2016 PATH Intl. Region 02 and MCET Conference

Mar 18, 2016 12:00pm -
Mar 20, 2016 12:00pm


Event Description


PATH Intl.



Region 2 Conference


March 18-20, 2016


College Park, MD



Hosted by:
Maryland Council of Equestrian Therapies (MCET)

the University of Maryland (UMD)



MCET and PATH Intl. Region 2 welcome you to a weekend of “INNOVATION.” Join us as we share collective practices and research dedicated to celebrating our equines, instructors, therapists, programs, riders, families and volunteers. We will be presenting results from the recent PATH Intl. Equine-Assisted Learning (EAL) survey.  Light breakfast, lunch and a banquet dinner will be served on Saturday. Breakfast will be available on Sunday, and an “all day” break area will be available Saturday and Sunday.  These meals and breaks are included in your registration fee.


We would like to request each attendee bring items for the silent auction.


As we transition to new CEU renewal requirements, please note that sessions meeting the specific disabilities education requirement are marked with *DE. If you have questions about these requirements, please contact Bret Maceyak at the PATH Intl. office.


We are excited to welcome UMD students of equine science, special education, and behavioral sciences.



We would like to extend our thanks to everyone who supported the development of this conference.


PATH Intl.

Kathy Alm, CEO

Jaime Covington, Conference and Events Manager

Amanda Walters, Conference and Events Assistant

Liz Carlson, Region 2 Representative


University of Maryland College Park Campus:

Dr. Amy Burk

Jennifer Reynolds


MCET Conference Team

Marya Pecukonis

Rachel Neff

Erin Teigen

Renee Luther


Special Olympics Athletes and Coaches


All of our presenters







University of Maryland College Park Campus
Department of Animal and Avian Sciences

Farm Drive and Regents Drive

University of Maryland

College Park, MD 20742


  • Park in designated parking spaces at Regents Drive parking garage. Lots 9 and 11 are free for conference attendees.
  • It is a smoke-free campus
  • Both the campus and building are ADA compliant


Holiday Inn College Park
10000 Baltimore Ave.

College Park, MD 20740

(301) 345-6700

Rate: Reservations must be made by February 17. Refer to PATH Intl. Region Conference to secure the discounted rate of $100/night plus tax.


Local Restaurants:

All are located off Rt 1, within 10 minutes of campus.

Within walking distance of campus



Bagel Place

Jason’s Deli

Blaze Pizza

Noodles & Co

Platos Diner

Short drive down Rt 1

Bobby’s Burgers

Silver Diner

Mission BBQ

Within walking distance of hotel

Chipotle Mexican Grill

Buffalo Wild Wings

Sarku Japan

Dunkin Donuts




Online registration will be available through February 29, 2016. After February 29, 2016, registration will need to be completed onsite.


Registration Fees: There is no single day registration

Registration through February 29:


Student Rate




Full Conference

$175 members

$200 non-members

Registration Onsite:


Student Rate

not available onsite – students will pay the applicable member or non-member rate, so register early.


Full Conference

$200 members

$225 non-members

PATH Intl. Standards Course:




Refund Policy:
Full refunds are given only if a written cancellation request is received at the PATH Intl. office by February 29, 2016. A 50-percent refund is given if a written request is received at the PATH Intl. office between March 1-8, 2016. Individuals who do not submit a written request to PATH Intl. by March 8, 2016, will not receive a refund. There will be no refunds for cancellations due to weather unless the conference is canceled.





Friday, March 18
(Animal & Avian Sciences building, UMD campus.)

Noon to 6:30 p.m.

PATH Intl. Standards Course
Attendees must pre-register with PATH Intl. and bring a copy of the 2016 PATH Intl. Standards for Certification and Accreditation manual.
Faculty, Lesley Shear

6:30 p.m.

Dinner on your own

6:30 to 8 p.m.

Registration Open







Saturday, March 19
(Animal & Avian Sciences building, UMD campus.)

7:30 to 8:30 a.m.

Registration Open

7:30 to 8:30 a.m.

Silent Auction Drop Off

8 to 9 a.m.


8:30 to 9 a.m.

Welcome With PATH Intl. Update

9:15 to 10:45 a.m.

Session 1


1A, Alternative Equine Interventions for EAAT Programs
Manual therapies such as caniosacral therapy, lymphatic drainage, myofascial therapy, Swedish and sports massage, and advanced energy dynamics can support the healing and rehabilitation process. Learn the what, why and how to best utilize these innovative approaches.
Mary Ann Fisher’s practice has a focus on people as well as horses and small animals.


1B, Hybrid Programing: Business and Nonprofit Collaboration for a Stronger Hippotherapy Program
While most hippotherapy programs tend to be wrapped up in nonprofit organizations, learn how for-profit and nonprofit models of business can work together to bring services to the community.
Alysa Simms, OT of 15 years, works with children with an array of physical and cognitive disabilities including autism, cerebral palsy, sensory processing disorder, fine motor/coordination delays, ADHD, anxiety disorders and more. She splits her time between working with students primarily diagnosed with autism in the educational setting, addressing physical and cognitive needs in the area of hippotherapy across the age spectrum, and part time hours with older adults in rehabilitation. She is a PATH Intl. Certified Registered Instructor, HPCS, completing Level 1 and Level II AHA courses, and is a co-founder of a private practice specializing in clinical OT, PT and Speech in the unique setting of a working horse farm. Katie Roe is a state licensed occupational therapist, graduating from Towson University BS/MS occupational therapy program in 2014. Katie has experience working with clients across the lifespan with various cognitive and physical disabilities in home health and outpatient settings, as well as the specialized area of hippotherapy. Katie is a PATH Intl. Certified Registered Instructor in addition to being a professional member of AHA. She has a background in business management from Harford Community College (AAS). Katie is co-founder of a private practice, Unbridled Rehabilitation Services, LLC, which provides specialized clinical therapy (OT/PT/SLP) in areas of early intervention, sensory integration, handwriting improvement, equine-assisted therapies and Strider balance bike camps, to name a few.


1C, Equine Nutrition
Get hands-on knowledge of hay selection and pasture management.

Dr. Amy Burk is an associate professor and coordinator for the equine studies program in the animal and avian sciences department at UMD. She completed her graduate work in equine nutrition as a Pratt Fellow at Virginia Tech. She teaches courses in equine science and management, oversees the equine breeding program, and advises equine studies undergraduates as well as students in the Maryland Equestrian Club. She’s given more than 100 invited talks on equine nutrition, pasture management and equine health at the local, regional and national level. Her innovative 5.5 Acre Equine Rotational Grazing Demonstrations Farm has been used to educate more than 600 members of the horse industry.

10:45 to 11 a.m.

Break and Network

11 a.m. to 12:30 p.m.

Session 2


2A, Equine Law
Learn best practices for individuals, businesses and groups.
Jan I. Berlage, Esquire, has had a multifaceted career, representing plaintiffs in wrongful death cases to helping clients resolve real estate and animal law disputes. He has taught pretrial litigation practice at the UMD School of Law, served on the Board of Governors for the Maryland State Bar Association and is a co-author of the book, Maryland Equine Law: A Legal Guide to Horse Ownership and Activities. He is a fellow of both the American and the Maryland State Bar Foundations, presents regularly at CLE courses, and has chaired numerous committees at both the national and state level. Mr. Berlage is licensed to practice in Colorado, Connecticut, D.C., and New York in addition to Maryland.


2B, The Integrated Treatment Plan: Pediatric Therapy on the Farm Setting*DE
Occupational therapists Katie Roe and Alysa Simms speak on their practice model bringing physical, occupational and speech therapy services to the community in an innovative and unique way.
See bios in session 1B.


2C, Marketing Through Social Media

Business building, sifting through it all… From blogs to webinars, youtube and Facebook.
Susan Schoeinin is a sheep and goat specialist at the Western Maryland Research and Education Center. She has been with University of Maryland Extension since 1988. Previously, she served as a Regional Farm Management Specialist (Eastern Shore region) and county agricultural agent in Wicomico County. Susan holds BS and MS degrees in animal science from Virginia Tech and Montana State University, respectively.  Susan lives on a small sheep farm, The Baalands in Clear Spring, MD. She shares her home with her cat, Max, and dog, Zak. Learn more about Ms. Schoenian at http://www.sheepandgoat.com.

12:30 to 1:45 p.m.

Lunch and Networking. Don’t forget to visit with vendors and make your silent auction bids.

(lunch will be catered by Panera)

1:45 to 3:15 p.m.

Session 3


3A, Equine Emergencies: How to Be Prepared and How to Act Quickly

Learn basic lameness evaluation and causes, how to detect it and when to call your veterinarian.

Dr. Alicia Sorum, DVM, began her love affair with horses at the age of seven, with riding lessons and showing consuming most weekends. She rode for the Penn State Equestrian Team and served as the team president during her senior year.

While working in pharmaceutical research in Washington, DC, Alicia made the decision to become a veterinarian and graduated from vet school with high honors and a passion for medicine. Dr. Alicia's veterinary interests include equine dentistry, internal medicine and alternative therapies such as acupuncture. She is pursuing further training at the Chi Institute of Veterinary Acupuncture in Florida and will be a Certified Veterinary Acupuncturist (CVA) in 2016. She also cares for the smaller side of vet medicine by providing care to many of the companion animals owned by her clients. Dr. Alicia is also passionate about retraining racing thoroughbreds. She has adopted and retrained four ex-racehorses so far and always has her eye open for the next prospect. Of course, her most important full-time job is that of mom to three future veterinarians!


3B, History of Animal-Assisted Therapies
Explore research-based evidence.
Lynn Eskite-Tant, LGSW, holds an MSW degree from UMAB and an MS degree in human resource management from UMUC. She is EAGALA certified and has completed the Pet Partners Handlers Course and has earned a certificate from the Animal Assisted Therapy Training Program (via the Constorium for Animal Assisted Therapy at the University of North Texas). She regularly volunteers with two organizations that offer equine-assisted services. She currently works at Sheppard Pratt Psychiatric Hospital.


3C, Helping Heroes Maryland’s Military (HHMM)

HHMM is a group of barns working with the Maryland Horse Industry Board. This session will discuss how services are delivered to Maryland’s military.

3:30 to 3:45 p.m.

Break and Network

3:45 p.m.

Silent Auction Close

3:45 to 5 p.m.

Session 4


4A, Common Equine Disease
Learn basic prevention and intervention.
Dr. Jenn Tacia, DVM, graduated from Michigan State University in 2002.  Her desire to become part of a respected profession, while being able to help people and animals, led her to become a veterinarian. She especially enjoys surgery and the challenges of equine lameness. While she was still in vet school, she was especially moved assisting in surgery during an equine caesarian section in which both the mare and the foal were saved. (Equine C-sections are extremely rare, and often the death of the mare, the foal, or both occurs).  Dr. Tacia moved to southern Maryland from Michigan in July 2002. She says she has appreciated the wonderful welcome she has received from the community and members of the Tidewater staff. When not working with animals, she enjoys spending time on the river with her husband Shawn and their dogs, Pepper and Chops.


4B, Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy*DE
Explore the horse as a co-therapist.
Edward Pecukonis, MSW, PhD, is an associate professor and director of Maternal and Child Health Training, UMD School of Social Work, Baltimore, MD, assistant professor for UMD Department Family Medicine and Assistant Clinical Professor in the School of Medicine’s Department of Psychiatry’s Institute for Psychiatry and Human Behavior. Ed has published widely both nationally and internationally, accrued grant funding for UMD and is recipient of 2015 Teacher of the Year, UMD Professional Schools. Ed is lead therapist for the equine-assisted psychotherapy program at LeCheval Stable. Marya Pecukonis, MS, NBCT, is a PATH Intl. Certified Registered Instructor, Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning, Special Olympics coach and president of MCET. A licensed certified special educator, job developer, human resource administrator, and transition specialist, she has more than three decades in educational settings working with families and individuals with exceptional needs. She is also the founder and director of LeCheval Stable, a nonprofit organization, PATH Intl. center member and Special Olympics training site located in Howard County, MD. She is excited to chair the region 2 conference for PATH Intl. with her team at UMD. Marya, her husband, Ed, and their three adult children are all avid animal lovers and UMD alumni and soon-to-be graduates.


4C, Working With Adult Populations – Special Olympics*DE
Explore options for training sites, coaching, volunteers, riding and therapeutic interventions.
Mary Shunk is the founder and director of the Retreat at Beckleysville. Mary’s passion for enriching lives through horseback riding has made the Retreat what it is today. Mary has been teaching riding to individuals with special challenges for more than 35 years. She is a PATH Intl. Certified Advanced Instructor, co-director of equestrian sports for Maryland Special Olympics and a head instructor with 4H Therapeutic Riding of Carroll County.

Renee Dixon is a PATH Intl. Certified Advanced Instructor, American Riding Instructor, Certified Level II Centered Riding, Level II Parelli and Special Olympics Certified. Renee is the founder and director of Freedom Hills and Rolling Hills Ranch. Freedom Hills participates in the Special Olympics at county and state levels and has also participated in the National Games. Freedom Hills operates at Rolling Hills Ranch in the pastoral Maryland countryside. Services are provided to individuals in the Maryland, Delaware and Pennsylvania Tri-State area.

5:00 p.m.

Silent Auction Pick-Up

5 to 6 p.m.

Return to hotel

6 to 7 p.m.

Casual gathering in the hotel lounge

7 to 9 p.m.

Banquet Dinner and Keynote
From Training to World Games
Special Olympics athletes and coaches share their collective journey and visions in finding innovative ways to achieve goals.
Special Olympic Athletes from Harford, Carroll and Howard counties.







Sunday, March 20

(Animal & Avian Sciences building, UMD campus.)

7 to 8:30 a.m.

Breakfast at UMD

7:15 to 7:45 a.m.

Yoga and Morning Stretch

8 to 8:30 a.m.

Morning Devotions

Pastor Eric Braswell is a mental health professional and has supported the “Kids at Risk” program.

9 a.m.

Region Meeting

9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

Session 5


5A, Results of PATH Intl. EAL Survey

In August PATH Intl. administered a survey to gather data on current trends in equine-assisted learning. The survey was a collaborative effort between multiple equine-assisted professionals and organizations. The purpose of the survey was to gain insight into the trends of equine-assisted learning, to identify future needs and how PATH Intl. may support those efforts.

For the last 15 years, Kathy Alm served as executive director of Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center, a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center in Woodinville, WA, one of the largest organizations in the industry. She grew the previously grassroots organization from a $280,000 annual operating budget to a professional $2.1 million organization, leading a staff of 23 full-time employees and building and operating a new $11 million facility. Kathy has a unique depth of knowledge and understanding of the association and its membership. She served as PATH Intl. region 9 representative on a variety of committees in a leadership capacity and was the association board president in the 2010-2012 term, first joining the board of trustees in 2005. Currently, she is CEO of PATH Intl.

10:45 to 11:45 a.m.

Session 6


6A, Innovative Practices
Join a panel of practitioners as they expand your knowledge and help you transform yourself and others.


Conference Adjournment




Thanks for coming. Have a safe drive home!

Event Type:Conference
Early registration ends on Jan 06, 2016.
Regular registration starts on Jan 07, 2016 and ends on Mar 04, 2016.
Late registration starts on Mar 05, 2016.