2019 Conference Handouts

Click here to register2020 PATH Intl. Conference Re-imagined Webinar Series

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To carry on with making valuable education available to members that we’d originally planned for the PATH Intl. Conference, this year PATH Intl. will provide three different webinar series through fall and winter. Each series will feature a unique area of focus and will be presented by the experts whose abstracts were chosen for the international conference! The choice of series will include program (September), disability (October), and administrative (January). Each five-week series will include one webinar per week and require no travel!

Member discount price: Only $149 for each full five-session series!
Standard price: $199

September Program Series Presentations

  • 9/9/2020 9:00 a.m. MT, Conditioning the Therapeutic Horse for Longevity and Success! Christine Skelly, CR ALL (1 CEU)
  • 9/16/2020 4:00 p.m. MT, Exploring Sensory Processing: Let's Dive In! Susan Rehr, CR ALL (1.5 CEU)
  • 9/25/2020 1:30 p.m. MT, Turn That Frown Upside Down: A Rhythmic Approach to Calming the Body, Robert Jeffers, CE (1 CEU)
  • 9/30/2020 1:00 p.m. MT, Emotional Self-Awareness: Utilization to Impact Health Care Communication, Jane Beebe, CE (1 CEU)
  • 10/7/2020, TBD, To the Arena and Beyond! Joy Miller, Brian Miller, Jessica Freund, CE (1 CEU)


9/9/2020  9:00 a.m. Mountain Time
Conditioning the Therapeutic Horse for Longevity and Success! With Christine Skelly

In this exceptional situation with quarantines and stay-at-home orders, many therapeutic riding programs have horses on breaks somewhat like a scheduled break where horses are turned out or rested over the holidays or through the winter season. While some downtime can be beneficial both mentally and physically, a horse begins losing conditioning in as little as two weeks. By 12 weeks of downtime, a horse has lost most of its fitness associated with exercise. Developing and overseeing a conditioning program that considers both the horse’s needs and the handler’s skills will help ensure that the program is safe and beneficial.

Learning Objectives:

1. The attendee will be able to develop a sports-specific exercise conditioning program for a therapeutic horse.
2. The attendee will be able to train staff and volunteers to safely and effectively carry out an exercise conditioning program for the therapeutic horse.
3. The attendee will learn to evaluate a horse’s body condition score and discuss the relationship to performance and health.

Christine Skelly is an associate professor and equine extension specialist at a land grant university, specializing in equine management, nutrition, housing and environmental stewardship. She consults with other extension and industry professionals and horse owners on horse management issues and works closely with the state horse council. She instructs courses in horse farm management and nutrition, directs an online horse management program and recently took on the leadership of the state’s 4-H therapeutic riding program.

9/16/2020  4:00 p.m. Mountain Time
Exploring Sensory Processing: Let’s Dive In! With Susan Rehr
CR ALL (1.5 CEUs)

Sensory input is perceived differently by all individuals and even by the same individual at different times or in different environments. When the instructor uses the three questions: “What do I see?”, “What does it mean?”, and “What will I do?” in conjunction with an understanding of the transition between stages of sensory processing they optimize their outcomes in lesson planning. Through both didactic and experiential models, attendees will gain an understanding of the connection of sensory processing to lesson planning, rider behavior and the acquisition of horsemanship skills.

Learning Objectives:

1. The attendee will name the four stages of sensory processing.
2. The attendee will develop strategies, using new terminology, for describing sensory processing to a parent, volunteer or another instructor.
3. The attendee will utilize this new information to develop future lesson plans with a consideration of sensory processing.

Susan Rehr is the executive director of a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center and has provided physical therapy services to the pediatric population, integrating hippotherapy treatment principles for the past 22 years. Quality care, clinical education, educational presentations, published writing and national involvement are hallmarks of her career. She has recently developed two lines of educational courses. One developed for therapists preparing for a clinical specialist examination and one developed for adaptive riding instructors to enable them to explore the world of (dis)abilities.

Friday September 25th at 1:30 MT
Turn That Frown Upside Down: A Rhythmic Approach to Calming the Body, Robert Jeffers, ESMHL, QMHS, Natural Freedom Wellness Center
CE (1 CEU)

From years of experience talking with parents who were worried about their child’s high energy, lack of focus or impulsivity, this presentation is rich in practical activities. Learn how unmounted activities can allow clients to regulate their emotions and impulse control while giving caregivers the tools and knowledge of the importance of co-regulation. Through years of discussions with various individuals including mental health professionals, the participant has to be able to calm their brain stem in order to access higher levels of thinking. This presentation will provide simple, rhythmic, repetitive activities that can easily be implemented in an equine-assisted activities and therapies program in order for clients to grow into their fullest potential.

Learning Objectives:

1. Identify three behaviors that may be a result of emotional dysregulation.
2. Recognize the pressure and release approach in addressing emotional dysregulation.
3. Describe three unmounted activities that can be included in an equine-assisted activities and therapies program for improving emotional regulation.

Robert Jeffers is co-owner and executive director of Natural Freedom Wellness Center. He is a PATH Intl. Certified Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning (ESMHL). They are also a Specialized Case Manager (QMHS). He has 10+ years of working with at-risk youth, adults and individuals with various abilities. He has additional training in Trauma-Focused Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Youth Mental Health First Aid USA.

9/30/2020  1:00 p.m. mountain time
Emotional Self-Awareness: Utilization to Impact Health Care Communication, With Jayne Beebe, MSN, RN
CE (1 CEU)

Having the ability to recognize one’s own emotional self-awareness is crucial for positive outcomes in all health care provider-patient relationships, leading to greater competency. Equine-assisted learning allows for the development of self-awareness and can be a beneficial tool in increasing self-awareness in healthcare professionals. In providing an overview of the issues and responsibilities encountered in therapeutic relationships, and the impact of emotional self-awareness in facilitating trusting environments of care through equine-assisted learning activities, this interactive learning also provides a venue for personal exploration and growth, while merging opportunities to explore strategies for future research.

Learning Objectives:
1. The attendee will develop more self-awareness in the process of understanding oneself.
2. The attendee will recognize methods of incorporating self-awareness within their own practice and daily lives.

Jayne Beebe has been a senior clinical instructor for the past 14 years at Washington State University College of Nursing with a master’s degree in psych mental health. She has incorporated horses in her practice for both WSU and her own private facility since 2003, using both PATH Intl. and Eagala models of learning. In addition to providing workshops and hands-on opportunities for medical students, she has also worked with youth from a local treatment facility for 13 years, foster children and military/veterans. 

10/07/2020: time TBD
To the Arena and Beyond! With Joy Miller, Brian Miller and Jessica Freund
CE (1 CEU)

In the words of the great Buzz Lightyear, are you ready to take your influence “to the arena AND BEYOND?”  Do you and your team know what to do when everything you know is suddenly taken away and you are unable to serve participants in the way you always have? The New Horizon Ranch team will share some of their ideas and strategies for creating new programs (it’s really not rocket science 😉)  They will share how they face challenges as well as what has worked and what flopped.

Learning Objectives:

1.      Attendees will be exposed to several alternatives to connecting with participants when the arena is not an option

2.      Attendees will understand that creative programming isn’t as complicated as you may think

3.      Attendees will identify strategies to overcome obstacles to programming

Brian and Joy Miller started as volunteers at Heartland Therapeutic Riding before founding their own center, New Horizon Ranch in Rantoul, KS, in 2006. Brian has a special gift for connecting with and loving people and uses these skills as the Executive Director to cultivate community relationships. He especially enjoys instructing the beginning riders, facilitating equine-assisted learning at NHR and connecting with community members. Joy is the Program Director and enjoys the challenge and creativity of program development, exploring new community and agency partners, grant writing, volunteer management as well as facilitating EAL, summer camps and teaching the intermediate riders.  Brian and Joy have two kids, Sara and Stetson, and enjoy riding, fly fishing, gardening and watching Stetson play baseball (in their "spare time"!)

Jessica Freund has been working in the EAAT field for about nine years, as a volunteer first and now as the education enrichment director at New Horizon Ranch. She has an elementary education degree with a minor in special education from Baker University and a certificate in autism spectrum disorders from Emporia State University. In her free time, she enjoys time with family, being outside, crocheting and reading a good book.

Annual Meeting

The PATH Intl. Annual Meeting typically held at the international conference will be held virtually in November allowing access to all members! The meeting will be preceded by a panel discussion with the EAAT Baseline Definitions Work Group. The annual meeting and panel discussion will be free for all members.


2021 and 2022 Conferences

Please stay tuned for updates as details will follow for the newly reimagined opportunities we'll be presenting for this fall. And save the date for next year's conference when we can all be together again, October 14-16, 2021, in Charlotte, NC, AND St. Louis in fall of 2022!


We have had many wonderful sponsors and exhibitors 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.

More information will be coming soon about possible exhibitor and sponsor opportunities.


The James Brady Professional Achievement Award recognizes the contributions made to the field of equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT). The award is presented in the name of James Brady to recognize a professional who has made contributions in the creation or development of industry-advancing ideas, initiatives, programs or events, and the winner will demonstrate a sustained and lasting contribution to the EAAT industry, both within and outside of PATH Intl. Click here for criteria and forms. 

AWARD NOMINATIONS - Closed for 2020

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! 

Nominations for regional award categories (credentialed professional, volunteer, equine, veterinarian) must be submitted by December 31, 2019. This is to ensure that regional winners are notified in time for the 2020 region conferences.

Equestrian of the year awards (child/youth, adult/independent adult and PATH Intl. Equine Services for Heroes) are national awards, and the nomination deadline for this category is May 31, 2020.

Click for nomination forms.



American Regent Animal Health

equisure headercrop

Therapeutic RidingTherapeutic DrivingInteractive VaultingEquine Services for HeroesEFP-EFL

Additional Sponsors

AdequanEQUUS FoundationMarkel Insurance CompanyCavalloRIDE TV