NARHA News Masthead
In This Issue
Deadline Reminders
NARHA Driving Subcommittee
Donate Today
Special Offer on Conference Registration
EFP/L Updates
Call for Papers Deadline Extended
Get a Member Contest
Instructor Certification Option
Equine Welfare Tip
Purina Challenge
Workshops and Certifications
Quick Links


Official NARHA Events 

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Reminders About Deadlines
NARHA Subcommittee Seeks Additional Members  
The NARHA Driving Certification Subcommittee seeks enthusiastic new members to join the committee. Applicants should have a strong interest in therapeutic riding and driving and a desire to continue the development of and improve the NARHA Driving Instructor Certification Process. Click here to download information.

April 5, 2011

Do More Than You Think You Can

horse and boy"[Therapeutic riding] has helped me with stretching and flexibility in my hips. My core strength is better, I have improved my balance and stability and I have less pain. I have [also] found a new social group ...and have made friends with riders and volunteers."

-Rene Suarez, Navy veteran


"Everyone can do more than they think they can."

-Marj Kittredge, NARHA Founder


As I travel the country attending NARHA Regional Conferences, I hear dozens of stories like Rene's from our members and centers. When I read this or that story or hear about a life changed, I often find myself tearing up. And then I think about what an honor and a privilege it is to work in this field; being moved daily by the work each of you does to change and enrich the lives of individuals like Rene through the power of the horse.


Thank you for your commitment to excellence in equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) through your membership to NARHA. As spring blooms around us and you help those you serve to channel Marj and "do more than they think they can," will you join me as a donor to NARHA? Through our focus on inclusion, innovation, education and our other core values, NARHA is your global advocate for EAAT and the horses we work with every day. 


Please join me and donate to NARHA today.


Thank you,  

Kay Green signature





Kay Green


Limited-Time Special Offer for Conference Registration
2011 conference logoWe are very excited to be able to offer our members a limited-time special registration fee for the 2011 NARHA National Conference and Annual Meeting. The limited-time online registration fee is $475 for NARHA members.

You won't be able to pick sessions yet, but we know that this conference will be an extraordinary experience that will include enhanced educational content, the annual awards banquet and the horse expo, which will be held at the beautiful Kentucky Horse Park. You will have the opportunity to select specific sessions once they become available.


This offer is only available via online registration. No phone or fax orders will be accepted. Official online conference registration will begin in the summer of 2011. The 2011 summer issue of NARHA's Strides magazine will also include the hard-copy registration booklet for those preferring to register via fax or mail. 


This limited-time offer cannot be combined with any other discount offers (including the discount for Premier Accredited Centers). The offer expires July 5, 2011.


Click here to take advantage of the best savings for conference registration!


Book a room at the Hyatt Regency Lexington: (859) 253-1234 or click here register online. Use code g-NARH.  


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2011 NARHA National Conference EFP/L Updates
NARHA EFP/L Pre-Conference
The EFP/L Membership Task Force has taken on the responsibility for planning the 2011 NARHA National Conference and Annual Meeting Pre-Conference EFP/L event. You spoke, and we listened! Over and over we hear people asking for support and guidance in regards to either creating new EFP/L programs or making existing programs financially viable or sustainable. Our team is excited to inform the membership that this year's EFP/L Pre-Conference topic is "How to Build Sustainable and Successful EFP/L Practices."
We have gathered a team of experts to present important information and ideas, lead interactive dialog and engage the audience in community-building mentorship and support. We will be offering CEU's for this pre-conference (see below).

During National Conference this year, the EFP/L Membership Task Force will also be hosting a networking meeting for all those interested in EFP/L. We will keep you posted as to the details of this meeting.

Take advantage of NARHA's limited-time offer to get registered for the conference early and save money. This is an event NOT TO MISS!

NARHA EFP/L Professional of the Year Award
We recognize that the fields of Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy and Equine Facilitated Learning are expanding rapidly. Thousands of clients and students are served daily nation-wide. With the help of an EFP or EFL program, many lives are changed and many hearts are healed. It is the dedication, drive, and direction of EFP/L professionals who enable this field to excel. These professionals not only provide services to clients and students, they also establish best practices within the fields of EFP/L. We wish to acknowledge these individuals who dedicate their lives to the betterment of humanity, to the ethical care of their equine partners and to the advancement of EFP/L.

Please remember to consider nominating an exemplary EFP/L professional for the EFP/L Professional of the Year Award. This award will be given for the first time at the 2011 NARHA National Conference Awards Banquet.

Continuing Education
At this year's NARHA National Conference, mental health professionals will be excited to hear that in an effort to continue the professional nature of the National Conference, continuing education (CE) hours will be offered for regular session content in addition to the CEs that will be offered for the EFP/L Preconference. For the 2011 conference, CE's will be offered through the National Association of Social Workers (NASW), the National Board of Certified Counselors (NBCC), and the International Coach Federation (ICF). Be on the lookout in your conference booklets for sessions and workshops that have CE's attached!
DEADLINE EXTENDED: NARHA 2011 National Conference Call for Papers
The abstracts for NARHA's National Conference and Annual meeting to be held in Lexington, KY, November 9-12, are pouring in. Thanks to all the potential presenters willing to share their knowledge and expertise in the field of equine assisted activities and therapies. To help all of you who may be putting the final touches on your abstract, we're keeping the abstract submission link open through this Friday, April 8, 2011.

This year, abstract submission will be is being handled electronically only:

Abstracts must be submitted to NARHA by April 8, 2011. No submissions will be accepted after April 8.
Rein Them In and Win a Two Night Spa Package!
We at NARHA know our current members are the best possible source for new members who could benefit from all NARHA has to offer. 

With our special Member-Get-A-Member drive, we've made referring colleagues to NARHA easier than ever! Forward an application to them or direct them to Join Now to download an application. Or direct them to the NARHA store to join online. Ask your friend to enter your name in the "referred by" space. Then tell another friend... and another... and another to win prizes.

We'd like to thank you for your efforts with some nifty prizes for all members recruited by June 30, 2011. 
  • Grand prize for the person recruiting the most new members is a two night spa package to include airfare for two, two nights room stay and a hotel spa package
    • All travel arrangements to be made through NARHA
    • Airfare, hotel and spa booked with NARHA American Express points
    • Airfare not to exceed $500 per person
    • Room nights not to exceed $400 per night
  • Runner up will received a $100 gift card to a popular restaurant chain
  • All who bring in three or more new members receive a member t-shirt
  • All who bring in seven or more new members receive a member polo shirt
  • Everyone who recruits one or more new members is entered into a drawing for a free NARHA National Conference and Annual Meeting registration

Every time you recruit a new member, you strengthen NARHA. A vital and growing NARHA means greater recognition of safety and ethical practices in the equine-assisted activities and therapies industry, improved education resources and networking opportunities for all members, and the advancement of professional standards worldwide.

Click here to learn program details!

Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning Certification Update
The Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning certification is meant to certify an individual as the horse handler in any un-mounted mental health or learning session. There have been a number of updates to the certification booklet, so click here for a new copy of the certification booklet and complete details on the requirements of the certification.

If you are a current NARHA Certified Instructor and have been participating or plan to participate in an EFP or EFL program, review the NARHA Certified Instructor Option (previously called the Fast Track Option) on page 31 of the certification booklet. This option allows any current NARHA Certified Instructor to submit a portfolio to the NARHA office and begin taking the online exams for the Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning certification. The on-site three-day workshop and one-day practical skills test is highly recommended for everyone. While the workshop is very educational and informative especially for those who are not familiar with EFP and EFL sessions, the workshop and skills test is not required for those taking advantage of the NARHA Certified Instructor Option. 

The deadline to apply for this option has been extended to December 31st, 2011. Do not delay if you wish to take advantage of this option! This option is only available for current NARHA Certified Instructors, other qualifications do not apply and all other certification candidates must attend the onsite workshop and skills test.

Call the NARHA office at (800) 369-7433 with questions.
Equine Welfare Tip From the Equine Welfare Committee

The "Girthy" or "Cinchy" Horse and How Not to Create One

By Heidi J. Potter, Equine Welfare Committee Member


As we all know, horses are incredibly sensitive creatures. Here a few ways to help keep them happy while being groomed, tacked up and ridden. 

  • Clean the girth/cinch area thoroughly during grooming and check for any "hot" spots that may cause irritation.
  • Check the saddle fit. Be sure it isn't pinching or causing discomfort.
  • Check the cleanliness and comfort of the girth/cinch.
  • Tighten the girth/cinch in at least 3 stages. The first being just tight enough to hold the saddle on if the horse shakes his body. Tighten a second time after leading the horse to the riding area. Check and tighten if necessary before mounting.
  • Remember to check a few minutes into the ride, before the first canter and before the first jump.

How to properly check tightness:

Many people will tighten the girth/cinch to the point where they can't tighten it any further. That way they are certain that it is tight. However, it may be too tight, which can ultimately lead to a behavior issue.


The proper place to check tightness is at the deepest part of the horse's heart girth, not directly below the side of the saddle. Insert your fingers just below the rigging or billets and slowly slide them down to the centerline of the horse's barrel. This is the deepest part of the horse and where the most pressure is received. Remember the shape of the horse's barrel is more oval than round. It should gradually get tight enough so that your fingers cannot slide all the way down. If you can't insert your fingers easily or there is extreme pressure all the way down, the girth/cinch may be too tight.


Remember to train all staff and students how to properly prepare the horse for riding. This will help keep him a happy, willing partner.


Coming up in the next NARHA News: Is There Help for Retraining the Girthy/Cinchy Horse?


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"Purina prides itself in providing nutritional feed options to support the needs of many animals, and we guarantee that animal owners will see a difference with our feeds or their money back," said Chris Goodwin, marketing manager, Land O'Lakes Purina Feed. "It's a challenge you can't lose. We're so confident you will be happy we're guaranteeing it or we'll buy your feed back."

As an added bonus, Challenge participants also will be enrolled in the Purina Difference™ Rewards Program and will receive future offers and feed savings of $15 to $50 off depending on the specie and product trialed. As part of the Rewards Program, customers can participate in the Purina Refer-A-Friend Program and can earn up to $25 in Purina® feed coupons.

Register and learn more about the feeding challenge at


Workshops and Certifications  
Unless otherwise noted, contact Tara McChesney at (800) 369-7433, ext. 114 for further information. All dates are subject to change. To register for an event, please contact the host site directly.

NARHA Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning Workshop and Practical Skills Testing
April 29-May 2
Marion Therapeutic Riding Association in Ocala, FL

May 12-15
North Carolina Therapeutic Riding Center in Mebane, NC

May 26-29
Ride On Center for Kids in Georgetown, TX

June 18-21
Windrush Farm Therapeutic Equitation, Inc., in Boxford, MA

October 19-22
Hearts and Horses in Loveland, CO

NARHA Advanced Level Certifications
April 29-May 1
Brave Hearts Therapeutic Riding and Educational Center in Harvard, IL

May 20-22
Three Gaits, INC in Oregon, WI 
June 1-3
High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Center Inc in Old Lyme, CT

July 15-16
Ride On Center for Kids in Georgetown, Texas
NARHA Driving Workshops and Certifications
Workshop is held the first 3 days, certification is held the last 2 days
June 2-4      
Horse Power in Temple, NH

June 20-22
Brave Hearts Therapeutic Riding and Educational Center in Harvard, IL

November 5-9
Gayla Driving Center/U.S. Driving for the Disabled, Inc., in Lexington, KY 

NARHA Vaulting Workshop and Certification
Workshop is held first 3 days and certification is held on the last day
August 25-28
Riding to the Top in Windham, ME

Mentor Training Workshop
May 19-20
Sagebrush Equine Training Center for the Handicapped in Hailey, ID

Please visit the NARHA calendar for a list of 2011 Registered On-Site Workshops and Certifications.
Please direct correspondence about this newsletter to NARHA News coordinator. NARHA News is a benefit of NARHA membership. No portion of this publication may be reproduced by any mechanical, photographic, scanned or electronic process without written permission from NARHA. NARHA reserves the right to reject, accept and edit submitted material. NARHA News is intended as an information exchange and an opportunity for communication for members in the field of equine assisted activities. The opinions, practices or products presented in NARHA News do not necessarily reflect NARHA policy, imply NARHA endorsementor comply with NARHA standards.