Advanced Filters

All instructors want to offer the very best to their students. Therapeutic riding is right on the edge of the medical profession, which is constantly evolving, discovering more about disabilities and how best to serve them. Our partner, the horse, also deserves the very best of care and understanding using the latest information on feeds and training techniques. We, ourselves, need to be energized, to grow and refresh our skills to be at our best. All of this requires life-long learning. No one knows it all and we never will, but if we can stay open to new ideas and keep adding to our knowledge and skills, we can be assured that we are offering the best quality of service available to us. It may take some creativity to find ways to accomplish learning opportunities, but where there’s a will, there’s always a way.

Joelle Devlin is a Master Instructor through PATH Intl. She is current Chair of the PATH Intl Therapeutic Riding Instructor Certification Sub-committee and Lead Evaluator for Registered, Advanced and Master Certification levels. During her 20+ years in the Therapeutic Riding industry, she has mentored numerous candidates to become effective, successful therapeutic riding professionals. Above all, she is a Therapeutic Riding Instructor at SIRE, in Houston, TX, committed to improving her students’ quality of life through interaction with her partner, the horse.

WE02 - Session 2: Autism Spectrum Disorder
10:20am - 11:23am Mountain - May 17, 2017

The purpose of this presentation is to provide participants with information autism spectrum disorder (ASD). Diagnostic criteria for ASD will be reviewed, as well as the differences between typical and atypical development. We will discuss the signs that suggest a child should undergo assessment to rule out the presence of ASD. Prevalence and etiologic factors associated with ASD will be presented, as well as associated medical conditions, comorbidities, and work-up. Information about diagnostic assessments and some types of interventions will be provided. While the focus will be on children, some of the challenges faced by youth and adults with ASD also will be presented.

Sandra Friedman, MD, MPH is the William K. Frankenburg Research Professor in Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics, and Section Head of Developmental Pediatrics at the University of Colorado School of Medicine (UCSOM) and Children’s Hospital Colorado. She also is Director of JFK Partners, directing the University Center for Excellence in Developmental Disabilities and Leadership Education in Neurodevelopmental Disabilities Programs. She serves as Program Director for the Developmental Behavioral Pediatric (DBP) Fellowship program at UCSOM, and previously was program Director for Neurodevelopmental Disabilities (NDD) Residency Program at Boston Children’s Hospital. She is site PI for the DBPNet, a research network of 14 DBP programs. She is board certified in Pediatrics, Neurodevelopmental Disabilities, and Developmental Behavioral Pediatrics. Dr. Friedman has served on multiple disability-related boards of directors, advisory and executive committees, and has been involved in policy, practice, and administrative issues that affect the lives of people with disabilities and the field.


There are a number of things a student must know how to do before they can post the trot… What are the building blocks of social skills? How can we help students develop a solid foundation that will enable them to build mutually fulfilling relationships among their peers and in the work world? This class will assist the EAAT professional in conceptualizing “Social skills” and constructing lesson plans that address the components of pro-social behavior.

Melissa Abbey is a Marriage and Family Therapist, a Registered Therapeutic Riding Instructor and an Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning. She is currently an Instructor at Lichen Oaks Adaptive Riding Center as well as the Volunteer Coordinator for that program. She has taught at past PATH regional and International conferences.


Companionship, pleasure, affection, nonjudgmental acceptance, love, connection to the outside world, a reason to live – are just a few of the countless benefits enjoyed by those who share their lives with other species of animals. The session will provide the participants with an overview of the human animal bond and will foster a greater appreciation for understanding our unique kinship with all living creatures, including horses. Attention within this portion of the discussion will be to explain why these relationships are so meaningful as well as highlight some of the physiological and psychological benefits derived.

Dr. Fine received his graduate degree from University of Cincinnati in 1982 and has been on the faculty at California State Polytechnic University since 1981. His leadership among faculty and teaching excellence earned him the prestigious Wang Award in 2001, given to a distinguished professor within the California State University system (23 Universities), in this instance for exceptional commitment, dedication, and exemplary contributions within the areas of education and applied sciences. Dr. Fine is also a licensed psychologist who opened his practice in Southern California in 1987. His practice specializes in treating children with ADHD, learning disabilities, developmental disorders and parent child relations.


This is an overview of programs that create a therapeutic environment for clients who have experienced some kind of grief or loss. Specifically, this presentation will focus on a six-week pilot program called Healing with Horses and programs for Gold Star families. These are not equine facilitated psychotherapy programs and can be done without a mental health professional, making this program ideal for centers that do not have access to those resources.

Jenna Turcotte is the Program Director at Windrush Farm in North Andover, MA. She is a PATH Intl. registered level therapeutic riding instructor and an ESMHL. She holds a B.A. in Therapeutic Recreation from Gordon College, and enjoys developing new programs and curriculum.


Green Chimneys is a 70 year old residential treatment school, a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center and is well known for a wide variety of nature based programs as part of their services. This session will review the evolution and growth of Green Chimneys as an organization and will offer some insight for others to benefit from. The goal is for participants to gain insight into how they may apply that knowledge to their own sustainability journey.

Michael Kaufmann is the Farm & Wildlife Director at Green Chimneys and the Director of The Sam and Myra Ross Institute at Green Chimneys, dedicated to research on the human connection to animals and the natural world. He served the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA) and the American Humane Association (AHA) as a key program director in animal-assisted activities/therapy, humane education and animal welfare. He has contributed to defining publications in the field and has served on numerous national boards and committees. He has lectured internationally on humane education, animal-assisted activities as well as how the link between child abuse and animal cruelty offers opportunity for collaboration between various helping professions


Four years ago EquiCenter began looking at ways to provide other related programming to expand our ability to serve our growing population of participants while exploring opportunities for center sustainability. We looked at our center with a set of fresh expectations and realized that there was other programming that we could offer and those lessons could help sustain not only the participants but also the center itself. In the intervening years we have added classes in therapeutic horticulture, farm-to-table culinary classes, adaptive yoga, and canine-assisted therapy. We also redesigned our unmounted equine-assisted learning classes to broaden and improve the scope of our horsemanship programming.

Jonathan Friedlander - EquiCenter, Inc. Co-founder and CEO/President

Stacy Friedlander - Co-founder of EquiCenter, PATH Certified Instructor, Certified Yoga Instructor (including adaptive certification)

Lindsay Alberts - EquiCenter Program Manager, PATH Certified Instructor, Licensed Veterinary Technician

Erin Bullock - Landscape Architecture, Cornell University; founder of Community Supported Agriculture Farms and EquiCenter Farm Advisor

TH03 - Session 3: Look UP Life Coaching
11:20am - 12:13pm Mountain - May 18, 2017

Life Coaching with Horses is an exciting field and the applications are numerous! Join Mary Pat Paulson, of Look Up! Integrative Life Coaching. Mary Pat is an ESMHL with PATH International and a Certified Life Coach. She will walk you through simple ideas to set up that will bring phenomenal insights for your clients to enhance their lives.

Mary Pat Paulson, founder of Look Up! Integrative Life Coaching ( is a Certified Life Coach partnering with horses to help clients transcend growth and exponentially speed up awareness of themselves in the process. She is certified as ESMHL (Equine Assisted Mental Health and Learning) with PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship) International and has trained for the past eight years with foundational horsemanship as well as other methods, including EAGALA. Her focus is young women struggling with life’s issues who are interested in moving forward into their future. She has worked with recovery clients, eating disorders and chemical addictions, Sex trafficking victims as well as many others who just want to have fun while learning and moving forward in the serenity of a ranch setting.


PATH Intl. professionals are held to a high performance standard in all areas of EAAT. Including equine management, program development, center standards and service delivery as well as a working knowledge of conditions and disabilities. Often, these precautions and contraindications can be viewed with a mixed bag of reaction and confusion as most EAAT professionals do not have the intense healthcare background to know each disability presented much less the intricate possibility of complications and safety issues. Yet, each PATH Intl. professional is tasked with having a working knowledge and a level of comfort with the precautions and contraindications index to make decisions of inclusion or not.

This session will provide a framework to assist PATH Intl. professionals in knowing more about the precautions/contraindications index, having a working definition of precautions/contraindications and distinguish the potential barrier or opportunity for EAAT participation.

Lynn Klimas Petr, MS, is the Founder and Executive Director of Shangri-La Therapeutic Academy of Riding (STAR) in Lenoir City, TN. Lynn is very active in PATH Intl., being a lead site visitor for accreditation. She is a PATH Intl. Certified Advanced Instructor, an Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning, a faculty for the Mentor and Standards courses as well as for the Associate Visitor Training Course. She serves on numerous PATH Intl. committees in a constant quest for improvement to the equine-assisted activities and therapies industry.

Dr. Terry Chase is Assistant Professor, Nursing-Mental Health at Colorado Mesa University, Grand Junction Colorado. As Patient & Family Education Program Coordinator at Craig Hospital, Englewood, for 18 years created the innovative, “Working with Horses Educational Experience” for SCI and TBI in-patients. Terry is a self-motivated, highly educated individual living fully with spinal cord injury for 29 years, active in all things outdoors: kayaking, cross-country skiing, hand cycling and, whenever possible, riding horses.

TH05 - Session 5: Initial Evaluations…. Beyond Paperwork
01:34pm - 02:28pm Mountain - May 18, 2017
Sue Adams, Speaker

To correctly select the appropriate horse, equipment, volunteer ‘team’ and instructor, we need to know as much as we can about prospective riders. Through simple techniques that are ‘fun’ for the rider, we can determine posture and alignment, strengths and weaknesses in legs, arms, core muscles, etc. We can determine the mode of learning, comfort zones, ability to focus, concentrate, and follow directions. Ability to ambulate, speak, and follow task analysis are also noted during the evaluation. Through effective evaluations, the evaluator can determine whether to use a smooth or trappy gaited horse, saddle or bareback pad with a surcingle or if the rider is more appropriate for a driving program. The evaluation also determines how many volunteers are required for the safety of the rider and horse, and which instructor might be right for the rider. In addition, exercises can be discussed along with individual short and long term goals to best meet the needs of the rider.

Sue Adams has a BS degree in education, is a PATH Intl. Certified Advanced Instructor, lifetime PATH Intl member, past member of the accreditation committee, past chair and advisor of the certification subcommittee, faculty/evaluator for the Registered Level Instructor Certification, apprentice for Advanced Instructor Certification, founder of Atlantic Riding Center for the Handicapped 1989-2010, co-founder of Hearts Therapeutic Riding Center (2011-present), article contributor to CHA and PATH Intl. magazines, equine assisted activities consultant and creator of PATH Intl. approved DEU and CEU workshops.