2014 PATH Intl. Region 01 Conference

Apr 25, 2014 08:00am -
Apr 27, 2014 03:00pm


Event Description

PATH Intl.

Region 1 Conference
April 25-27, 2014

Temple, NH

Hosted by:

Horse Power at Touchstone Farm







Conference Tracks and Lodging:

Courtyard Marriott Nashua

2200 Southwood Dr.

Nashua, NH 03063

Single Room Rate: $87 per night. Resevations must be made by April 3, 2014


Barn Track:

Touchstone Farm

13 Pony Farm Lane

Temple, NH 03084






Online registration will be available through April 8, 2014.  After April 8, 2014, registration will need to be completed onsite.



Registration Fees:


Early Registration through April 8:       


Full Conference -

Member  $160

Non-member $230


Saturday Only -

Member $125

Non-member $175


Sunday Only -

Member $125

Non-member $175

On-Site Registration:


Full Conference -

Member $180

Non-member $250


Saturday Only -

Member $150

Non-member $190


Sunday Only -

Member $150

Non-member $190


Refund Policy:
Full refunds are given only if a written cancellation request is received at the PATH Intl. office by March 31, 2014. A 50-percent refund is given if a written request is received at the PATH Intl. office by April 1-8, 2014. Individuals who do not submit a written request to PATH Intl. prior to April 8, 2014, will not receive a refund. There will be no refunds for cancellations due to weather unless the conference is cancelled.





Friday, April 25

(All events at Courtyard Marriott Nashua)

8 a.m. to 5 p.m.                       Registration Open and Silent Auction Drop Off

8 a.m. to 3:30 p.m.                  Survive and Thrive: Pre-Conference Workshop

This special pre-conference workshop will focus on the five life stages of a nonprofit. Through a thoughtful assessment of your own organization, you will gain insight as to where you are and ascertain the tools you will need to get to where you want to go. Focus areas will include budgeting, resource allocation, fundraising, board development and leadership, programming, staffing, PR/Marketing and more. A lunch break will be taken from noon to 1:30 p.m.

Karen Kersting is the executive director of UpReach Therapeutic Riding Center, a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center. As a former vice president in Cash Management with Citizens Bank, Karen was responsible for project management as well as overseeing product development, customer service and sales. Karen has served on a number of PATH Intl. committees

10 a.m. to 2 p.m.                     NESAR Board Meeting

                                                Leanne Hatch

1 p.m. to 5 p.m.                       PATH Intl. Standards Course

Attendees must pre-register with PATH Intl. and bring a copy of the 2013 PATH Intl. Standards for Certification and Accreditation manual.
Kim Henning, Faculty

5:30 p.m.                     Reception and Standards Hearing



Saturday, April 26

(All Events at Courtyard Marriott Nashua)

8 a.m. to noon                         Registration Open

9:30 to 10:30 a.m.                   Session A

o   A1, Secrets of Fundraising Success in a Small Shop

This session will help you get a clear idea of what you need to be doing to reach your fundraising goals. Learn the secrets of planning and using systems that will make your life easier and your fundraising successful. This workshop is designed to help people who wear many hats learn to manage the many aspects of fundraising for your nonprofit.

Sandy Rees is the creator of the GetFullyFunded system, which is a program designed to help leaders of nonprofits raise the money of their dreams and build successful boards. She is the author of “Get Fully Funded: How to Raise the Money of Your Dreams,” “Six Figure Fundraising,” “Fundraising Buffet,” and “Simple Success Fundraising Plan.”

o   A2, Solving Sensory Challenges in Clients With ASD

Understanding the basis of sensory integration and the neurobiology behind it, as well as how to help clients with sensory challenges, is very important for therapists, instructors and volunteers. The aim of this presentation is to introduce the therapeutic team to the science of sensory integration while showing practical examples of challenges and situations that can arise if sensory needs are not addressed correctly.

Karolina Przewloka LaBrecque earned her PhD degree in child development, autism spectrum disorders and disabilities from Pilsudski University in Warsaw, Poland. She was on the faculty of Medical University of Warsaw while managing her own clinical practice. She immigrated to the United States in 2008 and has expanded her interests to include a life coaching practice that serves a diverse client base dealing with issues ranging from weight loss to autism. She has long used hippotherapy in her treatments.

o   A3, Taking It to the Next Level: Integrating Mental Health and Equine Therapies

Many of us focus our efforts on our client’s physical disabilities and often overlook the impact equine-assisted interventions have on our client’s mental health. This presentation will examine common mental health diagnoses and the benefits of equine therapy, and will provide straight-forward tools to begin integrating mental health into any practice.

After being a music educator for 30 years, Chris Patella changed careers. She founded and directs Animal Assisted Therapy Services, which specializes in canine and equine therapy. She is a professional dog trainer and PATH Intl. Certified Registered Instructor. She has developed an innovative curriculum using a unique blend of music and animals. Jody Rowell earned her MSSW degree from Columbia University in 1999 and is in private practice in North Haven, CT, specializing in working with children and their families. Her primary focus is working with children, teens and young adults who have been exposed to trauma, grief, loss, poverty and systemic abuse.

10:30 to 10:45 a.m.                 Break

10:45 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.         Session B

o   B1, TR Accountability From the Perspective of an Instructor, Researcher or Director

The purpose of outcomes evaluation (OE) in therapeutic riding (TR) is to gain understanding of the effects of the activities and interventions on TR program participants. This presentation will address how one TR center is building an accountability system that measures the impact of horsemanship and supporting skills on the participants. High Horses will share how the results of their OE studies are increasing their understanding of the benefits of TR and how they are shaping their program as they move forward.

Liz Claud is the executive director at High Horses TRP and has been involved in results-based accountability for over four years. Though her experience with horses has been limited, her work as an educator, marine electrician and program director with Montshire Museum of Science has made her a valuable resource for High Horses. Susan Goodell is the lead instructor at High Horses TRP. She helped design and start High Horses’ second site by fundraising, securing horses, hiring staff, recruiting volunteers and preparing the site. Susan has a Master’s degree in education and was an elementary school educator for 15 years. Cathy Hybels is the executive vice president and co-founder of Leadership in Medicine, Inc. She has more than 25 years of experience in evidence-based management consulting in industries. She has worked with a wide variety of organizations, ranging from start-ups to Fortune 10, for-profit and nonprofit, private and public. Cathy holds BS, MS and PhD degrees from Cornell University.

o   B2, Managing the Group Lesson, Part 1

Entry level PATH Intl. Certified Registered Instructors who are seeking to complete certification at the advanced level are finding it difficult to have exposure to group lessons of three or more riders. This 2-part presentation will address management of the group lesson from lesson planning in the classroom to taking the lesson to the arena.

Kristin Mason is the owner and program director of Reining Hope, AEAAT, LLC. Kristin is a PATH Intl. Certified Advanced Instructor, ESMHL and has served on various PATH Intl. committees, including CT and VT state chair, a Lead Site Visitor and  Apprentice Evaluator.

o   B3, Exercise and the Motor, Timing, Cognitive, Executive and Behavioral Symptoms of Children With ADHD

Recent research shows potential benefits of exercise on symptoms of children with ADHD. Is therapeutic riding a beneficial exercise for ADHD? Electronic database searches have found that certain types of exercise may be more likely to have an effect on addressing the multiple symptoms of ADHD. TR may qualify as such as it focuses on complex sequences of bilateral movements, visuomotor practice, sensorimotor interventions, rhythm and timing, physical activity level, and outdoor exercise.

Heathir Fostyni, PT, is currently in the process of graduating from Northeastern University with a transitional Doctorate of Physical Therapy degree. She is a PATH Intl. Certified Registered Instructor and a lifelong horsewoman. She is the mother of a child with ADHD.

12:15 to 1:45 p.m.                   Lunch and Keynote Address: Navigating PATH International

1:45 to 3:15 p.m.                     Session C

o   C1, Dealing With Behaviors That Get in the Way of Learning

Tantrums, physical aggression, sexual behaviors and more. You’ve seen them. Now what should you do? This presentation is designed to broaden understanding of negative, undesirable or otherwise unwelcome behaviors that may occur during therapy sessions. It will provide therapists, volunteers and students with practical means of dealing with such behaviors.

Karolina Przewloka LaBrecque, see session A2.

o   C2, Laying the Foundation: Inclusion of Para Equestrian Sport Within TRC

This presentation will help participants understand an inclusive business model of both therapy and sports. The presenter will discuss the benefits in a therapeutic riding center of expanding program services to include competitive riding and, in particular, para-equestrian sports. Participants should leave this presentation with ideas on enrichment and expansion opportunities for their riders and centers.

Sarah Chappell Armentrout has been a PATH Intl. Certified Advanced Instructor since 2002 and is currently the head of Carlisle Academy’s Integrative Equine Therapy and Sports program in Lyman, ME. Sarah has presented at numerous conferences and written articles for STRIDES magazine. Carlisle Academy, originally Equest TRC, was recently named the official education partner of the US Para-Equestrian Association.

o   C3, Building Community in the Autism Spectrum Disorder Population

Combine eight students, eight horses, four teens at risk, four instructors and trot briskly. Sound like a recipe for disaster? On the contrary, this ambitious eight-week after-school program, now in its fifth year, combines singing, farm chores, mounted activities and a rare effort at community-building in this challenging special needs population.

Sarah Seidman is a Level III Centered Riding instructor and a PATH Intl. Certified Registered Instructor. She uses the Centered Riding model in her approach to teaching. This model borrows from the practices of yoga and tai chi, relying on breath, relaxation and body awareness to connect with the horse.

3:15 to 3:30 p.m.                     Break

3:30 to 4:30 p.m.                     Session D

o   D1, Nonverbal Communication

This PowerPoint presentation will focus on how our therapeutic rider’s body signals may not be congruent with what they are saying to the riding instructor. The horse usually holds the answer to how the rider is really feeling. Some of our riders are as nonverbal as our horses. The attendees will learn to recognize subtle cues from both horse and human for a greater awareness of what is really being “said.”

Sue Miller became a PATH Intl. Certified Registered Instructor in 2001 and an ESMHL in 2012 and is currently the Vermont State Chair. She has been working for High Horses in Wilder, VT, for 15 years. In addition to coaching Special Olympic teams since 2007, she has worked with special education students in elementary grades.

o   D2, One Language Many Centers

Currently there is no universally accepted standard to track participants’ progress in the TR industry. This session examines how three centers have joined together to collaborate on a strategy to track changes in our participants, using the same pre-defined language. Centers of all sizes and populations can participate in establishing a standardized language for the industry.

Cassady Clark is a PATH Intl. Certified Registered Instructor and administrator at High Horses in Norwich, VT. She has been part of a 15-month state-wide Performance Institute, through Benchmarks for a Better Vermont, presenting to government agencies and other nonprofits the value of therapeutic riding. She has been involved with the collaborative efforts between High Horses, High Hopes and UpReach since the summer of 2012. Kristen McGraw is a PATH Intl. Certified Registered Instructor, Driving Instructor Level II and ESMHL. She is currently the program director at UpReach TRC and has served as the PATH Intl. New Hampshire State Chair and the Region 1 Representative for several years each. She is currently the Chair of the New Hampshire Developmental Disabilities Council. She enjoys taking her ponies to nursing homes as “Pet Partners.”

o   D3, Service Learning Projects for EAAT Interns: A Qualitative and Anecdotal Analysis

Academic service learning is a strategy for helping  young adults develop into civic-minded members of society, critical thinkers and researchers by enhancing classroom time with real-life, hands-on experience. This presentation will chronicle the application of the concepts of service learning to an intern/instructor-in-training context at a TRC.

Michelle Lague, MA, LCSW, has been a PATH Intl. Certified Registered Instructor since 2002. She earned her certification while an intern at a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center in Virginia. Presently, she teaches at Southern Vermont TRC.Tabitha Vittum is a PATH Intl. Instructor-in-Training. She has been an intern at Southern Vermont TRC in Newfane, VT, since the fall of 2013. Her internship opportunity has been sponsored by the Workforce Investment Act through the Vermont Department of Labor.

4:45 to 5:45 p.m.                     State Meetings

5:30 p.m.                                 Vendor Area and Silent Auction Close                       


Sunday, April 27

(All events at Touchstone Farm)

7:30 to 8:30 a.m.                     Continental Breakfast

8:30 to 10:15 a.m.                   Session E

o   E1, Exploring the Freedom and Fun of Interactive Vaulting

Attendees will experience the fun and freedom of interactive vaulting in a hands-on format with a focus on the therapeutic value of various mounted and unmounted activities.  Presentation will also cover the practical components of how to bring this exciting and beneficial activity to your center with the topics of lungeing technique, horse selection and training, getting buy-in from staff and board, and program implementation.

Liz Adams has degrees in therapeutic horsemanship and education and is a PATH Intl. Certified Advanced Instructor, ESMHL, Vaulting Instructor, Lead Evaluator for Interactive Vaulting and registered level certifications. She is also an adjunct professor at Johnson and Wales University.

o   E2, When to Treat, When to Euthanize: Setting Some Guidelines

Join this session to focus on the topic of equine euthanasia from the perspective of a center administrator. What procedures, processes and approaches can you implement before the decision must be made to euthanize a horse. How can the process be facilitated? What role does the veterinarian, the staff, the animal caretaker, the executive director and the board play in making these decisions? Consider some of the key areas where people might disagree and how one can best prepare to navigate this subject in a group process. This interactive session may challenge some beliefs, will present concrete suggestions and will ask for participants to share their own experiences around the issue of equine euthanasia.

Michael Kaufman is the farm and wildlife director and director of The Sam and Myra Ross Institute at Green Chimneys. He served the American Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals (ASPCA), PATH Intl., and the American Humane Association (AHA) as a 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 equine-assisted activities, animal welfare, humane education and how the link between child abuse and animal cruelty offers opportunity for collaboration between various helping professions.

o   E3, Hippotherapy and Therapeutic Riding: Human and Equine Movement

This presentation wil review how the horse’s movement impacts human movement. Using different horses, participants will observe the translation of movement from horse to human while mounted in a variety of positions. Discussion will include horse and tack selection for clients along with the benefits of different gaits during lessons.

Sarah Bronson, PT, is the executive director of Riding To The Top in Windham, ME.  Sarah has been involved in therapeutic riding for more than 20 years including work as a board member, instructor and executive director.  She is a PATH Intl. Certified Registered Instructor and therapist. Contact (207)892-2813 ext. 12 or email sbronson@ridingtothetop.org.

o   E4, Warrior Camp at Touchstone Farm

Since November 2013, three Warrior Camp® programs have occurred in which a group of active military and combat veterans assembled at Touchstone Farm in New Hampshire with a carefully selected team of trauma experts to participate in a week-long treatment program for PTSD. This presentation will describe this groundbreaking program that offers equine-assisted psychotherapy, in conjunction with EMDR (eye movement desensitization and reprocessing) and yoga. Combat-related PTSD will be delineated as distinct from both PTSD and complex PTSD. This presentation has been designed to increase participants' understanding of trauma theory (neuroscience of the trauma response) and the importance of repairing both moral injury and the damage to the attachment system that is a consequence of combat trauma.

Isabella (Boo) Martin, Med, is a lifelong horsewoman who has shown, trained, evented, driven and taught riding and driving lessons for the last 40 years. She graduated as a teacher for grades K-12 from UVM and Fordham University. She then went on to found Pony Farm, a girls’ summer camp, fully accredited by the American Camping Association. She received her instructor certification from the American Riding Instructor Association and was awarded the Riding Instructor of the Year in 1997. She became involved in PATH Intl., formerly North American Riding for the Handicapped Association, in 1989. She went on to co-found the Equine Facilitated Mental Health Association. Ms. Martin has received the PATH Intl. Presidents’ Award, Founders’ Award and the James Brady Lifetime Achievement Award as well as the New Hampshire Horse Person of the Year. She has spoken at numerous regional and national conferences. Eva Usadi, MA, BCD, is the founder and director of Trauma and Resiliency Resources, Inc. She specializes in the assessment and treatment of PTSD, complex PTSD (attachment and developmental trauma) and Combat-related PTSD. In her private psychotherapy practice in Manhattan, she treats New York City firefighters, police officers, warriors and all their family members, as well as civilians. She was actively involved in the mental health response to the events of September 11, 2001. Ms. Usadi has been EAGALA-certified since 2007 and has presented nationally and internationally. Ms. Usadi has extensive experience in the field of trauma, especially combat trauma.

10:15-10:30 a.m.                     Break

10:30 a.m. to 12:15 p.m.         Session F

o   F1, Managing a Group Lesson, Part 2

Kristin Mason see Session B2

o   F2, Round Panel Discussion: Program Managers of Small Programs
Jeanna Pellino is the program director at Hidden Acres Therapeutic Riding Center. She is a PATH Intl. Certified Advanced Instructor, with a therapeutic recreation director certificate, human services degree (2014), and more than 15 years of volunteer management, new programs development and instructional experience. Lorna Young is a PATH Intl. Certified Advanced Instructor with 30 years of experience teaching after attending the Cheff Center instructor training program in 1977. She has started three successful programs and is currently the program director of Southern Vermont Therapeutic Riding Center in Newfane, VT. Lorna is a PATH Intl. Evaluator and served on the riding certification committee for two years.

o   F3, 10 Ways to Nourish Yourself

We all love to take care of others, our families, our students, our riders, our staff etc., but we often forget to nourish ourselves. Seems noble right? Wrong! If you don’t have your own oxygen mask firmly in place, you won’t be able to give to those who need it.  This workshop gives you easy and “feel good” tips and practices that you can incorporate into your daily routine to nourish yourself, so you can keep nourishing others. You can even incorporate them into your lesson plans or strategic plans.  We all need nourishment…it’s time for you to have some too.

Heidi Whitten Symonds is a health coach, wife and dog mom of two. She decided to become a health coach to fulfill her passion of supporting children, by coaching busy women with families to not only feel better but also have the energy to model, demonstrate and teach their children how to love their true, authentic selves and live rich, full lives. Heidi received her training at Integrative Nutrition in New York City and the University of Southern Maine. She is also a PATH Intl. Certified Registered Instructor and leads workshops on nutrition, self-care, breathing and movement and offers individual and group health and nutrition coaching.

o   F4, My Favorite Activity

This workshop is designed to be a collaborative information-sharing time for professionals who are either teaching riding skills or using hippotherapy. Please come prepared to show and tell some of your favorite activities and games! Feel free to bring props you use and be ready to describe how you made them or where you found them. It will also be helpful for participants to describe their goals or clinical reasoning for each activity. The facilitator will compile a list of all the ideas shared and email them to the participants.

Christina Richardson presented at the Maine Occupational Therapy Spring Conference in 2006 on horticultural therapy. She has been a practicing occupational therapist since 1999, and has used hippotherapy since 2001. In 2006 she completed Level II training in hippotherapy.  In 2009 she started a private practice, Fulcrum Therapy, in order to focus on hippotherapy. She became certified as a PATH Intl. Certified Registered Instructor in 2012.

12:15 to 1:15 p.m.                   Lunch and Demonstration by Warrior Camp at Touchstone Farm

                                                      Eva Usadi and George Stolz

1:15 to 2:45 p.m.                     Session G      

o   G1, Driving for Fun and Other Related Activities

This hands-on session will introduce therapeutic driving and allow participants a chance to take the reins in a simulated lesson. We will start with the exploration of why driving is a unique, fun and beneficial activity for participants. Suitable equines, harnesses, harnessing, cart, carriages and driving activities will be examined. As time permits, sleigh riding, wood scooting and arena dragging will be discussed. The session will be structured so that each participant gets a turn at driving in a simulated lesson with dual reins if they bring their helmets.

Mario Pascarell is a certified Maine State teacher and Teacher Coach (MsEd) as well as a nationally certified facilitator and National School Reform faculty member. He is a PATH Intl. Certified Driving Instructor Level I and currently the PATH Intl. Maine State Chair.

o   G2, Who’s in Your Stable?

Sarah Bronson will lead an active discussion on getting to know everyone who is at your (s)table clients, client families, volunteers and donors and why this matters.  Building on a customer service model, this presentation will look at why developing these relationships is important and how it can make or break an organization.  This topic is relevant for new centers as well as those who are well-established. 

Sarah Bronson see Session E-3

o   G3, A Different Point of View: Developing Awareness

Through a variety of real-life stories that unfolded during actual lessons, we will explore the role of self-awareness and how it can impact our ability to use role modeling as a teaching tool. Through role modeling we can teach the difference between a reaction and a response; how to substitute curiosity for criticism; and how a shift in perspective can shift emotions. This experiential workshop is meant to generate discussion about these things...and so much more. There is a shift happening in the therapeutic riding and equine-assisted activities industry. Instructors are providing more ground sessions and the primary goals for many participants goes beyond learning riding skills.  As instructors, we recognize and value the powerful life lessons that horses bring as they mirror the emotions of our participants.  How do we recognize and pass along these lessons in such a way as to allow participants to experience those lessons as their own discoveries? 

Margaret Allende is a psychiatric nurse with both a Master and Doctorate degree from Yale University with 30 years of experience working with people who had been diagnosed with a variety of addictions, anxiety, trauma, psychotic and personality disorders.  Jeanna Pellino see Session F2


Thanks for coming. Have a safe drive home!

Event Type:Conference
Early registration ends on Feb 23, 2014.
Regular registration starts on Feb 24, 2014 and ends on Apr 08, 2014.
Late registration starts on Apr 09, 2014.