2019 Virtual Conference

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The PATH Intl. Virtual Conference is a gathering of ideas, minds and hearts. Instructors, therapists, researchers, administrators, volunteers, dreamers, makers, movers-and-shakers. It has grown over the last three years to one of the association’s most anticipated equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) focused events of the year.  

If you have not yet experienced the virtual conference, it is the perfect opportunity to share, collaborate and gather with a global audience of EAAT professionals from the comfort of your home office. Whether you are new to PATH Intl. or consider yourself a seasoned professional, the 2019 virtual conference will engage, energize and offer practical skills and guidance to support the rigorous requirements of being an EAAT professional. This conference is more than simply two days of learning; it is an opportunity to learn with and from one another and to connect with a team that will help you move mountains!

This year, we want to highlight topics to develop and diversify programing so you may connect with resources and expand your support network. We are excited to showcase presentations that reframe the challenges and opportunities experienced by the busy instructor to help make your work easier and more effective. Whether this is your first or third time attending a PATH Intl. Virtual Conference, we invite you to dive deeper into topics and engage with this one-of-a-kind community by connecting in new discussion forums that will be available in advance of the event. Not only will you make the most out of your experience, but you will have ample opportunity to connect, share ideas, receive feedback and benefit from the impact you have on this community.

As you join us for the virtual conference this spring, and as you come into our virtual community leading up to April 23-24, 2019, we hope you will bring your energy, your ideas, your problems of practice, and your whole self as we strive to move mountains. Together.

Welcome to PATH Intl. Virtual Conference – we can’t wait to connect!

– The PATH Intl. Education Team

Conference Dates:

April 23 and 24, 2019
9 a.m. to 3 p.m.

To Register:

Click here to register

Accounts were created for all members, so use the email address associated with your member account and PATH2018 as the password to log in.

Centers: Please call the office to receive the discount code.


There will be a total of 12 CEUs for the entire virtual conference (including 4 disability)

Mini Horses, Maximum Benefit – CE
ADA Basics – DE
Autism Across Environments; decoding social information to manage behavioral expectations – DE
Teaching First Canter – Riding CR or CE
The Right Horse Initiative Adoptions and Pilot Programs – CE
Overcoming Fear and Anxiety in EAAT Participants – DE
Risk Management for Horse Programs – CE
How to Develop a Successful Driving Program Using an Innovative Approach – Driving CR or CE
The 8 Myths of Saddle Fit – CE
Behavior Management in Therapeutic Riding and Driving for Instructors – DE
PATH Intl. Update – CE


Member Price - $219 NEW LOW PRICE from 2018 Virtual Conference

Standard (non-member) Price - $269

Center Rate (unlimited people can view; however, the CEUs are good for three people) - $438

Presenters & Sessions

Malaika Albrecht and Sherri Moore
Mini Horses, Maximum Benefit
Learn how to utilize miniature horses in your EAAT program. They may be small in stature, but they are large in heart, and can be mobile ambassadors for your program while also working in EFP, EAL, and ground school lessons.
Sherri Moore is a PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor and Interactive Vaulting Instructor. She currently teaches at and is the barn manager at Rocking Horse Ranch Therapeutic Riding Program in Greenville, NC. She has been involved in the EAAT field for close to 20 years. Sherri lives in Greenville with her husband, four dogs, a bunny and a chinchilla.
Malaika Albrecht, a PATH Intl. Certified Instructor, is the Executor Director at Rocking Horse Ranch Therapeutic Riding Program in Greenville, NC. She also holds her Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning certification, as well as being a Reiki Master Level Practitioner, holistic equine body-worker, and yoga instructor. In her spare time, Malaika works around her personal farm, where she lives with her daughters, horses, mini, mini donkey, chickens, cats and dog.

Dana Barton
ADA Basics
The Americans with Disabilities Act is a complex and expansive civil rights law – and quite a lot to digest. Please join the Rocky Mountain ADA Center for an ADA Basics Workshop to overview the rights and responsibilities of employers, local and state government, and public accommodations. We will discuss the definition of disability and how it impacts our community, and understand where the rubber meets the road between the letter of the law (such as reasonable accommodations and effective communication), and the spirit of the law (equity, etiquette, and full participation). At the RMADAC, our vision is to bring the ADA to full implementation, and we look forward to providing the information necessary to support our community partners in achieving this goal.
Dana Barton is the Director for The Rocky Mountain ADA Center (RMADAC). Her role within the organization is to lead the staff’s daily efforts to provide the Rocky Mountain Region with technical support, training, guidance and the most updated information pertaining to the Americans with Disabilities Act. She is also the organization’s spokesperson for public media and community relations initiatives within the region. Prior to joining RMADAC, Barton served as the Business Relations and Employment Development Director at the Pikes Peak Workforce Center in Colorado Springs, Colo. In this role, she planned and implemented business services, and youth and adult programming under the Workforce Innovation and Opportunity Act. In this role, Dana worked closely with community partners to provide training and development opportunities to individuals with disabilities to increase their employment opportunities. She brings to RMADAC over 10 years of extensive work within the ADA’s Title I and Title III with the experience she gained as Director of Recruitment for the world-famous Broadmoor Hotel. Among her many accomplishments at The Broadmoor; she led a program that recruited students with disabilities from local school districts to work for the hotel as paid interns. Throughout her life, Dana has worked tirelessly in support of people with disabilities. Her work has included supporting initiatives for families with deaf children so that their loved ones are empowered to fulfill their life dreams. She is also an active volunteer in her children’s elementary school, and serves on the School District 11 Mill Levy Override Financial Oversight Committee. Dana is also heavily involved with efforts in Colorado to educate employers on hiring combat-wounded veterans. In 2014, she was recognized as a Rising Star through the Colorado Springs Business Journal and received the Young Professional of the Year award from the Southern Colorado Women’s Chamber of Commerce. When she is not working, Dana enjoys spending time hiking in the mountains, raising backyard chickens, and cheering on her Alma Mater's Michigan State Spartans!

Dr. Liz Coan
Autism Across Environments; decoding social information to manage behavioral expectations
Children and adults with Autism Spectrum Disorder (ASD) see the world differently than their typically functioning peers. Neurotypical individuals are able to recognize and process the extensive amount of “social information” that hangs in each environment, whether it be the schoolbus, classroom, museum or playground. This information helps us determine how to behave appropriately, because we are able to pick up clues that help direct and contain our behavioral repertoire from environment to environment. Individuals with ASD have social communication deficits and rigid thinking styles that interfere with their ability to pick up on this information in the same way. As such, we often need to support individuals with ASD by explicitly teaching how to decode the implicit social messages that accompany all recreational, educational and social settings. This talk will highlight the specific social communication deficits that contribute to behavioral challenges for individuals with ASD, and will highlight specific teaching and support strategies to help individuals learn to recognize and process social information across environments.
Dr. Liz Coan is a faculty member at University of Colorado where she works as a Clinical Psychologist in the department of Developmental Pediatrics at Children’s Hospital Colorado. She also has a secondary appointment in the Department of Psychiatry. Dr. Coan specializes in the assessment and treatment of neurodevelopmental disorders, with specialty focus in developmental delays, Autism spectrum disorder and Fragile X Syndrome. Dr. Coan’s areas of special interest include assessment of developmental disabilities and comorbid mental health concerns, creating innovative approaches to therapeutic intervention for children with developmental differences and their families, program development, teaching and community outreach. Dr. Coan is heavily involved in the Psychology training program at Children’s Hospital Colorado, and is co-director of intervention services within Developmental Pediatrics. She has prior experience as an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapist and has worked with children with developmental differences for over ten years.

Julie Goodnight
Teaching First Canter
It’s both exciting and fear-inducing and the ultimate goal for many riders. In this webinar, we’ll address the important skills prerequisite of learning to canter and a progression of skills to teach at the canter. We’ll look at the pros and cons of various methods to teach first canter, as well as the most common mistakes riders make. Most importantly, we’ll address keeping your riders safe and your horses happy, while teaching novice riders to canter.
Julie Goodnight established a connection with horses at a young age and after a successful run as a youth rider on jumping horses, she galloped her way through college riding race horses. For nearly four decades, she’s been at home in the Colorado Rockies, pursuing wilderness sports and riding cow-horses. Founding her training business in 1985, Julie’s reputation as a horse trainer grew far and wide. In 2008, she began producing Horse Master with Julie Goodnight, a popular how-to horse training series that has aired weekly on RFD-TV for more than a decade, with 260 episodes. She now travels the world to produce compelling horse TV and educates horse owners everywhere through her online training programs at JulieGoodnight.com.

Christie Kappert
The Right Horse Initiative Adoptions and Pilot Programs
The Right Horse Initiative is a collective of equine industry and welfare professionals and advocates working together to improve the lives of horses in transition. Our goal is to massively increase horse adoption in the United States. With over 50 adoption and industry partners, our shared philosophy leverages collaboration and innovation to create long-term solutions for at-risk horses. We are Good People for Good Horses, and proud to partner with PATH International. Learn about what this means for PATH members, current pilot programs, and the potential that adoptable horses have to fit into EAAT programming.
Christie Kappert serves as program manager for WaterShed Animal Fund’s equine initiative, The Right Horse Initiative which seeks to make lasting, transformative improvements to equine welfare in the United States. While earning dual degrees in Equine Science and Business Administration from Colorado State University, Christie volunteered at a local horse rescue. This initial volunteer work lit a spark and fueled a passion for equine welfare and rescue. Soon after, Christie graduated magna cum laude and went on to receive certificates in Strategic Planning and Meeting Facilitation Strategies from the University of Texas Governor’s Center for Management Development. Christie is a skilled program and marketing manager with experience assembling equine industry partners to collaborate on complex industry-wide issues. Prior to joining Arnall Family Foundation, she led marketing and partner development for the American Horse Council’s Time to Ride Initiative. Christie is the proud adopter of two Mustangs and one burro. She competes in stock horse events and has been a top-ten finalist at two Extreme Mustang Makeovers. She and her husband raise a small herd of cattle and live outside Austin, TX.

Christy Landwehr
Risk Management for Horse Programs
This online interactive session will discuss risk management in equine programs and how you can be better prepared to handle incidents when they occur, staff issues, horse issues, client issues, etc. We will discuss law suits in our industry where the equine professional lost that now stand as precedence for future cases. We will go over required insurances, documentation, etc. We will end by looking at a variety of photos and trying to find the risk in them.
Christy Landwehr has been active in the horse industry for over 30 years. Hunter/jumper, dressage, side saddle, western pleasure, hunter pleasure, barrel racing, endurance riding and saddle seat equitation are just some of the disciplines Christy has competed in at the local, regional and national levels in multiple breeds. She has been teaching children and adults how to ride for over 25 years. Christy is a Master Level Riding Instructor and Equine Facility Manager through the Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) www.CHA.horse and has taught students in 4-H and Pony Club. She is a Past President of the American Youth Horse Council (AYHC). She also founded, competed on and coached the University of Colorado at Boulder Intercollegiate Horse Show Association equestrian team. Christy is an AQHA and APHA Professional Horseman and on the AQHA National Marketing Committee. Christy is also on the Colorado State University Equine Sciences Advisory Council. She teaches Effective Presentations for the Community College of Aurora and she is a strategic business consultant. With an undergraduate degree in public relations and speech communication from California State University Fullerton and a graduate degree in mass communication and journalism from University of Colorado at Boulder, Christy has vast experience in marketing and business. She was the Sponsorship and Youth Programs Manager for the Arabian Horse Association, a trainer for Skill Path Seminars, and the Development Director for The Urban Farm that works with at-risk youth in Denver. Currently, she is the Chief Executive Officer for the Certified Horsemanship Association, a non-profit 501(c)3 association whose purpose is to promote excellence in safety throughout the equine industry. She is also a clinic instructor and site accreditor for the organization. Christy has spoken at numerous equine events throughout her career including: Arabian Horse Association Convention in Tulsa, Back Country Horsemen National Convention in SD, Taking the Reins in WI, Equine Affaire in CA, OH and MA, Horse Expo in Pomona and Sacramento, CA, American Hippotherapy Association in TX, Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship in CO and VA, Mane Event in Alberta, AQHA Convention in TX and Las Vegas, American Camp Association in San Diego, Dallas, New Orleans, Nashville and Orlando and many others. You can reach Christy at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Maj. George Paffendorf
How to Develop a Successful Driving Program Using an Innovative Approach
All programs are faced with the question of how to maximize available resources. This presentation will demonstrate how a program with one driving horse can work with two, three or four clients during the same driving lesson. A sound knowledge of horsemanship, ground driving, maintenance and care of harness and carriage or cart and use of a Rein Board to improve reinsmanship will make a better driver. Using specially trained volunteers several of these activities can be incorporated in to a driving lesson. Clients are rotated from activity to activity to allow each client to receive the full driving experience.
Major George W. Paffendorf, KCA, U.S. Army Retired has more than 23 years of military service. After the Army he worked with at-risk youth in New Jersey and retired as the State Director for Youth Programs and Special Initiatives. A lifelong horseman, he is a PATH, Intl certified Riding Instructor, Driving Instructor, Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning (ESMHL) and Mentor and serves on the PATH, Intl Driving Subcommittee. He has completed the PATH, Intl Advanced Veterans Training and is certified through the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) as a Level Two Equine Specialist in Equine Facilitated Mental Health and Learning (EFMHL). He is certified in Equine Assisted Personal Development (EAPD), is a Special Olympics Equestrian Coach and is a licensed New York City Carriage Driver. In addition, he serves as the Volunteer Director of Operation Centaur, Centenary University’s veterans program and is the Volunteer Assistant Director of Therapeutic Riding at Centenary (TRAC). He can be reached at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Jochen Schleese
The 8 Myths of Saddle Fit
The presentation will go over the 8 common saddle fit myths currently in the industry and how they affect, both positively and negatively, the overall health and wellbeing of the equine athlete. It also goes into detail on what constitutes a correct fit based on the anatomical requirements of both horse and rider, and the consequences normally seen when equipment is ill-fitting. The mission of Saddlefit 4 Life® has always been and continues to be to protect horse and rider from long term damage caused by ill fitting tack, through comprehensive education.
Certified Master Saddler - Jochen Schleese graduated from Passier in 1985 as the youngest Certified Master Saddler in Germany at the time. He came to Canada as the Official Saddler for the 1986 World Dressage Championships. Jochen registered the trade of saddlery in North America in 1990, and operated the only authorized training facility for this trade in Ontario. He discovered that many female riders struggle with pain and health issues from riding in saddles designed for male riders (due to pelvic and anatomical differences). Schleese Saddlery Service (1986) is the world leader in gender correct saddles, which can be fit and adjusted according to the biomechanics of movement and the development of the horse, through personal on-site saddle fit evaluations. Educator - Jochen Schleese established Saddlefit 4 Life® (2006) as an independent organization to teach saddle fit evaluation and analyses, and certify professionals in equine and saddle ergonomics. Jochen lectures at the German Professional Trainers Association in Warendorf Germany, at veterinary conferences in Brazil and is a frequent clinician at trade shows and equine forums worldwide. Saddlefit 4 Life® courses are accredited by the United States Dressage Federation, the Certified Horsemanship Association and Ontario Equestrian Federation. Jochen Schleese is on the advisory board of the Equine Sciences Academy and an education partner with the American Riding Instructor Association and Ontario Equestrian Federation. Published Author - Jochen is author of “The Silent Killer” – the Painful Truth of Saddle Fitting and Why it Doesn’t Work” (Wu Wei Germany 2012) and “Suffering in Silence – the Saddle Fit Link to Physical and Psychological Trauma in Horses” (Trafalgar 2013). Selected as the Official Saddler to the World Cup Finals in Las Vegas (2005, 2007, and 2009), Jochen Schleese has been profiled in the Wall Street Journal and Discovery Channel (“How it’s Made”) and has written articles for over 28 equine publications. Awards - In 2010 Jochen was part of the educational roster at WEG (World Equestrian Games), and is the recipient of numerous business and trade achievement awards. In 2014 he was awarded Entrepreneur of the Year (Chamber of Commerce) for ongoing innovation, research and development, growth, products and services, creative business initiatives, and community service.

Dr. Hallie Sheade
Overcoming Fear and Anxiety in EAAT Participants
This course offers Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT) facilitators an understanding of the role fear and anxiety play in participants’ experience of EAAT. Learners will develop an understanding of the psychological and behavioral impacts of fear and anxiety, signs of fear and anxiety, common fears in EAAT, positive ways to cope with fearful behavior, and calming strategies to overcome fear and anxiety.
Dr. Hallie Sheade is a Licensed Professional Counselor and holds a Ph.D. in Counseling from the University of North Texas. Located near Fort Worth, TX, Dr. Sheade is the founder of a private equine facilitated psychotherapy (EFP) practice, Equine Connection Counseling, and co-founder of the nonprofit, S.T.E.P.S. with Horses, designed to provide a continuum of care for clients working to address mental health concerns. Dr. Sheade specializes in working with military service members and their families and at-risk youth. Dr. Sheade is active in working to further the field of EFP by presenting on topics related to mental health and EFP, authoring manuscripts, and training others in EFP best practices. Dr. Sheade also serves on the PATH Intl. Health and Education Committee and is a Faculty Candidate for Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning Workshops.

Aviva Vincent and Lauren Simak 
Behavior Management in Therapeutic Riding and Driving for Instructors
Therapeutic riding emerged as a physical and occupational therapy technique - Hippotherapy. However, recent years have shifted the breadth of services sought and provided towards psychosocial and social-emotional wellness rather than only a physical therapy intervention. Parallel to the need for psychosocial and social-emotional wellness is the skill of emotional regulation. By understanding horse’s natural ability, behavior, and movement, the horse aids in building social rapport and providing feedback (i.e. mirroring) between instructor and participant. Furthermore, it is the attachment, or bond, that forms between the participant and horse that aids in the therapeutic process and relationship building (i.e. affect management and behavioral regulation). This session provides an overview of behavior management in therapeutic riding and driving for instructors. Case examples include a diverse range of ages, skill, and social-emotional needs. Strategies for vocal interaction to redirect behaviors as well as opportunities to collaborate with the horse in redirection will be discussed. Finally, behavior modification activities to increase awareness and skill for self-regulation will be shared.
Lauren Simak joined the Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center team as a volunteer in 1992. In 2002, she became a Therapeutic riding instructor and joined the Center full-time. In 2007, Lauren became a therapeutic driving instructor and currently leads the driving program. She teaches about 20 students per week. Lauren is also the special programs coordinator and manages the hippotherapy and driving program. Lauren has been an avid horseperson for over 30 years and enjoys hunter-jumper and cross country eventing.
Aviva Vincent the director of program quality and a therapeutic riding instructor at Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center. She is a veterinary social worker and doctoral candidate in the Mandel School of Applied Social Sciences at Case Western Reserve University where she researches the biological impact that animals have on children, specifically with children and dogs, and the ability of dogs to reduce fear and anxiety in stressful situations. In 2016, Aviva co-founded the human-animal interactions workgroup with National Association of Social Workers, Ohio chapter.


Final Schedule (all times on schedule are in Mountain Time)

Tuesday April 23

9:05 to 10:05 a.m.
10:10 to 11:10 a.m.
11:15 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.
12:45 to 1:45 p.m.
1:50 to 2:50 p.m.

Wednesday April 24

9 to 10 a.m.
10:05 to 11:05 a.m.
11:10 a.m. to 12:10 p.m.
12:40 to 1:40 p.m.
1:45 to 2:45 p.m.


The Right Horse Initiative Adoptions and Pilot Programs
Mini Horses, Maximum Benefits
Teaching the First Canter
Risk Management for Horse Programs
Behavior Management in Therapeutic Riding and Driving for Instructors


Autism Across Environments: Decoding Social Information to Manage Behavioral Expectations
How to Develop a Successful Driving Program Using an Innovative Approach
ADA Basics
Overcoming Anxiety and Fear in EAAT Participants
The 8 Myths of Saddle Fitting

Are you interested in becoming a sponsor or exhibitor?

Sponsoring or exhibiting at the PATH Intl. Virtual Conference is an ideal way for you to gain valuable exposure while showing your support for PATH Intl., our members, and the thousands of people who benefit from EAAT services each year. Sponsors and exhibitors get direct access to a diverse and influential group of consumers, where exhibitors showcase their products to a targeted audience in our conference exhibit hall breakout rooms, and sponsors receive brand recognition and positive marketing opportunities. The quantity and type of exposure is dependent on the sponsorship level. If you are interested please contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

What attendees of past virtual conferences had to say:
"I am not able to attend national conferences very often, or at all, so this was a great resource and help in allowing me to get some CEUs. The networking was also amazing."
"Thank you for the flexibility of watching the presentations later, we had lessons and could not watch it live. I look forward to more virtual conferences!"
"Overall, I was impressed with how well organized and smoothly everything ran. I feel much more connected to the organization now than ever."




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Therapeutic RidingTherapeutic DrivingInteractive VaultingEquine Services for HeroesEFP-EFL

Additional Sponsors

AdequanEQUUS FoundationMarkel Insurance CompanyCavalloRIDE TV