Region 5

Registration Open for the Region 1 Conference!

The Region 1 Conference will be held at UMASS Amherst April 27 & 28, 2019. The conference offers great networking opportunities with EAAT professional and covers a wide variety of topics and CEU’s. We are excited to have PATH Intl. CEO Kathy Alm presenting on Saturday and providing a PATH Intl. update during lunch on Saturday. Region 1 Awards will be presented at dinner.  Online registration closes April 12 and is available at:

A huge thanks to the Conference Task Force-Sarah Norris-Chair, Sarah Bronson, Leora Barry, and Nicole Jorgenson.

Register now for the Pre-conference sponsored by NESAR and UMASS!

New England Special Activities Resources (NESAR) and UMASS Amherst are delighted to support PATH Intl. Region 1 members by co-sponsoring a pre-conference on April 26 from 3pm-7pm at The Hadley Farm, Hadley MA. Tickets may be purchased for either Survive & Thrive or Horse Speak at a discounted price of $50 for PATH Intl. members and Higher Ed Students/Faculty. Click on this link to register -

Horse Speak Description:

Horse Speak is a practical system for “listening” and “talking” to horses in their language, instead of expecting them to comprehend ours. Horse Speak can be used by anyone who works with horses, whether riding instructor, colt starter, recreational rider, or avid competitor. It promises improved understanding of what a horse is telling you and provides simple replies you can use to tell him that you “hear” him, you “get it,” and you have ideas you want to share with him, too. Join Sharon Wilsie as she discusses and demonstrates the basic principles of Horse Speak as well as ideas and concepts that have been successful in the EAAT profession.

Survive & Thrive Description:

In managing change, success comes from being strategic and intentional about choices. Join Executive Directors, Karen Kersting (UpReach) and Sarah Bronson (Riding To The Top), as they help you identify where your organization is in its development. Surviving and Thriving requires:

  • Assessing your programs and organization
  • Knowing where your organization is in the life stages of a nonprofit business
  • Understanding the seven fundamental variables of a nonprofit
  • Thoughtful planning
  • Budgeting
  • Sustainable Fundraising

NESAR Scholarships

Enjoy time spent with peers as you examine where your organization is developmentally. Learn and share ideas and then, leave with the tools to lead your organization toward its next life stage!

New England Special Activities Resources (NESAR) is proud to financially support Region 1 members in their quest to become certified PATH Intl. instructors, to maintain their certification by attending continuing education programs and to expand their expertise in areas directly related to equine assisted activities. The scholarship program focuses on individuals who might not be able to attend educational programs without financial support and who have limited experience in their area of study and have difficulty accessing more experienced support.

Scholarship Amounts and Criteria

Scholarship amounts are approved by the Scholarship Committee and are capped at 50% of tuition costs or $300, whichever is less. Only tuition costs are eligible for scholarship. Housing or travel expenses are not considered. The criteria for approving a scholarship application includes the financial need, the experience level of the applicant and the relevance of the educational program to equine assisted activities such as therapeutic riding, driving, vaulting and horsemanship.

Help support the NESAR Scholarship program by donation an item to the Silent Auction that will be held at the Region 1 Conference on Saturday!


High Hopes in Old Lyme CT

patti coylesarah carlsonIt is with hugely mixed emotions that High Hopes’ announces the retirement of Patti Coyle (pictured left), Training & Education Director since 2013 and active member of the national PATH Intl. Board of Directors since 2014, Patti has been both an innovator and a steady pair of hands; bringing to High Hopes the passion of a life-long horsewoman, the vocation of a teacher and mentor, and the business experience of a career in finance and banking. She has developed High Hopes’ into a world-respected training & education asset for the therapeutic riding industry and has transferred her enthusiasm and knowledge to the many instructor training candidates and industry professionals over the years. Patti will be succeeded by Sarah Carlson (pictured right), currently, Special Programs Manager at High Hopes who has been working side by side with Patti for the last 18 months in anticipation of this transition. Read more HERE or

Invitations, Recognitions and Felicitations

High Hopes will be holding an Open House on Saturday, May 18th, to kick-off the start of “Horse Show Days,” a week of celebration of all that is wonderful about our participants, volunteers and equine partners. If you are interested in visiting High Hopes to see how 25 horses, 650 volunteers, and 26 full- and part-time staff come together to improve lives, this is the perfect opportunity. If you are a High Hopes alum, make sure you come and say hi! If you are interested in training, or in potential career opportunities at High Hopes, please make sure to let Sarah Carlson, Special Programs Manager, know you are planning to visit. This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Certification opportunities

OSWC Onsite Workshop and Certification at High Hopes
June 12-14, 2019 with Certification on June 15, 2019
Call Sarah Carlson 860.434.1974 x115 or go to  for more information and registration.

ESMHL Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning at High Hopes
November 22 – November 24, 2019 with the Horsemanship Skills Test on November 25, 2019
Call Sarah Carlson 860.434.1974 x115 or go  for more information and registration as this workshop fills fast! PATH Intl. CEU’s = 2 ESMHL CR; 6 DE; 12 CE

On Demand Education & Consulting opportunities

With 45 years of experience in the field of Therapeutic Riding, High Hopes is well positioned to offer a number of training and consulting opportunities tailored to your career or organization. Consulting in Business Administration & Non-Profit Management can take place at your establishment, or here at High Hopes in Old Lyme, CT. You may come as an individual, or with your whole team. We also offer individualized mentoring for new Executive Directors, Trustees or those preparing for Master Certification. In addition, with 240 participants a week and a volunteer corps of over 650, High Hopes can offer On Demand Certification at PATH Intl. Registered and Advanced Levels. Learn and become certified your way and on your schedule.


The Big Barn Bash – High Hopes is so grateful to Rachel Edwards and the team from Dreamscape Design Group for their support of this year’s Scholarship Drive video which will be showcased at our Gala on June 8, 2019. The video will feature one of our amazing participants “Mac,” a Carriage Driver, his Instructor, Lauren Fitzgerald, and his family and friends support network. The video is currently in the making, focuses on how the skills, strength and confidence he has gained through his work at High Hopes are helping Mac succeed in his dream of independence and a college education.

High Hopes is honored to have been awarded a $2,500 grant, by the Eastern Connecticut Chamber of Commerce Foundation to support our Summer VetKids Program. High Hopes was one of thirty-seven organizations to receive a grant this year, and in his introduction Chamber President, Tony Sheriden reminded all of those present, that non-profits in Connecticut not only serve a large proportion of the population but are collectively one of the largest employers in the region too.


Congratulations to High Hopes’ Volunteer Manager, Amy Tripson who has been recruited to H.O.P.E (Horses Offering People Enrichment,) a Therapeutic Riding Center in Beijing, China. We and our 650 volunteers will miss Amy enormously, but we know that she is going to make a huge difference at H.O.P.E. and we are proud that she will be taking the High Hopes’ ethos with her! Marie Manero, Volunteer Coordinator, and the rest of the High Hopes team will be holding the fort until a new Volunteer Manager is recruited. Read more about Amy’s Travels HERE

high hopes 1It’s almost time to say, “good bye,” and “good luck” to our two Instructors in Training Candidates (ITCs), Deena Feinberg and Kalee Angstadt. They will be attending Certification in April. In the meantime, we managed to get them to stand still for long enough to take a photo with our beloved Petra. Kaela will be returning to Bradford, MA and Deena will be returning to Rhinebeck, NY. “Being immersed in the program and the team for three months has been an invaluable experience,” commented Deena – “I consider myself to be very fortunate to have been able to do that, but I know it was the right decision.”

Manes & Motions Therapeutic Riding Center in Middletown, Connecticut, a member of the Hospital for Special Care Community, is gearing up for a busy spring season. In addition to our therapeutic riding program, the next few months are filled with a number of equine-assisted activities including field trips for youth service agencies, Family Corral EAL workshops, our Ride & Stride fundraiser at Machimoodus State Park on May 19th and an Open Barn Day in April to increase community awareness. Additionally, Manes & Motions will be hosting the Connecticut/Rhode Island PATH Intl. state meeting on Sunday, March 31st. For more information on our services, please visit: or email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Maine News:

Keep an eye open for a notification from PATH Intl. for the Maine State Meeting on Saturday, June 22nd to be held at Riding To The Top in Windham, Maine. Educational offerings will be around supportive interventions for horses involved in EAAT. We are thrilled that Linda Crabtree of Circle of Peace and a Certified Equine Acupressure Practitioner is available to present; Catherine Fellows, PATH Intl. Advanced Instructor, will present on Masterson and we are hoping for a presenter on Reiki for equines. The plan is for a half day program so SAVE THE DATE!! FMI or if you have questions, contact Sarah Bronson (This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.). We will be planning another meeting for northern Maine later in 2019—if there are members in the northern part of the state interested in hosting or if you have ideas on what you’d like to see presented, please let Sarah know!

maine autism confSouthern Maine Autism Conference

Maine members and centers are looking forward to SPRING!! Helping with this was participation by several members at the PATH Intl table at the Southern Maine Autism Conference on March 16th! Thanks to PATH Intl. members Mario Pascarelli, Kristen Gould, Meaghan Cote and Sarah Bronson who helped to staff the PATH Intl. booth at this conference. There were well over 400 attendees, including individuals with autism, family members and providers in attendance! Pictured: Mario Pascarelli, Kris Gould and Sarah Bronson

Center Bits and Pieces:

Carlisle Academy in Lyman, ME is hosting a Para-Dressage Clinic with Deb Dean Smith on Monday, April 15th. FMI please contact ..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Riding To The Top in Windham, ME will be hosting a PATH Intl. On-Site Workshop and Certification June 27-30, 2019. Faculty will be Gisela Heimsath Rhodes, M. Ed and Antoinette DeGruccio, LMSW. Gisela is a PATH Intl. Advanced Instructor, Lead Evaluator, and PATH Intl. Certified Interactive Vaulting Instructor and Evaluator and Antoinette is a PATH Intl. Advanced Instructor, an Associate Evaluator, PATH Intl. Mentor and ESMHL. Come enjoy Maine in the summer with these great PATH faculty members! Attend the workshop only to learn important information about becoming a therapeutic riding instructor or attend both the workshop and certification. FMI go to:

New Hampshire News:

Full Circle Farm Therapeutic Horsemanship in Newport, NH, has had a busy year since becoming a 501c3. Except for winter we are at capacity with 50 participants a week. We started some new programming such as vocational, working with local fire and police departments, after school programs for at risk families and other unmounted activities. A family fun day, horsemanship for children who have experienced trauma and a women's meditation with horses are in the works and planned for April.

We have our first intern from Colby Sawyer college. She is a huge help and is already a part of our FCFTH family. We are looking forward to more in the coming years.

Vermont News:


Massachusetts News

On January 20, the Massachusetts State Meeting was hosted by the Bridge Center from 10am-2pm. Trish Gosselin presented on Building the right herd from the inside out, Peggy O’Neill discussed implementing successful change in volunteer processes, and Elizabeth Binari presented on the benefits of equine acupressure. The meeting was well attended, and everyone enjoyed coming together to network and obtain CEU’s.

Equestrians with Disabilities:
EWD (Equestrians With Disabilities) is a recognized AQHA\NSBA division.
The inclusion of EWD classes in AQHA\NSBA recognized shows gives individuals with documented physical or cognitive disabilities the opportunity to compete in horse shows at the local, regional or national level. EWD classes have been on the show bills of Midwestern and Southwestern horse
shows for several years. Just this year, some EWD classes are being added to existing horse show schedules in the Northeast. One of these shows is the Region Six Championship Show held annually at the Eastern States Exposition in July.
EWD classes are:
- Open to any age rider over 8 years
- Open to any breed of horse, and.
- The exhibitor and their immediate family do not need to own the horse

For more information please contact Elizabeth Craig Smith, EWD Competitor at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

Rhode Island News:

Yellow Horse in Exeter, RI is now a PATH Intl. Member Center in Rhode Island! Yellow Horse is founded by mother-daughter team, Joye Briggs and Emily Cournoyer, both RI natives. Joye Briggs, founder and director, is a PATH Intl. Certified Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning and Foundation Horsemanship instructor. Having many previous accomplishments, competing in the NBHA as well as competitive trail riding, she also has an extensive military background, as her father is a United States Marine, having served two tours in Vietnam and over 20 years in the Marine Corps league. Emily Cournoyer, co-founder and assistant director is a Certified Occupational Assistant and has participated in various gymkhana and equestrian vaulting events. When not working with clients at Yellow Horse, she provides OT services in an outpatient pediatric occupational therapy clinic. All Yellow Horse Staff are PATH Intl. Certified instructors, offering many different facets to the program, including therapeutic riding, hippotherapy, equine-assisted psychotherapy, summer camps, social groups, and veteran support services.

Below is an announcement from Liz Santilli, founder of Gaits of Harmony:

With excitement and sadness, I want to let you all know that Billy and I will be moving our family to North Carolina! I have accepted a position which will grow myself in the equestrian world, help us further our careers, our passion for people and horses, and our passion behind educating more professionals to be in the equestrian industry. This was a hard choice for us but definitely what is best for our family. We will miss everyone who has been a part of Gaits of Harmony!

Gaits of Harmony will live on in North Carolina as we are taking a few of the horses and we will continue in a very small way. We aren't sure what the plan is yet, but we know in our hearts that there will be a Gaits in some way!

I also want to welcome Yellow Horse to Ramrod Farm! They will be moving in and taking on the Gaits of Harmony clients so that no one is left without services! They are bringing their horses and taking on the ones we are leaving so that there is enough equine staff to support the amount of clients that they will be serving! I am feeling so comforted and blessed that all of this fell into place as it did because I was very worried about leaving all the clients that Gaits currently serves! Joye, Emily and their staff along with the current Gaits staff are all joining together to keep everything running and creating a smooth transition!

We all invite you to an open house here at Ramrod Farm on 3/23 at 3:30pm to meet the Yellow Horse staff and volunteers as well as the Gaits team. I would love to see as many people as possible so that Billy and I can say our "see ya later"!

Thank you to everyone of you who has supported Gaits and has brought us 5 years of amazing success!

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