PATH Intl. Conference in Montana, Register Now

The 2015 PATH Intl. Region 9 Conference will be in Bozeman, Montana, May 29-31, 2015. This promises to be a wonderful conference, and we hope you can attend! Please note that this Friday, May 1, is the final day for early-bird registration. The price is will go up after that. Friday, May 8, is the final day to register online. After May 8, registration will be onsite only.

Register by Fax or Mail

If you would prefer to mail in or fax your registration information, click here to download the registration brochure. Simply fill out the form and fax it to (303) 252-4610, or mail it to the office, attn: Rachel Moore.

Register Online

Online registration will be available through Friday, May 8, 2015. After May 8, 2015, registration will need to be completed onsite.

Click here to register online. Then click the “register for this event” button at the bottom of the agenda screen.

As you pick your sessions, please note that the session listing may be over multiple pages. You will need to click on each page number of the session listings and select your sessions prior to clicking “next” at the bottom of the online registration. The page numbers can be found just under the search box, on the session listings screen during online registration. Once you have selected all of your sessions, you can then click “next” and proceed with checking out.

If you have questions, email Amanda Walters.

Conference Location
Eagle Mount – Bozeman
6901 Goldenstein Ln
Bozeman, MT 59715

Lodging Options

(rates are subject to change)
Best Western GranTree Inn
1325 North 7th Ave
Bozeman, MT 59715
(406) 587-5261
Rate: Book by April 28th and refer to PATH Intl. to secure a rate of $89/night plus tax.
5.4 miles from Eagle Mount

Comfort Inn
1370 North 7th Ave
Bozeman, MT 59715
(406) 587-2322
Rate: Book by April 30th and refer to PATH Intl. to secure a rate of $74/night plus tax.
5.3 miles from Eagle Mount

Holiday Inn Bozeman
5 East Baxter Lane
Bozeman, MT 59715
Rate: Book by May 14th and refer to PATH Intl. to secure a rate of $86/night plus tax.
5.5 miles from Eagle Mount


PATH Intl. is offering exhibitor opportunities at the regional conferences. Exhibitors may purchase this regional package, which includes one table, two chairs and listing in region-specific conference eblasts, for $100.

Click here to download the exhibitor flyer and form. If you know of anyone interested in exhibiting, pass the information to them. If you have any questions please contact Jaime Covington, ext. 125.

Silent Auction

If you have items to donate for the region 9 conference silent auction, please bring them with you to the conference. Any revenue generated helps offset region conference expenses, which helps to keep registration fees down. If you have questions contact Amanda Walters in the main office, 800-369-7433 ext. 105.

Our corporate address is:

Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International

PO Box 33150
Denver, Colorado 80233


Thursday, May 28
3 to 7 p.m. Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy: An Introductory Workshop: Day 1

Attendees must pre-register separately from the conference.

Is your facility thinking about venturing into the world of equine-facilitated mental health? Are you interested in learning more about the human-equine connection? If so, then join us at this in-depth preconference workshop. EFP practitioner, trainer and program consultant Leslie McCullough, PhD, will share her 27 years in the field helping attendees understand what it means to partner with a horse as co-therapist. Attendees will be introduced to and practice equine-client activities that have proven highly successful in engaging clients and enhancing treatment outcomes. And so much more. This workshop is eligible for 12 hours toward PATH Intl. renewals or toward most mental health licenses. Letters of attendance will be provided.

Leslie McCullough, PhD, has carved her 35 year therapist/trainer/teacher career out of creating and implementing innovative interventions for troubled youth. Her 27 years of clinical and equine-facilitated psychotherapy (EFP) practice includes milestones such as having been a member of the original team creating EFP as a practice model that included her pioneering EFP program in the San Antonio area, 1988-2012. In addition, Leslie co-authored and teaches the Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning course through PATH Intl. In addition to her role as Assistant Professor of Social Work at Washburn University, Leslie consults/trains/teaches and mentors practicum students at rising EFP center Hope and Healing Academy in Topeka, KS. Recently, in a cooperative project with Tufts University in Boston, Leslie’s dissertation research, Effects of Equine facilitated Psychotherapy on PTSD Symptoms in Youth with History of Maltreatment and Abuse, provided the foundation for an international grant proposal that was awarded $50,000 and will be completed April 2015.

Friday, May 29

8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy: An Introductory Workshop: Day 2

Attendees must pre-register separately from the conference.

Lunch and snacks will be provided onsite.

Leslie McCullough, PhD, see bio EFP: An Introductory Workshop: Day 1.

Noon to 6 p.m. PATH Intl. Standards Course

Attendees must pre-register with PATH Intl. and bring a copy of the 2014 PATH Intl. Standards for Certification and Accreditation manual. Lunch will be provided onsite.
Sherry Butler, Faculty

5:30 to 6:30 p.m. Meet and Greet – with appetizers

5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Registration Open

6:30 to 7:30 p.m. Riding My Way Back viewing and roundtable discussion

Saturday, May 30

8 to 9 a.m. Registration Open

7:30 to 8:30 a.m. Breakfast at Eagle Mount

8:30 to 10:00 a.m. Session A

  • A1, Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy: Part 1
    Part 1 of this two-part session will address the theory, definition and rationale behind the practice of equine-facilitated psychotherapy (EFP). Differences between therapeutic riding (TR), equine-facilitated learning (EFL) and EFP will be discussed. Equine-facilitated mental health philosophies such as the horse as partner, equine sentience and paradigm shift will be covered.
    Leslie McCullough, PhD, see bio in EFP: An Introductory Workshop: Day 1.
  • A2, Sensory Strategies For Mounted and Unmounted Lessons
    This 90-minute workshop will give you practical tools, techniques and strategies for helping your participants self-regulate and learn during mounted and unmounted lessons. You will get an overview of neuroanatomy and sensory integration principles. After assessing your own learning styles and sensory profiles, we will consider how to assess your participants’ learning style and sensory profile. We will then do hands-on activities to practice sensory strategies for self-regulation and whole body learning. Plan on coming away with specific ideas about how to adapt the environment, yourself and the horse to help your participants self-regulate and engage!
    SarahNiwa is an occupational therapist and PATH Intl. Certified Advanced Instructor. She has an MS degree in occupational therapy from the University of Washington and is currently the therapy services director at Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center, A PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center (PAC) in Redmond, WA. She has taken the AOTA Fieldwork Educators Certificate Program Workshop and continuing education courses for pediatrics including sensory processing disorders, neuro-developmental treatment (gait and upper extremity), dynamic bracing, myofascial release, electrical stimulation, fine motor skills and yoga. She is one of only 82 Hippotherapy Clinical Specialists. She has served as the American Hippotherapy Association representative on the PATH Intl. Oversight Committee and is a member of the American Occupational Therapy Association and the Washington State Occupational Therapy Association.

10 to 10:15 a.m. Break

10:15 to 11 a.m. Session B

  • B1, Thinking Outside of the Box: How to Get Creative With Arena Activities
    Experiencing a “teaching block”? Looking for ways to spice up your lesson? Learn how to get your creative juices flowing and think outside of the box! In this session you’ll be given tools and new ideas to bring to your riding lessons and learn how to adapt the activities for your center and challenge your riders.
    Kelly Chalpin has been a PATH Intl. Certified Advanced Instructor since September 2009 and a Certified Registered Instructor since April 2005. She is currently the adaptive services director at Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center. She graduated from St. Andrews Presbyterian College with a BA degree in therapeutic horsemanship and a BA degree in equine business management. Heather Neesehas been a PATH Intl. Certified Registered Instructor for eight years. Originally from the Chicago area, Heather has been working as an instructor at Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center for three years. She loves being creative and making her lessons fun for her riders and volunteers!
  • B2, Preparing Your Center for Accreditation: Part I
    If you are considering PATH Intl. Premier Accreditation for your center, this two-part session will help you get started! Review the preparation and site visit process for your center and staff including frequently asked questions and a time line highlighting the steps you need to take to position yourself to successfully achieve PAC status.
    Sherry Butler, DVM, Instructor, Colorado State University Equine Sciences, has been a PATH Intl. Certified Registered Instructor for more than 25 years. She currently teaches classes on equine assisted activities and therapies at CSU and helps to educate and mentor students working toward PATH Intl. instructor certification. Sherry is the current chair of the PATH Intl. Program and Standards Oversight Committee, serves on the PATH Intl. Standards Task Force, and is a Lead Site Visitor and instructor mentor. Sherry served on the Standards Task Force during the standards manual re-organization process in 2011-2012.

11 to 11:15 a.m. Break

11:15 a.m. to noon Session C

  • C1, Writing Lesson Plans
    Trouble writing lesson plans? Never fear! This presentation will walk you through the process of writing effective and progressive lesson plans. It will go over the distinctions between goals and objectives and how to write each. There will be examples of lesson plans and discussion time for specific questions so everyone can walk away feeling confident and excited about writing lesson plans! Bring your own lesson plan(s) to share and discuss.
    Kelly Chaplin, see bio in session B1.
  • C2, Equine-Enhanced Trauma Focused – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy
    TF-CBT is an evidenced-based therapy model employed to treat youth who have experienced significant trauma and stress in their lives. A recent study completed by the University of Washington determined that participants experienced a moderate decrease in stress hormones after exposure to therapeutic activities with horses. We will discuss how horses can be incorporated as an adjunct to this therapeutic approach and actually enhance the impact of the TF-CBT interventions.
    Shari Morin-Degel, MA, LCPC, has been a clinical director for Youth Dynamics since 2004. Her expertise is in treating youth who have experienced significant trauma with the techniques of cognitive behavioral therapy. Additionally, Shari is an avid horse enthusiast and much enjoys combining her love of horses with her dedication to helping youth and families. For the past decade, Shari has been incorporating equine- assisted activities and therapies into her therapy approach.

Noon to 1:15 p.m. Lunch With Standards Hearing, Region and State Meetings

1:15 to 1:30 p.m. Break

1:30 to 3 p.m. Session D

  • D1, Equine-Facilitated Psychotherapy: Part 2
    This hands-on continuation from the morning session will include activities and discussions on EFP as a synergistic intervention with all participants having equal input through liberty, round pen and riding on lunge-line activities. Discussion will include when such activities are appropriate, how to train horses for the activities, client precautions and contraindications, working as a team, safety and what this means in mental health, assessing activities, humane and respectful treatment of the horse, equine stress and human responses. Participants will have the opportunity to try the activities themselves through role play. In conclusion, journaling and art opportunities will help express feelings about new dimensions in equine therapy work.
    Leslie McCullough, PhD, see bio in EFP: An Introductory Workshop: Day 1.
  • D2, Organizational Leadership
    Organizational Leadership Roundtable: Running a successful therapeutic horsemanship center requires an impressive array of skills! From fiscal management and fundraising to strategic business planning, board relations, volunteer management, human resources, risk management, facility management, community outreach, social media, and marketing, executive directors need to have it all together. Whether your center is brand new, growing or tackling long-term sustainability issues, this roundtable discussion will offer opportunities for both learning and sharing information.
    After three decades in America’s nonprofit sector, Mary Peterson will be quick to tell you that leading Eagle Mount is by far the most rewarding and challenging job she’s had. Since arriving in Bozeman in 1994, Mary has served as development director for the Museum of the Rockies and Heart of the Valley Animal Shelter. She joined Eagle Mount as executive director in 2009.

3 to 3:15 p.m. Break

3:15 to 4:45 p.m. Session E

  • E1, The Importance of Developing Individual Conditioning Programs for EAAT Horses
    Most therapeutic programs vary their horses’ workloads and give them time off to help prevent lameness, burnout and behavioral problems. While this approach is essential for overall health, it is not enough to keep the horses fit so they are able to perform optimally for many years. To be able to develop and perform optimally, these horses need to be placed in an individualized conditioning program designed to improve overall fitness, strength and endurance.
    Karen Ososki was named one of America’s “Top 50 Riding Instructors” by the American Riding Instructors Association and a past featured “Ride with the best” clinician at the legendary Ohio Equine Affaire. Karen is a sought-after international clinician with a proven ability to improve performance in equines of all disciplines. Dana Eklund, PATH Intl. Certified Registered Instructor and equestrian assistant director/head instructor at Eagle Mount-Bozeman, a PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center, has a BS degree in elementary education.
  • E2, Preparing Your Center forAccreditation: Part 2
    During this session we will tour a facility “through the visitor’s eyes” to help you critique and review your own facility and paperwork as you prepare for PATH Intl. Premier Accreditation.
    Sherry Butler, see bio in session B2.

4:45 to 5 p.m. Break

5 to 5:45 p.m. Session F

  • F1, Andrea Swenson Presents “Free Rein-in’ With Chester: Look What I’m Doing Now”
    Andrea Swenson, an individual with Cerebral Palsy, reads “Free Rein-in’ With Chester: Look What I’m Doing Now,” her debut book. Join us for an inspirational and informative, first-hand therapeutic riding experience. Andrea colorfully illustrates her enjoyment of therapeutic horseback riding and outlines the impressive benefits she has experienced through her treatment.
    Andrea Swenson is a 27 year old, first-time author and children’s story book reader, who lives and works in Spokane, WA. Andrea was born with cerebral palsy, affecting her muscles and speech, making sitting up very difficult. Through therapeutic horseback riding at Free Rein Therapeutic Riding, a PATH Intl. PAC in Spokane, WA, Andrea has gained better control of her muscles, more flexibility and added strength.
  • F2, Board Development and Selection
    This session will focus on how to select and maintain a dynamic board of directors who are capable of supporting your organization’s mission and meeting your development goals.
    Darryl Seymour is president of Montana Title and has served successfully on numerous nonprofit BOD’s in the Gallatin Valley area. He is a past-president of the Eagle Mount-Bozeman board where his son Derek is a participant.

6:30 to 8 p.m. Dinner at Eagle Mount

Sunday, May 31

7:30 to 8:30 a.m. Breakfast at Eagle Mount

8:30 to 10 a.m. Session G

  • G1, Emergency First Aid for Horse and Rider: Part 1
    Discuss basic first aid care for humans and equines and how to safely prepare for the worst and do your best. First aid kits, normal vital signs and emergency ABCDE care for horses and humans will be discussed and practiced.
    Joan Scheffer, orthopedic surgical assistant specialist, RN, AEMT, Wilderness Medicine specialist, is a horse owner and trainer for life and loves to continue actively learning about the care and relationship with the horse. PATH Intl. has opened a door to that learning by supporting the growth of knowledge and education. Joan enjoys that she is a part of that adventure. She loves sharing ideas and findings and keeping things as safe as possible.
  • G2, The Right Fit: Equine Selection for Your Program(s)
    As the umbrella of equine assisted activities and therapies continues to diversify and grow, so does the industry’s horse needs and requirements. Learn how to select new horses, as well as identify and implement the perfect fit for new and current horses in your program. Learn how effectively diversifying your herd for the most versatility for your program improves finances and consistency of horse and human training and ensures continued quality programing.
    Brienne Mabryis currently the special programs coordinator at Swiftsure Ranch Therapeutic Equestrian Center in Bellevue, ID. She has more than 12 years of experience successfully assessing and restructuring equine programs for maximum benefit to the program, clients and, most importantly, the horses. She has been a PATH Intl. Instructor since 1998, is a Certified Advanced Instructor and an ESMHL.

10 to 10:15 a.m. Break

10:15 to 11:45 a.m. Session H

  • H1, Emergency First Aid for Horse and Rider: Part 2
    Hands-on practice and “Mock Emergency Scenario” as a group activity.
    Joan Scheffer, see bio in session G1.
  • H2, TR, EAL and EFL — Definitions, Determinations and Who Gets What?
    Therapeutic riding, equine-assisted learning and equine-facilitated psychotherapy – learn how each is defined, the team members providing services and who is best served by what program! PATH Intl. committees have been hard at work delineating and defining these issues. Are you confused as to where those lines are between these? Do you need more information on evaluating new applicants or re-assessing current riders or students? What service best suits them? Do you have questions and want to discuss where to go from here? Changing Rein Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies in Graham, WA, will share how they have built their programs and offer a list of resources that helped them along the way. Bring your questions!
    Sandra Boe is the founder and program director of Changing Rein EAAT, a PATH Intl. Certified Advanced Instructor, Mentor and ESMHL. She has completed Level I and II EAGALA Equine Specialist trainings and holds a certificate of Equine Facilitated Learning from the Human-Equine Alliance in Learning. She has worked as a journalist and in retail, but after she was diagnosed with MS she decided working with horses and helping others was a better purpose in life.






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