2015 PATH Intl. Region 08 Conference

Jul 31, 2015 07:30am -
Aug 02, 2015 12:00pm


Event Description



PATH Intl.Region 8

July 31 – August 2, 2015

College Station, TX


Hosted by R.O.C.K, Ride on Center for Kids, TAMUS Courtney Grimshaw Fowler Equine Therapeutic Program and Parsons Mounted Calvalry

Sponsored by LSTEN





Thomas G. Hildebrand, DVM ’56 Equine Complex

3240 F&B Road

College Station, TX 77843

(979) 458-9166





Executive Inn and Suites

901 East University Dr.  

College Station, TX 77840

(979) 260-9150

Rate: Book by June 30 and refer to

PATH Intl. to secure a rate of $72.99/night

plus tax.



Four Points by Sheraton College Station

1503 South Texas Ave.

College Station, TX 77840

(979) 693-1741

Rate: Book by July 10 and refer to

PATH Intl. to secure a rate of $113/night plus tax.






Online registration will be available through July 15, 2015.  After July 15, 2015, registration will need to be completed onsite.



Registration Fees:

There is no single-day or partial registration available.


Early Registration through July 15, 2015:       




On-Site Registration:




CPR-First Aid Recertification


This is for recertification only. We need to know in advance if you require “Professional Rescuer” or “Healthcare Provider” or “American Heart Association” recertification. Please select this during registration. If you specifically require American Heart Association please also check with your agency before registering. National Safety Council renewals are accepted.



Refund Policy:
Full refunds are given only if a written cancellation request is received at the PATH Intl. office by July 1, 2015. A 50-percent refund is given if a written request is received at the PATH Intl. office July 2-15, 2015. Individuals who do not submit a written request to PATH Intl. prior to July 15, 2015 will not receive a refund. There will be no refunds for cancellations due to weather unless the conference is canceled.




Attendees can earn up to 14.5 CEU's by attending this conference. As we transition to new CEU renewal requirements we wanted to make you aware of four sessions that would meet the specific disabilities requirement  and have noted them with a  CEU symbol.  If you have questions about these requirements please contact Bret Maceyak at the PATH Intl. office.


Please also note that each tour time for the Large Animal Hospital can only accommodate up to 30 people so please be sure to register ahead of time for this if you would like to participate.



Friday, July 31, 2015


7 to 8 a.m.

Registration Open

7 to 8 a.m.


8 a.m. to 2 p.m.

PATH Intl. Standards Course

Joan Cutler, faculty

Attendees must pre-register with PATH Intl. and bring a copy of the 2014 PATH Intl. Standards for Cerfication and Accreditation manual.

10 a.m. to 2 p.m.

CPR/First Aid – Recertification Only

Rebecca Gribben, faculty


Box lunch served to CPR and Standards Course attendees

1 to 2:30 p.m.           

Registration Open

2 to 2:20 p.m.           

Welcome and Opening

2:30 to 3:45 p.m.

Session A


  • A1, How Are We Doing?
    Research provides an essential and critical lens to explore the remarkable benefits of human-animal interactions. The purpose of this presentation is to highlight several collaborative research projects, which contribute to the growing body of research validating the therapeutic benefits of equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT). The presenter will describe results of two completed research studies and present preliminary data from an ongoing study. Critical research questions will be examined along with future research needs.
    Beth Lanning, PhD, MCHES is an associate professor in the department of health, human performance and recreation at Baylor University and is a master certified health education specialist (MCHES). She earned her undergraduate degree and graduate degree from Baylor University with an emphasis in public health education and wellness. She completed her doctorate in health education from Texas A & M University. Dr. Lanning’s research interests focus on quality of life issues in vulnerable populations. She has conducted research in the areas of child sexual abuse, sexual assault, body image and general public health. Over the past seven years, she has been involved in research that examines the use of animals, especially horses, as therapy partners in programs with at risk-youth, children on the autism spectrum and combat soldiers returning from Iraq and Afghanistan. She has published more than 33 peer-reviewed articles and abstracts and has given more than 55 presentations at the national and state level. In addition to her research, Dr. Lanning teaches both undergraduate and graduate classes relating to all aspects of public health and is the director of the community health undergraduate program at Baylor University.


  • A2, EAA in China:Offering Hope With the Help of Four White Hooves
    As the field of EAAT grows and programs are established in countries with no experience or education in EAAT, being alert and sensitive to cultural norms and differences is crucial. This presentation is designed to demonstrate the success of one program by employing skills that most in this field possess: patience, perseverance, respect, humor and the strong desire to partner with the horse to heal individuals with special needs. Insights and ideas for problem-solving that were successful for a program established in a developing country will be shared, and methodology to facilitate success of new programs in challenging circumstances will be discussed.
    Priscilla Lightsey
    , DPT, MA, HPCS, is a PATH Intl. Certified Registered Instructor. A former special education teacher and early childhood specialist, she is a lifelong horse enthusiast who worked at R.O.C.K., Ride On Center for Kids, a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center in Georgetown, TX, for many years before moving to Beijing, China in 2007. She founded Horses Offering People Enrichment (H.O.P.E.), an equine-assisted therapy program, in Beijing, China, in 2009. Priscilla returned to R.O.C.K. in 2012 and continues to run H.O.P.E. One of her passions is research relating to the practice of hippotherapy; she has had articles published in the American Hippotherapy Association Magazine, FRDI Newsletter and PATH Intl Strides Magazine. Priscilla can be reached at priscilla@rockride.org and www.hopebeijing.org.

3:45 to 4 p.m.           


4 to 5:15/5:30 p.m.   

Session B


  • B1, Recording Complex Movement Patterns and Recreating Them in a Mechanical Device (4 to 5:15 p.m.)
    This presentation will cover several topics including: the measurement of three-dimensional movement patterns with a multi-camera motion capture system; the processing of measured movement data for characterization and analysis; a review of methods and results from previous research comparing riding and walking movement patterns;  the design of a mechanical device to recreate measured movement patterns; the methods and results of a study to compare motion of the mechanical device to its target horse motion; and the methods and results of new research to measure and characterize movement patterns using the inertial sensors on board modern smart phones.
    Dr. Brian Garner received his PhD in mechanical engineering at the University of Texas at Austin in 1998. He has been a member of the Baylor University faculty in the mechanical engineering department since 2002. His research interests include computer simulation, experimental study and machine design related to human musculoskeletal biomechanics. His research has resulted in several patents, including a recent patent for a mechanical device that recreates the complex motion of a horse and simulates the experience of riding.


  • B2, Behavior Bootcamp (aka Behavioral Techniques in Equine-Assisted Activities) CEU (4 to 5:15 p.m.)
    Challenging behavior (CB) is one of the most difficult situations a professional can face in EAAT. Although it is a form of communication, CB also presents a possible precaution or contraindication and requires a great deal of thought when it comes to continuing treatment. During this presentation we will examine the behavioral chain as well as maintaining functions and ways of handling CB with individuals both on and off the horse.
    Emilie Ross, MEd, BCBA, graduated from the University of Texas at Austin, with a masters degree in autism and developmental disabilities program in 2012. She specializes in behavioral techniques used in tandem with the horse. She wants to improve the lives of individuals with disabilities and their families through behavioral interventions in generalized settings. She works at R.O.C.K., Ride On Center for Kids, a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center in Georgetown, TX.


  • B3, Tour Option 1: The Large Animal Hospital at Texas A & M (4 to 5:30 p.m. – a maximum of 30 people)
    The Large Animal Hospital at Texas A & M offers a collaborative approach to managing each case along with state-of-the-art equipment and advanced facilities. Services range from the Community Practice and Field Services to complex surgical procedures through the Soft Tissue and Orthopedic Surgery Services.

5:15 to 5:30 p.m.


5:30 to 7 p.m.           

Welcome, Dinner With Dr. James Heird







Saturday, August 1, 2015

7:30 to 8:30 a.m.

Registration Open

7:30 to 8:30 a.m.


8:30 to 9:45 a.m.

Session C


  • C1, Saddle Fit for Maximum Horse and Rider Benefit
    This presentation is designed as a short lecture on each type of saddle or pad, followed by hands-on fitting of saddles by the participants. English, western and military saddles will be used. A wide variety of pads and various saddle tack will also be demonstrated. Horses will be chosen to represent the widest range of saddle fit options. A take-home tool for rough fit of saddles will be given to each participant.
    Bob Byrns is the site manager/advisor for Parsons Mounted Cavalry(PMC) and provides horses and training for Courtney Cares. PMC is a 50 horse ceremonial unit with the Texas A & M Corps of Cadets. Mr. Byrns is a Level 4 CHA Instructor in english, western and jumping. He is a Level 2 CHA Instructor of Riders with Disabilities. Amanda Bradbery has a masters degree in equine science and is currently working toward a PhD degree at Texas A & M.


  • C2, The Functional Value of Therapeutic Driving Skills  CEU
    Participants in therapeutic driving activities learn and utilize a variety of functional skills that can be transferred to their activities of daily living. This presentation will include description and explanation of therapeutic driving lessons and the potential skills participants can learn. The PowerPoint presentation will include slides and videos of driving skill demonstrations and ideas for lesson plans.
    Karen Gardner is an occupational therapist, hippotherapy clinical specialist, PATH Intl. Certified Master Instructor and Driving Instructor Level II.  She has been active on numerous PATH Intl. committees and is a past president of AHA, Inc.  Karen is a current AHA faculty member and teaches online courses for Lone Star College. She is co-owner with Judy Moore, DPT of Silver Lining Therapy,  which provides OT, PT and animal-assisted therapy services.

9:45 to 10 a.m.


10 to 11:15/11:30 a.m.

Session D


  • D1, Generational Marketing and Fundraising (10 to 11:15 a.m.)
    This presentation will take a look at equine influences through pop culture and suggest how to continue to motivate the public's interest in horses.  Boomer and Millennial generations have very different concepts regarding horse engagement. This presentation will explore these concepts. The presentation also includes an update on the American Horse Council's "Time to Ride" marketing efforts.
    Patti Colbert is a hands-on promoter for the horse industry and the American Horse Publications Association 2014 “Equine Innovator of the Year.” Experience in both private and nonprofit equine business led Patti to a position as the senior director of the American Quarter Horse  Foundation where she served until 2004. In 2006, Patti’s company began a management arrangement with the Mustang Heritage Foundation where she created and launched the Extreme Mustang Makeover events that led to the adoption of more than 5,000 wild horses. Patti currently works with the American Horse Council’s Marketing Alliance, representing major equine breed, discipline and corporate organizations. Patti helped to create “Time to Ride” events and programs, including the national “100 Day Horse Challenge” designed to provide incentives for stables, businesses and organizations to host events that connect newcomers to horses.


  • D2, Tour Option 2: The Large Animal Hospital at Texas A & M (10 to 11:30 a.m. – maximum of 30 people)
    The Large Animal Hospital at Texas A & M offers a collaborative approach to managing each case along with state-of-the-art equipment and advanced facilities. Services range from the Community Practice and Field Services to complex surgical procedures through the Soft Tissue and Orthopedic Surgery Services.

11:15 to 11:30 a.m.


11:30 a.m. to 1 p.m.

Lunch With State Meetings, LSTEN Business Meeting and a PATH Intl. Update by Kathy Alm

1 to 2:15/2:30 p.m.

Session E


  • E1, R.O.C.K. On Veterans: Our Story (1 to 2:15 p.m.)
    R.O.C.K. On Veterans will tell the story of how R.O.C.K., Ride On Center for Kids began working with veterans in 2005. We will discuss how we (the horses and people of R.O.C.K.)  totally fell in love with this group, what we've learned over the years, and how we continue to learn from our veterans each week. Information shared will include the basics of starting a program, funding, class content, special events including family programs, horse requirements and building leadership within the group.
    Heidi Derning has been a PATH Intl. Certified Registered Instructor and recreational therapist in Texas since 2002. She has been happy and honored to work with R.O.C.K., Ride On Center for Kids in Georgetown since 2001. She has worked in the area of volunteer coordinating, instructing all ages of students including the veterans and as R.O.C.K.'s  Veterans Program Coordinator since 2012. She is excited to share information with all who will listen! Lindsey Ruther, Kevin Bowers and Mary Ballengee will be presenting with Heidi.


  • E2, Fight or Flight - Equine Therapy Impacts on the Human Nervous System CEU (1 to 2:15 p.m.)
    The fight or flight nature in horses has a strong impact on everything around them, including us. We will discuss the nervous system response in both the human and horse worlds and how this applies to therapeutic riding.  The objective of this presentation is to provide information about how equine behavior ultimately influences human behavior.
    Dr. Amy Nelson is a licensed naturopathic doctor (ND) in the state of California. She attended medical school at the National College of Natural Medicine where she studied herbal, homeopathic, hydrotherapy, and lifestyle and nutritional approaches to family medicine. She completed an internship with Dr. Dickson Thom, an expert ND in biotherapeutic drainage, a concept of understanding imbalances in organ systems to re-establish wellness and address disease. After obtaining a bachelor’s degree in chemistry from the University of Missouri, Dr. Nelson worked as a chemist at a nuclear power plant. She was called to pursue medicine while recognizing the impact of lifestyle on many of her co-workers. She obtained another bachelor’s degree in biology from Rocky Mountain College in Montana, and it was here she began her work in psychiatric care. She was introduced to naturopathic medicine by patients in a psychiatric hospital who flourished managing illness with medication cocktails. Illness is often a puzzle with many aspects, all of which need attention. n addition to naturopathic medicine training, Dr. Nelson utilizes equine therapy to aid in mental emotional work in her family practice. Horses have been a main influence in Dr. Nelson’s life. She began training young horses when she was 12 years old and now has more than 20 years learning from these amazing animals. She has re-schooled and rehabilitated abused horses, started young fillies and colts under saddle and trained to advanced levels.


  • E3, Tour Option 3: The Large Animal Hospital at Texas A & M (1 to 2:30 p.m. – a maximum of 30 people)
    The Large Animal Hospital at Texas A & M offers a collaborative approach to managing each case along with state-of-the-art equipment and advanced facilities. Services range from the Community Practice and Field Services to complex surgical procedures through the Soft Tissue and Orthopedic Surgery Services.

2:15 to 2:30 p.m.      


2:30 to 3:45 p.m.

Session F


  • F1, The Art of Developing Partnerships
    This presentation will focus on partnerships that can be developed throughout the infrastructure of a PATH Intl. Center and define partnerships by focusing on the horse’s nature. By evaluating the nature of the horse, conference attendees will be encouraged to evaluate methods to improve communication, raise the levels of knowledge and skills their center’s personnel and equine staff possess, as well as evaluate ways personnel can become more effective with less.
    Margo Dewkett is the founder, executive director and head instructor of Windridge Therapeutic Equestrian Center of East Texas, a PATH Intl. Premier Aaccredited Center. Her proficiency is based on 26 years as Windridge’s administrator and 40-plus years training horses.  A PATH Intl. Certified Master Instructor and Driving Instructor Level II, Margo is also an Evaluator and Mentor.  Margo’s equine-training techniques were featured in a 2010 Strides issue and her business strategies in a 2012 issue.


  • F2, Veterans Panel Discussion
    Please join us for an interactive session focusing on veterans and featuring veterans from different therapeutic riding centers. Bring your ideas and questions to share with the group in this highly interactive session.
    Heidi Derning, moderator. For bio see session D1.

3:45 to 4 p.m.           


4 to 5:15/5:30 p.m.

Session G


  • G1, Ten Traits of Great Nonprofits (4 to 5:15 p.m.)
    Ten Traits to GREAT! is Febreeze for programs wrestling with the raw issues of a new nonprofit.  It can offer a breath of fresh air to programs stalled on the way to the next level. Learn 10 specific steps you can take home to help your staff and board plot a path to success. Content covers mission, focus, selling results, funding sources, revitalization, board and audience development, and the power of "Thank You" in reaching for excellence.
    Natalea Watkins spent two decades in television news as a reporter, producer, anchor and finally one of the first female news directors in markets that included Oklahoma City, Columbus, Buffalo, Charlotte and Baltimore, where one of her challenges was a young reporter named Oprah Winfrey. She transferred her communications and management skills to her alma mater, Oklahoma State University in 1990 as an assistant vice president for communications and a member of the University's Executive Group. In 2000, she was paralyzed from the chest down in a rollover car accident. She returned to her job at the university but in 2003 took a disability retirement after long hours and long distances in a manual wheelchair compromised her health. She joined the board of Turning Point Ranch Foundation, a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center in Stillwater, OK, and in 2011 became a PATH Intl. Certified Registered Instructor.


  • G2, Building Brains at ManeGait CEU (4 to 5:30 p.m.)
    ManeGait’s “GaitWay to the Brain” Program utilizes neurogenesis and neuroplasticity to build integration, attention and flexibility in the brains of our riders on a daily basis.  Information will be presented on how the brain works, why it doesn’t and how to change that.  We will discuss how to move a rider from stress response to a right state of arousal for attention and learning.  Then you and your riders may see significant, life-changing outcomes.
    Robin Harwell, M.A. CCC-SLP, is a licensed and certified speech pathologist with more than 30 years of experience working with all ages and diagnoses.  She has assessment and treatment experience in various settings, including hospitals, nursing homes, home health, private practice, schools, and riding programs. Robin has completed AHA Level I and Level 2, and is PATH Intl. certified. She also routinely presents one and two-day workshops about her brain-building approach across the country.

5:15/5:30 p.m.

Dinner on your own







Sunday, August 2, 2015

7:30 to 8:30 a.m.


8 to 9 a.m.

Cowboy Church – Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo Western Arena

9:15 to 10:30 a.m.

Session H


  • H1, The Llama Factor: Keys to Creating Joy and Alleviating Depression Through Therapeutic Animal Programs
    Learn how to build therapeutic equine and animal programs that are focused first and foremost on saving lives. Discussion will include readying your center to focus on creating joy; logistical considerations of running high-risk mental health programs; attracting adult clients; how therapeutic instruction is like combat; the unique care requirements for equines involved in joy-based programs; incorporation of other animals; best practices; and why a talk about equines is named after one magical llama.
    Jan Shultis is the founder and current director of The Xena Project, a veteran-operated 501(c)3 equine and animal program outside of Houston, Texas, that is the only program of its kind in the country.  Particularly noteworthy for use of a cutting-edge riding simulator, The Xena Project is uniquely able to welcome veterans with traumatic physical, brain or emotional injury.  Commissioned in 2006 from the United States Naval Academy, Jan served around the country and in Afghanistan as a public affairs officer in the U.S. Navy.  This is the second year she has presented at the Region 8 Conference.  Learn more about The Xena Project at xenahorse.com.


  • H2, Developing or Re-developing Your Board: A Roadmap for Successful Board Recruitment
    Finding new board members who bring the experience and passion your organization needs takes both science and art. In this Board Development session, you will learn specific steps and strategies to identify the type of board member you need, where and how to recruit (technology can be your friend) and how to assess an applicant’s potential for your organization. You will leave with a roadmap to develop or redevelop your board for organizational success.
    Kathy Alm began her service as CEO to PATH Intl. in August 2014. For the last 15 years she served as executive director of Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center in Woodinville, WA. She grew the previously grassroots organization from a $280,000 annual operating budget to a professional $2.1 million organization. Kathy’s board service includes PATH Intl’s board from 2005 – 2013, including the office of board president, founder/board member of the Director of Disabilities Organization, board member of the Alliance of Eastside Agencies as well as founder/board member of Theatre Puget Sound.   She has facilitated numerous workshops and presentations on board, staff, fundraising and strategic planning and enjoys the opportunity to share her experience as well as learn from others.

10:30 to 10:45 a.m.  


10:45 a.m. to Noon

Session I


  • I1, Roaming Tracks for Herd Health
    Cavalry horses used for thereputic riding at Texas A & M are housed in a unique environment. The horse area enables horses to go unshod and is designed to provide horses with continual movement, to lower herd health costs, to decrease grain and forage requirements and to maximize limited space. This system could be adapted to almost any situation. Presentation will include a short lecture followed by a tour of the Cavalry facilites. The facilities are located directly across from the Hildebrand Equine Complex.
    Bob Byrns is the site manager/advisor for Parsons Mounted Cavalry(PMC) and provides horses and training for Courtney Cares. PMC is a 50 horse ceremonial unit with the Texas A & M Corps of Cadets. Mr. Byrns is a Level 4 CHA Instructor in english, western and jumping. He is a Level 2 CHA Instructor of Riders with Disabilities. Amanda Bradbery has a masters degree in equine science and is currently working toward a PhD degree in equine science at Texas A & M.


  • I2, Round Table Discussion - Agency Billing
    Please join us for a round table discussion and interactivethink tank focusing on agency billing. We will be problem-solving and discussing strategies used by different facilities when billing agencies. Bring your ideas and questions to share with the group in this highly interactive session.
    Kristin Witcher, moderator

Noon  to 12:30 p.m.

Conference wrap-up  and pick up certificates




Thanks for coming. Have a safe drive home!

Event Type:Conference
Category:Regional Conference
Early registration ends on May 31, 2015.
Regular registration starts on Jun 01, 2015 and ends on Jul 15, 2015.
Late registration starts on Jul 16, 2015.
(GMT-08:00) Pacific Time (US & Canada), Tijuana