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What does it mean to be PATH certified?

Updated: Nov 16, 2021




The PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor (CTRI) is a voluntary, entry-level credential for individuals in the equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) profession who provide riding instruction and therapeutic value to people with disabilities. This may include mounted or unmounted work ethically partnering with an equine. PATH Intl. CTRIs have met established criteria and standards of practice in the field. They have demonstrated their knowledge of disabilities, equines, teaching and human-animal interactions. See the full job description here. This certification program has been designed to meet the rigorous accreditation standards of the National Council of Certifying Agencies (NCCA). Learn more about why NCCA accreditation matters for PATH Intl. Certified Professionals here and read about the PATH Intl. Credentialing Council’s development and implementation of this certification program here.


PATH Intl. was founded in 1969 as the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) to promote safe and effective therapeutic horseback riding throughout the United States and Canada. Today, PATH Intl. has 873 member centers and nearly 8,000 individual members in countries all over the world, who help and support almost 69,000 men, women and children--including more than 6,700 veterans--with special needs each year through a variety of equine-assisted activities and therapies programs.

Though PATH Intl. began with a focus on horseback riding as a form of physical and mental therapy, the organization and its dedicated members have since developed a multitude of different equine-related activities for therapeutic purposes, collectively known as equine-assisted activities and therapies (or EAAT). Besides horseback riding, EAAT also includes therapeutic carriage driving; interactive vaulting, which is similar to gymnastics on horseback; equine-facilitated learning and mental health, which partner with the horse in cognitive and behavioral therapy, usually with the participation of a licensed therapist; ground work and stable management; and PATH Intl. Equine Services for Heroes®, which uses a variety of EAAT disciplines specifically to help war veterans and military personnel. In addition, many PATH Intl. volunteer-driven committees are working on identifying and refining even more disciplines and activities that might be put to use in the world of EAAT.


This was content taken directly from the Path Intl. website.



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