horse in snow
In This Issue
From Your Region Rep
WA State Chair
Region 9 Facebook Game
Staff Spotlight
Alaska News
British Columbia and Alberta News
Idaho News
Montana News
Washington News
Final Note
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    
Happy New Year, Region 9! I hope that everyone had a joyous Holiday Season and had time to relax with family and friends. By now, I believe that all of the states in our region are covered in snow - even Oregon! British Columbia and Montana are experiencing some pretty cold temperatures this month as well , but everyone I have visited with are happy and full of excitement for the new year and all of the adventures it will hold.

Kathy Rohe with Pippin The PATH Intl. Conference in Williamsburg was over the top, and it was great to see many of our Region 9 members in attendance. We were honored to have an outstanding award winner for the Volunteer of the Year award from our region:  Kathy Rohe  from Forward Stride in Beaverton, OR. Kathy has been a valued volunteer for more than 10 years and is so deserving of this award. She will also receive a free year's membership to PATH Intl. from our region allocation funds. Congratulations, Kathy! 

Pippin in lesson The Region 9 Equine was  Pippin, also from Forward Stride. Pippin has been in the program since 2011, and is a valued and cherished member of the Forward Stride herd.

Welcome to our new PATH Intl. Centers

Windhaven TR, LaCenter, Washington

RideAble, Springfield, Oregon

Empowering Strides, Monroe, Washington

And a drum roll, please, for these centers that have achieved
Premier Accreditation!
Ride for Joy, Emmett, Idaho
Horses Spirits Healing, Inc. Billings, Montana
Say Hello to Our New Washington State Chair  
Sadly, this year we had to say goodbye to Kelly Chaplin, our Washington State Chair. Kelly has moved on in her career, and we wish her the best, and thank her for two years of service to our region. You will be missed. 

Lucky for us, Teresa Bron has agreed to fill the position for Washington.

Many of you are already familiar with Teresa's smiling face and joyful personality, and took her driving class at our 2015 Region conference. Teresa Bron M.Ed. is a PATH Intl. Advanced Level Driving Instructor, Certified Riding Instructor and ESMHL. Teresa was born and raised in the Yakima Valley and has been a life long horseperson, having had trained and competed in many events which included showing horses in 4-H, barrel racing, jumping, dressage, competitive carriage driving and recreational trail riding. Teresa and her husband, Will, have been driving clinicians throughout the Pacific Northwest and in British Columbia. They are both active competitors in Combined Driving in the Pacific Northwest. Teresa is a member of the United States Driving for the Disabled and a Director at Large for the American Driving Society. Teresa is an instructor in both riding and driving for The Pegasus Project in Yakima, WA. Welcome to our Region Leadership Team, Teresa! You can reach Teresa at: Please give her a warm welcome!
Region 9 Facebook Page
To start the New Year off, once again we are playing our little Facebook game. Designed by our Alaska State Chair, Carrie Drury, to encourage more of our members to join our page where we are trying to include up to date and important news about our region, in a user friendly, hands on manner. It's a great way to learn about our up coming Region 9 Conference, and stay up to date and current on activities and opportunities within our region and also the industry that we are so fortunate to be a part of. I am particularly pleased to see members reaching out to give assistance and guidance to those who ask questions. This is what I love most about PATH -- the willingness of every member to help others grow and learn so we can be the best we can be in this wonderful field where we bring so much good to our riders, community and our world.

So if you haven't joined our Facebook page, please do it today!

January Facebook Game

This month, look for a picture depicting a joyful leap into 2017!

Then comment in 10 words or less your thoughts on a New Years Resolution.

The winner will be chosen by committee, and will receive a gift for their contribution.

Last newsletter winner was Stephanie Roeter from Pullman, Washington.

Stephanie's word for how she felt after a lesson, on "A Barn is a Sanctuary" was "connected." After announcing to Stephanie the win, she felt honored to be chosen and explained why "connected" was her pick. "The horses bring people together in our community in a unique way, where we can drop our agendas from the outside world and just be together, supporting the riders, horses and volunteers alike. On a personal level, it connects me to remembering why I care so much about doing research that supports the sustainability of EAAT programs." Stephanie has been a TRI for 5 years at WSU's Palouse Area Therapeutic Horsemanship program and is currently pursuing her ESMHL certification. She is a PhD graduate student in Prevention Science at WSU, and does research studying the effects of equine assisted learning on family and child development outcomes. She has two horses of her own and a curious son, Tucker, all who help her to stay "connected" to who she is and why she finds this work so important to share with others. Thank you, Stephanie, for sharing with us! And thank you, Carrie, for creating this fun and inspiring game!
Staff Spotlight - Getting to know our wonderful PATH Intl. Team!
I came up with this idea as a way to let our members get to know the wonderful staff at PATH Intl. on a more personal level, after I realized what a huge difference it made to me personally to be able to put a face and personality to a name for the hard working and dedicated people at PATH who I call and contact and ask questions on a regular basis. They are the unsung heroes of our industry.

And how fitting to begin with Cher Smith, the communications coordinator and webmaster for PATH Intl. Thanks, Carrie Drury, for writing this great article, and to Cher, for playing along and humoring me.

Cher Smith
Cher Smith It's nearly impossible to be involved in PATH Intl. and not see this name. But what do you really know about her? Cher was kind enough to tell us a little about herself and answer some questions we thought you would like to know the answers to. To cover the basics first, Cher is from Denver, CO, and she is the communications coordinator and webmaster for PATH Intl. In the seven years she has held this position, she feels taking the conference program in-house has been her biggest accomplishment. She pulls together all the conference information, condenses it, writes for it, and meets the challenge of coordinating all moving parts to go in the right direction. No small task, and she loves her job and the people she works with!

Now on a more personal note, Cher shared with us something many of you may not know. She is a writer and owns her own publishing company, Dead Key Publishing! Her first book was published in 1988 and she said she'll never forget giggling and dancing around the kitchen right after her publisher called with the news! And then to walk into a bookstore and see her book on the shelf, such a fun time! Make sure to check out her site, to read about her work and the work of other authors. Maybe you'll even be inspired to read something by her and get a signed copy at the next conference!

Since we interviewed Cher during the holiday season, we were interested to hear about her Christmas. She told us of a particularly warming gift she and her husband were able to give to twin boys in need of "toys" as noted on a paper ornament hung on an Angel Tree. They decided matching RC Helicopters were in order and although they weren't able to give them directly to the twins, she can easily close her eyes and imagine the look on their faces when they opened them. Her heart warms knowing they may have had a little merrier Christmas because of the spirit of giving. She also shared with us that just last year (2015) her first grandchild was born on December 10th. What a gift! Cher, her husband and her son all traveled to Michigan to meet the little one for Christmas. Holding her granddaughter for the first time was the best gift she could ever have hoped for!

Now that you've read a little about Cher, we hope you can put a story with the name.

As Cher continues to work for PATH Intl. ,she plans to do what she can to help raise awareness to the wonderful world of equine assisted activities and therapies. We are thrilled to have Cher as part of our PATH Intl. Team and hope every time you see her name in your inbox you'll feel a little more connected to her!

Annie's comments: There's that word again, "Connected." I love it, and hope that you will all feel more connected to our wonderful Region 9 Community as time goes on, and continue to reach out to myself and your State Chairs and other members. We're here to answer questions about PATH Intl. and help connect you with the people and tools to make us all the best we can be in the field of EAAT!

Also, I have to add that Cher has been a huge help to me this past year, always with a smile, is an avid biker, and a redhead!
Alaska News 
STRIDE (South Central Therapeutic Riding, Inc.) in Palmer, Alaska, finished their 2016 program year with two great events. Hosting "Conscience Horse Conscience Rider" was very beneficial to all involved. Focusing on horse and rider bonding while learning to better listen to the horse communicating is energy well spent. Encouraging the partnership and creating a deeper connection with the horse is an area we all hope to grow in, and STRIDE is grateful to have had the opportunity to host this workshop. The "Caroling with the Horses" event at their facility had an excellent response with more than 20 children and their families in attendance. All came with voices ready to sing Christmas Carols to the appreciative horses, followed by hot cocoa, cider, cookies and horse treats. Such a fun holiday tradition and 2017's event is already being planned! 
British Columbia and Alberta News 
At the BC and Alberta State Meeting during the Region 9 Conference, discussion identified some methods that would encourage our members to network and share educational opportunities in our area. As the BC and Alberta contingents of Region 9 are in Canada, it creates a unique dynamic. Currently there are PATH Intl. certified professionals but no path member centers. Many of the riding programs are affiliated with the Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association (CanTRa). 

An avenue identified was to investigate whether the BC Therapeutic Riding Association might be able to assist in advocating for all instructors in the industry, not just CanTRa instructors. Karen Tanchak reached out to the organizations and had a very informative meeting with the President. Some of the CanTRA centers are now advertising that both CanTRa and PATH Intl. certifications will be considered for teaching positions. This coming year will see major growth for the BC Therapeutic Riding Assoc. and PATH Intl. professionals will be included in the development plan. BC TRA held their annual general meeting in November 2016 and Karen Tanchak became a member of the Executive board holding the position of Treasurer.

On another note of networking, education opportunities are being posted on our Region 9 Facebook page. I want to thank our members for sharing clinics and workshop information that they have identified to the rest of the region. Just this past month, Rachael Sorsabal shared information on an educational opportunity being offered by CanTRa.

The commitment and passion of our members is alive and well. We are encouraged that

2017 will be an exciting year for increased awareness of our industry. 
Idaho News 
trail ride in Idaho Ride for Joy, operating in Emmett, Idaho, had an exciting year working with pediatrics and veterans through three seasons.

veteran with flag on horse The spring season saw several new riders join many returning riders. Spring also brought a new experience of collaborating with another nonprofit organization to offer a five day camp attended by about 10 military veterans. The camp provided mental health interventions as well as therapeutic riding.

Summer session brought the All Abilities camp, attended by 11 young riders who participated in therapeutic riding, arts and crafts, and stable management during the three days. Perhaps the favorite events were ending each day with visits from therapy dogs and the water fight finale, enjoyed by participants, staff and volunteers alike.

lesson in Idaho Fall was a busy time. Two long time veteran participants completed the two year veteran curriculum, capping off their time by presenting colors at the annual harvest party and exhibiting many skills from trail to drill.

Providing services to riders is the greatest accomplishment of any season. A very second close, though, is completing the organization's first PATH Intl. accreditation visit and receiving word of passing! Ride for Joy is now one of only three Premier Accredited Centers in Idaho. Volunteers and staff contributed many hours above and beyond their regular commitments to achieve this status. The professionalism exhibited by all was a joy to witness!
Montana News 
From the Region Rep: 
Happy New Year from sunny, frigid Montana. We have so much to be proud of in our state. We have a new PAC (see below), active PATH Intl. members and wonderful PATH Intl. workshops and certifications to attend right in our own backyard! Not everyone can say this and as you well know our PATH Intl. Region 9 Conferences are the best and we try to make them as affordable as possible. It is wonderful to see so many of you at these activities as we all strive to become the best EAAT professionals that we can be to support those that we serve. Do not hesitate to contact me if you have any questions concerning PATH and how we can all work together to make our state the best it can be! For those of you who are not yet members of the Region 9 Facebook page, I would encourage you to join - it is a great way to stay in touch and keep current with all the activities and celebrations of our PATH members and the industry that we are so lucky to be a part of!

Eagle Mount Great Falls:  A Tribute to a Great Horse! 
Sixteen years ago, Dancer came to EagleMount Great Falls to start his new job. He was retiring from barrel racing, but was still full of life and ready for a new adventure! Over the past 16 years he filled many people's hearts, minds and spirits on top of his back or right beside him on the ground. He touched every person that came into our arena for Recreational Riding, Hippotherapy, Equine Assisted Activities and so much more. He was an all around, go to horse!

As Dancer's age started to creep up on him, he retired here on the Eagle Mount property. He still enjoyed running around with the other horses, grazing on the lawn and getting bathed. Life caught up with him a couple of months ago and we had to say 'goodbye' with a river of tears. Dancer lived a long and happy life of 35 years full of spunk and spirit.

Every stable out there has had the pleasure of getting to know a horse like this. We are all better people because of these special horses that make so much of a difference in so many people's lives.

Somewhere...somewhere in time's own space,
There must be some sweet pasture place,
Where creeks sing on and tall trees grow,
Some paradise where horses go.
For by the love that guides my pen,
I know great horses live again. 

Stanley Harrison 

Horses Spirits Healing, Inc. Billings, Montana 
Horses Spirits Healing is very excited to announce the achievement of PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center status in November. We are incredibly grateful for the mentoring centers in and out of our region. We would like to highlight a few individuals for their incredible work on visit day: Paul Gatzemeier (Executive Director), Barb Skelton (Board member), Anvia Hampton (Program Director and Instructor), Rochelle Smith (Instructor), matt Sampley (Volunteer and previous Board member), Gereint Sis (Volunteer), Brianna Shappell (Volunteer). Our programs focus on veterans, active duty military, and families and we welcome non-military to come ride with us as well!
Washington News 
riding images from NWTRC NWTRC 
We can't believe 2016 has come to a close! It has been an exciting, busy and productive year at Northwest Therapeutic Riding Center.

Riding sessions were full, with students learning and practicing arena figures and then putting them together in drill team patterns.

Fall session featured NWTRC Olympic Games, with everyone working hard to win gold medals for their horses.

We had 4 people attend the Region 9 conference in Ellensburg, WA. We enjoyed many informative presentations, well done Region 9! 

check and tooth fairy We were honored to be recognized by Delta Dental of Washington's Smile Power Team, who came to the center with the Tooth Fairy. They sponsored Kleng for a month and helped us purchase new riding helmets!

Thanks to our generous grantors, the riding center was able to make over our round pen for all-season use and add extra footing to our indoor arena.

We were very pleased to welcome Leonardo, our newest therapy horse to our herd in July. He has a bright future ahead of him and we look forward to seeing him in the lesson program in 2017. Our advanced instructor, Hilary Groh and therapy horse, Georgia competed in several novice 3-day events as well as schooling training level.

Julia Bozzo, founder and Executive Director was honored to be selected by Whatcom Women in business as a finalist for Business Woman of the Year.

We had two very successful fundraisers, our annual Rider's Cup Golf Tournament, sponsored by Coast Lumber, Inc. was well attended, fun and a good time was had by all. Denim to Diamonds dinner/auction was held at a new, larger venue with over 200 people in attendance. The fundraiser exceeded it's goal of total annual sponsorships for each of our wonderful therapy horses and the evening was a wonderful celebration of our riders, horses, volunteers, staff and supporters.

We rounded out the year with an unexpected white Christmas and are looking forward to 2017!

Enjoy NWTRC's first music video, "We Are the World"
Finally ... 
Here's to 2017 and many exciting adventures!  

One of my favorite quotes to begin the New Year is by Pablo Picasso: 
"The meaning of life is to find your gift. 
The purpose of life is to give it away." 

Thank you to my incredible Region 9 Leadership Team for sharing your gifts with our region's members. You're the Best!
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. 


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