Continuing Education


✔  Continuing education activities should involve active participation, reflect pursuit of professional development and encourage self-reflection, ultimately enhancing your instruction skills and expanding knowledge related to the EAAT industry.

✔  Continuing education hours translate directly from clock hours

✔  Continuing Education opportunities are not limited to events sponsored by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.).

✔  PATH Intl. Certified Professionals must submit compliance and dues annually

PATH Intl Certified Professionals must submit the following items to be considered renewed and compliant:

✔  Payment of Annual Membership Dues

✔  Submission of 20 continuing education hours obtained during the previous 12 months.

PATH Intl Certified Professional Continuing Education Requirements

1-year Renewal Cycle:  20 Hours of Continuing Education to include hours of Disability Education and Certification Core Requirements (6 CEUs in Disability Education, 2 CEUs for each Certification Core Requirement).

All PATH Intl Certified Professionals must maintain current First Aid and CPR.  Documentation of current Adult & Child CPR and First Aid certifications no longer need to be submitted for annual compliance, but may be requested at the discretion of PATH Intl.

Documentation of all compliance requirements may be requested upon the discretion of PATH Intl at any time.

Types of Continuing Education:

General Continuing Education (CE):

General Continuing Education Hours (CE) are defined as any allowable continuing education hours that do not fall under Disability Education (defined below) or Certification Core Requirements (defined below). These hours should reflect the overall purpose of all continuing education and the pursuit of professional development. These hours should encourage self-reflection, enhance instructor skills and techniques, and expand knowledge of EAAT, Equine Management and Welfare.

Please see the Continuing Education Table below for requirements for CE.

Disability Education (DE):

Disability education (DE) is defined as educational activities that provide the student with greater understanding of the physical, social, cognitive and/or behavioral impacts experienced by individuals with disabilities, mental health disorders or emotional trauma. 

The education received should help the instructor understand how to communicate with and more effectively instruct a wide range of EAAT participants in order to increase the efficacy of the learning environment.

Please see the Continuing Education Table below for minimum requirements for DE.

Certification Core Requirements (CR)*

Certification Core Requirements (CR) is defined as the specific type of continuing education hours that one must obtain to stay compliant with each certification held.

The Certification Core Requirements are:

  • Certified Instructors (Registered/Advanced/Masters): Mounted Riding Lessons received
  • Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning: Groundwork Lessons received, or Equine Behavior Education
  • Vaulting Instructors:  Vaulting Lessons received
  • Driving Instructors: Driving Lessons received

*Please see the section “More on Certification Core Requirements” for exceptions and limitations to these hours

Please see the Continuing Education Table below for minimum requirements for CR.


Continuing Education Table

DE Disability Education Minimum 6 hours (no maximum) 60 min = 1 DE
CR Certification Core Requirement Minimum of 2 Hours per certification 60 min = 1 CR
CE General Continuing Education No minimum or maximum requirement 60 min = 1 CE

More on Certification Core Requirements


PATH Intl. understands that not all of our instructors may be able to attend personal lessons to maintain their certifications for any reason.  If, for any reason, an instructor is not able to complete personal lessons they may count the following in place of lessons for their Certification Core Requirement/s:

  • Coaching, or receiving coaching, from another PATH Intl Certified Professional.
    • Coaching is defined as observing a therapeutic lesson and providing the PATH Intl Certified Professional with positive and constructive feedback on their lesson and/or riding skills.
  • Attending a formal education event with an emphasis on instruction/teaching techniques
  • Mentoring an Instructor in Training. (Mentoring is allowable only if the instructor has taken the PATH Intl Mentor Training Course.  If an instructor has not taken this course, mentor hours will not count for CEUs)


To increase the professionalism and to promote a more experienced Certified Professional, PATH Intl has placed limitations on the maximum allowable CEU hours for the following Certification Core Requirements:

  • Coaching:  a maximum of 4 hours is allowable for Coaching or receiving Coaching. 
  • Mentoring:  Mentoring an Instructor in Training is allowable for a max of 4 hours. (Allowable only once an instructor has taken the PATH Intl Mentor Training Course.  Certified Professionals who have not taken the Mentor Training course may not count these hours as CEUs. See the section “Mentor Training” for more information.)
  • Lessons:  A maximum of 4 hours is allowable for all Certified Professionals.  (exception:  when using lessons to count for Certification Core requirements, all Certified Professionals may have a maximum of 6 hours for ALL lessons)

Allowable Hours for Disability Education (DE):

Disability Education may be obtained through the following ways only:

  • Disability related conferences/meetings (e.g., ADD, ADHD, autism, Down Syndrome, learning disabilities, sensory processing, etc.)
  • Special Education conferences/meetings
  • Occupational Therapy, Physical Therapy or Speech Language Pathology conferences/meetings
  • Veteran related education (emotional trauma, phantom limb syndrome, PTSD, traumatic brain injury, etc.)
  • Conferences/meetings on general mental health-related issues for adults and children
  • Professional Research Projects conducted through a College/University or Research Center
  • Online learning through online courses, webinars or videos from Higher Education Institutions, Professional Associations, or other reputable learning sources.

Allowable Hours for General Continuing Education (CE):

General Continuing Education may be obtained in any of the following ways, including ways listed above:

  • Formally organized educational events
  • Equine welfare, management, behavior or skill clinics
  • Attending/auditing PATH Intl. workshops
  • PATH Intl. Horse Expo
  • Sessions from Horse Expos and Fairs (Sessions must be listed individually to receive credit. General Horse Expo attendance is not allowable as CEUs)
  • Higher Education courses that provide a greater understanding of persons with disabilities (socially, cognitively, behaviorally) and human behavior
  • College-level anatomy, physiology and biomechanics courses
  • Writing and submitting papers, articles or materials for publication (includes PATH Intl. materials)
  • Presenting on topics or research related to EAAT at professional conferences, symposiums, clinics and panel discussions
  • Instructing PATH Intl. workshops (NOTE for Evaluators: each workshop may be applied to both instructor and evaluator compliance)
  • Retaking PATH Intl. Online Courses/Exams
  • Professional conferences
  • Attending conferences, symposiums and panel presentations with the objective of gaining knowledge pertaining to the EAAT industry
  • Participating in hands-on exercises to strengthen areas of focus pertaining to the EAAT industry to increase professional competence.
  • Coaching or Receiving Coaching (Coach must be a compliant PATH Intl. Certified Instructor preferably with 5+ years involvement in the EAAT industry.)
    • Student must be a compliant PATH Intl. Certified Instructor with fewer years of experience than the coach
    • Includes instructor candidate mentoring ONLY for mentors who have completed the PATH Intl. Mentor Training course.
      • For more information on Mentor Training Courses please see the “Mentor Training” section
  • Educational webinars and videos
  •  PATH Intl. Conference Session Videos
  • PATH Intl. Educational Webinars and Online Courses
  • Webinars offered by professional equine and/or disability-related associations
  • Academic or Outcomes-based EAAT research
  • Receiving lessons (max of 4 hours)
  • Volunteering for PATH Intl. (max of 2 hours)
  • Horseshow judging for a PATH Intl. Member Center, the Special Olympics or Paralympics (max of 2 hours)
  • Attending or presenting a PATH Intl. Member Center volunteer training

Activities Not Allowable as CEU Hours:

The following hours will never be allowable as any type of CEU:

  • Participating in exercise classes or personal training
  • Horseshow judging, competing or volunteering at events not hosted by a PATH Intl. Member Center, the Special Olympics or Paralympics
  • Recreational riding (e.g., trail riding, cattle sorting, cattle drives, steeplechase, fox hunting, etc.)
  • General Horse Expo or Fair attendance (NOTE: attendance at specific activities that fall into the accepted CEU categories listed above WILL be accepted, please list the individual activities attended to receive credit)
  • Providing human or equine massage, Reiki or acupuncture or acupressure as a service
  • Community service related volunteering (Court Ordered or any other hours required by school etc.)
  • CPR, First Aid, EMT, Paramedic and/or First Responder training
  • Administering veterinary care
  • Observing farrier or veterinary services
  • Observing or providing therapeutic sessions or riding lessons (EXCEPT when providing mentoring or coaching)
  • Day-to-day job duties
  • Reading of any materials

CEU Overlap:

A CEU may be counted as disability education (DE), General Continuing Education (CE) or Certification Core Requirements (CR), but may not be counted twice.  Counting hours twice does not provide new knowledge or expand the PATH Intl Certified Professional’s experience level in any way.

Mentor Training

The Mentor Training Workshop was created in response to the need for a more formalized education process to enhance the skills of those mentoring. The objective is to increase the number of qualified mentors available to instructors in training. Another added benefit is to provide current PATH Intl. Certified Instructors with a continuing education opportunity while enhancing personal observation, evaluation and feedback skills. See the mentor training page for information on this continuing education opportunity. Visit the PATH Intl. Events Calendar for workshop dates.

To review continuing education hours you have earned at PATH Intl. Regional and National Conferences, visit the My Professional Development page (you must be logged in).



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