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For more information, contact:
Cher Smith, Communications Coordinator
(800) 369-7433, ext. 123
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August 2016
And the Winner Is ... PATH Intl. Announces 2016 Award Winners

Denver – PATH Intl. takes great pride in the exceptional equines, certified professionals, volunteers and veterinarians who serve at PATH Intl. Member Centers and the quality of equestrians whose lives—and horsemanship—have been enriched through equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT). PATH Intl. is pleased to announce that the region award winners (equines, certified professionals, volunteers and veterinarians) have been posted on the PATH Intl. Conference website along with the 2016 PATH Intl. Paul Spiers Independent Adult, Youth and PATH International Equine Services for Heroes® Equestrian Award winners.

All award winners will be recognized, and the 2016 PATH Intl. equine, certified professional, veterinarian and volunteer of the year and the James Brady Professional Achievement award recipient will be announced at the 2016 PATH Intl. Conference and Annual Meeting Awards Banquet in Williamsburg, VA, Friday, November 4.

Every year it becomes more difficult for industry judges to select the PATH Intl. award recipients because of the large number of outstanding nominees. PATH Intl. thanks the judges who selected our award winners and offers congratulations to everyone who was nominated.

(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Centers are shown in red.)

2016 PATH Intl. Winners

Paul Spiers Independent Adult Equestrian of the Year: Karissa Peterson, Hearts & Horses, Inc., Loveland, CO

Youth Equestrian of the Year: Matthew Scotella, High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc., Harvard, IL

PATH International Equine Services for Heroes® Equestrian Recognition Award: Paul Hoiland, Freedom Farm, Waverly, MN

2016 PATH Intl. Regional Winners

Equine, Certified Professional, Veterinarian and Volunteer of the Year

 

Region 1

Equine of the Year: Once in a Blue Moon, "Mr. Blue," Pegasus Therapeutic Riding, Inc., Greenwich, CT; Darien CT; and Brewster, NY

Certified Professional of the Year: Elizabeth Fortes, Pegasus Therapeutic Riding, Inc., Greenwich, CT; Darien CT; and Brewster, NY

Veterinarian of the Year: NA

Volunteer of the Year: Suzanne McGraw, Pegasus Therapeutic Riding, Inc., Greenwich, CT; Darien CT; and Brewster, NY

Region 1 includes the following states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont; and the Canadian provinces: New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Quebec

 

Region 2

Equine of the Year: Hobbit, Greystone Manor Therapeutic Riding Center, Lancaster, PA

Certified Professional of the Year: Laura Stringer, Endeavor Therapeutic Horsemanship, Inc., Bedford, NY

Veterinarian of the Year: Dr. Jennifer Buchholz, Pegasus Therapeutic Riding Academy, Inc., Philadelphia, PA

Volunteer of the Year: Joan Harrington, Heritage Christian Stables, Bedford, NY Region 2 includes the following states: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York Pennsylvania and Washington, DC; and Scandinavia, Europe, Middle East

 

Region 3

Equine of the Year: Chance, Rocking Horse Ranch Therapeutic Riding Program, Greenville, NC

Certified Professional of the Year: Sherri Moore, Rocking Horse Ranch Therapeutic Riding Program, Greenville, NC

Veterinarian of the Year: NA

Volunteer of the Year: Richard Goldston, Rocking Horse Ranch Therapeutic Riding Program, Greenville, NC

Region 3 includes North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia

 

Region 4

Equine of the Year: Masterpiece "Bear," Cheff Therapeutic Riding Center, Augusta, MI

Certified Professional of the Year: NA

Veterinarian of the Year: NA

Volunteer of the Year: Sarah Welday, Dreams on Horseback, New Albany, OH Region 4 includes the following states: Indiana, Kentucky Michigan, Ohio; and the Canadian Province of Ontario

 

Region 5

Equine of the Year: Indian Creed "Indian," Healing Touch Therapeutic Riding Center, St. Cloud, FL

Certified Professional of the Year: Robin Bowen, Shangri-La Therapeutic Academy of Riding, Knoxville, TN

Veterinarian of the Year: Dr. Jerry H. Rudnick, Equine-Assisted Therapies of South Florida, Boca Raton, FL

Volunteer of the Year: Ken Furman, Montgomery Area Nontraditional Equestrians, Pike Road, AL

Region 5 includes the states of Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Tennessee; Puerto Rico and Africa

 

Region 6

Equine of the Year: Buddy, We Can Ride, Inc., Minnetonka, MN

Certified Professional of the Year: NA

Veterinarian of the Year: NA

Volunteer of the Year: Katie Livingood, RideAbility, Pine Island, MN

Region 6 includes the following states: Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin; and the Canadian Provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan

 

Region 7

Equine of the Year: Beau, Main Stay Therapeutic Farm, Richmond, IL

Certified Professional of the Year: Jamie Stevener, Exceptional Equestrians of the Missouri Valley, Inc., Washington, MO

Veterinarian of the Year: Dr. Patricia Homeyer, Exceptional Equestrians of the Missouri Valley, Inc., Washington, MO

Volunteer of the Year: Sara Foszcz, Main Stay Therapeutic Farm, Richmond, IL

Region 7 includes Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska

 

Region 8

Equine of the Year: Dancer, JoyRide Center, Inc., Magnolia, TX

Certified Professional of the Year: Patty D'Andrea, Healing With Horses Ranch, Manor, TX

Veterinarian of the Year: Dr. Angel Jordan, Hearts & Hooves, Inc., Sherwood, AR

Volunteer of the Year: Linda Robinson, EQUEST, Wylie, TX

Region 8 includes the following states: Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas; and Mexico, Central America and South America

 

Region 9

Equine of the Year: Pippin, Forward Stride, Beaverton, OR

Certified Professional of the Year: NA

Veterinarian of the Year: NA

Volunteer of the Year: Kathy Rohe, Forward Stride, Beaverton, OR

Region 9 includes the following states: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington State; and the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia

 

Region 10

Equine of the Year: Sadie, Hearts & Horses, Inc., Loveland, CO

Certified Professional of the Year: Christina Pescatore, Children, Horses and Adults in PartnerShip, Sheridan, WY

Veterinarian of the Year: Dr. Michael Suit, Hearts & Horses, Inc., Loveland, CO Volunteer of the Year: Dave Culbertson, Hearts & Horses, Inc., Loveland, CO Region 10 includes Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming

 

Region 11

Equine of the Year: Excel, Giant Steps Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Petaluma, CA Certified Professional of the Year: Mari Parino, Xenophon Therapeutic Riding Center, Orinda, CA

Veterinarian of the Year: Dr. Neal Spiro, Happy Trails Riding Academy, Tulare, CA Volunteer of the Year: Lindsay Hendricks, Xenophon Therapeutic Riding Center, Orinda, CA

Region 11 includes the following states: California, Hawaii and Nevada; and Asia and Pacific

Early registration for the PATH Intl. Conference, presented by title sponsor Purina, is currently offered online at pathintl.org, as well as more information about conference sessions, the Williamsburg Lodge and fun things to do in Williamsburg.

About PATH Intl.:

The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International® (PATH Intl.®) was formed in 1969 to promote safety and optimal outcomes in equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) for individuals with special needs. At 881 member centers, more than 66,000 children and adults, including 6,200 veterans, may find improved health, wellness and a sense of pride, independence and fun through involvement with horses. Therapeutic horsemanship at member centers may include hippotherapy, equine-facilitated mental health, driving, interactive vaulting, trail riding, competition, groundwork and stable management. Through a wide variety of educational resources, the association helps individuals start and maintain successful EAAT programs. There are nearly 62,500 volunteers, 5,011 instructors, 7,800 equines and thousands of contributors from all over the world helping people at PATH Intl. Member Centers.

 

For more information, contact:

Cher Smith, Communications Coordinator
(800) 369-7433, ext. 123
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

September 2020 - Roll Out the Red Carpet for the 2020 PATH Intl. Award Winners

Denver – The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH Intl.) takes great pride in the exceptional equines, credentialed professionals, volunteers and veterinarians who serve at PATH Intl. Member Centers and the quality of equestrians whose lives—and horsemanship—have been enriched through equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT). PATH Intl. is pleased to announce the 2020 PATH Intl. Adult, Youth and PATH International Equine Services for Heroes® Equestrian Award winners and the region award winners (equines, credentialed professionals, volunteers and veterinarians).

Every year industry judges select the PATH Intl. award recipients from a large number of outstanding nominees. PATH Intl. thanks the judges who made the difficult decisions and selected the award winners. PATH Intl. also thanks the individuals and centers who nominated the humans and equines demonstrating excellence in their field, and we offer congratulations to everyone who was nominated.

In previous years, PATH Intl. has celebrated the region winners at regional conferences and the national winners at the PATH Intl. Conference awards luncheon. Although this year the national conference and most of the regional conferences were postponed, the winners of these awards deserve recognition of their achievements. PATH Intl. offers its congratulations and accolades to these winners.

2020 PATH Intl. Equestrian Winners
Adult Equestrian of the Year: Justin Groza, Region 9, Healing Reins Therapeutic Riding Center, Bend, OR

Youth Equestrian of the Year: Violeta Rolfe, Region 11, Xenophon Therapeutic Riding Center, Orinda, CA

PATH International Equine Services for Heroes® Equestrian Award: Jonathan Brown, Region 10, StableStrides, Elbert, CO

2020 PATH Intl. Regional Winners

Region 1
Equine of the Year: Dixie, High Horses Therapeutic Riding, Sharon, VT

Credentialed Professional of the Year: Lauren Fitzgerald, High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc., Old Lyme, CT

Veterinarian of the Year: Dr. Robert Baratt, High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc., Old Lyme, CT

Volunteer of the Year: Elizabeth "Liz" Lefrancois, Shepard Meadows Therapeutic Riding Center, Inc., Bristol, CT

Region 1 includes the following states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont; and the Canadian provinces: New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Quebec

Region 2
Equine of the Year, Belle, Therapeutic Riding at Centenary (TRAC), Hackettstown, NJ

Credentialed Professional of the Year, Marya Pecukonis, LeCheval Stable, Inc., Glenwood, MD

Veterinarian of the Year, Dr. Elden Klayman, Chariot Riders, Manchester, NJ

Volunteer of the Year, Rosemary Gatchell, Freedom Hills Therapeutic Riding Program, Port Deposit, MC

Region 2 includes the following states: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York Pennsylvania and Washington, DC; and Scandinavia, Europe, Middle East

Region 3
Equine of the Year, Gnomeo (Kiss Me Quick), Loudon Therapeutic Riding, Inc., Leesburg, VA

Credentialed Professional of the Year, Eva Finnan, Great Oak Aiken Therapeutic Riding Center, Aiken, SC

Veterinarian of the Year, Dr. John Sangenario, EQUI-KIDS, Virginia Beach, VA

Volunteer of the Year, Chuck Hill, Horsepower Therapeutic Learning Center, High Point, NC

Region 3 includes North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia

Region 4
Equine of the Year, Astrid (Mercedes), Central Kentucky Riding For Hope, Lexington, KY

Credentialed Professional of the Year, Jessica Moorhouse, Potter's Ranch, Union, KY

Veterinarian of the Year, Dr. Sasha Hill, Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center, Chagrin Falls, OH

Volunteer of the Year, Wendy Pearson, Potter's Ranch, Union, KY

Region 4 includes the following states: Indiana, Kentucky Michigan, Ohio; and the Canadian Province of Ontario

Region 5
Equine of the Year, Devon, Equine-Assisted Therapies of South Florida, Boca Raton, FL

Credentialed Professional of the Year, Jan McElroy, Shangri-La Therapeutic Academy of Riding (STAR), Lenoir City, TN

Veterinarian of the Year, Dr. Scott Swerdin, Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center, Loxahatchee, FL

Volunteer of the Year, Lee & Ginny Schroeder, Naples Therapeutic Riding Center, Naples, FL

Region 5 includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Puerto Rico, Tennessee, and Africa

Region 6
Equine of the Year, Here's My Mercedes (Mercedes), Three Gaits, Inc., Oregon, WI

Credentialed Professional of the Year, Sandra Faust, Three Gaits, Inc., Oregon, WI

Veterinarian of the Year, Dr. Margaret Fauver, HorseSense, La Crosse, WI

Volunteer of the Year, Linda Knutson, River Valley Riders, Woodbury, MN

Region 6 includes the following states: Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin; and the Canadian Provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan

Region 7
Equine of the Year, Get A Grip (Grip), Horses of Hope Riding Center, Inc., Baxter Springs, KS

Credentialed Professional of the Year, Terese Klinger, BraveHearts Therapeutic Riding and Educational Center, Harvard, IL

Veterinarian of the Year, Dr. Ashley Wegmann, New Kingdom Trailriders, Sherrard, IL

Volunteer of the Year, Pete Steiger, BraveHearts Therapeutic Riding and Educational Center, Harvard, IL

Region 7 includes Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska

Region 8
Equine of the Year, Jessie Enchanted Proof (Jessie), Compadres Therapy, Inc., El Paso, TX

Credentialed Professional of the Year, Shayna Bolton, SIRE, Inc., Houston, TX

Veterinarian of the Year, Dr. Kenton Arnold, Equest, Dallas, TX

Volunteer of the Year, Cathy Wirz, Born 2 Be Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Valley View, TX

Region 8 includes the following states: Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas; and Mexico, Central America and South America

Region 9
Equine of the Year, Henry T. Fjord (Henry), NorthWest Therapeutic Riding Center, Bellingham, WA

Credentialed Professional of the Year, Katie Rohwer, Animals as Natural Therapy, Bellingham, WA

Veterinarian of the Year, Dr. Cierra Dedeker, Ride for Joy Therapeutic Riding Program, Caldwell, ID

Volunteer of the Year, Donna Young, Healing Reins Therapeutic Riding Center, Bend, OR

Region 9 includes the following states: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington State; and the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia

Region 10
Equine of the Year, Varsity of Lexlin (Varsity), Hearts & Horses, Inc., Loveland, CO

Credentialed Professional of the Year, Liz de Kock, Hearts & Horses, Inc., Loveland, CO

Veterinarian of the Year, Dr. Jody Morris, StableStrides, Elbert, CO

Volunteer of the Year, Carol McKennan, Hearts & Horses, Inc., Loveland, CO

Region 10 includes Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming

Region 11
Equine of the Year, Rootin' Tootin' Ridge D'Lite (Ridge), Happy Trails Riding Academy, Visalia, CA

Credentialed Professional of the Year, Amanda Prestyly Belka, Renaissance Healing and Learning Center, Cotali, CA

Veterinarian of the Year, Dr. Kelly Zeytoonian, BOK Ranch, Woodside, CA

Volunteer of the Year, Jennifer Wineman, Xenophon Therapeutic Riding Center, Orinda, CA

Region 11 includes the following states: California, Hawaii and Nevada; and Asia and Pacific

2020 PATH Intl. National Winners

Credentialed Professional of the Year (sponsored by Markel Insurance): Marya Pecukonis, Region 2, Le Cheval Stable, Glenwood, MD

Equine of the Year (sponsored by Purina and EQUUS Foundation): Gnomeo (Kiss Me Quick), Region 3, Loudoun Therapeutic Riding, Inc., Leesburg, VA

Veterinarian of the Year (sponsored by American Regent Animal Health, maker of Adequan® i.m. (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan)): Ashley Wegmann, Region 7, New Kingdom Trailriders, Sherrard, IL

Volunteer of the Year: Carol McKennan, Region 10, Hearts & Horses, Inc., Loveland, CO

Congratulations to all the 2020 PATH Intl. Award Winners!

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About PATH Intl.:

The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International® (PATH Intl.®) was formed in 1969 to promote safety and optimal outcomes in equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) for individuals with special needs. At 881 member centers, more than 66,000 children and adults, including 6,200 veterans, may find improved health, wellness and a sense of pride, independence and fun through involvement with horses. Therapeutic horsemanship at member centers may include hippotherapy, equine-facilitated mental health, driving, interactive vaulting, trail riding, competition, groundwork and stable management. Through a wide variety of educational resources, the association helps individuals start and maintain successful EAAT programs. There are nearly 62,500 volunteers, 5,011 instructors, 7,800 equines and thousands of contributors from all over the world helping people at PATH Intl. Member Centers.

For more information, contact:

Cher Smith, Communications Coordinator
(800) 369-7433, ext. 123
This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

September 2020 - Roll Out the Red Carpet for the 2020 PATH Intl. Veterinarian Award Winners

Denver – The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH Intl.) takes great pride in the exceptional veterinarians who serve at PATH Intl. Member Centers and the quality of life for the equines that partner with humans in equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT). PATH Intl. is pleased to announce the 2020 PATH Intl. Veterinarian Award in its 11 regions and the national award winner, sponsored by American Regent Animal Health, maker of Adequan® i.m. (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan).

In previous years, PATH Intl. has celebrated the region winners at regional conferences and the national winners at the PATH Intl. Conference awards luncheon. Although this year the national conference and most of the regional conferences were postponed, the winners of these awards deserve recognition of their achievements. PATH Intl. and American Regent Animal Health offer their congratulations and accolades to these winners. In acknowledgement, American Regent Animal Health is providing five boxes of Adequan® i.m. to each regional recipient and 20 boxes of Adequan® i.m. to the national recipient.

(PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Centers are shown in italics.)

2020 PATH Intl. Regional Winners

Region 1 Veterinarian of the Year
Dr. Robert Baratt, High Hopes Therapeutic Riding, Inc., Old Lyme, CT

Region 1 includes the following states: Connecticut, Maine, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, Rhode Island, Vermont; and the Canadian provinces: New Brunswick, Newfoundland, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island and Quebec

Region 2 Veterinarian of the Year
Dr. Elden Klayman, Chariot Riders, Manchester, NJ

Region 2 includes the following states: Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, DC; and Scandinavia, Europe, Middle East

Region 3 Veterinarian of the Year
Dr. John Sangenario, EQUI-KIDS, Virginia Beach, VA

Region 3 includes North Carolina, South Carolina, Virginia and West Virginia

Region 4 Veterinarian of the Year
Dr. Sasha Hill, Fieldstone Farm Therapeutic Riding Center, Chagrin Falls, OH

Region 4 includes the following states: Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan, Ohio; and the Canadian Province of Ontario

Region 5 Veterinarian of the Year
Dr. Scott Swerdlin, Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center, Loxahatchee, FL

Region 5 includes Alabama, Florida, Georgia, Mississippi, Puerto Rico, Tennessee and Africa

Region 6 Veterinarian of the Year
Dr. Margaret Fauver, HorseSense, La Crosse, WI

Region 6 includes the following states: Minnesota, North Dakota, South Dakota and Wisconsin; and the Canadian Provinces of Manitoba and Saskatchewan 

Region 7 Veterinarian of the Year
Dr. Ashley Wegmann, New Kingdom Trailriders, Sherrard, IL

Region 7 includes Illinois, Iowa, Kansas, Missouri and Nebraska 

Region 8 Veterinarian of the Year
Dr. Kenton Arnold, Equest, Dallas, TX

Region 8 includes the following states: Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma and Texas; and Mexico, Central America and South America

Region 9 Veterinarian of the Year
Dr. Cierra Dedeker, Ride for Joy Therapeutic Riding Program, Caldwell, ID

Region 9 includes the following states: Alaska, Idaho, Montana, Oregon and Washington State; and the Canadian provinces of Alberta and British Columbia

Region 10 Veterinarian of the Year
Dr. Jody Morris, StableStrides, Elbert, CO

Region 10 includes Arizona, Colorado, New Mexico, Utah and Wyoming

Region 11 Veterinarian of the Year
Dr. Kelly Zeytoonian, BOK Ranch, Woodside, CA

Region 11 includes the following states: California, Hawaii and Nevada; and Asia and Pacific

And the National Winner of the 2020 PATH Intl. Veterinarian of the Year is Ashley Wegmann.

Ashley Wegmann, who is described as hard-working and compassionate in all she does, takes time out of her busy schedule to volunteer her time to care for the horses at New Kingdom Trailriders in Sherrard, IL. She is currently a veterinarian at DeWitt Veterinary Clinic where she cares for animals of all shapes and sizes.

Congratulations to the 2020 PATH Intl. Veterinarian of the Year Award Winners!

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About PATH Intl.:

The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International® (PATH Intl.®) was formed in 1969 to promote safety and optimal outcomes in equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) for individuals with special needs. At 881 member centers, more than 66,000 children and adults, including 6,200 veterans, may find improved health, wellness and a sense of pride, independence and fun through involvement with horses. Therapeutic horsemanship at member centers may include hippotherapy, equine-facilitated mental health, driving, interactive vaulting, trail riding, competition, groundwork and stable management. Through a wide variety of educational resources, the association helps individuals start and maintain successful EAAT programs. There are nearly 62,500 volunteers, 5,011 instructors, 7,800 equines and thousands of contributors from all over the world helping people at PATH Intl. Member Centers.

About American Regent Animal Health:

American Regent Animal Health, a division of American Regent, Inc., is committed to advancing animal health with proven FDA-approved products like Adequan® (polysulfated glycosaminoglycan). The company’s portfolio is anchored by the only FDA-approved polysulfated glycosaminoglycan products for horses and dogs, which have been relied on for nearly three decades by veterinarians. American Regent, Inc., a Daiichi Sankyo Group Company, manufactures and distributes human and veterinary pharmaceutical products and is committed to providing the ever-changing U.S. healthcare marketplace with a growing and diversified portfolio. For more information on American Regent Animal Health, visit ARAnimalHealth.com or call 800-458-0163.

 

For more information, contact: 

Cher Smith
Communications Specialist
(800) 369-7433, ext. 123 

July 2020 - PATH Intl. Education Recordings Now Available

Denver—With the continued effects of the pandemic and the necessary caution surrounding in-person classrooms, it is more important than ever to have access to online learning. PATH Intl. offers session recordings from its 2019 international conference and its 2019 virtual conference.

2019 International Conference Session Recordings
Session recordings from the 2019 PATH Intl. Conference are available from seven different tracks including administrative, equine, instructor, mental health, program, veterans and research. Benefit from the knowledge gleaned from sessions such as “Body, Mind, Spirit and Four Hooves: How to Build a Holistic Wellness Program to Support Our Horses”; “Creating an Equine Strategic Plan”; and “From the Saddle to the Ground: The Benefits of a Ground School Curriculum.” Click here and then choose PATH Intl. Online Education to browse and purchase session recordings.

2019 Virtual Conference Recordings
Virtual conferences have been a way to gain online education for a number of years. PATH Intl. offers one- and two-day bundles of its virtual conferences. The 2019 PATH Intl. Virtual Conference offers 10 sessions over two days, including sessions such as “8 Myths of Saddle Fit” with certified master saddler Jochen Schleese; “The Right Horse Initiative Adoptions and Pilot Programs” with Program Director Christie Kappert; and “Mini Horses Maximum Benefit” with Sherri Moore and Malaika Albrecht, PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructors. Click here and then choose PATH Intl. Virtual Conference Bundles to browse and purchase session recordings.

Questions about education offerings? Email ..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

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About PATH Intl.:

The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International(r) (PATH Intl(r).) was formed in 1969 to promote safety and optimal outcomes in equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) for individuals with special needs. At 873 member centers, nearly 69,000 children and adults, including more than 6,700 veterans, may find improved health, wellness, fun and a sense of pride and independence through involvement with horses. Therapeutic horsemanship at member centers may include hippotherapy, equine-facilitated mental health, driving, interactive vaulting, trail riding, competition, ground work and stable management. Through a wide variety of educational resources, the association helps individuals start and maintain successful EAAT programs. There are nearly 62,000 volunteers, 4,776 instructors, 7,943 equines and thousands of contributors from all over the world helping people at PATH Intl. Member Centers.

For more information, contact: 

Cher Smith
Communications Specialist
(800) 369-7433, ext. 123 

July 2020 - PATH Intl. Conference Re-imagined!

Denver— Prior to the pandemic and the subsequent canceling of the PATH Intl. Conference, the association had selected exceptional sessions from almost 100 abstracts submitted by international-quality experts. PATH Intl. never lost sight of the importance of making this valuable education available to members.

As a result, in lieu of the international conference, this year PATH Intl. will provide three different webinar series through fall 2020 and winter 2021. 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!

Enticing presentations from the September series include:

"Conditioning the Therapeutic Horse for Longevity and Success!" with Christine Skelly
In today’s situation with quarantines and stay-at-home orders, many therapeutic riding programs have horses on breaks. While downtime can be beneficial both mentally and physically, a horse begins losing cardio-conditioning in as little as two weeks; by 12 weeks of downtime, a horse has lost most of their fitness associated with exercise. Attendees will explore evaluating a horse's body condition score for health and performance and how to develop a sports-specific exercise conditioning program for a therapeutic horse.

"Exploring Sensory Processing" with Susan Rehr
Explore how sensory processing affects learning, attention, behavior and skill acquisition. Attendees will gain an understanding of the connection of sensory processing to lesson planning, rider behavior and the acquisition of horsemanship skills.

Registration will open in August. Click here for updated session offerings and registration details.

Questions? Email ..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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About PATH Intl.:

The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International(r) (PATH Intl(r).) was formed in 1969 to promote safety and optimal outcomes in equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) for individuals with special needs. At 873 member centers, nearly 69,000 children and adults, including more than 6,700 veterans, may find improved health, wellness, fun and a sense of pride and independence through involvement with horses. Therapeutic horsemanship at member centers may include hippotherapy, equine-facilitated mental health, driving, interactive vaulting, trail riding, competition, ground work and stable management. Through a wide variety of educational resources, the association helps individuals start and maintain successful EAAT programs. There are nearly 62,000 volunteers, 4,776 instructors, 7,943 equines and thousands of contributors from all over the world helping people at PATH Intl. Member Centers.

For more information, contact:
Cher Smith
Communications Specialist
(800) 369-7433, ext. 123

August 2020

Superb Education at Your Fingertips with the PATH Intl. Webinar Series

Denver— In lieu of the in-person PATH Intl. Conference this year, the association is providing three different webinar series through fall 2020 and winter 2021. 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 three series are program (September), disability (October) and administrative (January). Each five-week series will include one webinar per week. Since travel has always been an extra--albeit worthwhile--expense, this year's conference series is even more attractive with no travel required!

The first series begins September 9th. Enticing presentations include: 

"Conditioning the Therapeutic Horse for Longevity and Success!" with Christine Skelly
In today’s situation with quarantines and stay-at-home orders, many therapeutic riding programs have horses on breaks. While downtime can be beneficial both mentally and physically, a horse begins losing cardio-conditioning in as little as two weeks; by 12 weeks of downtime, a horse has lost most of their fitness associated with exercise. Attendees will explore evaluating a horse's body condition score for health and performance and how to develop a sports-specific exercise conditioning program for a therapeutic horse.

"Turn That Frown Upside Down: A Rhythmic Approach to Calming the Body" with Robert Jeffers

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.

The first webinar is only a little over a week away. Reserve your spot now! Click here for more information and to register.

Questions? Email ..">This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it.

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 About PATH Intl.:

The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International(r) (PATH Intl(r).) was formed in 1969 to promote safety and optimal outcomes in equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) for individuals with special needs. At 873 member centers, nearly 69,000 children and adults, including more than 6,700 veterans, may find improved health, wellness, fun and a sense of pride and independence through involvement with horses. Therapeutic horsemanship at member centers may include hippotherapy, equine-facilitated mental health, driving, interactive vaulting, trail riding, competition, ground work and stable management. Through a wide variety of educational resources, the association helps individuals start and maintain successful EAAT programs. There are nearly 62,000 volunteers, 4,776 instructors, 7,943 equines and thousands of contributors from all over the world helping people at PATH Intl. Member Centers.

For more information, contact:
Cher Smith
Communications Specialist
(800) 369-7433, ext. 123

August 2020 - When Centers Are in Need, PATH Intl. Is There

Denver— As if COVID-19 weren't enough to deal with in 2020, PATH Intl. Centers are still having to contend with the threat of losing property through natural disasters. Wild fires have already destroyed nearly two million acres across the United States. Predictors are also seeing 2020 as a near record-breaking season, predicting a total of 24 named storms, 10 hurricanes and four major hurricanes on the Atlantic coast.

With the knowledge of these disasters comes the fear of losing property and, even worse, the possibility of losing lives. Evacuations of humans and horses are heartbreaking yet necessary. Many return to homes and barns destroyed, shells of the dreams and activities that took place there. How to rebuild and where to start can be enormous and almost unanswerable questions.

The PATH Intl. Disaster Relief Fund was created in 2005 to help centers affected by such disasters. The purpose of the fund is to assist PATH Intl. Member Centers with an immediate need in funding expenses not normally covered by operating insurance after natural or man-made catastrophic disasters. Since its inception, PATH Intl. has given thousands of dollars to help these centers with outstanding needs.

While it is still too early to tell how much damage may be done to PATH Intl. Member Centers, it is never too early to help. Your donations to the PATH Intl. Disaster Relief Fund will help centers rebuild. Visit www.pathintl.org and click Donate Now at the top.

If you are or know of a center in need, click here for information and the application form. 

Thank you for your generosity. With your help, we will all pull through this together.

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 About PATH Intl.:

The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International(r) (PATH Intl(r).) was formed in 1969 to promote safety and optimal outcomes in equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) for individuals with special needs. At 873 member centers, nearly 69,000 children and adults, including more than 6,700 veterans, may find improved health, wellness, fun and a sense of pride and independence through involvement with horses. Therapeutic horsemanship at member centers may include hippotherapy, equine-facilitated mental health, driving, interactive vaulting, trail riding, competition, ground work and stable management. Through a wide variety of educational resources, the association helps individuals start and maintain successful EAAT programs. There are nearly 62,000 volunteers, 4,776 instructors, 7,943 equines and thousands of contributors from all over the world helping people at PATH Intl. Member Centers.

Five Tips to Make The Most of Your Annual Planning Process (aka “The Budget”) 

I recently attended a PATH Intl. “Survive and Thrive” presentation. One of the interesting facts presented at the beginning of the workshop was that more than 50% of member centers have budgets less than $140,000 per year, and have been members, on average, for 15 years. At that level of funding, with many years of experience, it may seem like a formal budget process is an unnecessary waste of precious time. After all, you know what it costs to run your facility, and how many services you provide. Why is it necessary to spend the time and effort to write that down – you already know. 

As one who has managed budgets for more than 40 years, from as small as a few thousand dollars to as large as more than one hundred million, I am convinced the only way an organization can stay on track and meet their mission and goals is to stay focused. A good planning process (of which a budget is a big part) can be invaluable toward that end. Every organization experiences the occasional crisis, and when that happens having a written roadmap that identifies your priorities will give you the ability to make proactive decisions based on priorities rather than just a reactive response to the most current crisis. 

We all strive to make our dollars go as far as they possibly can. Here are a few more ideas that might help you get just a little more “bang for the buck” and make all that time you spend developing a formal plan and budget worth the effort. 

1. Identify priorities and set goals before you start your budget process 

It’s important to know exactly where you want to go before you start trying to identify the associated costs, or estimate potential revenues. If you don’t know where you’re going “any old road will get you there.” Ideally you’ll have a set of short term goals – things you want to accomplish over the next 12 to 18 months, and a set of long term goals – things to accomplish over the next three to five years. It really is important to write these down, and to update the list on a regular basis. More on that later……….. 

Most smaller organizations build a budget one year at a time. Once you’ve identified your short term goals, itemize the resources needed to accomplish each item in the time frame established. Associate an estimated cost with each resource, and group into the categories you’ll need to track for financial and legal reporting. Basically you’ve just built the expense side of a budget that’s needed to do everything you want to do in the coming year. Note that continuing operations needs to be included as a goal. Expanding operations should be considered as a separate goal, with separate identifiable costs. Set this part aside for now. 

Next objectively identify and reasonably estimate your various sources of revenue. Do not let the expenses drive your revenue estimates – be realistic. The reason to identify the goals and necessary expenses first is to avoid letting limited resources arbitrarily set your goals for you. Alternatively, you do not want to let the need for resources cause you to overestimate the revenue side of the budget. It is the nature of nonprofit organizations to rely heavily on donations for operational needs. Many things can impact the level of giving in any given period of time. Plan for what you can reasonably expect to happen, but know what you will do if it doesn’t. If you have established a clear set of operational priorities back at Step 1 – you’ll know exactly what your lowest priorities are if you have to adjust midyear. 

Now compare revenues to expenses. If the gap between the resources available and the resources needed happens to be positive that is an amazing opportunity for investment in your organization. Time to review that priority list for the next items to be accomplished. More often, though, the gap reveals that there will not likely be enough revenue to do everything we’d like to do. This is also time to review the priority list to decide what can be deferred, adjusting costs downward until you’ve balanced the bottom line. This is also a good time to mention that nonprofit does not mean “no profit”. Keeping expenses less than revenues is one way to generate funds needed for such things as capital improvements or emergency funds. 

2. Review your budget vs actual regularly – not obsessively 

Whether you contract your accounting activities to an outside entity or do it all yourself, it’s important to routinely review your budget versus actual statements. This is a lot like dieting advice, you shouldn’t step on the scale every day, but you’ve got to do it often enough to know that you’re still on track. Accurate, timely information allows you to make better decisions, whether that’s cutting back in some areas, or additional investment in others. Budget variances are normal, none of us can predict the coming year perfectly, so there will always be variances. Understanding those variances, and knowing when to make corrections to our behavior is the important part. 

3. Before you jump on that “amazing good deal”, review your priorities. 

Everybody loves a good deal, it’s super hard to pass up a real bargain. Especially if you’re on a tight budget and you’ve stumbled across something you normally could never afford. Don’t let your emotions overpower your planning senses. Is this amazing bargain part of your priority list? Does it contribute to the immediate goals you’ve set? If it’s a significant contributor to a longer term goal, what will you have to give up or defer in order to make this a priority now? It’s important to take a step back, and make your decision based on the goals you’ve already set. All that time and effort you’ve invested at Step 1 above will help to keep you on target now. If it’s just not the right time for you to invest in this particular bargain, do a friend a favor and let them know about it. 

4. Get a second opinion (or third, or fourth…………) 

This is where a diverse board, or even just a diverse group of friends and associates, can be an invaluable asset. If you are struggling to figure out what the next best step will be for your program, conflicted over whether to invest in more programming or simply expanding current services, or just uncomfortable whether your estimates are reasonable and goals are achievable – use your lifeline!! Call a friend! Getting more opinions can shed light in areas you haven’t thought of, and expand the creative thinking process. You may not be crazy about all the ideas that come rolling in, however it not only gives you new ideas it also creates opportunities for engagement and support. 

5. Don’t forget to celebrate success 

Last but not least, don’t forget to celebrate the goals you’ve accomplished. It’s easy for those in a leadership role to feel as if all the weight of the world is on their shoulders and theirs alone. There will always be another problem to solve, another goal to achieve. Remember that none of us do this by ourselves. Celebrate successes, even the small ones! We do this in our classes all the time – don’t neglect doing this for your staff and yourself.

 

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PATH Intl. Disaster Relief Fund Helps Centers Cool the Fires

Denver— According to the National Interagency Fire Center, 37 large fires have burned more than 292,000 acres in nine states. And this is only the beginning of wild fire season. Flooding threatens even more states from tropical storms and hurricanes.

With the knowledge of these disasters comes the fear of losing property and, even worse, the possibility of losing lives. Evacuations of humans and horses are heartbreaking yet necessary. Many return to homes and barns destroyed, shells of the dreams and activities that took place there. How to rebuild and where to start can be enormous and almost unanswerable questions.

The PATH Intl. Disaster Relief Fund was created in 2005 to help centers affected by such disasters. The purpose of the fund is to assist PATH Intl. Member Centers with an immediate need in funding expenses not normally covered by operating insurance after natural or man-made catastrophic disasters. Since its inception, PATH Intl. has given thousands of dollars to help these centers with outstanding needs.

While it is still too early to tell how much damage wild fires and floods have done to PATH Intl. Member Centers, it is never too early to help. Your donations to the PATH Intl. Disaster Relief Fund will help centers rebuild. Visit www.pathintl.org and click Donate Now at the top. 

Questions? Email This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it., and thank you for your generosity.

June 2020 PATH Intl. Grants $10,000 to Participants Through EAAT Participant Fund

Denver—PATH Intl. is pleased to announce that it funded 12 participants in June 2020 through the EAAT Participant Fund. The purpose of the PATH Intl. EAAT Participant Fund is to assist someone who would not otherwise be financially able to participate, or continue participating, in equine-assisted activities and therapies at a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center.

Congratulations to the following participants:

Karma Bollinger, Animals as Natural Therapy, Bellingham, WA

Zayla Griffin, The Therapeutic and Recreational Riding Center, Glenwood, MD

Benjamin Mengual, Manes & Motions Therapeutic Riding Center, Middletown, CT

Junior Reed, Charleston Area Therapeutic Riding, Johns Island, SC

Jen’nai Young, Exceptional Equestrians of the Missouri Valley, Inc., Washington, MO

Mason A. Tippett, The Shane Center for Therapeutic Horsemanship, Inc., Centerburg, OH

Crystal Wallace, Horses of Hope Riding Center, Inc., Baxter Springs, KS

Ariana Garde, Leg Up Farm, Mt. Wolf, PA

Demetri McDaniel, Hoofbeats Academy, Manor, TX

Jordan Edwards, Appalachian Therapeutic Riding Center, Burnsville, NC

Lauren Jakub, Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy (HETRA) Gretna, NE

Matthew Bearden, McKenna Farms Therapy Services, Dallas, GA

Zayla’s instructor, Lisa Sowers, said, “I would like to express my sincere appreciation for PATH's decision to award this scholarship to Zayla.  She has not been able to participate in therapeutic lessons or equine assisted therapy following her initial sponsorship. As one of my best young students, she was quickly able to execute foundational riding skills. Thank you for your support that will allow this young woman to continue to build upon her character, talent and resilience as an experienced equestrian.”

PATH Intl. is pleased to be part of helping these participants achieve their goals. We thank those who have donated to the EAAT Participant Fund for contributing to the success of these riders. If you would like to contribute to PATH Intl., visit www.pathintl.org and click Donate Now at the top.

PATH Intl. Postpones 2020 Conference

Denver – Everyone and everything has been impacted to some degree by the COVID-19 pandemic. The 2020 PATH Intl. Conference and Annual Meeting, originally scheduled for October 8-11, 2020, in St. Louis, MO, is no exception. With such uncertainty surrounding travel, social distancing and other factors yet to be seen for the quickly approaching fall, PATH Intl. has determined to postpone the conference. PATH Intl. has been working with the hotel and arena to enjoy all that St. Louis offers in 2022. 

We are disappointed in that we so look forward to being together each year and know how much work by presenters, volunteers and staff has already been invested. Yet, taking all the factors into consideration, we believe it is the right decision.

PATH Intl. will be exploring other options to offer education and networking. Please stay tuned for updates as details will follow for the newly reimagined opportunities we'll be presenting for this fall. 

And save the dates 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.

Questions? Contact Cher Smith at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..  Be safe and remain hopeful.

PATH Intl. Provides COVID-19 Information and Resources for EAAT Industry

Denver – In these confusing days with an abundance of information that everyone is receiving, the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) has created a web page to gather information specific to equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT). Here you will find COVID-19 resources, including sample documents for re-opening business, the PATH Intl.-generated COVID-19 bulletins to share information to care for not only our businesses but also our equine partners, and webinars that have been created by PATH Intl. professionals to help us all navigate the current situation. Information on new webinars are placed in the COVID-19 bulletins as well as PATH Intl. social media channels.

Visit this page https://pathintl.org/74-about-path-intl/1923-covid-19-bulletin for the compilation of the most up-to-date information on how our industry's professionals can get through this together. 

For more information, contact This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it...">. If you have not yet signed up to receive PATH Intl. news, including the bulletins, sign up here: https://pathintl.org/path-intl-membership/enews-archive.

Join Us at the PATH Intl. Virtual Conference:

Only a Few Days Left to Register

Denver – Staying inside? Social distancing? Now is the perfect time to sign up for the PATH Intl. Virtual Conference. Through 10 sessions, stay up to date on trends in the equine-assisted activities field while networking with other like-minded professionals and equine enthusiasts. There are only a few days left to register for the 2020 PATH Intl. Virtual Conference, May 7-8.

If you have not yet experienced the PATH Intl. Virtual Conference, it is the perfect opportunity to share, collaborate and gather with a global audience of equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) professionals from the comfort of your home, office or even barn. Are you new to PATH Intl. or to EAAT? This conference will enlighten you on who PATH Intl. is and the great work the association does to promote health, wellness and safety for individuals with special needs. Are you a long-time PATH Intl. credentialed professional or are looking for resources to become certified? The virtual conference will engage and energize you while offering practical skills and guidance (and 12 CEUs!) to support your learning.

To register for the 2020 PATH Intl. Virtual Conference and see all the sessions and presenters, visit https://pathinl.elevate.commpartners.com. Questions? Contact Amber Bratt at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

See you in a few days!


About PATH Intl.:

The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International(r) (PATH Intl(r).) was formed in 1969 to promote safety and optimal outcomes in equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) for individuals with special needs. At 873 member centers, nearly 69,000 children and adults, including more than 6,700 veterans, may find improved health, wellness, fun and a sense of pride and independence through involvement with horses. Therapeutic horsemanship at member centers may include hippotherapy, equine-facilitated mental health, driving, interactive vaulting, trail riding, competition, ground work and stable management. Through a wide variety of educational resources, the association helps individuals start and maintain successful EAAT programs. There are nearly 62,000 volunteers, 4,776 instructors, 7,943 equines and thousands of contributors from all over the world helping people at PATH Intl. Member Centers.

 

Download the 2018 Manual

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Complete 2018 PATH Intl. Stand-ards for Certification and Accreditation (4.5 MB)

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Managing Gastric Health in PATH Intl. Program Horses

By Jessica Normand, Member of the PATH Intl. Equine Welfare Committee

March 2019

Gastric ulcers are common in horses for a variety of reasons. According to the American Association of Equine Practitioners’ online summary, Equine Gastric Ulcer Syndrome by Frank M. Andrews, DVM, MS, DACVIM, “Prevalence estimates have been reported to range from 25 to 50 percent in foals and 60 to 90 percent in adult horses, depending on age, performance, and evaluated populations.”

The horses that are our partners in equine-assisted activities and therapies can easily experience the risk factors of equine gastric ulcer syndrome and may also have added mental and emotional stress.

Risk Factors for Equine Gastric Ulcers

  • Stress in all forms (e.g., training, competition, shipping, injury, etc.)
  • Infrequent feeding
  • Large grain meals (feeding more than 0.5% of horse’s body weight in grain in a single meal)
  • Limited access to hay/pasture
  • Intense exercise
  • Excessive use of non-steroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs)

Signs of Gastric Ulcers in Horses

  • Reduced appetite/changes in eating and drinking behavior
  • Weight loss/poor body condition
  • Poor attitude (girthiness, irritability, resistance, etc.)
  • Recurrent colic
  • Dull hair coat
  • Decreased performance

If you observe signs of gastric ulcers in the horses under your care, it is imperative that you involve your veterinarian for diagnosis and proper treatment. This may include the use of prescription medications such as GastroGard® (omeprazole), currently the only FDA-approved medication for the treatment of gastric ulcers in horses.

In addition to treatment, work with your veterinarian to adjust your horses’ management program in order to reduce the risk factors for gastric ulcers. Good practices include:

  • Feed forage frequently (consider “slow feed” style hay net or bag to make hay last longer and to mimic natural grazing behavior throughout the day)
  • Allow for pasture grazing, if available/appropriate (i.e., grass may not be ideal for overweight horses and those with metabolic conditions)
  • Consider adding some alfalfa to the horse’s forage, as it has been shown to benefit gastric health
  • Limit grain, and feed in multiple, small meals
  • Manage your horse’s stress, provide down time and provide as much turnout as possible
  • Consider a daily gastric supplement to proactively support and protect stomach tissues
  • If your horse needs NSAIDs for managing pain and inflammation, work with your veterinarian to determine appropriate dosing and administration
  • Ask your vet about the use of UlcerGard® (omeprazole), the only FDA-approved medication for prevention of gastric ulcers in horses, as needed during times of added stress, such as trailering, routine and herd changes, etc.

 

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Equine Tips: The Right Horse Initiative

By Christy Counts, PATH Intl. Equine Welfare Committee Member

In 2017, there were 873 certified PATH Intl. centers in the United States. On average, the centers utilize well over 8,000 horses in their programs. Although we do not yet know the exact average service time of horses in these centers, we believe it is approximately three to seven years. Thus, thousands of these horses are transitioned out of service annually. Each time a horse transitions out of service in a PATH Intl. center, the center is faced with two challenges. First, they have to find a new home for the horse and second, they have to find a new replacement horse. Where do all of these horses come from? What happens to them when they are finished providing service to the programs? These questions are particularly interesting to The Right Horse Initiative. 

The Right Horse Initiative (TRH) was launched 18 months ago by the The WaterShed Animal Fund. The Initiative was developed to massively increase the number of horses adopted each year in the United States while also creating more community resources to provide humane transitions for horses. Each year in the United States, 200,000 horses fall at-risk and a large majority of them have much left to give to this world. There are currently over 7 million horses in the United States, but sadly, in 2017 less than 10,000 horses were adopted from adoption facilities. The public is unaware of the vast supply of healthy, trained horses that are currently living in these adoption centers awaiting new homes and careers. An increase in market share of adoption horses will directly reduce the number of horses that fall at-risk in our country each year.
In 2018, PATH Intl joined as a partner of TRH. The partnership with PATH Intl. is a natural fit as the EAAT industry continues to grow so does its need for horses. In fact, thousands of horses are needed each year to replace horses transitioning out of service. In addition, EAAT centers all have different types of horses they are looking for with different levels of training and behavior characteristics. There is a huge opportunity to create programs with streamlined partnerships between PATH Intl. centers and TRH transition facility partners that are looking for jobs and homes for their horses. In these programs the horses are transitioned into a new EAAT career and the PATH Intl. center has a reliable, transparent source facility for their horses.

Another issue that is often reported by PATH Intl. centers is the struggle locating new homes for horses needing to transition out of a PATH Intl. center. TRH is working to create programs with transition centers that accept the return of the adopted or leased horse from the PATH Intl. center. This partnership can relieve the barn of the headache of constantly looking for placement for their retired horses. Creating this type of placement partnership can provide a win/win for both parties. The PATH Intl. centers are participating in safe and humane transitions for horses and also have a feel-good message for their supporters. Not only are they providing a valuable service to people but also to horses potentially expanding their donor base to a broader pool of funders.

When a PATH Intl. center is building out their development/fundraising plan they most often target their efforts on donors that have an affinity for humans with special needs. We all know that raising operating funds is one of the biggest challenges nonprofits face to sustain their programs. Utilizing transition horses from adoption facilities can be a fantastic way to target an entire new audience of potential donors. Suddenly, a center can attract animal welfare donors as well, if they can demonstrate the PATH Intl. program not only helps the humans but also provides homes and jobs for at-risk horses.

Surviving today in the world of nonprofits requires savvy fundraising skills. The organizations that can attract multiple bases of donors will be the winners in the end. In addition, they are directly participating in solving the horse welfare issue we are facing in this country. Programs like these could potentially provide jobs for thousands at-risk horses each year while also creating fundraising opportunities for the programs. What could be a more perfect partnership? TRH is currently working to build out the infrastructure to create efficient programs that alleviate the burden of randomly sourcing horses while also providing good, sound and trained horses in a transparent system.

The Right Horse is thrilled to welcome PATH Intl. as a partner to the Initiative and is eager to get to work building programs with PATH Intl. centers and PATH Intl. instructors. The first thing PATH Intl. members can do to get involved is spread the word about The Right Horse and its adoption partners. Sharing the adoption message and happy adoption stories goes a long way to opening horse owners mind to adoption. Furthermore, reach out to PATH Intl. if your center is interested in promoting adoption horses and wants to be partnered specifically with a Right Horse Source Shelter. The plan is to begin by piloting some regional placement programs while finetuning the system. After the regional pilot programs are completed, The Right Horse plans to expand the partnership with PATH Intl. to provide resources nationally to participating centers. For more information please contact The Right Horse at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

Equine Metabolic Syndrome

By Ashley Phelps, DVM

Dr. Ashley Phelps has over 10 years of field experience as an equine veterinarian. She holds her Doctorate of Veterinarian Medicine from Mississippi State University and in her spare time enjoys doting on her horse, Ava.

Equine Metabolic syndrome (EMS) is a clinical syndrome with increased adiposity, insulin resistance, and hyperinsulinemia, affecting horses, ponies and donkeys. The underlying cause of the syndrome is unknown. Typically, it first develops in horses between 5-16 years of age. Most common breeds affected include ponies, Saddlebred, Tennesse Walking horse, Paso Fino, Morgan, Quarter Horse, and Mustang.

The signs associated with EMS in horses include obesity, increase fat deposition in the neck and tail head regions, laminitis, hyperinsulinemia with normal blood sugar levels, infertility, increased appetite, and altered ovarian activity. For diagnosis, your veterinarian will most usually perform combined glucose‐insulin test (CGIT), which requires blood to be obtained before a dextrose IV solution and insulin are given. Then blood will be obtain at certain time intervals after the injections.
Therapy is lifelong to improve the quality of life of horses diagnosed with EMS. Currently, there are no medications approved for the treatment of EMS in horses. Therapy and other management recommendations by your veterinarian may include:

1. Dietary Management: Restriction of carbohydrates is essential. Often pasture access is eliminated or highly restricted.

2. Exercise: Increasing the amount of exercise, if possible, can help with weight loss. However, if laminitis has occurred, exercise may be limited.

3. Levothyroxine sodium: It is prescribed to increase weight loss and thereby improving insulin sensitivity. It is unlikely to resolve clinical signs alone and must be paired with dietary management and exercise.

4. Laminitis management: Many horses diagnosed with EMS will also have laminits. Your veterinarian may recommend corrective shoes and trimming, pain medication, or dietary changes if laminitis is present.

5. Other Therapies: Chromium, magnesium, cinnamon, and chasteberry (Vitex agnus‐castus) may be recommended for the management of EMS. However, there is limited scientific evidence to support the use of these supplements at this time.

Management of EMS is lifelong but can be rewarding. Working with your veterinarian and farrier can provide many wonderful years with your horse.

References:
Frank, N., Geor, R., Bailey, S., Durham, A., & Johnson, P. (2010). Equine Metabolic Syndrome. Journal of Veterinary Internal Medicine,24(3), 467-475. doi:10.1111/j.1939-1676.2010.0503.x

The PATH Intl. Equine Welfare Committee encourages positive and engaging educational exploration from our readers - we'd love to hear your feedback! Please let us know if you have any questions about our tip or have a suggestion about specific topics you would be interested in learning more about in the future. Email Dr. Ashley Phelps, PATH Intl. Equine Welfare Committee chair. Thank you!

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Feeding and Managing the Hard Keeper

By Jessica Normand, PATH Intl. Equine Welfare Committee Member

The term “hard keeper” is often used to describe those horses that have a hard time gaining or maintaining healthy weight. Your veterinarian is the best resource for evaluating the weight – more specifically, the fat and muscle cover – of the horses in your care. He/she will likely use framework such as the Henneke Body Condition Scoring System. Using this method, your veterinarian will do a visual and tactile evaluation of 6 areas of your horse’s body (neck, ribs, withers, loin, behind the shoulder, and tailhead), giving each a score from 1 to 9, then average the results to get your horse’s overall body condition score. Regarding the scores, 1 is emaciated, 9 is obese, and 5 is considered ideal for most horses. You can and should learn this method so that you can keep tabs on your horse’s body condition in between visits from the veterinarian. And of course, it goes without saying that any sudden, dramatic changes in weight warrant a call to the vet right away.

Before we talk about typical hard keepers, it is important to note that feeding the truly malnourished horse is a very different situation and absolutely requires a veterinarian’s guidance. Horses with a body condition score of 3.5 or lower – especially those with body condition scores or 2 or even 1 (severely emaciated) are at risk for Refeeding Syndrome,1 which can be deadly. These horses cannot be fed like a normal, healthy horse. If you care for rescue horses or any horse that is malnourished, please work closely with your veterinarian to design an appropriate feeding program for recovery.

If you have or care for a horse whose body condition score tends to stay around 3.5-4.5 and you struggle to put weight on the horse, there are some important things to evaluate. First, the horse should have a full physical exam by your veterinarian to determine if any health problems are contributing to the weight challenges. These could include dental issues, digestive problems, parasites, infection, pain, metabolic conditions, and more. Your vet will also factor in your horse’s age and what that means for his dental condition and digestive efficiency.

In terms of nutrition, it’s important to think about the horse’s diet as a whole. Forage should be the foundation, and underweight horses should generally get at least 2% of their body weight in forage per day when you’re goal is for them to gain weight (for a 1,000 lb horse this is at least 20 lbs of forage daily). This means it’s important to have an accurate assessment of your horse’s weight, and it’s also important to weigh your hay. The SmartPak website provides this handy Equine Weight Calculator, and it’s easy to find an inexpensive hay scale to hang in the feed room. When you get a new load of hay, weigh a few different flakes from a few different bales, and take the average. For our example horse needing about 20 lbs of hay per day, this means 10 flakes per day if each flake weighs 2 lbs, but only 4 flakes per day if each flake weighs 5 lbs. And keep in mind that the horse’s total roughage requirement can be met by a mix of hay, pasture, and other options such as alfalfa cubes, forage pellets, chopped forage, beet pulp, and more.

Hard keepers often need some sort of concentrate, in addition to the forage component of their diet, in order to get the calories they require for gaining or maintaining weight. This could be a whole, unfortified grain such as oats, or it could be a commercial fortified grain or complete feed. Look for commercial feeds that are 10% or higher in crude fat, instead of the more traditional 2-5% fat formulas. Luckily, feed manufacturers now offer a plethora of lower starch/higher fat formulas. The reason to look for a higher fat feed is that, pound for pound, fat is the densest source of calories. This means that a pound of fat provides more calories than a pound of carbohydrate, so a higher fat feed is a more efficient way to help the horse gain weight. Because sudden feed changes are a proven risk factor for colic, always change hay and grain slowly, over the course of 1-2 weeks. It’s also important to go slowly when increasing fat in the horse’s diet, as introducing fat too quickly can cause loose manure. Other tactics for adding fat to the diet include feeding some stabilized, fortified rice bran, flax seed, healthy oils, or powdered fat supplements.

Once you’ve addressed the total calorie needs of your hard keeper, which will primarily help with fat cover on the body, you should also evaluate whether the horse needs to gain muscle. The most common place for hard keepers to lose muscle is along the topline. This may be a sign that the horse needs more protein in the diet – not necessarily more total (crude) protein, but rather more quality protein, which means providing essential amino acids. Research has shown that amino acid supplementation improved muscle mass in both senior and young horses,2 and there are some inexpensive, quality amino acid supplements available. Look for products that provide lysine, methionine, and threonine, specifically.

This discussion of diet is just skimming the surface. For a more thorough evaluation of your horse’s whole feeding program, consider the excellent online software, FeedXL (www.FeedXL.com), which allows you to plug in all aspects of your horse’s current feeding program, creates a report to help you find the gaps, and shows you how making certain dietary adjustments will affect the results. In addition to evaluating vitamins, minerals, fats, and protein, this tool looks at total digestible energy, accounts for the horse’s workload, factors in his current body condition, and whether your goal is for him to maintain, gain, or lose weight.

Once your veterinarian has performed a physical exam and you’ve evaluated the horse’s diet relative to his workload, also think about his level of stress and overall living situation. Is the horse fed outside with a group of horses? If so, and he is low in the pecking order, he may not be able to consume adequate calories because other horses are moving him off of the hay or away from his feed dish. If this is the case, it may make more sense to separate him at feeding time, spread out hay across a larger area, or change up his turnout group. Also consider whether he’s stressed by other factors around mealtime, such as a noisy barn filled with students and parents, and consider if his feeding schedule can be adjusted.

Feeding and managing your hard keeper up to a healthy weight can be complex and a bit challenging, but you can do it! Work closely with your veterinarian, learn how to body condition score, evaluate the total diet (give FeedXL a try!) and reduce your horse’s stress around mealtime. Good luck!

1 Freeman, D.W., Gilliam, L. (ND) Refeeding the Poorly Conditioned Horse. Retrieved from http://pods.dasnr.okstate.edu/docushare/dsweb/Get/Document-3273/ANSI-3927web.pdf

2 Graham-Thiers, P.M., Kronfeld, D.S. Amino acid supplementation improves muscle mass in aged and young horses. J Anim Sci. 2005 Dec;83(12):2783-8.

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African Horse Sickness

Isabel Wolf-Gillespie

In Africa we have our very own endemic equine disease – African Horse Sickness (AHS). AHS is a seriously real concern for every horse owner in most of Southern Africa and the disease affects them everyone directly or indirectly, regardless of whether AHS occurs in their area or not. Most horse owners that can afford to vaccinate are vaccinating their horses, however, impoverished rural communities in Africa most often don’t have the means to vaccinate their horses, mules or donkeys. Even in the very dry desert-like conditions of Africa, AHS occurs infrequently after heavy rainfall. AHS was first recorded in the Yemen in 1327 but the disease almost certainly originated in Africa. It was described by Father Monclaro, a monk, in a 1569 account of journeys into central and east Africa using Indian horses. In South Africa, AHS first appeared in horses that were brought to the Cape of Good Hope in 1652 by the Dutch East India Company. Sixty years after that was the first official, recorded outbreak in the Cape in 1719, in which 1700 horses died. Forty percent of the horse population was reported to have died in the worst season ever in 1854/ 55. Hundreds of years later, we still feel the devastation of this disease. The question about whether governments are doing enough to protect the African equine industry and whether it understands the value of the equine and its associated industries including the rural communities remains unanswered. 

The AHS virus caused over 1000 equine deaths in 2010/2011 resulting in a two-year suspension of all direct equine exports to the EU, costing the local industry an estimated US$150 million. The hacking, companion, traction, draught and transport function of equidae in all sectors of the African community cannot be quantified in monetary terms. The impact of AHS on the industry is devastating, and emotionally the cost is borne in the loss of a friend.

What is African Horse Sickness? African Horse Sickness is a highly infectious non-contagious, vector born viral disease affecting all species of Equidae. It is classified as an Orbivirus of the Reoviridae family of which there are nine serotypes. All serotypes (one to nine) are distributed throughout, although there is a variation in their temporal distribution. It occurs naturally on the African continent, and is characterized by respiratory and circulatory damage, accompanied by fever and loss of appetite.

Host and Vector Animals affected are, all breeds of horses (mortality rate of 70-90%), mules and donkeys. Wild life Equine species (Zebras) are resistant to the disease. The vector host, Culicoides midge, spreads AHS virus.

How do horses contract the disease? AHS does not spread directly from one horse to another, but is transmitted by the Culicoides midge, which becomes infected when feeding on other infected equidae. It occurs mostly in the warm, rainy season when midges are plentiful, and disappears after frost, when the midges die. Most animals become infected in the period associated with sunset and sunrise, when the midges are most active.

Symptoms The disease manifests in three ways, namely the lung form, the heart form and the mixed form.

- The lung (dunkop) form is characterized in the following manner: very high fever (up to 41° C); difficulty in breathing, with mouth open and head hanging down; frothy discharge may pour from the nose; sudden onset of death; very high death rate (90%).
- The heart (dikkop) form is characterized in the following manner: fever, followed by swelling of the head and eyes; in severe cases, the entire head swells (“dikkop”); loss of ability to swallow and possible colic symptoms may occur; terminal signs include bleeding (of pinpoint size) in the membranes of the mouth and eyes; slower onset of death, occurring four to eight days after the fever has started; lower death rate (50%).
- The mixed form is characterized by symptoms of both the dunkop and dikkop forms of the disease.

(Information supplied by the University of KwaZulu Natal and the African Horse Sickness Trust)

In the former Transkei of South Africa for example, equids form an integral part of life for the AmaXhosa people. Their role is to fetch water and wood, be a mode of transport, plow land and herd livestock and give employment opportunities. Equids as a mode of transport, are an environmentally friendly way of travelling, a quality needed in today’s world that should be supported and encouraged. Together with my husband Lloyd, I have been running an outreach project focusing on the social and economic upliftment of the AmaXhosa people. The animal owners often lack the necessary skills and resources, which results in serious abuse and neglect of the animals.

A few years ago we had to move from the former Transkei and our project area has shifted since then to Botswana. It’s a challenge to maintain and grow the project which is funded by ourselves mostly and currently includes AHS vaccinations, internal and external parasite control, wound care, education, and youth and skills development.

If you are keen to get involved please get in touch This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it..

 

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The American Hippotherapy Association, Inc., defines hippotherapy as a physical, occupational or speech therapy treatment strategy that utilizes equine movement. The word hippotherapy derives from the Greek word hippos, meaning horse. The term hippotherapy refers to the use of the movement of the horse as a treatment strategy by physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech/language pathologists to address impairments, functional limitations and disabilities in patients with neuromotor and sensory dysfunction. This treatment strategy is used as part of an integrated treatment program to achieve functional goals.

In 2016, of the 767 PATH Intl. Centers reporting data, 216 centers offered hippotherapy at their centers.

Occasionally, those working at PATH Intl. and its member centers may be asked if we have "hippotherapists." While the term is often used, there is no such occupation as a hippotherapist. Those who conduct hippotherapy sessions are physical and occupational therapists and speech/language pathologists. Hippotherapy is the treatment strategy these skilled professionals use to achieve pre-set functional outcomes for their clients.

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The American Hippotherapy Association, Inc., defines hippotherapy as a physical, occupational or speech therapy treatment strategy that utilizes equine movement. The word hippotherapy derives from the Greek word hippos, meaning horse. The term hippotherapy refers to the use of the movement of the horse as a treatment strategy by physical therapists, occupational therapists and speech/language pathologists to address impairments, functional limitations and disabilities in patients with neuromotor and sensory dysfunction. This treatment strategy is used as part of an integrated treatment program to achieve functional goals.

In 2016, of the 767 PATH Intl. Centers reporting data, 216 centers offered hippotherapy at their centers.

Occasionally, those working at PATH Intl. and its member centers may be asked if we have "hippotherapists." While the term is often used, there is no such occupation as a hippotherapist. Those who conduct hippotherapy sessions are physical and occupational therapists and speech/language pathologists. Hippotherapy is the treatment strategy these skilled professionals use to achieve pre-set functional outcomes for their clients.

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Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (EPM): Resources for Information

By Ashley Phelps, DVM

Dr. Ashley Phelps has over 10 years of field experience as an equine veterinarian. She holds her Doctorate of Veterinarian Medicine from Mississippi State University and in her spare time enjoys doting on her horse, Ava.

Equine Protozoal Myeloencephalitis (EPM) is a challenging neurological disease caused by Sarcocystis neurona and Neospora hughesi, which can manifest in many ways. Most often clinical signs include:

Ataxia (incoordination), spasticity (stiff, stilted movements), abnormal gait or lameness
Incoordination and weakness that worsens when going up or down slopes or when head is elevated
Muscle atrophy, most noticeable along the top line or in the large muscles of the hindquarters, but can sometimes involve the muscles of the face or front limbs
Paralysis of muscles of the eyes, face or mouth, evidenced by drooping eyes, ears or lips
Difficulty swallowing
Seizures or collapse
Abnormal sweating
Loss of sensation along the face, neck or body
Head tilt with poor balance; horse may assume a splay-footed stance or lean against stall walls for support.

Research is still ongoing to understand this disease better and why some horses develop clinical signs and others do not, despite most horses in the United States being exposed. Diagnosis and treatment of EPM possesses many challenges as well. Below are resources on diagnosis, treatment and ongoing research regarding EPM.

https://thehorse.com/features/epm-in-horses/  
https://aaep.org/horsehealth/epm-understanding-debilitating-disease 
https://equusmagazine.com/diseases/the-continuing-threat-of-epm 

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Current Management Recommendations for Equine Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction (Formerly Equine Cushings)

By Ashley Phelps, DVM

Dr. Ashley Phelps has more than 10 years of field experience as an equine veterinarian. She holds her Doctorate of Veterinarian Medicine from Mississippi State University and in her spare time enjoys doting on her horse, Ava.

Equine Pituitary Pars Intermedia Dysfunction (PPID) is commonly diagnosed in horses older than 15 years of age, although it can be found in horses as young as 7 years of age. Clinical signs are due to an overproduction of hormones from the pituitary gland as it enlarges.

PPID equine tipClinical signs can vary due to the stage of the disease. The most commonly associated sign of PPID in horses is long, curly hair that does not shed properly (hirsuitism). Other signs include excessive drinking, excessive urination, laminitis, lethargy, repeat infections due to immune suppression, excessive sweating, ravenous appetite, loss of muscle mass, bulging eyes due to abnormal distribution to the fat behind the eye, and infertility. PPID horses may also be insulin resistant, which is the failure of tissues to respond to insulin. A blood test, before and after administration of Kayo Light Corn syrup, measuring insulin in the blood can determine if your horse is insulin resistant. Diagnosis of PPID is usually through various blood tests. The most commonly used test for diagnosis and monitoring include combined baseline test for endogenous ACTH and Insulin, the TRH-response test, and the Dexamethasone-suppression test measuring cortisol.

Therapy rarely results in resolution or remission of PPID and is typically lifelong to improve the quality of life of horses diagnosed with PPID. Therapy and other management recommendations include:

1. Pergolide: The FDA-approved Pergolide, Prascend, is the medication of choice in the management of PPID in horses. Often, owners will use other forms of pergolide other than the FDA-approved version. It is important to understand that the FDA-approved product is the product that has been tested for safety and effectiveness. Pergolide is usually recommend for the life of your horse once diagnosed. Your veterinarian will repeat blood work 1-2 months after initiating medication of pergolide to determine the proper dose for your horse. Repeat blood work will be necessary to ensure proper dosing. Typically, clinic signs improve after 2 months of treatment with pergolide.

2. Cyproheptadine: Some studies indicate that is marginally effective in controlling clinical signs, but results when using this drug are mixed.

3. Complete Wellness Plan: Maintaining a complete wellness plan is essential for horses diagnosed with PPID. It is important to have PPID horses on a strong preventive care plan due to due to the immune suppression of PPID. Vaccinations, deworming, routine dental care and routine farrier work are necessary to keeping PPID horses well. Clipping the long hair during summer months will also often be necessary as PPID horse often do not shed properly. In addition, blanketing during the winter may be necessary due to the decrease body condition.

4. Dietary Changes: Often your veterinarian will recommend a change in diet for your horse after diagnosis. The dietary recommendations will depend on numerous factors including body condition, presence of laminitis, and presence of insulin resistance.

5. Laminitis management: Many horses diagnosed with PPID will also have laminits. Your veterinarian may recommend corrective shoes and trimming, pain medication, or dietary changes if laminitis is present.

Management of PPID is lifelong but can be rewarding. Working with your veterinarian and farrier can provide many wonderful years with your horse.

References:
Frank N. Managing Equine Metabolic Syndrome. Compend Contin Educ Prac Vet 2007
Zinnel, Dana; Management of Equine Cushing's Disease and Equine Metabolic Syndrome. AAEP Website

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