horses in autumn field
In This Issue
From Your Region Rep
2017 Region 9 Conference
Alaska News
British Columbia and Alberta News
Idaho News
Montana News
Oregon News
Washington News
Final Note and Game!
Quick Links
Contacts:Region Rep and State Chairs 
Stay Connected 

Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International

Title Sponsor: Purina, the official feed of PATH Intl.
From Your Region Rep    
As we enter into my favorite time of year, Autumn, I am excited to share news from our region with our members. The East Coast can boast beautiful autumn foliage, but to me nothing can compare with the colors of the West and Northwest that now decorate our region. 
Golden is what I think of every day in Idaho. Even Alaska is glorious right now, especially wearing its Aurora crown of vivid colors of the majestic Northern Lights.

I hope you have all been following the emails on PATH's Trek to Accreditation that Kathy Alm and the staff have been sending to keep us well informed on its progress. I'm excited to see many of you in Williamsburg next month at the 2016 PATH Intl. Conference and Annual Meeting. I will post the minutes from our Annual Region 9 caucus on our Region 9 page on the PATH website when I return.
2017 Region 9 Conference 
This is going to be a tough announcement for me to make, as those of you who know me understand how hard I've tried to bring a region conference to my home state of Alaska for so many years, as long as I thought it could be affordable to our membership. I so appreciate your vote of confidence last June at our 2016 conference in allowing me to pursue the idea. But after much research, it just doesn't look like it's going to work. While we could get so many things donated to keep our conference costs very low, we had no luck getting affordable rates on hotels and rental car agencies, which would be a direct hit to our member's budgets.
However, we have found a wonderful location and venue thanks to the generosity of Cyndie Wiltsie. Our 2017 conference will be held in Rathdrum, Idaho, right outside of beautiful Coeur d' alene, at her fabulous Running W Ranch. Running W is a short 30 minute drive from Spokane, WA. Cyndie and her husband Don are donating the use of their facility, which is large enough to hold the entire conference on site. I visited her last month and was awed by the
Ranch and her hospitality. Imagine sitting around a fire pit on a beautiful veranda surrounded by huge, gorgeous trees, and visiting with friends after a full day of educational classes, and just unwinding instead of going right back to your hotel. Our ideas for this conference besides education are sharing, networking and relaxing with our peers. This year we are delighted that Kathy Alm,
CEO of Path Intl., will be joining us! Our Region Conference team is hard at work with planning, and will be sending out a Call for Papers very shortly, so we can be miles ahead in getting the conference planned and information and registration out to everyone in a timely fashion. Please put on your thinking caps and see if you might have something that you could present at the conference, and watch the Region 9 Facebook page for highlights. As always, I love getting ideas from our membership and we will try our best to include them in the planning, so please email me with your thoughts. 
Alaska News 
Benefe Equine Assisted Therapy Center
Amanda Reid, Secretary for Benefe Equine Assisted Therapy Center in Chugiak, Alaska, reports that Benefe had a busy summer running a variety of programs with a focus on Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) and ground based therapeutic activities. They also collaborated with other community based organizations to customize programs to each client/group's needs. They currently completed a 3-day summer camp for approximately 25 local area youth with special needs , which was a great success! This was done with the assistance of Path center EATA (Equine Assisted Therapy Alaska) located in Anchorage. Throughout the summer they continued to run individual sessions and look forward to using their recently completed indoor arena this Fall!

STRIDE Alaska (South central Therapeutic Riding, Inc.)
Discovering new abilities is always a focus in Alaska. STRIDE Alaska, originally operated by Kathy Gliva in Peters Creek, AK is now located on a beautiful homesteaded 40-acre parcel in Wasilla, AK. Every person and horse involved in STRIDE remains a focus for Kristin Vernola, owner of the Ridge Riding Facility, where the program has been running for the past 5 years. The growth of riders and volunteers as they get involved with therapeutic activities has been a special joy for Kristin and her husband David. To witness and be a part of it remains the focal point of STRIDE's 'Discovering new abilities' Mission. STRIDE has just finished up their Summer sessions, and are beginning new afternoon classes with Health Quest. They have also begun a new hippotherapy program this month which is proving to be a wonderful partnership that they anticipate to be long lasting. STRIDE will be the venue for a "Conscience Horse, Conscience Rider clinic, October 8 & 9th, and they are excited to learn more about communicating with horses.

Their 2016 Cowgirl Affair Fundraiser held in September was an enjoyable evening for everyone, and STRIDE would like to send out a huge Thank You to all of the generous individuals and businesses who supported them.

December is a special month in Alaska and STRIDE plans an evening of "Singing Christmas Carols with the Horses" on Dec. 6th with cookies, cider and cocoa, and hopefully, lots of snow!!

Equine Assisted Therapy Alaska (EATA)
Executive Director Rebecca Widmer wrote on Friday, "The concrete for the foundation of EATA's new indoor arena is being poured! We're building a Coverall!" EATA held a groundbreaking ceremony and end of summer BBQ in September which was well attended, and Anchorage Mayor Berkowitz was one of many to wield a shovel to celebrate the start of a project that has been in planning for many years. It looks like they are ahead of the snow so far.

Editors Note: This project has been a dream of mine since I founded The Rainbow Connection TRC (now EATA) in 1983, and our then BOD secured the Coverall and lease at the Chamberlin Equestrian Center in 2009. My sincere thank you to the board of EATA, its staff and volunteers, for sticking with this after my retirement and seeing it through to become a reality. 
British Columbia and Alberta News 
Our State Provincial Chair, Karen Tanchak writes:
2016 has been a busy year for education and development. Our members have been very busy and I am proud to announce that we have a new PATH Intl. Mentor and four members successfully completed their certification as PATH Intl. Registered Therapeutic Riding Instructors.

Karen Tanchak completed the mentor Training held as a Pre-conference educational opportunity at the Region 9 Conference hosted at Spirit Therapeutic Riding Center in Ellensburg, WA in June. Karen is located in the North Okanagan of British Columbia and looks forward to assisting up and coming instructors.

Liz Gagel successfully completed her certification as a Registered Therapeutic Riding Instructor in April of 2016. She then kept the momentum going and mentored three of her peers.

Cecilia Dingwell, Kate Masters and Jessica Game attended the Registered Instructor On-site Workshop and Certification at Little Bit TRC in Redmond, WA in August, and all three obtained full certification. All four instructors are currently working with the Victoria Therapeutic Riding Association on Vancouver Island.

Congratulations to these ladies and what a gift to their Centre! 
Idaho News 
Swiftsure Ranch Therapeutic Equestrian Center
Swiftsure Ranch, TEC, had a wonderfully busy summer. The new addition of weekly themed summer camps for kids of all ages was a huge success. The Teen Work/Study Program was better than it has ever been with the students participating in EFL, riding, yoga, team building and work around the ranch. At their annual Cowboy Ball Fundraiser, Swiftsure celebrated 25 years of providing EAAT for children and adults with disabilities free of charge. The end of summer Junior Rodeo and Swiftsure Stampede was a hit as Swiftsure hosted riders from other Southern Idaho programs in a Horse Show/Rodeo. In September, Swiftsure was pleased to host it's first PATH Intl. On-site Workshop and Certification. Now, moving into Fall, the staff and volunteers are busy providing TR riding lessons, EFL and hippotherapy to 122 participants, ranging in age form three to eighty-six years old. During the school year, Swiftsure works largely with the public schools who bring children receiving special education during the school day for a class at the barn.

The Innovative Therapeutic Riding Program
The Innovative Therapeutic Riding Program in Idaho Falls, ID has had a busy summer. Their program offers a variety of services for children and adults. Lessons and classes include:
  • Buckaroos (Ages 3-8): Classes emphasize confidence, communication and basic horsemanship skills.
  • Greater Strides (Ages 3-8) Specialized lessons for children with disabilities. Classes emphasize confidence, communication and basic horsemanship skills.
  • Trail Blazers (Ages 9-18) Classes focus on tem work, accountability, communication and advanced horsemanship skills.
  • Making Strides: Specialized lessons for adults with disabilities.
  • Equine Experience for the Elderly: Classes are recreational and/or focus on building strength and balance.
The Innovative TR Program was featured in a great article in the Fall Business Magazine published by the Hicks Group. The pictures included gave a great visual story besides a well written testimony to the work that they do and gave readers a great sense of what our field of EAAT is all about.

Summer wrapped up with their annual Barn Dance Fundraiser with a live and silent auction, dinner and lots of dancing to a live band. Ye Haw!

Rising Stars Therapeutic Riding Center
Rising Stars TRC in Twin Falls, ID just finished a very successful summer of classes, with their Riding with Stars Horse show now in the books!

They were 2nd place winners with a prize of $3,000.00 in the Pioneer Federal Community Project Contest, thanks to all who voted for Jerry Dickard. Their annual Ride em - Race em - Run em Event with dinner, love and silent auction and music was another success.

In July, Rising Stars was presented with a check for $7,000.00 from the Sharyn Olsen Memorial Auction presented by Muni Storage.
Montana News 
Montana State Chair, Maggee Harrison writes: 
"Montana has enjoyed a very busy summer! We had many members at the Region 9 Conference in Ellensburg in June and enjoyed the opportunity to get reacquainted very much. As a result of the Mentor Training offered at the conference our state has a few more mentor's who are ready to share their knowledge and dedication to PATH and the EAAT industry with others. Based on the feedback gathered from PATH members at the conference Eagle Mount Bozeman hosted the first ever PATH ESMHL workshop and skill test in Montana. All attendees enjoyed learning from Leslie McCullough, Trish Broersma and one another. Who will ever forget the role plays? The attendees worked diligently to present an effective learning experience for everyone and how we miss having "Sally" in the barn with us - so Jenny from Great Falls please come back anytime! Because of their attention to detail each of the role plays were effective in conveying the true essence of what an EAL or EAP session should look like and the very important role the Equine Specialist plays in making them an effective lesson/session.

Eagle Mount Great Falls is facilitating a wonderful EAP program with Rocky Mountain Treatment Center on addiction treatment.

We continue to grow, learn and share form one another - our participants, volunteers, fellow Path professionals and of course our horse partners!" 
Oregon News 
Bright Horizons Therapeutic Riding Center
Bright Horizons TRC's new program Director/Instructor Marla Bowman joined the Bright Horizon's team in April 2016 and has been working to increase the quality of services offered and participant numbers. We now offer Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy and have been collaborating with organizations in the community such as Lincoln County Mental Health, Department of Human Services, and the Children Advocacy Center for referrals and to demonstrate how EFP can assist in client's treatment goals.

We also offer Interactive Vaulting for both special needs and typically functioning children. We have been having a lot of fun showcasing this new, fast paced activity for both new participants and those who have been in therapeutic riding for some time and want a new challenge! Both of these new programs allow us to serve a wider variety of people in the community that can benefit from EAAT.

Forward Stride 
Forward Stride is getting ready for their annual Harvest Festival on October 23rd, which features pony rides, carnival games, stall decorating, a Horse Costume Contest done by teams, and more! They had a busy September with the culmination of their Round-Up Relay/Open Barn, and Matching Donation Challenge. Both campaigns were a huge success. They met their goal and surpassed their $400,000.00 matching donation goal for the Feves to fully donate the new property to Forward Stride! In appreciation of their gift, the new property will be named "Forward Stride at Feves Family Farm". 
Washington News 
Changing Rein EAAT
Hands on Horses, an Equine Assisted Learning program at Changing Rein EAAT, has been working with Eatonville Middle Scholl in Pierce County since 2014. EMS was recognized this May by Washington State's Department of Education with an Innovative School Award in part because of CREAAT's Hands on Horses program working with middle school students considered "at-risk". Many of the students selected to participate in our program were kids who had poor attendance and academic records, engaged in self-harm, were combative, were diagnosed with depression or had attempted suicide. Some were homeless. After two years of working with 24 individual students, (12 per year) the school had enough data to show that students participating in Hands on Horses improved in attendance, grades and their social interaction with their peers.
They were less disruptive in class, and those who had been seeing the school principal for infractions were now stopping by the principal's office to say hello! Even better, by the end of the 20-week program, students were connecting not only with their horses but with each other and seeing themselves in a more positive light, as individuals who had options and could make choices for themselves.

CREAAT's Hands on Horses is a ground-work based, experiential learning program that focuses on teaching teens relationship skills. It provides a learning environment where the student discovers answers to questions and seeks solutions to problems. The values we teach are respect, responsibility, boundary setting, communication, and empathy. Students attend in groups of 6 students (one group of boys, and one group of girls) for two hours one day per week, 10 weeks in the fall and 10 weeks in the spring.

Because of the success of Hands on Horses, the middle school is expanding from 12 to 14 students per week, with the intention of keeping these same students in Hands on Horses for two academic years.

Little Bit TRC
Through proactive maintenance of their Rain Garden area's as well as their "No use of herbicides" practices, Little Bit TRC in Redmond, WA was complimented by County staff for their contribution to the health of Bear Creek and that of future salmon runs. Way to go, Little Bit, for being positive stewards of our earth!

Empowering Strides TRC and Little Bit TRC were featured in a great article about Therapeutic Riding in the Puget Sound Region. The article is called "Horses heal: the Benefits of Equine Therapy for Every Child". You can find it on our Region 9 Facebook page. Laura Gorcester from Empowering Strides and Miriam Burke from Equestrian Crossings, as well as Ali Steenis, a college student who has been visually impaired since birth and has been taking equine assisted riding lessons since she was 5, all talk about the benefits of EAAT. It's a wonderful read! 
Finally ... 

WOW!!!! And I wonder why I am so proud to be the PATH representative for this incredible region?! Region 9 rocks!!! You all humble me with your passion and tenaciousness, heart and soul, and true humanity. Bless you all. (Even those who haven't sent me news of their centers yet. :-) )

Again, I hope to see many of you at the PATH Intl. Conference in Williamsburg next month. Please send me any questions or comments that I can relay to PATH during our face to face meetings.
Your opinions count, and I promise to represent our members to the best of my abilities.

 Drum Roll, Please
If you have enjoyed reading this PATH Intl. Region 9 newsletter, go to our PATH Intl. Region 9 Facebook page, find "A Barn is a Sanctuary" quote, and make a one word comment best describing how you feel about the work you do, on your best day, of course! Our panel of judges will pick a winner for a prize! Drawing closes October 15th.

Carrie Drury, our Alaska State Chair, can be thanked for this great idea of bringing our region together for a little game, and is donating the prize for the winner. Thank you, Carrie! Please join in this great activity.

And don't forget to post news on our FB page!

With Warmest Regards,
Annie Mabry
PATH Intl. Region 9 Rep 

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. 


If you prefer not to hear from us, just click on the "safe unsubscribe" below and we will remove you from our mailing list. Removing your email address from the PATH Intl. member database will prevent you from receiving all email correspondence including event notices and other time-sensitive correspondence.