2017 PATH Intl. Region 8 Conference

Aug 04, 2017 05:00am -
Aug 06, 2017 03:00pm


Event Description


PATH Intl.






produced by


region 8 and




August 4-6, 2017


Ward, AR


Hosted by:

Beyond Boundaries


PATH Intl. Region 8 welcomes you to join us for an educational and fun weekend with your friends and colleagues.






Cabot Middle School North

1900 N Lincoln St

Cabot, Arkansas 72023


Saturday Morning

Beyond Boundaries

2191 Peyton Street

Ward, AR 72176


Saturday Afternoon

Cabot Middle School North

1900 N Lincoln St

Cabot, Arkansas 72023


Cabot Middle School North

1900 N Lincoln St

Cabot, Arkansas 72023


Lodging Options:

Days Inn & Suites - Cabot

1302 W Locust St, Cabot, AR 72023

(501) 605-1810


Americas Best Value Inn Cabot

1114 W Main St, Cabot, AR 72023

 (501) 843-0145




Special Announcements:
As we transition to new CEU requirements for instructor renewal, 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 will be having a “Bucket Raffle” with a bucket sponsored by each state. Tickets will be available for $1.00 each. We welcome donated items from centers and individuals. All proceeds will go to the PATH Intl. Disaster Relief Fund.






Online registration will be available through July 21, 2017. After July 21, 2017, registration will need to be completed onsite.



Registration Fees:

Registration through July 21, 2017 :



Full Conference

$95 members/non-members/students


Full Conference Higher Ed Student and Faculty Members:



Registration Onsite:



Full Conference

$130 members/non-members/students


Full Conference Higher Ed Student and Faculty Members:





Refund Policy:
Full refunds are given only if a written cancellation request is received at the PATH Intl. office by July 21, 2017. A 50-percent refund is given if a written request is received at the PATH Intl. office by July 28, 2017. Individuals who do not submit a written request to PATH Intl. by July 28, 2017, will not receive a refund. There will be no refunds for cancellations due to weather unless the conference is canceled.







Friday August  4

Cabot Junior High


8:30 to 9:30 a.m.

Continental  Breakfast /Registration






Session A

10 to 11 a.m.

A1, (Dis) Ability Focus: Down SyndromeDE

In order for our riders with Down syndrome to reach their full potential, both in and out of the arena, we must understand the diagnosis and associated cognitive, communication, sensory processing and motor impairments. The following items will be discussed: medical contraindications and precautions, communication and behavioral strategies, hippotherapy focus, and intervention ideas. Further exploration of this diagnosis will be provided through the presentation of multiple case studies.

Tiffany Welch Vaughan, OTR/L, has been an occupational therapist with Allied Therapy for 11 years. She has experience working in public schools, outpatient clinics, day-habilitation facilities and home health settings in addition to providing hippotherapy at Beyond Boundaries. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in biology and health sciences followed by  a master’s degree in occupational therapy from the University of Central Arkansas.


Meredith Flowers, PT, DPT, PCS, has been a physical therapist with Allied Therapy for three years. Following graduation from physical therapy school at the University of Mississippi Medical Center, she completed the pediatric physical therapy residency. She is currently working on her PhD degree in physical therapy from the University of Central Arkansas. She has experience working with children in school, day-habilitation, home health and clinic settings in addition to hippotherapy at Beyond Boundaries.



A2, Running Your Business Like a Business Part 1CE

Do you think of the service you provide as a business or is it a service fueled by passion and giving back to the community?  Fortunately, these descriptions are not mutually exclusive.  Most of us join this field because of our passion for equine-assisted activities and therapies. In researching the challenge of sustainability for centers, one of the top issues consistently raised was business knowledge. In order to be sustainable, it is important to not only follow the passion and mission but also approach service delivery from a business perspective. Join PATH Intl. CEO Kathy Alm as she explores the steps to running your center in a sustainable manner while remaining focused on mission delivery and the “heart” of your organization.

Kathy Alm has been the CEO of PATH Intl. since 2014. For the prior 15 years, Kathy Alm served as executive director of Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center, a PATH Intl. PAC in Woodinville, WA, one of the largest organizations in the industry. She grew the previously grass roots 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 the association board president in the 2010-2012 term, first joining the board of trustees in 2005. She has served as a membership oversight region representative and on a variety of committees in a leadership capacity.




Session B

11:10 a.m. to 12:10 p.m.

B1,"Music and Horses, Of Course, Of Course!" Implementation of Music Therapy Within Equine-Assisted Activities and TherapiesDE

An overview of the use of music therapy within equine-assisted activities and therapy will be discussed in addition to intervention examples, safety precautions and equine training considerations when introducing music stimuli. The structure and potential benefits of different collaborative models will also be examined between these two fields.

Sarah Lynn Rossi is a music therapist who is serving as a graduate assistant at Sam Houston State University where she is developing a thesis that will explore a collaborative model between both music therapy and equine-assisted activities and therapies professionals. With her horsemanship and music therapy experiences, she hopes to assist in designing a program that provides clients with this unique combination of services.


B2, Running Your Business Like a Business Part 2CE

 Kathy Alm (see bio in A2)



12:20 to 1:50 p.m.

Lunch, Trek to Accreditation With Kathy Alm


Session C



2 to 3 p.m.

C1, The Horses’ Perspective: Understanding How We Communicate With Horses and New Perspectives on Interpreting Their BehaviorESMHL CR

This session will cover some of the science and research around equine evolved behaviors and what they mean in the domestic environment and interacting with people.  Basic topics will include a brief history of horses and horse training, interpretations of natural and adapted equine behaviors, equine learning theory, and what’s missing in the research with regards to equine positive reinforcement interactions and why this is important going forward.

Emily Kieson earned a BS degree in ecology and evolution, a PgDip in equine science, an MS degree in psychology and is currently working on a PhD degree in comparative psychology at OSU with a focus on equine behavioral psychology in the context of the horse-human interaction with specific relation to equine therapies.  She is a PATH Intl. Certified ESMHL and has spent more than 15 years managing, teaching and training in a variety of disciplines




C2, Stepping Up the Fun: Lesson Plans That Promote Social InteractionDE RDIDNG CR

Teaching to the group and keeping all of the riders in a class moving and engaged are important elements of any group lesson.  We will explore ways to make some of the most common and popular riding patterns and activities that therapeutic riding instructors rely on more socially interactive and challenging.

Anthony Busacca is chief operating officer of SIRE Therapeutic Horsemanship, a PATH Intl. PAC in Houston Texas.  He is a PATH Intl. Certified Master Instructor and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning, and a PATH Intl. Lead Faculty/Evaluator for Riding Instructor Certification.

PJ Murray is site manager of SIRE Therapeutic Horsemanship's Hockley Site.  PJ is a PATH Intl. Certified Registered Instructor and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning.

Shayna Bolton is site manager of SIRE Therapeutic Horsemanship's Spring Site. She is a PATH Intl. Certified Registered Instructor and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning.

Toni Conner is site manager of SIRE Therapeutic Horsemanship's Fort Bend Site. She is a PATH Intl. Certified Registered Instructor.




Session D

3:10 to 4:10 p.m.

D1, Behind The Behavior: Understanding Riders With Autism Spectrum Disorder Part 1DE RDIDNG CR

“Autism” derives from the Greek word “autos,” or “self.”  Something as simple as knowing the origin of the word begins a journey of understanding and helps us clarify what can be anticipated in the areas of behavior and social interaction.  This presentation will explore possible “triggers” of inappropriate behavior. After a discussion of typical human growth and development we will review strategies to help improve communication and encourage appropriate social interaction for riders with ASD.

Keith O'Connor, M.A., CCC-SLP, received his MA degree from the University of Houston Central and subsequently earned his Certificate of Clinical Competence.  He is employed as an SLP for Katy ISD in the Houston metropolitan area, where he started a comedy club for children with autism. He served as a lead speech pathologist at Cy Fair ISD and spent five years at an alternative school working with emotionally disturbed and incarcerated youth.

Anthony Busacca, a PATH Intl. Certified Master Instructor and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning, has worked in the therapeutic horsemanship profession for more than 25 years.  Anthony has presented instructor training workshops and lectures throughout the United States and in Canada, Israel, Japan, Mongolia and South Korea.  Anthony came to SIRE Therapeutic Horsemanship in Houston, TX, in 2010 and now serves as its chief operating officer.


D2, Mane Gait’s GaitWay to the Brain ProgramDE

In ManeGait’s GaitWay to the Brain Program, we will talk about how to wire and re-wire the brain for improved function via neurogenesis and neuroplasticity. We will discuss how the brain is designed to work, why it doesn't and demonstrate simple tools/activities that change that. We will discuss the stress response and how it interferes with learning. We will talk about our training workshops, developed to share this information with other riding centers.

Robin Harwell, MA, CCC-SLP, has more than 35 years of experience working with all ages and diagnoses. She utilizes this brain building approach in her private practice and presents it to physical, occupational, and speech therapists throughout the United States. She works with nonprofits around the world to train those working with special needs families. She began working with ManeGait in June 2012 to incorporate brain building with therapeutic riding, and GaitWay to the Brain was born.

Cindy Long, CBIS, is a Certified Brain Injury Specialist who began specializing in brain injury in 1991. She has been a PATH Intl. Certified Registered Instructor for four years and is the program manager for the GaitWay to the Brain program at ManeGait. She is a published author of both clinical articles and those that deal with EAAT. She owns and trains her two beloved horses, Hank and Trip, in Blue Ridge, TX, and presents clinics for other horse enthusiasts.


4:20  to 5:20 p.m.

E1, Behind The Behavior: Understanding Riders With Autism Spectrum Disorder Part 2DE RDIDNG CR



E2, The Unified Rider Special Olympics

Jennifer Grantham



5:30 to 6:30 p.m.

Dinner Key Note Speaker Steven Blackwood for the Alex FoundationCE







6:30 to 7:30 p.m.

Meet and Greet and Networking









Saturday, August 5

Beyond Boundaries


7 to 8 a.m.

Breakfast and Registration



9:30 to 10:30 a.m.

F1, Stepping Into the Arena and Daring GreatlyESMHL CR

What is it like to step into the arena and practice vulnerability, courage, shame resilience and worthiness in partnership with a horse? The nature of the horse holds sacred space to safely lean into our authentic self. This whole-hearted practice transforms the way we live, love, parent and lead. Based on the research of Brene' Brown, PhD, join the presenters as they share their partnership in integrating the nature of the herd and the real life arena setting.

Sara B. Willerson, LCSW, offers equine-facilitated psychotherapy services for children and adults in the North Texas area. Together with her equine partners, Sara invites participants to experience the transformational healing power of the horse outside of the traditional office environment. For more information visit www.horsesheartandsoul.com.

Vanessa M. Sanford is a bilingual and bi-cultural therapist working with families in crisis.  Mrs. Sanford was awarded the 2007 Texas Mental Health Professional of the Year for Child Advocacy Centers of Texas. Vanessa is licensed professional counselor/supervisor, Certified Daring Way Facilitator in private practice located in Frisco, TX.



F2, Equine Training Communication is one of the big keys in horsemanship. Communication is about preparing the horse and learning ways to make the right thing obvious so he'll understand what you're trying to convey to him. It's about learning how to listen to your horse. It's about improving your own feel and timing. It's about trying to look at things from the horse's perspective, and presenting your idea in a manner that makes sense to him. There is a big difference between a horse moving to avoid pressure, and a horse that is following a feel, seeking the release. Evading pressure is avoidance, and creates resistance. A horse that is following a feel and searching for a release is a horse that is thinking, and is much more likely to be supple and soft.

Steve Jones is a native of Winfield, Louisiana. His family was involved in agriculture with cattle, hogs, vegetable production, and horses. Cattle were grazed on timber company land providing the young Steve with lots of horseback time and unique experiences. These experiences of riding and working cattle provided an opportunity for Steve to work his way through College as a day-work cowboy. He also rode young horses for the public when time allowed. Steve’s graduate education included the study of Animal Behavior and Communication. As a result, many of the old ways of getting colts started and horses trained was scratched and a philosophy of communicating with the horse from the horses’ perspective was developed. Steve served as University of Arkansas Extension Horse Specialist for 21 years. Upon retirement from the University of Arkansas in 2014, Steve started his own business- Steve Jones Horsemanship Enterprises, Inc. The business focus is teaching horsemanship and training tips for horsemen through clinics and private lessons

10:30 to 11:30 a.m.

G1, Pre-Purchase Examination Part 1

Pre-purchase examinations with radiographic evidence of sound and unsound equine partners.

Angel Jordan, DVM, owner of Arkansas Equine Services, is a mobile equine practioner located in Rosebud, AR. She is a 2007 graduate of Oklahoma State Unversity, a center for veterinary health sciences. Dr Jordan's professional interests include performance medicine, diagnostic imaging and reproductive medicine. Her personal interests are centered around her outgoing fun loving son, Eli.


G2, Raindrop Therapy & Massage CE



Lunch and Afternoon Sessions at

Cabot Junior High




11:30 to noon

State Meetings

Noon to 1 p.m.

Lunch/LSTEN Board Meeting



1 to 2 p.m.

H1, Pre-Purchase Examination Part 2

 Angel Jordan see bio in G1



H2, 12-Week Mentoring ProgramCE

Learn about a 12-week mentoring program that has taken the required criteria necessary for registered instructor certification and broken it down into easy to manage segments. Contracts, evaluations and checklists to ensure ITs are prepared for certification are included in this comprehensive plan. Help ITs over the hurdle of "you don't know what you don't know" by using this highly successful proven method.

Rachel Royston is the program coordinator of Turning Point Ranch Therapeutic Riding Center, a PATH Intl. PAC in Stillwater, OK. She has been a PATH Intl. Certified Registered Instructor for six years, PATH Intl. Mentor for four years and is an ESMHL. After struggling through certification herself, she was determined to make sure that she would help anyone she could become a great PATH Intl. instructor. Rachel has also presented at two PATH Intl. Conferences and a PATH Intl. Region 8 Conference.



2:10 to 3:10 p.m.

I1,  Marketing CE

Laurie Harris


I2, Disaster PreparednessCE

Beth Ferguson

3:20 to 5 p.m.

J1, Federal Motor Carrier Regulations and the Equine ProfessionalCE

Presenter Beth Kuykendall Lowery has been involved with horses since childhood.  Beth has accumulated multiple national titles in a variety of disciplines while working in the family business of transportation.  Being an equine professional who is internationally recognized in the transportation industry, this subject is of special interest to her.  The objective of her presentation is to educate professionals who transport equines regarding the federal regulations that apply to their services.  Many equine  professionals who transport horses as a part of their normal course of business are either not aware of mandated regulations or do not understand how and when federal motor carrier regulations apply to them.  The equine industry is a viable source of income for the south central section of the United States and is an important job.

Beth Lowrey specializes in the evaluation, development and implementation of transportation safety management and regulatory compliance practices and programs. Her experience as a professional transportation safety manager and an independent risk management consultant includes assisting organizations in the areas of accident prevention and causation, training means and methods, federal and state regulatory compliance, and accident defensibility. She has conducted injury and fatality investigations and accident analyses. She is a performance-driven, safety professional with 20+ years of program development and expertise in regulatory compliance, defensibility, audit control, accident prevention strategies, accident investigation and reconstruction. She also specializes in recruitment strategies, environmental protection plans, OSHA compliance and workers compensation program development with nine nationally recognized safety programs with the TCA and ATA. Additionally, Beth is an accomplished equestrian professional.




J2, Equine Activity Liability Acts -- Are You Blindly Galloping Along? CE

Are you prepared to defend if you or your center is sued? Or are you blindly galloping along without direction? Hear a summary of the origin and protections of the Equine Activity Liability Acts nationwide and what it means in your state. Hear about some of the cases that have tested the immunity of the EALA and gain valuable insight and understanding why compliance with PATH Intl. standards can be important in the courtroom.

A lifelong equine enthusiast, Deborah Manasco has competed, coached, judged and taught horsemanship in various settings for more than 40 years. In 2007, she retired from practicing law with the State of Alabama. She returns to practice with the Alabama Legislature during regular session each year and teaches therapeutic horsemanship part time at Storybook Farm in Opelika, AL.  She is a PATH Intl. Certified Registered Instructor, mentor and site visitor.



5:10 to 6:10 p.m.

K1, Horse Trailer SafetyCE 

Beth Lowery


K2, Little Book of Activities, A Saddlebag of Tricks

After receiving her Bachelor of Science degree in physical therapy from the University of Pittsburgh, Beth Stamps received her advanced master of science in pediatric physical therapy from the University of Central Arkansas, followed by her doctorate degree in physical therapy.  Beth is an American Board of Physical Therapy Specialist, in addition to being a certified clinical specialist in pediatric physical therapy, neurodevelopmental treatment and has completed Level I and Level II training with the American Hippotherapy Association.                     


A little less than 24 years ago Beth founded Allied Therapy & Consulting Services, P.A., a pediatric therapy group which specializes in providing speech, occupational and physical therapy in the child’s natural environment.  Since that time she has also co-founded two separate 501c-3 nonprofit organizations, Beyond Boundaries, an equine-assisted center, and Leaping Beyond Sports Camp, which specializes in the provision of a camp experience for children with multiple disabilities that focuses on adaptive sports and recreation, facilitated by physical, occupational and speech therapy services. 


Beth currently serves as the practice chairperson for the Arkansas Physical Therapy Association, on the Arkansas Medicaid Task Force and is the University of Central Arkansas Site Coordinator and member of the Residency Advisory Committee for the Pediatric Residency Program in conjunction with the UCA and Arkansas Children’s Hospital Site Coordinators, which is an accredited pediatric residency program by the American Physical Therapy Board of of Physical Therapy Residency and Fellowship Education.


Dinner on your own



Sunday, Aug 6

Cabot Junoir High




7:15 to 7:45 a.m.  


8 to 8:45 a.m.

Cowboy Church



9 to 10 a.m.

L1, Influence of Therapeutic Horseback Riding and Sensory Integration Therapy on Motor Proficiency in Youth With Sensory Processing Disorder DE

The purpose of this research study was to compare motor-skill proficiency after eight weeks of therapeutic horseback riding to eight weeks of therapeutic horseback riding with additional sensory integration therapy in children and youth with sensory-integration delays. Motor skills were assessed using the Bruininks-Oseretsky Test for Motor Proficiency and the Purdue Perceptual-Motor Survey. With regard to data analysis, the majority of the 27 participants recruited exhibited improved motor skills following both interventions.

Rhett Rigby is an assistant professor in the department of kinesiology at Texas Woman's University in Denton, TX. He earned a bachelor's degree in biomedical engineering in 2007 from LeTourneau University, and both a master's degree in biomedical engineering in 2009 and a doctorate in kinesiology, exercise, and nutrition and health promotion in 2014 from Baylor University. He holds certifications from the National Strength and Conditioning Association and serves as a board member for the American College of Sports Medicine.

Ronald Davis is a professor in the department of kinesiology at Texas Woman's University in Denton, TX. He earned a bachelor's degree in physical education in 1972 from the University of Wisconsin at Oshkosh, a master's degree in special physical education in 1980 from the University of Wisconsin at LaCrosse and a doctorate in physical education in 1985 from Texas Woman's University. He currently serves as a board member for the Paralympic Research and Sports Science Consortium.

Melissa Bittner is currently a graduate student pursuing a doctoral degree in the department of kinesiology at Texas Woman's University, specializing in adapted physical activity and education. She earned a bachelor's degree in physical education in 2003 from Monmouth College and a master's degree in kinesiology in 2006 from Western Illinois University. 

Robin Harwell serves as the GaitWay Program Manager at ManeGait Therapeutic Horsemanship in McKinney, TX.

Eileen Leek serves as the Program Director of ManeGait Therapeutic Horsemanship, McKinney, TX.

Geoben Johnson is currently an adapted physical education specialist in the Allen Independent School District in Allen, TX. He earned a bachelor's degree in health and physical education in 1996 from Northeast Louisiana University and a master's degree in kinesiology with an emphasis in adapted physical activity and education in 2016 from Texas Woman's University.


L2, Vocational Training Program 

Jen Donahue

10:10 to 11:40 a.m.

M1, Qi-Gym - Brain Gym & Qi-Gong - The Quick Path to Heart-Brain-Body Coherence DE

Tanya brings her knowledge and enthusiasm from the UK and now from New Orleans to present this experiential workshop of inspiring movements and information drawn from cutting edge neuro-science, educational kinesiology/Brain Gym and the ancient art of Qi Gong, to bring understanding of what we can do to reduce stress and anxiety, increase coherence, clarity and peaceful presence in all our interactions, and how the state of coherence affects not only ourselves but others.

Tanya Simmons began teaching physical therapy in adult education in 1991 in Great Britain, UK, and started teaching Brain Gym/Education Kinesiology to children and adults in 2003 after training as a Brain Gym instructor in the UK and gaining a BA Honors Degree in professional education studies. She moved to the US in 2006 to continue training as a Certified US Brain Gym Consultant with the founder of Brain Gym. She has trained in and explored many modalities of mind-body medicine and healing arts, and runs a busy practice teaching and training nationwide. Since training in Qi Gong, Tanya has combined both Gi-Gong and Brain Gym - Qi-Gym - in a weekly class held in New Orleans.


M2, Little Book of Activities, A Saddlebag of Tricks (repeat of K2)

Beth Stamps





We look forward to seeing you soon in AR!





Event Type:Conference
Early registration ends on May 25, 2017.
Regular registration starts on May 26, 2017 and ends on Jul 21, 2017.
Late registration starts on Jul 22, 2017.