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Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International

Title Sponsor: Purina, the official feed of PATH Intl.
From Your Region Rep: Arkansas, Louisiana, Oklahoma, Texas, Mexico, Central America and South America   
Greetings! I am Malinda Smith and I have had the distinct pleasure of serving 2 terms, going on 4 years now, as your PATH,Intl. Region 8 Representative. It has been my greatest pleasure to get to meet so many of you at the State, Regional and International conferences, also through emails, Facebook and phone conversations. I know there are so many others I have not had the opportunity to meet yet and greatly look forward to it.

I love people and horses and especially when they partner together to bless the lives of individuals with special needs and the community through service. I am also a lifelong learner and love tapping into the experience and knowledge of others. I started my horse journey while very young through my mother's passion for horses and followed it with becoming an CHA assistant instructor in my teens then later progressing through the ranks of instructor certification, teaching and directing riding at camps, ranches and local facilities in Texas and Arkansas. I also enjoyed showing and training. But I found my passion for therapeutic horsemanship in 1989 and founded my own riding program which started my long journey with NARHA now PATH Intl. shortly thereafter. I could not ask to associate with a more wonderful group of people; it is my dream opportunity.

I hope I can be of service to you this year and help in any way I can to assist any of you along your road to success in equine-assisted activities and therapies. Please feel free to contact me at or or call me at (501) 581-8389. I look forward to centers in our region sharing their news with us for our next quarterly Region News Report. Happy Trails and enjoy the news!

We look forward to hearing from the international areas of Region 8 in our next quarterly report! Contact us! 
Save the Date for the Region 8 Conference 
Save the date August 4-7th for our pre-conference Mentor Training Workshop and Mental Health First Aid Training on Thursday and our PATH Intl. Region 8 Conference Friday - Sunday. It will be hosted by Rebecca Mercer, founder of Spirit of St. Louis Therapeutic Riding Center, and sponsored by LSTEN. We will meet in Tyler, TX, at Centaur Arabian Farm for our conference. We anticipate online registration to open mid-May!
Get Connected  
Please "like" and "share" our PATH Intl. Region 8 Facebook page to get the latest region news! Find the links to FREE PATH Intl. YouTube videos that can provide you with 1 hour of CE credit! Learn about other educational opportunities like a FREE online horse course from the University of Florida (not yet pre-approved for PATH CEU's ).

Also check out the PATH Intl. Facebook page too! 

And check out Region 8 Community Connections Group page.

Find Centers in Region 8
* The Louisiana Therapeutic Riding Association held its annual meeting at the Louisiana State University School of Veterinary Medicine on January 30 and 31 in Baton Rouge, LA. As such, expert presentations by Veterinarians regarding horse care and horse health issues were shared with the group. Laminitis treatments, which included stem cell therapy; arthritis and the EAAT horse; grief counseling for you and your center; and no-drama dental care became lively presentations. Other topics including BrainTraining; Lesson planning: goals and objectives and how to differentiate; Preparing your horse for the Farrier; Function Fitness for Therapeutic Riding; and a lesson in Kinesiotaping 101 rounded out the meeting.

Plans for next year have already roped the immensely popular Dr. Dennis French, DVM, to present at the meeting to be held January 28 and 29, 2017, so be sure and SAVE THE DATE!

* Louisiana State University's School of Veterinary Medicine continues to support the LTRA by sponsoring a full page advertisement in the Louisiana Equine Report for all of 2016. LTRA is very honored by the tremendous generosity by the LSVM, as they also provide facilities and speakers for the group.

* In other news, many Louisiana centers continue to face challenges brought on by the inclement weather. Areas in Texas and Louisiana have received more than double or even triple their normal seasonal allocations in rain thus far. Several centers that do not have covered arenas struggle, as others face challenges getting riders to their locations due to flooding.

* "Project 22," a movie of two war veterans traveling cross country to call attention to the fact that 22 veterans commit suicide every day, has found a sponsor that has made their movie available for free to nonprofits. The movie features interventions to help veterans, one of which is therapeutic riding. Greater New Orleans Therapeutic Riding Center is shown in the movie with EAAT horses Blu and Bambi making a cameo with Doc and Dan. Email your request with the header 22Kill Copy.
~~ by Anita Hartzell- Hefler

The LA State Chair is Larry McCaleb  
* Oklahoma is planning their annual state meeting for this coming May 14, 2016. Natalea Watkins and Cathryn Christensen have been working on the agenda and will be sending out more information shortly. They are focusing on providing as many CEU's (and particularly Disability CEU's) as possible. Being held at the recently accredited Right Path Center in Drumright, OK from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m., the organizers are also working hard to offer the training at little to no cost.

*Oklahoma has had an exciting year! Benny's Barn has a new certified instructor, Andy Holland, whose trek to getting certified made the state coordinator proud in that she utilized the expertise and support of Sunset Therapeutic Riding Center in Yukon, Savannah's Station in El Reno, and of course, Benny's Barn in Enid, OK. Turning Point Therapeutic Riding Center continues to be a wonderful incubator for Therapeutic Riding Instructors with multiple new instructors and
instructors in training in the past year.

* I recently learned that Right Path Academy in Drumright, OK just passed their accreditation visit and has become the second center in Oklahoma to become Premier Accredited.

* CS Ranch in Marland, OK, has gained a new Executive Director who is an Instructor-In-Training and is in the process of making that center operational again and has already doubled her rider base in just a few months.

* Oklahoma State University hosted their annual Horse Owners Workshop in Stillwater recently and of those in attendance approximately half were from Therapeutic Riding Centers from around the state including Turning Point Ranch, CS Ranch, Sunset Therapeutic Riding Center, and Coffee Creek Riding Center.
Howdy y'all!!! My name is Kimberly Haley and I am your current Arkansas PATH Intl. State Chair. First we are so proud of our Arkansas PATH Intl. Affiliate and Premier Accredited Centers for having 100% renewal of center memberships! Below is news gathered over the past few months from a few of the centers in Arkansas. If you would like to send me your information for the next newsletter please email me.

Hope Landing News (El Dorado)
HOPE Landing was very honored to host a tour of the facility for Congressman Bruce Westerman and Senator Bobby Pierce. Joining them was Congressman Westerman's local Field Representative, Ben Gilmore. One of the highlights was having them meet Speech Pathologist, Suzanne Bledsoe's afternoon friends group.

Thank you Mandy Kingery for bringing your wonderful Campfire Girls out to help us get ready for our Easter Eggstravaganza. Not only did your girls bring and stuff Easter Eggs for our HOPE Landing children's hunt, they also brought loads of supplies for our clinic - and jello for the horses! Thank you Miss Madison for giving the girls a tour of the barn and thank you, thank you, Miss Mary for helping with the girls. We are always excited to have folks visit the ranch and are very thankful for all of the great community support!

HOPE Landing was the recipient of a very generous grant from the SHARE Foundation today. We would like to thank the board for awarding us with this wonderful grant that will be very helpful toward expanding our existing services.

Equestrian Zone (Russellville)
Thank you to the Arkansas Tech University students who used equestrian zone for their $100 solution! They purchased a tablet for volunteer training at our center! Thank you!

Equestrian Zone expressed a huge thank you to the Lowe's Heroes! Building, Donating, and Installing the stations of the sensory trail at Equestrian Zone! They also presented at Morning Rotary in March to update them on their Sensory Trail Project.

THANK YOU UNITED WAY! A BLESSING FOR OUR PROGRAM! Equestrian Zone's Adopt-A-Rider program received a $17,600 grant for 2016 from River Valley United Way! With this grant, for the first time ever, all rider scholarships will be funded 100%!

Hearts & Hooves(Sherwood)
Congratulations on celebrating 15 years of changing lives one ride at a time!

In their Impact Report for 2015: Volunteers Donated over 4,000 hours and 64% of riders reported improvement in three or more therapeutic areas!

In a video they highlighted a young man named Keshawn and reported on their Facebook page, "He is one of the many success stories here at Hearts & Hooves! When we asked his mom why they keep coming to Hearts & Hooves, she sent us this list:
* His muscle tone as increased. 
* His speech has gotten better. I think the volunteers understand him better. 
* He responds quicker to questions. 
* He seems comfortable with the staff. 
* The staff works well with him. They know his games and how to redirect him. Very important. 
* He looks forward to coming most of the time. 
* The Physical Therapy he receives here is impossible for me to explain."

Beyond Boundaries (Ward)
Beyond Boundaries is an equine-assisted therapy facility located in Ward, AR. Their therapists provide physical, occupational & speech therapy for our special needs riders. Therapeutic riding instruction is also available.

Beyond Boundaries has had a lot of fun with their horse camps for ages 5 years and up! Both able bodied and persons with disabilities have been learning about basic horsemanship safety and riding.

Volunteer Appreciation Week at Beyond Boundaries was a great success! A week of treats and love for the folks that make Beyond Boundaries' work possible!

Horses for Healing in (Bentonville)
Happy Retirement Linda Brown!! Thanks for spending time with us at Horses for Healing!!

Brownie Troop #5406 finished up a community helping badge by earning money and providing a lovely donation of much needed items to HFH. We so appreciate their thoughtfulness!! THANK YOU

Ms. Rogers Service Learning students held a school raffle last week, BUCKS FOR BRONCOS, benefiting HORSES FOR HEALING. Students raised over $160!! Students, whose raffle tickets were drawn, had the opportunity to pie a teacher at lunch on Friday. Thanks to all who participated!!!!

Arkansas State University (Jonesboro)
Hippotherapy is a physical therapy treatment strategy used at Arkansas State University that utilizes equine movement as part of an integrated intervention program to achieve functional outcomes. All hippotherapy sessions occur on the campus of Arkansas State University at the Equine Center. Students who are currently in the Physical Therapy or Physical Therapist Assistant programs have the opportunity to interact and participate in actual hippotherapy sessions on patients currently involved in research endeavors with trained faculty members. For more information, contact Dr. Roy Aldridge. (ASU website)

Getting back in the "saddle of life" can be difficult for some wounded Gulf War veterans. Their injuries require therapists to think outside the box to create effective therapy. At Arkansas State University in Jonesboro, medical professionals are using horses to help our returning wounded warriors heal their bodies so they can return to a more normal life. It's called hippotherapy. The rehabilitation tool is a live animal; a horse. JONESBORO, Ark. (FOX13) 
John Daniel Seeger at Equest John Daniel Seeger rides for Equest Therapeutic Riding Center at the Wylie campus, a part of PATH Intl. Region 8. John has benefited from the riding programs at Equest since he was six years old. In addition to overcoming language barriers, fears, and strong emotions, John has learned to converse and make friends from the back of a horse. John is currently a junior in High School, has obtained his driver's license, and is the first ever EWD Western Horsemanship AQHA Congress Champion as the EWD classes were added at Congress this past fall (2015). John was recently featured in the NSBA Foundations' 90 Riders in 90 Days campaign. John has grown in stature and independence at Equest. He has participated in the Therapeutic Riding program, the Drill Team program (pictured), and the carriage driving program. John plans to become a Vet Tech and has successfully passed a high school class in equine science. John's diagnosis is autism spectrum, and through the programs at Equest, he is becoming as independent as he wants to be!

Please direct correspondence about this newsletter to PATH Intl. eNews coordinator. No portion of this publication may be reproduced by any mechanical, photographic, scanned or electronic process without written permission from PATH Intl. PATH Intl. reserves the right to reject, accept and edit submitted material. The PATH Intl. Region Newsletters are intended as an information exchange and an opportunity for communication for members in the field of equine-assisted activities and therapies. The opinions, practices or products presented in PATH Intl. eNews do not necessarily reflect PATH Intl. policy, imply PATH Intl. endorsement, or comply with PATH Intl. standards.


Events listed are for information purposes and do not necessarily reflect PATH Intl. policy, imply endorsement or comply with PATH Intl. Standards. They may or may not be eligible for PATH Intl. continuing education units on instructor compliance forms. For questions regarding CEUs, contact Bret Maceyak at the PATH Intl. office. 


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