. This year Minta Winn from Great Britain was one of the two GLCC judges. Minta was instrumental in setting up the disabled driving program in Great Britain and Sue Mott, another previous GLCC judge, crafted Equine Canada’s para driving guidelines. All TCCA’s competition sites are fully wheelchair accessible. The Ancaster Fairgrounds, not only has a Para-friendly site but the surrounding area also has hotels, restaurants and shops that are accessible to all. At the Fairgrounds there are connections for RV’s and indoor washrooms with showers. A Para/COOL/SN trophy is presented to the high point winner at the Great Lakes Carriage Classic each year.  

ontario 1Tri-County Carriage Association has a small but enthusiastic group of Para drivers who are anxious to meet and compete with other Para drivers. The GLCC competition site is only one hour from the Lewiston, NY border crossing and with the current US/Canada dollar exchange show costs are accessible for most American competitors. Many TCCA members compete in both American and Canadian shows and the process of crossing the border is straightforward as long as instructions are followed. To review the 2019 GLCC prize list please go to the club website: For q uestions and additional information regarding the 2020 GLCC please contact Show Manager Jean McLean at ..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.. The 2020 GLCC prize list will be up on the club website in April 2020. Looking forward to seeing you next August 21 to 23 at the Great Lakes Carriage Classic! 

(Kerry Bridge and his grandfather Mervin Scott competing in Para Division – photo courtesy of Alan Cooper)

(Line up of the winners scurry class – photo courtesy of Volunteer photographer Thomas Wang)

Communications Chair    Tasha Federinko

We wish ALL who are traveling to conference a safe and wonderful time!   For those of you not attending, we thank you for keeping “the wheels on the wagon”, and we will report in greater detail all about conference when we return!!

We would like to thank everyone who is posting on our FB page! If we have missed anything, you’d like us to include in this newsletter, we apologize, as we are trying to stay on top of all emails and FB messages! Please continue to post on our page, and PATH encourages you to join other region pages as well, to facilitate relationship building!

Finally:  We want to give a big shout out to all of YOU, in roles large and small working in your centers!  There is no job or person who is small or insignificant.  We all know that working in this field involves many long hours, doing things that are NOT in our job descriptions, and working hard in situations that are both rewarding and exhausting.   So, this is a SHOUT OUT TO ALL the REGION FOUR members!  WE APPRECIATE YOU!!

We realize that travel to National Conference is not feasible for everyone, but we know that all of us who serve our participants in programs large and small, are an important part of our organization. Whether you are there in person, or in spirit, you are an important and valued part of our organization. We encourage everyone to consider ways they can get involved in PATH, whether it is in ways large or small.  We already notice how many people are sending in information for our newsletter!  Please continue to keep your ideas and activities coming.

Thank you everyone,

Sincerely, Your Region 4 Leadership Team

         Region 4 Rep     Tam Homnick    This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

            Communications Chair     Tasha Federinko     This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

            Indiana State Chair     Blair McKissock     This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

            Kentucky State Chair     Jenny Jackson     This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

            Michigan State Chair     Jessica Moore     This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

            Ohio State Chair     Sarah Potts     This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

            Ontario State Chair     Karen Pratt     This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.


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Additional Sponsors

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