Equest Therapeutic Horsemanship - Humans. Horses. Hope.

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This past Sunday, July 20th, concluded the Summer 2014 Instructor Training Course here at Equest. This year, we saw through the culmination of many changes to the course. Most notably, utilizing a PATH International On-Site Workshop and Certification as the grand finale.

ITC Graduates with Cake

Equest's ITC candidates were able to learn from top PATH International Professionals during a three day workshop before taking their final examinations. These professionals included Sandy Webster, PATH International Master Instructor, Katy Mead, PATH International Advanced Instructor, and Shelley Rose, PATH International Advanced Instructor. In total, there were 25 workshop participants and 15 teaching candidates; possibly one of the biggest OSWC's ever held at Equest!

Once again, Equest candidates proved strong; showing off our program well. All 7 candidates mentored by the Equest staff passed the riding portion of the test. Four of the seven passed the teaching component immediately; the other three just need to complete a video submission. A HUGE thanks is owed to all of the Equest volunteers, riders, and horses for helping these candidates learn the ropes!

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PATH Intl Conference

I cannot stress enough how important it is for Equest instructors to attend the PATH Int. Conference. It is one of the most comprehensive gatherings for Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT) Professionals each year. Conference reminds us we are not alone. Working in such a hyper-specialized industry is difficult. "Outsiders" have a hard time understanding and relating to my daily doings. My own mother drifts between bewilderment, fear, and disbelief... generally she just laughs and says it sounds "interesting".

But at Conference, there is an underlying sense of emphatic understanding. At Conference, EAAT Professionals don't need to waste time with platonic explanations of the industry. One time per year, we are able to get to to nitty gritty of our work and share newly learned wisdom and experiences.

Conference rejuvenates my passion for this line of work. I tend to come home with a laundry list of new ideas - updating forms/policy, program additions, training methods, and so much more. This year, I have been inspired to completely redesign Equest's new client evaluation form as well as create a specialized peer review document for Equest instructors. I look forward to utilizing both as opportunities to educate our staff and volunteers alike.

Gail Pace

Gail Wins the 2013 James Brady Professional Achievement Award!

Equest would also like to congratulate Gail Pace for winning the 2013 James Brady Professional Achievement Award, sponsored by the Equus Foundation! The annual award, presented in the name of former White House Press Secretary James Brady, recognizes the contributions made to the field of equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) and is presented to a professional who has made a contribution to the industry. These contributions can vary from areas such as research, publication, public relations, or program development.

Because of James Brady, therapeutic riding gained a great amount of national attention in the 80's. James Brady, press secretary to then-president Ronald Reagan, was shot during an assassination attempt on the President's life. Paralyzed, Brady turned to hippotherapy to help him with rehabilitation. 30 years later, Brady can now walk and has regained almost all of his prior speech and cognitive function. The PATH International James Brady Professional Achievement Award honors a professional who has achieved much within the PATH Intl organization. Congratulations Gail! You earned this award with flying colors!

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