The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, International requires its Instructors-in-Training to pass written, riding, and lesson instruction tests in order to become certified. In order to prepare for this testing, PATH, INTL recommends mentor training with a trusted PATH, Intl. Certified Instructor. This person should be experienced in the field of Therapeutic Horsemanship to provide hours of helpful, appropriate guidance before and during practice teaching. The candidate is required to complete a minimum of 25 hours of practice teaching to a group of individuals with disabilities under the guidance or direct supervision of a current PATH Intl. Certified Instructor. Length of time necessary to prepare for instructor certification varies depending on the candidate's experience.
Spinal Muscular Atrophy Learning Disability
Cerebral Palsy ADD/ADHD
Visual Impairment CVA/Stroke
Down Syndrome Amputation
Intellectual Disability Autism
Sensory Processing Disorder
Traumatic Brain Injury
Spinal Cord Injury
Therapeutic horsemanship teaches equestrian skills for the purpose of contributing positively to the cognitive, physical, emotional and social well-being of individuals who are "differently-abled." The primary goal is to teach an appropriate equestrian skill with secondary goals relating to the individual's impairment. In our Therapeutic Horsemanship program, participants learn about horses through riding, groundwork, handling, and taking care of their horse. A PATH certified instructor conducts the session with a leader and side walkers as necessary for safety. The student learns adaptive riding skills, general care, grooming, and saddling. Lessons are individualized to the students' needs, and may include games and other activities on horseback. Emphasis is placed on helping the participant to become as independent as possible. A physical therapist may offer some assistance in the activities.
My son has autsim and he loves loves his HATS!!!!!!!! Its his favorite thing he gets so excited and he has learned so much and he's so calm when he gets done we highly recommend these guys are the best- Kisty
Throughout the world, hundreds of thousands of individuals with and without special needs experience the rewarding benefits of equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT). A physical, cognitive or emotional special need does not limit a person from interacting with horses. In fact, such interactions can prove highly rewarding. For instance, experiencing the rhythmic motion of a horse can be very calming for someone with anxiety or sensory processing disfunction. Riding a horse moves the rider's body in a manner similar to a human gait, so riders with physical needs often show improvement in flexibility, balance and muscle strength.
Equine-assisted activities are any equine-related activity, such as therapeutic riding, mounted or ground activities, grooming, stable management, horse shows, etc., in which the center’s participants, volunteers, instructors and equines are involved in a manner that increases the safety of and benefit to the participant. The goal of the activity should be related to an equestrian skill. In contrast, equine-assisted therapy involves a physical, occupational, or speech therapist, or their licensed assistant, with specific training in hippotherapy. These therapists use the horse as a "treatment strategy" during a portion of the therapy session, and the goal of treatment is to improve the client's function.
Whether it's a five-year-old with Down syndrome, a 45-year-old recovering from a spinal cord injury, a senior citizen recovering from a stroke, or a teenager struggling with depression, research shows that individuals of all ages who participate in EAAT can experience physical and emotional rewards. For individuals with emotional challenges, the unique relationship formed with the horse can lead to increased confidence, patience and self-esteem.