In This Issue
Bylaws Task Force
CHA Speaker Application
In Memory Page
Purina Contest
Equine Tips
Region Conferences
Region 5 Workshop
Workshops and Certifications
Quick Links


Official PATH Intl. Events 

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PATH Intl. Sponsors
If you have any questions about sponsoring PATH Intl. or exhibiting at the 2012 PATH International Conference & Annual Meeting, please contact

Megan Ream. 


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Platinum Sponsor
Tekna Saddles 


Gold Sponsors


Equine Network/AIM



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American Association of Equine Practitioners (AAEP) 


Equus Foundation 


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AQHA Foundation

Racing Unified Network


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Triple Crown Nutrition


Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International  

January 3, 2012   

Announcing PATH Intl. Webinars
woman at computerHave you ever wished you could get more personalized instruction from a presenter or a workshop? Webinars can give you the personal attention you want in an easy-to-follow format, all from the comfort of your own computer. In our continuing efforts to increase communication and educational opportunities for PATH Intl. members, PATH Intl. is launching a new webinar system beginning in January 2012. Offerings in January will include a guide through the PATH Intl. center accreditation process as well as HIPAA training and awareness. Dates and registration details will follow.
The Governance Committee Forms Bylaws Task Force
The Governance Committee of the PATH Intl. Board of Trustees is forming a task force to review Article VI, Section 2 of the PATH Intl. By-laws.  At the annual meeting in November in Lexington, KY, the new by-laws were passed with the exception of this section. The task force will review this section and make recommendations to the Governance Committee.

Task force applicants with experience in developing and editing by-laws, knowledge of nonprofit governance and strong writing skills should submit their resume and brief cover letter demonstrating experience and intent by January 5, 2012, to Madelin Schlenz.

All applicants will have a response by January 13, 2012.

Thank you for your interest in helping with this important task.


Thank You for Your Donations in 2011
Thank you to everyone who donated to PATH Intl. in 2011! We raised nearly $1,000 online in December ($990 to be exact) and are still busily compiling the other donations sent.

Thank you for your generosity and Happy New Year!  
CHA Speaker Application
The Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) International Conference is October 11-14, 2012, at Canyonview Equestrian Center and College in Silverton, OR. CHA is now accepting presenter applications for lectures, hands-on horse demos that take place in a round pen or small arena and riding sessions where participants ride on school horses provided by the conference site. Please contact Christy Landwehr at (720) 857-9550 to find out more about speaking at the event. Be prepared to send a biography and session description along with needs. Deadline is March 1, 2012 for all speaker applications.
Honor the Special People and Equines in Your Life
Throughout our lives, there are people who touch our hearts and there are horses that change us forever. PATH Intl. is now offering a way to honor the special people or equines in your life or to remember someone who helped change your life. Click here to visit the In Honor and In Memory web page. Download the form and fax, (303) 252-4610, or email it to Megan Ream.
Enter Purina's Senior Horse Tales Contest
Purina is kicking off their Senior Horse Tales Contest, which is an online contest for horse owners to submit their best senior horse story. Purina is giving away one ton of feed to the top three submissions. Click here for more information.
 Equine Tips From the Equine Welfare Committee  
Tips to Assist in Identifying Lameness Issues
By Patty D'Andrea (reviewed by Dr. Grant Myhre)

Gentle Reminder: As with all equine/animal injuries, illnesses or other abnormalities or medical/behavioral issues, please contact your veterinarian for advice and/or assessment. These tips will help you to identify potential issues but are not a replacement for proper veterinary care and follow-up.

The majority of lameness in horses originates in the foot, so eliminate the most obvious causes first by picking the feet out and checking for any stones that may have become lodged in the sole, frog or groove.

If there is nothing in the horse's hooves, the next step is to start moving your hands up the legs, feeling for heat around the coronary band and the heels. Check for signs of heat and swelling between the fetlock and the knee or hock to help rule out any problems in the tendon or ligament area. The knee, elbow and shoulder in the foreleg, and the hock, stifle and hip in the hind leg will also need to be examined.

However, lameness may occur before heat, swelling or wounds are discernible by hand or eye alone, so it's important to hone our detection skills. Lameness is often the way we find out that something is wrong.  

Here are some quick tricks for assessing limb lameness and then the "how to's" of identifying the issue.
Lameness Clues

*    To detect forelimb lameness, watch for nodding of the horse's head. As the sore leg bears weight, the head will go up. This is a way for the horse to take some of the weight off the sore limb. It may be easier for you to watch, instead, for the head and neck to go down as the sound hoof lands.
*    If the horse is lame behind, his head will tend to go down as the sore limb or hoof lands. This is also a method of minimizing the weight landing on the sore leg. Head motion is not always the clearest way to diagnose hindlimb lameness.
*    To detect hindlimb lameness, stand behind the horse and watch the point of the hip rise and fall. The hock and hip of the sore leg may be carried higher. Again, this is a way to un-weight the sore limb by lifting the hip and transferring weight to the sound legs.
*    Listen to the sound of the hooves as they make contact with a solid, packed, level ground surface; the horse will put less weight on the painful foot when he lands, so therefore it will sound quieter.
*    Observe the horse moving from the side and look for variations in his length of stride. The sore leg will likely stay in the air longer, though it may not be raised any higher.
*    The reach of the lame leg may not be as far forward as that of the sound leg; these are easy to compare when watching from the side.
*    The landing and weight-bearing phase of the sore leg will be shorter than that of the sound leg. The sound limb will land early and dwell on the ground longer.
*    The break-over and takeoff of a sore limb may occur sooner, particularly if the problem is a soft tissue injury, which is painful to stretch as the limb extends the full way rearward, or if the toe is sore.

At Rest

*    Watch how the horse is standing. "Pointing" or resting a forelimb out in front of the normal stance indicates lameness in that limb. The sound forelimb will be vertical, taking most of the weight. Viewed from the side, sore forelimbs (particularly if they are both sore) are placed out front while the horse stands more under himself (almost in a leaning posture) with both hind legs.
*    A horse may show you he's sore by lying down more than usual, by lying down at times or in places where he'd not normally lie down or he may have trouble rising.

Leading and Groundwork

*   Choose a hard surface because it will emphasize the lameness. You're not working the horse hard for a long time on the hard surface but instead are using the surface just long enough to diagnose the problem. Your horse will be more sore when landing on the less forgiving surface. A hard surface also makes it easier to hear the rhythm and impact. You should hear an even, and evenly weighted, 1-2-3-4 walk and 1-2-1-2 trot.
*   Working the horse without a rider - and even without a saddle - can remove these as variables. You want to isolate the problem as being in the limbs. A saddle might pinch, or a rider's weight might make a sore back uncomfortable; you want to concentrate on the legs in this diagnostic work.  
*   The walk is slower and easier to watch while you practice lameness detection, but the walk lacks the impact of the trot and the horse's weight is distributed over three legs much of the time. While a more painful lameness will show at the walk, the trot will help you detect a more subtle lameness.
*   Have a helper lead your horse in straight lines. Be sure the horse is moving freely on a looping lead rope. A taut lead will mask head movement and may make the horse move crooked.
*   A longer distance gives you more time to get an impression than a short one. You'll have a number of similar strides to observe without the changes associated with the start and the stop. Stand back far enough to see the whole picture.
*   Watching from the side is the best position to detect evenness of leg swings, the flight, forward reach, landing, weight bearing, break-over and takeoff. Watch the horse pass by you as many times as you need.
*   Then watch the horse move straight away from and straight toward you. This allows you to watch the flight path of the hindlimbs and the hip motion, and then watch the forelimbs. The limbs should move straight forward.
*   Have a helper move the horse in a circle (at least 25' in diameter). This way you can concentrate on the horse's movement instead of on guiding him. Also, you can step out of the circle and watch him all the way around without pivoting. Moving the horse in a circle weights the inside legs more. This can accentuate lameness on the inside limbs. This may help you see a lameness problem that doesn't show up as well on straight lines. You can use circles to help you differentiate which leg is sore because when you circle the horse to the left (counterclockwise), a left (inside) leg lameness will show up more clearly. At trot when the diagonal pairs move together, this can help you differentiate between the relative soundness of the legs in the pair.
*   The more attuned you are to your horses, the easier and quicker the lameness diagnosis will be. Practice often so you know what is and is not normal so treatment and rest can lead to quicker recovery and happier horses.

Below is a short list of references for more information on equine lameness issues. Your veterinarian is a good resource for information as well:
The Horse Conformation Handbook, by Heather Smith Thomas
The Horse in Motion, by Sarah Pilliner, Samantha Elmhurst and Zoe Davies
Horse Gaits, Balance and Movement, by Susan E. Harris
Recognizing the Horse in Pain .... And What You Can Do About It! by Dr. Joanna L. Robson, DVM, CVSMT, CVA, CMP, SFT
The United States Pony Club Manual: Basics for Beginners, D Level, by Susan E. Harris

The 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 Kristin Mason, EWC chair. Thank you!

Upcoming Region Conferences: Save the Date
Region 6  March 9-11  Fargo, ND. Contact: Bette Shipley, Kristi Schaefer or Erika Berg
Region 2  March 23-25  Middletown, MD  Contact: Ginny Gaylor
Region 3  March 23-25  Williamsburg, VA  Contact: Nancy Paschall
Region 1  April 20-22  Putney, VT  Contact: Kate Davis-McKelvy 

Other dates will be coming soon. Check the region conference calendar or your region's webpage for the latest details.

Region 5 On-Site Registered Level Instructor Workshop Offered
Due to a glitch, not everyone received the e-blast regarding the instructor workshop in Region 5. The information is below.

Special Equestrians, Inc., in Indian Springs, AL, is hosting a PATH Intl. On-Site Registered Level Instructor Workshop January 27-29, 2012. (Note: There is no on-site registered certification offered.)


Consider Hosting a PATH Intl. Event
We hope 2012 will be full of exciting events at PATH Intl. Centers! Click here to download the intent to host forms for all PATH Intl. events. Read through the intent to host packets for details concerning hosting an event. We want to add more driving workshops on the west coast, ESMHL workshops and skills tests and vaulting workshops/ certifications to our 2012 calendar, so please consider hosting an event.

Contact Abby Hendren or call (800) 369-7433 with questions regarding the 2012 workshops or hosting process.
PATH Intl. Events Calendar
Unless otherwise noted, contact Abby Hendren at (800) 369-7433, ext. 104, with questions. All dates are subject to change. To register for an event, please contact the host site directly. You can locate its contact information under Find a Center on the PATH Intl. home page or on the  PATH Intl. events calendar.

PATH Intl. Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning Workshop and Practical Skills Testing
February 24-27, 2012
MTRA in Ocala, FL

September 14-16, 2012
Sunnyside Equestrian Center in Lincroft, NJ

October 24-27, 2012
Hearts & Horses, Inc. in Loveland, CO

PATH Intl. Driving Workshop and Certification combination event
Workshop is held the first 2-1/2 days, certification held the last 2-1/2 days
August 7-11, 2012
BraveHearts at the Bergmann Center in Poplar Grove, IL

PATH Intl. Advanced Certification Event
May 29-31, 2012
High Hopes Therapeutic Riding in Old Lyme, CT

September 10-12, 2012
BraveHearts in Harvard, IL

PATH Intl. Vaulting Workshop/Certification Event
No events at this time

Please visit the PATH Intl. events calendar for a list of 2012 Registered On-Site Workshops and Certifications. 

Please direct correspondence about this newsletter to PATH Intl. eNews coordinator. PATH Intl. eNews is a benefit of Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International membership. No portion of this publication may be reproduced by any mechanical, photographic, scanned or electronic process without written permission from PATH Intl. PATH Intl. reserves the right to reject, accept and edit submitted material. PATH Intl. eNews 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 PATH Intl. eNews do not necessarily reflect PATH Intl. policy, imply PATH Intl. endorsement or comply with PATH Intl. standards.