Tag Archives: PATH

Equine Therapy: 2011 PATH Conference, by Claire Dorotik

Now that the North American Handicapped Riding Association is now PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship), they will be having their first annual conference. Hosted at the Hyatt Regency Hotel in Lexington, Kentucky, November 9-12, the conference blends educational lectures and expositions from a variety of equine therapy experts. Here is an excerpt from the PATH website:

“Targeted at the ever-growing group of professionals in equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT), the 2011 Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) Conference and Annual Meeting, sponsored by Purina, will feature an impressive array of educational sessions presented by industry experts. The Horse Expo and keynote luncheon have been perennial highlights. Attendees also enjoy the opportunities to catch up with old friends at various discussion forums and social receptions and network while visiting our growing exhibit hall. And not to be missed is the annual awards banquet designed to celebrate the innovation, hard work and spectacular accomplishments of the EAAT industry.”

For any person with even a mild interest in equine therapy, the conference is a wonderful opportunity to learn more about equine therapy, find equine therapy centers in the area, and network with other equine therapy professionals. Additionally, experts with years of experience in equine therapy will be giving demonstrations featuring many different techniques and modalities in equine therapy. This will enable those who are new to equine therapy to experience a visual description, while those who are experienced in the practice can learn about new developments in the field.

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Equine Therapy: NAHRA No More, Now PATH, by Claire Dorotik

The North American Riding for the Handicapped Association, also known as NARHA, originally formed in 1969, is now the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.).

The association tagline is “Ensuring excellence and changing lives through equine-assisted activities and therapies,” and is designed to reconstruct the now outdated NARHA model. Because equine therapy is such an evolving modality, there are now a myriad of ways in which horses can be helpful in the therapeutic realm. Yet NAHRA focuses mainly on programs that are designed for handicapped riders.

However, NARHA is the oldest organization for any form of equine therapy, and therefore creates guidelines for all other equine therapy activities, including those produced solely for mental health benefit. Recognizing the obvious constriction of this setup, the NARHA Board of Directors voted for the name change for several reasons.

Primarily, PATH is a much broader based organization, allowing for regulation of many types of equine therapy, including equine assisted psychotherapy, and learning.

Secondly, the term “handicapped” is no longer considered correct, and those who are restricted to a wheelchair prefer to be referred to as “wheelchair bound.”

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