PATH Intl. COVID-19 Bulletin
September 4, 2020
COVID-19-Specific Updates for PATH Intl. Centers, Individual Members, Certified Professionals & Friends
Enjoy today's bulletin in good health! These and other resources are always available on the PATH Intl. website COVID-19 page.
Survey data shows positive trends

Thank you to everyone who generously shared their time by participating in survey work to provide a snapshot of how PATH Intl. Members are faring many months into the pandemic.

The word cloud shown here is comprised of the most-used words in the open-ended questions you answered. Please know you are not alone. (A self-help focused webinar for professionals is in the works because the results showed we're all feeling this way!)

There were encouraging trends in the data with most centers offering services at some level and individuals returning to the payroll at their centers. No surprise, and happily, we can report the biggest uptick came from centers who in April reported less than 1% were providing full services. In August that number had grown to 15%. Partial services have increased from 16% in April to 67% in August. 84% of centers reported suspending services in April, but that number has now dropped to only 15%. 80% of centers are operating again with paid staff. 52% of centers report operating with a full staff “per usual,” up from only 27% previously. 85% have welcomed back volunteers. It’s no surprise centers are primarily concerned with safety for everyone, and ever-important funding.

For individuals, the biggest and most positive data swings were in employment numbers corresponding with the center data. While 58% of respondents reported they are back to working onsite, still 33% report working some remote hours. Centers have been very creative and resourceful with virtual programming, and we predict many centers will continue to provide this service is some capacity for the near future and beyond! Also speaking to the resilience of individuals in EAAT, despite these tough times, 92% of respondents plan to continue their involvement with EAAT.
Presentations in the fall webinar series will help with creative programming and horse conditioning during this time.

September 9, 2020
9:00 a.m. Mountain Time
Conditioning the Therapeutic Horse for Longevity and Success! With Christine Skelly
In this exceptional situation with quarantines and stay-at-home orders, many therapeutic riding programs have horses on breaks somewhat like a scheduled break where horses are turned out or rested over the holidays or through the winter season. While some downtime can be beneficial both mentally and physically, a horse begins losing conditioning in as little as two weeks. By 12 weeks of downtime, a horse has lost most of its fitness associated with exercise. Developing and overseeing a conditioning program that considers both the horse’s needs and the handler’s skills will help ensure that the program is safe and beneficial.

Christine Skelly is an associate professor and equine extension specialist at a land grant university, specializing in equine management, nutrition, housing and environmental stewardship. She instructs courses in horse farm management and nutrition, directs an online horse management program and recently took on the leadership of the state’s 4-H therapeutic riding program.

October 7, 2020
Time TBD
To the Arena and Beyond! With Joy Miller, Brian Miller and Jessica Freund
Do you and your team know what to do when everything you know is suddenly taken away and you are unable to serve participants in the way you always have? In the words of the great Buzz Lightyear, are you ready to take your influence “to the arena AND BEYOND?” The New Horizon Ranch team will share some of their ideas and strategies for creating new programs (it’s really not rocket science!) They will share how they face challenges as well as what has worked and what flopped.

Brian and Joy Miller founded PATH Intl PAC New Horizon Ranch in Rantoul, KS, in 2006. Brian has a special gift for connecting with and loving people and uses these skills as the Executive Director to cultivate community relationships. He especially enjoys instructing the beginning riders, facilitating equine-assisted learning at NHR and connecting with community members. Joy is the Program Director and enjoys the challenge and creativity of program development, exploring new community and agency partners, grant writing, volunteer management as well as facilitating EAL, summer camps and teaching the intermediate riders.

Jessica Freund has been working in the EAAT field for about nine years, as a volunteer first and now as the education enrichment director at New Horizon Ranch. She has an elementary education degree with a minor in special education from Baker University and a certificate in autism spectrum disorders from Emporia State University.

Click here for more information and to register with your member discount for the five-week series. No time to watch the live sessions? All will be available to registrants as on demand recordings!
We continue to research and gather information to assist centers in maintaining operations during this challenging time. If you have suggestions or ideas, please email Kathy Alm. We might include those ideas in a future communication.