PATH Intl. Conference Offers Introduction to EAAT

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Equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) has grown in popularity as its benefits are highlighted in events and news stories across the country and around the world. The timing is perfect for those who want more information on how partnering with these sentient creatures benefits humans in physical, cognitive, emotional and social ways. The PATH Intl. Conference and Annual Meeting, sponsored by Purina, November 4-7, at the historic Renaissance Cleveland Hotel in Cleveland, Ohio, offers a superb opportunity to learn more, to become involved and to meet the people and a few participants who are the faces behind the stories.

The sessions at the PATH Intl. Conference appeal to a wide range of interests and experience. If you are not familiar with EAAT and wish to get an overview of some of what PATH Intl. does, you might try, for example, the session “Rough Ride: How to Reach Difficult Boys Through Horses,” which will discuss behavior management strategies while working with at-risk boys.

“Recording Complex Movement Patterns and Recreating Them in a Mechanical Device” will demonstrate how riding a horse creates a similar movement to human activities, such as walking, underscoring the benefit therapeutic riding may have on those individuals with physical challenges. Attendees will learn about equine-facilitated psychotherapy for veterans with post-traumatic stress, how equine-assisted learning may affect older adults, and the latest research in the field.

The PATH Intl. Horse Expo on Saturday, November 7, provides attendees with hands-on sessions, including live demonstrations of carriage driving.

Opportunities abound for networking, including the PATH Intl. Exhibitor Hall of Fame Party on Wednesday night, November 4, to officially kick off the conference. The PATH Intl. Awards Banquet on Friday night gives everyone the opportunity to see what we are all about as we celebrate the accomplishments of certified professionals, equines, volunteers and veterinarians, and as we listen to the incredible stories of our equestrian winners who overcame challenges through the unique bond developed between horse and human at PATH Intl. Member Centers.

Early registration is currently offered online on the conference page at www.pathintl.org, as well as more information about conference sessions (click on the registration book), the Renaissance Cleveland Hotel and fun things to do in Cleveland, the Rock and Roll Capital of the World. The early registration discount ends September 17, so register now and discover for yourself why everyone is talking about the power of the horse to change lives.

The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) was formed in 1969 to promote safety and optimal outcomes in equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) for individuals with special needs. At 866 member centers, more than 61,000 children and adults may find improved health, wellness and a sense of pride and independence through involvement with horses. Therapeutic horsemanship at member centers may include hippotherapy, equine-facilitated mental health, driving, interactive vaulting, trail riding, competition, ground work and stable management. Through a wide variety of educational resources, the association helps individuals start and maintain successful EAAT programs. There are more than 55,000 volunteers, 4,666 instructors, 7,672 equines and thousands of contributors from all over the world helping people at PATH Intl. Member Centers.