What is PATH Intl.?
PATH Intl. was founded in 1969 as the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) to promote safe and effective therapeutic horseback riding throughout the United States and Canada. Today, PATH Intl. has more than 870 member centers and more than 8,000 individual members in countries all over the world, who help and support more than 62,400 men, women and children–including more than 5,500 veterans–with special needs each year through a variety of equine-assisted activities and therapies programs.
Though PATH Intl. began with a focus on horseback riding as a form of physical and mental therapy, the organization and its dedicated members have since developed a multitude of different equine-related activities for therapeutic purposes, collectively known as equine-assisted activities and therapies (or EAAT). Besides horseback riding, EAAT also includes therapeutic carriage driving; interactive vaulting, which is similar to gymnastics on horseback; equine-facilitated learning and mental health, which partner with the horse in cognitive and behavioral therapy, usually with the participation of a licensed therapist; ground work and stable management; and PATH Intl. Equine Services for Heroes®, which uses a variety of EAAT disciplines specifically to help war veterans and military personnel. In addition, many PATH Intl. volunteer-driven committees are working on identifying and refining even more disciplines and activities that might be put to use in the world of EAAT.
PATH Intl. Certified Instructors use these equine-assisted activities and therapies to help tens of thousands of individuals each year with physical, mental and behavioral challenges gain strength and independence through the power of the horse.
What is Premier Accreditation?
Accreditation is a voluntary process that recognizes PATH Intl. Centers that have met established industry standards. The accreditation process is a peer review system in which trained volunteers visit and review centers in accordance with PATH Intl. standards. A center that meets the accreditation requirements based on the administrative, facility, program and applicable special interest standards becomes a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center for a period of five years.
How are Horses Spirits Healing and PATH connected?
Horse Spirits Healing achieved Premier Accreditation status on October 15th, 2016, and is one of two Premier Accredited Centers in Montana, one of nearly 300 internationally. We are honored to be a part of the community in this way and are very thankful for the preparation assistance we received from affiliated centers, both in and out of state. Our organization currently employs three PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructors (TRI), two of which have dual certifications as Equine Specialists in Mental Health and Learning (ESMHL).
To learn more about PATH Intl and Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies click here.