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Equine Specialist in Mental Health & Learning Certification

Work alongside mental health and education professionals to ensure the equine’s safety.

A PATH Intl. Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning ensures the safety and well-being of the equine participating in mental health or equine-assisted learning sessions and serves as the equine expert during equine-human interactions. The ESMHL works alongside a mental health professional or educator in typically unmounted activities.

Steps to Certification

  • You must be 21 years of age or older
  • Create a portal and purchase a PATH Intl. Professional Level Membership
  • Purchase PATH Intl. ESMHL Application and Student Manual
  • Submit proof of current adult and child CPR and first aid certifications (100% online courses are acceptable)
  • Complete online PATH Intl. Standards Course and Exam (valid for 1 year)
  • Complete online EFMHA History Video
  • Attend a PATH Intl. on-site Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning workshop (valid for 2 years)
  • Complete horsemanship skills test (score valid 2 years)

Submit Portfolio with:

  • Proof of current PATH Intl. Membership
  • Proof of current adult & child CPR and first aid certifications
  • Copy of PATH Intl. on-site ESMHL workshop certificate of completion (max of 2 years old )
  • Copy of PATH Intl. Horsemanship Skills Test certificate (max of 2 years old )
  • Signed PATH Intl. Certified Professional Code of Ethics
  • References from a Mental Health or Learning Professional and an Equine Professional
  • Documentation of 20 hours of education in equine behavior and management
  • Documentation of 60 hours of experience in equine-facilitated mental health or learning (or both)2

Upon acceptance of portfolio: 

  • Complete the Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning exam

ESMHL Certification Program Handbook

ESMHL Criteria Booklet

PATH Intl. Professional Code of Ethics


We all know how horses can create spaces where participants can feel listened to, safe and calm. Seeing how transforming this can be for so many individuals who are hurting has propelled me even further in my own personal journey.

Barbara Ford
Licensed professional counselor and PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor

Contact us

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