PATH Intl. Celebrates 50 Years!

Obviously, 50 years ago life on planet Earth looked quite different for its inhabitants. In 1969 the average cost of a new house in the U.S. was $15,550; average income per year $8,550; rent $135 per month; and a new car might cost a consumer $3,270. While the world economy has changed exponentially, so many familiar constants remain. On January 1, 1969, the Ohio State Buckeyes football team beat the USC Trojans in the Rose Bowl to win the national championship. Fifty years later, as people celebrated the promise of a new year and took stock of their blessings, Ohio State played in the same game against the Washington Huskies (and won). Good books are still authored. (In 1969 Mario Puzzo’s novel The Godfather hit the shelves.) And entertainment continues to fuel our imaginations and keep us laughing at the brighter side of life. (“Monty Python’s Flying Circus” first aired on BBC One in 1969.)

In 2019, terms like artificial intelligence and virtual reality are commonly used parts of our vernacular, and we see technology evolving faster than we can think. Thankfully, certain consistencies continue to keep us humans grounded to the planet, such as an appreciation for nature, love of animals and striving for a healthy lifestyle. These inspirations, plus hope and having loving, open-hearted humans around us, are the types of ideas that continue to fuel our spirits. Equines happen to check all those boxes. They’ve been serving humanity as a companion and as a colleague for those in the workforce for centuries. This amazing, seemingly deep-souled, unpredictable, beautiful creature is also at the heart of the staying power of equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT). They didn’t, however, do it alone.

When the founders of PATH Intl. (then NARHA) first gathered to discuss formalizing an organization, the distant future must have felt so, well, distant. Through both the lean and prosperous years, and everything in between, one industry invariable in addition to the horses remains, and that’s the PATH Intl. members—a smart, savvy, multi-talented, resourceful, dedicated, innovative community of some of the finest humans the planet has to offer. They continue to cultivate their skills, meet the changing needs of society and strive for optimal quality of life for their participants and equines alike. And it is these extraordinary members with hearts bigger than the expanse of time the association will honor and celebrate in its 50th year.

To commemorate its golden anniversary, PATH Intl., its members and stakeholders will join together in a year-long 50th anniversary celebration that begins now and will carry through to the 2019 PATH Intl. Conference to be held in the city of the association’s headquarters—Denver, Colorado—from November 8-10, at The Westin Westminster. PATH Intl. will be focusing its celebration around four cornerstones—evolution, individual members, center members and new initiatives. These themes will be highlighted throughout 2019 as the foundation for that which has made PATH Intl. what it is today, and sets the course for continuing its vision of being a global authority, resource and advocate for equine-assisted activities and therapies and the equines in the work that inspire and enrich the human spirit.

Help us celebrate! Look for a PATH Intl. 50th Anniversary Facebook Group coming soon where you can leave celebratory messages and enjoy and upload pictures.

 Unique 50th Anniversary Sponsorship Opportunities

Join the celebration! Individuals and organizations are invited to contribute to the fun year ahead by sponsoring an array of activities. Click here to explore some ideas ranging from the simple to the grand or visit PATH Intl. at

About PATH Intl.:
The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International(r) (PATH Intl(r).) was formed in 1969 to promote safety and optimal outcomes in equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) for individuals with special needs. At 881 member centers, more than 66,000 children and adults, including nearly 6,600 veterans, may find improved health, wellness, fun 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 62,000 volunteers, 5,011 instructors, 7,800 equines and thousands of contributors from all over the world helping people at PATH Intl. Member Centers.

For more information, contact:
Cher Smith, Communications Coordinator
(800) 369-7433, ext.123

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