Conference Landing Pages

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Click here to register

Note: This is a third party website, and you will need to create an account. You will not be able to log in with your pathintl.org account information

 

What attendees of the 2017 Virtual Conference 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."

One event, many topics. When we say "Viritual Conference," we don't mean just webinars!

Don't miss this opportunity to expand your knowledge, contribute to the growth of equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) and chat with like-minded EAAT professionals! And remember, if you are a PATH Intl. Certified Instructor, conference attendance can contribute to your continuing education requirements. 

Each year, the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) hosts the Virtual onference, which attracts attendees in the field of EAAT from all over the world. This exciting and engaging conference is one of PATH Intl.'s premier education events, where PATH Intl. members and other EAAT professionals gather to attend lectures by leading industry and medical professionals. Learn about new developments in the field and network with colleagues and peers.

Worried you can’t make a session? All attendees will receive video recordings of the conference sessions! Still have some lingering questions? Reach out to the staff with an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Conference Dates

9 a.m. to 3 p.m. (MDT), April 24 and 25, 2018

Registration

Click here to register. If you are having trouble registering (not accepting your email address), it could be because you have not yet created an account. At the bottom of the page, click "sign up" to create an account or "sign in" if you have already created an account.

Cost

Member Rate - $249
Non-member Rate - $309
Center Rate (good for three people) - $495

Technology Requirements

What you will need:
- Adobe Flash Plugin
- Broadband Internet
- Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari or Google Chrome
- Compatible with IOS and Android based tablets and smartphones

For full specifications, click here.

CEUs

The full 2018 PATH Intl. Virtual Conference is worth 12 CEUs, including 6 disability

Presenters & Sessions

Horses Helping Humans, Chris Cook
Ensuring a quality life for the equine population in the US depends on finding a reliable lifelong match between the equine and a human activity. Therapy riding represents a significant section of the equine industry. In the same time therapy riding programs struggle to find, train, and retain suitable candidates that will in turn improve the quality of life of people with disabilities or recovering from conditions such as PTSD. Horse attrition can be high, training a new horse expensive, and staff (often volunteers) have little the time to train or educate incoming horses. Our preliminary research indicated that sympathetic / natural training techniques might be especially beneficial for developing therapy horses due to the low-stress approach of these methods. In the therapeutic riding industry conventional pressure based training is still widely used with mixed success. We propose developing a sympathetic / natural based guide to help therapy programs identify, train, and successfully retain equine candidates for their programs.
Chris Cook has 15 years of experience running horse training programs; specifically colt starting, wild horse starting, problem horse and human development. Chris studied under master horseman Peter Fuller at Willow Brook Natural Horsemanship Center in Pennsylvania and Pat Parelli at the Parelli Campus in Colorado. Earning titles of Senior Instructor and Senior Horse Development Specialist at Willow Brook and a 2-Star Parelli Instructor title. Chris started The Horse Development Program, LLC to provide students with young horses the training they needed to attend Parelli Levels Clinics. He then joined Silverhorne Sporthorse in California where he trained six mares to compete and win in the Hanoverian Society Performance Test, earning spectacular scores and elite mare status as the first all naturally trained performance test. Chris then had the opportunity to work as Head of Strategic Development for HBZ Inc. and Al Shaqab in the Middle East. Chris managed 40 trainers, 90 grooms and the development of 300 horses thus helping to execute one of the first and largest government sponsored natural horsemanship contracts to help educate Arabic riding schools and equine assisted therapy programs. As President & CEO, Chris plays an integral part of the Wild Horsemanship Center (WHC) executive team, and continues to use his skills to develop his dream of growing an empowering horsemanship center where horses and humans can build a strong foundation at any level (recreational, professional, business and therapy) based on psychology and Empathetic Leadership.

The Path to Major Gifts, KC Henry
There is a proven process that leads to major gifts for your center. Your donor’s engagement results in dramatically increased giving. When your team members (staff, board and volunteers) understand the expectations and procedures, it removes the resistance factor that that so many development and campaign committee members feel. The eight-step management cycle and the simple process for progressive communications will clarify the “magic” of developing major gifts. Build team confidence – and yes, even fun – into your process and you will see results that will expand the future and sustainability of your center.
KC Henry is principal of Transitions Unlimited Llc, a consulting firm for nonprofit businesses. She helped thousands of leaders and administrators through her specialization in organizational development, board development and strategic planning. KC has served on boards, staffs, national and international committees; she has also presented training sessions and facilitated retreats across the world. She has served on the PATH Intl. board, as a PATH Intl. state and regional representative and was honored with the PATH Intl. James Brady Professional Achievement Award. www.TransitionsUnlimited.net

Working Successfully With People With Dementia, Debi A. Buzanowski-Stowell and Sandra Monahan 
Dementia means so much more than just memory loss! This program will discuss some of the basic biology of dementia and teach skills, communication and approach techniques to use to be successful when working with clients with dementia.
Debi Buzanowski is a nationally certified dementia practitioner and Alzheimer’s and Dementia Trainer with over 20 years of experience working with people with Alzheimer’s disease, their caregivers and long term care systems. Debi has created and delivered hundreds of curriculums and programs for diverse audiences both locally and nationally, all with a strong focus on person centered philosophies and care practices. Currently Debi serves as the Executive Director of Marjorie Doyle Rockwell Center, a memory care facility in upstate NY providing her skills and knowledge to the employees, families and residents and the community. Debi also oversees Eddy Alzheimer’s Services, which provides community based Alzheimer’s Services as part of a $7.5 million NYS DOH grant.

How to Process the Loss of an EAAT Equine in a Program, Bunny Young
This session will be a powerful and safe environment to discuss an actual loss of a 32 year old program horse, how it was handled, the reasoning, and offer ideas and discussion about how to support this situation which is a reality in your own farms, programs, ranches, and organizations. Discover how to transform a potentially devastating situation into a truly bonding experience for the entire community through discussion and planning. Find out how our equine partners can continue to provide learning experiences and meaningful outcomes even through their departures.
Following an undergraduate research focus on internationally-recognized alternative therapies and treatment methods, such as canine therapy and sensory stimulation, Bunny Young became a qualified mental health professional and certified yoga instructor. She continued her education and received her Master’s Degree in Counseling and Psychology with a concentration in Equine Assisted Mental Health. She founded A Better Place Consulting to empower and educate businesses and organizations about cultivating a positive work environment which leads to employee and client retention. Recently, Bunny finished her manual “Crossing the Line: Power Activities for Therapy and Learning” to help individuals build better programs by offering EAL and EAP. She enjoys using out of the box concepts to deliver meaningful outcomes. In addition she also teaches cultural sensitivity to law enforcement, military, and correctional officers.

Communication Strategies for Working with Individuals with Limited or Nonverbal Language Skills, Kathryn Guillot- Blankenship, Ph.D., CCC-SLP
Learner Objectives:
• The learner will be able to identify the different types of nonverbal communication.
• The learner will be able to identify the components of language (e.g., receptive and expressive language).
• The learner will be able to identify strategies to use with individuals who have limited or no verbal communication to use within their lesson.
Kathryn Guillot Blankenship is an assistant professor at Middle Tennessee State University in the Department of Health and Human Performance in the area of Speech Pathology and Audiology. She received a master’s degree from the University of Texas at Dallas and her doctorate from Vanderbilt University. Kathryn has 15 years’ experience as a speech language pathologist working with a wide range of individuals with communication disorders, such as hearing impairment, autism, intellectual disabilities and minimally to nonverbal individuals. She has 7 years’ experience in working with individuals with limited communication and verbal abilities in a home health setting. Kathryn’s research interests include speech and language development in children with cochlear implants, family literacy skills with Head Start children, teaching pedagogy and effective clinical supervision techniques.

Brain Injury: Overview and Strategies, Liz Gerdeman (Director of Professional Programs at Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado)
The prevalence of brain injury is higher than most people realize. This presentation will provide an overview of brain injury, from who is sustaining these injuries to the mechanism of the injury on the brain. Participants will learn about how to identify someone with a brain injury, and how to build accommodations into their work to improve outcomes for these individuals.

Objectives
o Attendees will be able to describe brain injury, its prevalence, and its impact on communities
oAttendees will be able to recognize brain injury and develop strategies for individuals with whom they're working
oAttendees will be able to discuss a basic overview of brain injury rehabilitation and resources
Liz Gerdeman, MA, is the Director of Professional Programs for the Brain Injury Alliance of Colorado, with whom she's worked for seven years. She received her Master’s Degree in International Disaster Psychology from the University of Denver. Liz has served on multiple committees with the goal of improving access to care, she co-founded the Colorado Youth Concussion Education Consortium whose mission is to promote accurate and consistent concussion management information to medical providers across the state, and she has worked in brain injury research at Children’s Hospital Colorado. Liz provides training to community organizations working with individuals with brain injury, building capacity within systems to better serve our clients and ensure they are connected to valuable resources.

Gender Awareness in Therapeutic Horsemanship, Abby Simon
This course will discuss strategies for how to be welcoming and inclusive for gender expansive clients, and will specifically talk about definition of gender, gender inclusive language and clinical techniques.
Abby Simon is a licensed social worker who works with gender diverse youth and young adults. She helps them explore the ways that gender integrates with their mental health and relationships. As well as helping to advocate for safe and inclusive spaces.

Addiction, Julie Garchow, MD, and Annie Mascorro
Dr. Julie Garchow
graduated from UCLA with a BS in Evolutionary Biology and Ecology with a minor in American Indian Studies. She then received her Medical Doctorate at the University at Buffalo, School of Medicine and Biological Sciences. She completed her residency in Family and Community Medicine at the University of California Davis Medical Center. She currently lives in Sacramento, California and works at Chapa-De Indian Health in Auburn, California. She practices full spectrum family medicine with a special interest and training in addiction medicine and prenatal care. She is a part of a Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) care team for Opiate Use Disorder.
Annie Mascorro received her B.A. in Latin American Studies with an emphasis on poetry from Pomona College, her M.F.A. in poetry from The University of Montana, and her B.S in nursing from Johns Hopkins University School of Nursing. She is currently pursuing her certification in poetry therapy through the National Federation for Biblio/Poetry Therapy. She is a Certified Addictions RN with experience in both inpatient detox and outpatient psychiatry and medical settings. She is the Nurse Case Manager for Substance Use Disorders at Chapa-De Indian Health where she manages the clinic’s Medication Assisted Treatment (MAT) program for patients with Opioid Use Disorder. She and the MAT team also provide outreach and presentations to local community partners including county public health services, the county jail system, the local Emergency Department, and non-profit community aid programs. She also offers community poetry workshops and classes with an emphasis on poetry for wellness and healing.

Executive Functioning Challenges in Individuals With ASD, Elizabeth Coan, PsyD 
This presentation will identify and describe the role of executive functioning in learning, social relationships and emotion regulation. It will highlight common executive functioning challenges and differences in individuals with Autism Spectrum Disorder and discuss how these may manifest behaviorally. Specifically, difficulties related to flexibility, perspective taking and Theory of Mind will be discussed in detail. The executive functioning challenges behind difficult behaviors will be explored and strategies for supporting these challenges will be discussed.
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 received her masters and doctorate degree from the University of Denver and completed her internship and postdoctoral fellowship at Children's Hospital Colorado. She 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 adapting behavioral and cognitive behavioral interventions for children with developmental differences, assessment of developmental disabilities and comorbid mental health concerns, program development, teaching and parent coaching. She has prior experience as an Applied Behavior Analysis (ABA) therapist and has worked with children with developmental differences for over ten years.

How Much Are You Worth? Kitty Stalsburg
This presentation is designed to encourage attendees to evaluate their current value proposition as a means to increasing earned revenue potential. Attendees will gain tools to help them calculate the actual cost of services vs the fee for service. Attendees will be encouraged to increase their awareness of the subsidy gap created and the hard questions that necessitates.
Kitty Stalsburg has been involved in therapeutic riding since 1986. A PATH Intl (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International) Master Instructor, she is the Executive Director of High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc. In her role as Executive Director, Kitty interacts daily with participants, parents, educators, health professionals, instructors and other staff. Kitty coordinates and lectures for the PATH Intl Approved Instructor Training Courses as well as other educational courses offered at High Hopes. Kitty has lectured on various topics relating to the field locally, nationally and internationally. A life long equestrian, Kitty holds a Bachelor of Science in Animal Science from Cornell University. Active in PATH Intl since 1987, Kitty is a PATH Evaluator, Visitor, past Chair of Accreditation and Standards Committees as a former PATH Intl Board member and Past President. Residing in Lyme, Connecticut with her husband Rob Hageman. Kitty enjoys riding, biking, kayaking and skiing. 

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

Tuesday April 24

9 - 9:15 a.m.
9:15 - 10 a.m.
10 - 10:15 a.m.
10:15 - 11 a.m.
11 - 11:15 a.m.
11:15 - 11:45 a.m.
11:45 a.m. - 12:30 p.m.
12:30 - 12:45 p.m.
12:45 - 1:30 p.m.
1:30 -1:45 p.m.
1:45 - 2:15 p.m.
2:15 - 2:50 p.m.
2:50 - 3 p.m.

Session 

Kathy Alm opens
Session 1 - Abby Simon
Q&A
Session 2 - Debi Buzanowski-Stowell
Q&A
BREAK/Breakout sessions
Session 3 - KC Henry
Q&A
Session 4 - Bunny Young
Q&A
BREAK/Breakout sessions
Session 5 - Kitty Stalsburg
Q&A 

Wednesday April 25

9 - 9:45 a.m.
9:45 - 10 a.m.
10 - 10:45 a.m.
10:45 - 11 a.m.
11 - 11:30 a.m.
11:30 a.m. - 12:15 p.m.
12:15 - 12:30 p.m.
12:30 - 1:15 p.m.
1:15 - 1:30 p.m.
1:30 - 2:00 p.m.
2 - 2:45 p.m.
2:45 - 3 p.m. 

Session

Session 1 - Julie Garchow and Annie Mascorro
Q&A
Session 2 - Elizabeth Coan 
Q&A
BREAK/Breakout sessions
Session 3 - Chris Cook
Q&A
Session 4 - Liz Gerdeman
Q&A
BREAK/Breakout sessions
Session 5 - Kathryn Guillot-Blankenship
Q&A

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..

 

 

2018 virtual conference signature es4h

 

What attendees of the 2017 Virtual Conference 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."

One event, many topics. When we say "Viritual Conference," we don't mean just webinars!

Do you have everything you need to support a Veterans EAAT program? Are you an instructor looking to increase your knowledge and elevate your program's veteran services? Don't miss this opportunity to expand your knowledge, contribute to the growth of EAAT and chat with like-minded EAAT professionals! And remember, if you are a PATH Intl. Certified Instructor, conference attendance can contribute to your continuing education requirements. 

The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) hosts the virtual onference, which attracts attendees in the field of EAAT from all over the world. This exciting and engaging conference is one of PATH Intl.'s premier education events, where PATH Intl. members and other EAAT professionals gather to attend lectures by leading industry and medical professionals. Learn about new developments in the field and network with colleagues and peers.

The PATH International Equine Services for Heroes® Virtual Conference is paid in part by a grant from the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Adaptive Sports Grant.

Worried you can’t make a session? All attendees will receive video recordings of the conference sessions! Still have some lingering questions? Reach out to the staff with an email to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Conference Dates

11 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. (EDT), August 28 and 29, 2018

Registration

Registration is now closed.

Cost

If you are looking to sign up as a center, you will need a discount code. Please call the office at (800) 369, 7433, ext. 125, and speak with Elias Holdman, PATH Intl. Education Representative, to receive a code.

Member Rate - $119
Non-member Rate - $169
Center Rate (good for three people) - $240
Veterans - $29

Technology Requirements

What you will need:
- Adobe Flash Plugin
- Broadband Internet
- Firefox, Internet Explorer, Safari or Google Chrome
- Compatible with IOS and Android based tablets and smartphones

For full specifications, click here.

CEUs

The full 2018 PATH International Equine Services for Heroes Virtual Conference is worth 12 CEUs.

Presenters & Sessions

Different Models of Engagement in Programs/Families
Julianne Mills, Julia Ray and Bre Podgorski
Julia Ray, Programs Director, Disabled Sports USA

A native of the United Kingdom, Julia has been working with Disabled Sports USA since 2003. During her tenure she has been instrumental in getting thousands of individuals with disabilities, including youth and wounded warriors involved in adaptive sports. It is her personal and professional mission to find ways in which people with disabilities can have an equal opportunity to participate in sports and recreation. Julia oversees all of Disabled Sports USA’s programs, including Warfighter Sports, Adapt2Achieve, Empower YOUth Sports and Ski Spectacular. She also serves as Disabled Sports USA’s representative for the U.S. Olympic Committee’s Multi-Sport Organization Council and Youth Sports Working Group. Prior to joining Disabled Sports USA, she worked in the U.K. in governmental inclusive sports programing and international sports doping control. She is a certified gymnastics coach, SCUBA diver and has many years’ experience in the development and expansion of sports programs for people with disabilities. Julia received a B.S. (HONS) degree in sports administration and management from Nottingham Trent University. She lives in Washington, D.C. with her husband and two daughters.

Julianne Mills, Program Manager, Disabled Sports USA
Julianne first discovered adaptive sport as a high school student volunteering at a therapeutic riding program. After completing a B.S. degree in psychology and a brief stint in healthcare, Julianne followed her heart back to the barn and pursued a career in equine-assisted activities, later earning a PATH Intl. Advanced Instructor certification. She also has extensive experience in volunteer management and piloted a mentor program to provide supported volunteer opportunities for adults with disabilities. Julianne joined DSUSA in late 2016 to serve as program manager for Adapt2Achieve, DSUSA’s training and education initiative. She is passionate about promoting professional development for adaptive sport providers to elevate the industry and help ensure athletes of all abilities can participate in activities safely and successfully. After her spouse served two tours in Iraq, they gained a newfound appreciation for the way sports, recreation and community involvement can improve quality of life, and they remain committed to sharing these experiences with other veterans.

Bre Podgorski, Program Coordinator, Disabled Sports USA
Bre Podgorski joined the DSUSA team in August of 2013 as an intern and never looked back. A 2013 graduate of the University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign with a degree in recreation, sport, and tourism, Bre found her love of providing opportunities for people with disabilities through working as a camp counselor and managing the wheelchair basketball team. Bre now coordinates all of the Warfighter Sports programing out of the DSUSA headquarters office and is a big believer in the power of sport and all of the positive effects it can have on a person.

About Disabled Sports USA
Since 1967, Disabled Sports USA has focused on one goal: To improve the lives of wounded warriors, youth and adults with disabilities by providing sports and recreation opportunities. Our unique structure as a community-based chapter network allows Disabled Sports USA to serve over 60,000 people across the country, through a grassroots approach that supports local chapters in identifying the needs of the communities they serve. Over 50 different sports are offered at 120+ chapters in more than 40 states. These opportunities transform the people we serve, highlighting the potential in each of us, embodied in our motto: “If I can do this, I can do anything!”

About Warfighter Sports  https://www.disabledsportsusa.org/sports/warfighter-sports/
Warfighter Sports, a program of Disabled Sports USA, offers sports rehabilitation for wounded warriors with permanent physical disabilities in military hospitals and communities across the U.S. in partnership with a nationwide network of community-based chapters. Since 1967, Disabled Sports USA has proudly served over 12,000 wounded warriors, including those injured in the Iraq and Afghanistan wars, offering over 50 winter and summer sports at more than 100 events each year. Warfighter Sports rebuilds lives through sports by improving self-confidence, promoting independence and uniting families through shared healthy activities. Contributions cover all expenses for participation of the warrior and a family member, including individualized adaptive instruction, adaptive sports equipment, transportation, lodging and meals.

About Adapt2Achieve https://www.disabledsportsusa.org/chapters/training/
Adapt2Achieve, a program of Disabled Sports USA, offers training in adaptive sports and nonprofit management to develop and strengthen community-based adaptive sports organizations. Last year, Disabled Sports USA committed $300,000 to training programs. Training is delivered through in-person conferences, webinars, adaptive sport-specific coach/instructor trainings, and manuals produced in partnership with National Governing Bodies. Since 2009, 75+ training events in a variety of adaptive sport and nonprofit management topics have been delivered to chapters of DSUSA and several hundred other community-based organizations and VA Medical Centers.

Equine Immersion Program Model
Tara Mahoney, LPC, and Gerry Duncan
Each of us has come to this special field through a unique personal path, and Tara Mahoney is no exception. She is a Licensed Professional Counselor with a Masters of Arts degree in counseling as well as certificates in forensic psychology and veterans behavioral health. Since 1996, she has counseled in diverse settings including a jail, a homeless shelter, an in-patient psychiatric hospital, a Vet Center, Family Drug Court, DBT Out-Patient Clinic, and private practice. Most recently, Ms. Mahoney has focused her education, experience and energy to equine-assisted activities and therapies for veterans and their families. As a PATH Intl. ESMHL and psychotherapist, she recognizes the tremendous impact of EAAT for trauma processing; thus, she developed Equine Immersion Programs™ for Touchstone Farm and for Home Base A Red Sox Foundation/Massachusetts General Hospital Intensive Clinical Program. Over the past few years, Ms. Mahoney has implemented Equine Immersion Programs ™for several hundred veterans and their support persons. She is thrilled to combine her professional vocation with her lifetime passion for horses to provide healing opportunities for our deserving service members. 

Operation Centaur
George Paffendorf
Major George W. Paffendorf, KCA, U.S. Army Retired has more than 23 years of military service. After the Army he worked with youth at risk 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.

Therapeutic Riding Activities and Traumatic Brain Injuries 
Anita Shkedi
Anita Shkedi introduced therapeutic riding in Israel in 1985. Since then she has continued to work in the field providing and facilitating equine-assisted activities and therapies to challenged and disabled children and adults. She has a doctorate and master's degree in education, a post graduate diploma in preventive medicine, and British State Registration Nursing diplomas as well as a therapeutic riding instructor’s certificate. Her doctoral thesis researched Equine Assisted Activities and Therapy: Towards a Future Curriculum. In 2015, she received the Award of Excellence from the International Jewish Sports Hall of Fame for her work in Israel. She is an author of the book Traumatic Brain Injury and Therapeutic Riding, which has been praised by many colleagues in the field of therapeutic riding.

Anita, along with her husband Giora, were founding directors of INTRA, the Israel National Therapeutic Riding Association, where she continues to work in a part-time capacity as a consultant. In 1988, Anita founded the Wingate Institute Diploma Course for Therapeutic Riding Instructors, and administered for 21 years. Currently, she examines and teaches in some of the 11 therapeutic riding instructor courses available in Israel. Anita and Giora took the first Israel Paralympic teams to World Championships and Paralympic competitions for riding for the disabled. She became a steward for FEI Para equestrian and served on the committee of the IPEC (International Paralympics Equestrian Committee) from 1996-2001. This committee became a new branch of the Federation Equestrian International, (FEI), in 2006.

In 2005, she developed a successful and on-going Equine Studies course for youth at risk that offers a five-point school matriculation for high school students in Israel. Anita continues to give clinics, lectures, write articles and train instructors in equine-assisted activities and therapy in more than 15 countries. She is also a leader in partnering with the horse to provide EAAT for veterans with PTSD and adults who have severe disabilities.

Anita continues to enjoy horseback riding, while spending more time with her children and four grandchildren.

When Horses Hear the Unspeakable and We Don't Know What to Say
Sarah Jenkins
Sarah Jenkins, MC, LPC, CPsychol, is an EMDRIA Approved EMDR Training Provider, EMDR consultant and therapist, equine-assisted therapist and lifelong horsewoman. Sarah created EquiLateral (TM) The Equine-Assisted EMDR Protocol and offers the first EMDR International Association approved training in Equine-Assisted EMDR for EMDR therapists and equine professionals. A trauma and dissociation specialist and highly sought after international speaker, Sarah provides consultation and trainings on EMDR therapy, structural dissociation theory, equine-assisted EMDR, as well as the ethics and best practices in providing trauma informed equine therapies for clients who present with complex trauma and dissociation. More information can be found by visiting www.DragonflyInternationalTherapy.Com and www.EAEMDR.com

Veterans as Volunteers
Michael (MJ) Higgins
MJ Higgins served in the United States Marine Corps as a cyber network systems chief with the infantry. He deployed with the 26th Marine Expeditionary Unit and completed two tours in Afghanistan with the 2nd Marine Division. After being honorably discharged as a Sergeant, he entered the private sector to pursue a career in information technology. A few years after being discharged, he admitted there were mental and physical ramifications from the war that needed tending to. 

In January 2017, he visited WarHorses for Heroes as a “trial” option while waiting for a spot in another program to open; however, he immediately bonded with the horses and staff. He requested to continue attending and learning. Throughout his time in the program, he wanted to learn more about equine-assisted therapy and the English riding discipline in general. He emailed Trey Lawson, the co-founder, after his second session and was able to start learning and volunteering after graduating the program. Since then, he has helped numerous other veterans continue their journey to recovery.

Now, MJ is a PATH Intl. Certified Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning and also serves on the PATH International Equine Services for Heroes Committee. With this, he is able to aid the continuing growth of the program. He also instructs the advanced rider course and is constantly working to improve his own skills in the English riding discipline. His next goal is to achieve certification as a PATH Intl. Therapeutic Riding Instructor. As an ESMHL, he has also been able to expand beyond veterans equine-assisted activities and therapies and works with the Memphis Jewish Community Center, and similar organizations, providing EAAT to disabled adults and children. His wife and young son have become an intricate part of these programs with him. MJ's passion for this work grows each day and the experiences gained throughout have been immensely rewarding.  

In summary, MJ states, "Helping other veterans work toward their recoveries is the ultimate experience. The people and horses are truly a family. It took me far too long to admit things weren’t alright and I needed a positive therapy program. WarHorses for Heroes accepted me and has allowed me to grow immensely. Now I look forward to helping others do the same."

The Bigger Picture: Explaining the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs Adaptive Sports Grant
Mike Welch
Michael F. Welch, Colonel, USAF (Ret) serves as the Department of Veterans Affairs’ Paralympic Program Specialist, overseeing the VA’s adaptive sport grants (ASG) with the National Governing Bodies in sports, hospitals, colleges and universities, and other adaptive sport entities and their partners nationwide; the Olympic and Paralympic assistance allowance; VA strategic partnerships with sport entities; and other adaptive sport programs. Since its initial proposal in July 2017, these duties include the stand up and implementation of the ASG for equine-assisted therapy for mental health issues. He has worked VA adaptive sport programs since his retirement from the U.S. Air Force in 2011. His VA awards include selection by the Secretary as 2015 VA Employee of the Year.

During a 30-year USAF career, Mike Welch served mainly as an officer in logistics and Foreign Area Operations. His early years were in aircraft maintenance, in which he served as commander at both squadron and group levels. He began foreign operations as the logistician overseeing airlift operations in U.S. Central Command, including set up of Operation SOUTHERN WATCH.  Later, he served as in-country Operations Officer overseeing DoD counter-drug and security assistance programs in Mexico; Deputy A-4 overseeing the Combined Logistics Center and USAF facilities in the Republic of Korea; logistics and force assessment officer at NATO Reaction Force Air Staff, Germany; advisor to the Afghan Minister of Defense and staff in Kabul; Chief of J7 and operational training for NATO Training Mission-Iraq working with senior military and civil security forces in Iraq, and military advisor to the Organization of American States. His degrees include a BA in economics and public management, Univ. of Maine; MS in systems management, Univ. of Southern California; and MA in history, Univ. of Alabama. 

Teaching Adult Veterans
Meggan Hill-McQueenyy
Meggan Hill-McQueeney is a lifelong equestrian. Nationally, she has competed in both English and western events since childhood and, later, she competed at the Mustang Million. Meggan spent much of her time in the cutting horse and thoroughbred performance horse worlds, learning the art of breeding, raising and competing at the highest levels. Meggan is self-taught, relying on her experiences and her natural understanding of both horses and humans. She developed her own therapeutic riding program in 1996 and began a second in 1999. Meggan is a PATH Intl. Certified Master Instructor, a Special Olympics coach, a trainer for Illinois SO coaches, and a PATH Intl. evaluator. In 2010 Meggan stepped into the role of BraveHearts Therapeutic Riding and Educational Center President/COO. She is the 2015 recipient of the PATH Intl. James Brady Professional Achievement Award, honoring her great dedication, proven leadership and high ethical standards as well as her ability to develop and implement innovative, creative and effective ideas for the industry. Meggan’s theories have resulted in the ability of BraveHearts to expand its veteran services nationally, helping BraveHearts PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center retain its status as the largest veteran program in the nation, using innovative equine-assisted services. Meggan’s desire to provide quality programing through higher-degree horsemanship with veterans is achieved through advanced concepts including gentling wild mustangs, mentoring veterans to become PATH Intl. Certified Instructors, and working cattle. Under her leadership, BraveHearts has developed a top-notch team of staff and extraordinary horses providing 13,107 sessions to 726 veterans in 2017 – all at no cost to any veteran. Meggan is a firm believer, as heard in her 2015 TED Talk, that all veterans deserve to be given limitless opportunities – and that belief is demonstrated daily through the veterans who organically begin to explore a world of possibilities because of the experiences with BraveHearts horses and staff. 

Therapy vs. Therapeutic
Leif Halberg
Leif Hallberg, MA, LPC, LCPC, is an internationally recognized author, consultant, licensed mental health professional, educator, horse professional, and avid lover of nature and animals. Her professional career and life’s work have centered around researching the human-equine bond, and studying the industry of equine-assisted activities and equine-assisted therapies (EAA/EAT). As a leading expert, innovator and pioneer, she has developed a reputation over the past 20+ years for her broad-reaching and objective study of the industry and dissemination of information. Leif's books, The Clinical Practice of Equine-Assisted Therapy: Including Horses in Human Healthcare, The Equine-Assisted Therapy Workbook: A Resource Guide for Professionals and Students, and Walking the Way of the Horse: Exploring the Power of the Horse-Human Relationship are considered essential resources for research and clinical practice and are used by colleges and universities around the world as teaching texts. Leif provides workshops and trainings, business consultation, professional supervision, and private intensives both nationally and internationally. She is an animated and skilled presenter whose passion and dedication to professionalism is clear in all that she does. Learn more at www.leifhallberg.com.

15 Things Veterans Want You to Know
Heidi Squier Kraft, PhD
Heidi Squier Kraft received her Ph.D. degree in clinical psychology from the UC San Diego/SDSU Joint Doctoral Program in Clinical Psychology in 1996. She joined the Navy during her internship at Duke University Medical Center and went on to serve as both a flight and clinical psychologist. Her active duty assignments included the Naval Safety Center, the Naval Health Research Center and Naval Hospital Jacksonville, FL. While on flight status, she flew in nearly every aircraft in the Navy and Marine Corps inventory, including more than 100 hours in the F/A-18 Hornet, primarily with Marine Corps squadrons. In February 2004, she deployed to western Iraq for seven months with a Marine Corps surgical company, when her boy and girl twins were 15-months-old. Rule Number Two is a memoir of that experience. Dr. Kraft left active duty in 2005, after nine years in the Navy. She currently serves as clinical director at PsychArmor Institute, a national nonprofit that provides free online education for those who live with, care for, and work with military Veterans. She is frequently invited to speak at conferences and panels on combat stress, stigma and caring for the caregiver. She is also an adjunct professor at San Diego State University, where she teaches stress, trauma and the psychological experience of combat, as well as abnormal psychology. Dr. Kraft lives in San Diego with her husband Mike, a former Marine Harrier pilot,, and her twins Brian and Meg, who are now 15 and have no memory of their mother’s time in Iraq.

Breakout 1: Para-Dressage with Sarah Armentrout and Michel Assouline

Breakout 2: PATH Intl. Equine Welfare Committee with Jessica Normand, "Top Feeding Tips for Metabolic Conditions"

Breakout 3: PATH International Equine Services for Heroes® Committee

Breakout 4: Michelle Weed and Michele Kane

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

 August 28

 11 - 11:15 a.m.

Keynote Kathy Alm
 11:15 a.m. - 12:15 p.m. Session 1 Tara Mahoney and Gerry Duncan 
 12:20 - 1:20 p.m. Session 2 Julianne Mills, Julia Ray and Bre Podgorski                                                                                     
 1:20 - 1:50 p.m. Breakout 1 Sarah Armentrout 
 1:50 - 2:50 p.m. Session 3  Sarah Jenkins 
 2:55 - 3:55 p.m. Session 4  George Paffendorf 
 3:55 - 4:25 p.m. Breakout 2                 Jessica Normand, PATH Intl. Equine Welfare Committee, "Top Feeding Tips for Metabolic Conditions"              
 4:25 - 5:25 p.m. Session 5  Anita Shkedi 

August 29 

 11 a.m. - 12 p.m.          Session 6 Michael Higgins
 12:05 - 1:05 p.m. Session 7 Mike Welch 
 1:05 - 1:35 p.m. Breakout 3             PATH International Equine Services for Heroes® Committee                                                                              
 1:35 - 2:35 p.m. Session 8  Meggan Hill-McQueeney                                          
 2:40 - 3:40 p.m. Session 9  Heidi Kraft 
 3:40 - 4:10 p.m. Breakout 4 Michelle Weed/ Michele Kane 
 4:10 - 5:10 p.m. Session 10  Leif Halberg 

click here to register, white on blueClick here for schedule
Click here for presenters

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.

CEUs:

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

Cost:

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.

Session 

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."

 

 

James Brady Professional Achievement Award

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.

The deadline to submit nominations is May 31, 2019.

Nominee Requirements

  • The nominee is a current or past member of PATH Intl.
  • The nominee has been involved in the EAAT industry for at least 10 years.
  • The nominee has not previously won the James Brady Professional Achievement Award.
  • The nominee cannot self-nominate.
  • The nominee cannot currently sit on the PATH Intl. Board of Trustees.

Award Criteria

  • The nominee is regarded as demonstrating the highest integrity and ethical behavior.
  • The nominee has proven leadership and dedication within the EAAT industry through delivery of service, educational contribution and promotion of the industry at all levels.
  • The nominee has demonstrated ability to bring innovative ideas to fruition.
  • The nominee demonstrates the ability to develop and implement innovative, creative and effective organizational leadership strategies.
  • The nominee is able to create and nurture valuable collaborations and partnerships both within and outside of PATH Intl. to advance the work of EAAT, which result in tangible benefits to the community.
  • The nominee enhances the success and knowledge of other members of the association and its leaders.
  • The nominee works across disciplines and organizational structure to develop transformational solutions.

Award Judging

The James Brady Professional Achievement Award will be selected by a judging panel of five members representing a variety of PATH Intl. members such as life members, past award winners, individual members, and board members. The chair of the committee will be approved by the PATH Intl. CEO.

At the discretion of the judges, the James Brady Professional Achievement Award will not necessarily be awarded each year. The nomination must meet all of the criteria to be considered.

Submitting a Nomination

Please submit:

1. The James Brady Professional Achievement Award Nomination Form
2. Four individual reference forms that include a 500 word narrative

a.    At least one reference needs to come from a person outside of the center or organization that the nominee works for. It is recommended that this person is an industry professional outside of PATH Intl.
b.    It is recommended that one reference is from a leader within PATH Intl.
c.    Each reference must include specific examples of the criteria requested.
d.    It is recommended that the references’ narratives include diverse viewpoints of the nominee.

3.    The nominee’s resume or curriculum vitae to include PATH Intl. activities and positions held

Complete packets should be emailed directly to This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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Therapeutic RidingTherapeutic DrivingInteractive VaultingEquine Services for HeroesEFP-EFL

Additional Sponsors

AdequanEQUUS FoundationMarkel Insurance CompanyCavalloRIDE TV