Media Room

Participant Receives Scholarship Through the PATH Intl. Riders Assistance Fund

Denver—PATH Intl. is pleased to announce that the recipient of the 2017 Riders Assistance Fund Scholarship is Joseph Snell, a participant at Morning Dove Therapeutic Riding, Inc., a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center in Zionsville, IN. The purpose of the PATH Intl. Riders Assistance Fund is to assist a child 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. Thanks to the generosity of its donors, in 2017 PATH Intl. was able to fund one $300 needs-based scholarship.

Joseph, who is 6 1/2 years old, has been riding at Morning Dove for 2 1/2 years. On the autism spectrum, Joseph was nonverbal and unable to cope with new stimuli, including new smells, people, surfaces and sounds. Joseph's instructor, Elizabeth Coit, said, "We have used equine-assisted activities and therapies to help him learn to empathize with his horse and be aware of the people around him. He said his first words during his lesson two years ago. He has learned to verbalize his wishes, fears and likes during a lesson. He is beginning to tell others about his horse and lesson afterwards." 

In addition to developing language, self-control and improved focus, Joseph is learning to ride. At 6, he is now able to steer his horse, ask his sidewalker for help and participate in multi-student games. "We will continue to use his EAAT lessons to build on these skills and work with his school to transfer skills to the classroom," Coit said. 

"Out of everything we have been doing since Joseph was 18 months old, I believe Morning Dove has been the most instrumental in helping him," Joseph's mother, Amy, said. "It has been the very reason why Joseph found his voice after being totally nonverbal until he was almost 4 years old. When Joseph is at Morning Dove he is in competition with no one, and he knows Angel's love is unconditional. For that moment in time he knows it doesn't matter that he is different; he is just a little boy.”  

PATH Intl. is pleased to be part of helping Joseph achieve his goals. We thank those who have donated to the Riders Assistance Scholarship Fund for contributing to the success of this young rider. “Thank you so much for all you do,” Amy said. “Words can never express how grateful I am to all of you." 

If you would like to contribute to PATH Intl. and the Riders Assistance Scholarship Fund, visit www.pathintl.org and click Donate Now. 

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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 877 member centers, more than 62,400 children and adults, including 5,500 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, 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 55,000 volunteers, 4,846 instructors, 7,546 equines and thousands of contributors from all over the world helping people at PATH Intl. Member Centers.

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