Denver–Is It Adaptive Riding or Therapeutic Riding?

Of all the questions PATH Intl. receives from press or from those who don’t know what PATH Intl. does or even from the equine industry as a whole, one of the most asked questions is, “Is it adaptive riding or therapeutic riding?”

Trick question. It can be either. According to PATH Intl. terminology, which was informed by the paper, “Optimal Terminology for Services in the United States That Incorporate Horses to Benefit People: A Consensus Document,” adaptive riding or therapeutic riding may be used interchangeably to describe services that make the health benefit of horses and riding accessible.

For PATH Intl. and its members and centers, adaptive/therapeutic riding is performed by instructors who have been skillfully trained and certified by PATH Intl. In other words, when you see the titles PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor, Advanced Instructor, Master Instructor, or Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning, you can be assured you and or family members/caretakers are receiving the best the equine-assisted services industry has to offer.

(Psst: Equine-assisted services (including adaptive/therapeutic riding) is never referred to as “equine therapy,” which implies the horse is the one needing therapy!)

Still unsure about some of the terminology? You can read a one-page summary of the changes here: https://pathintl.org/images/pdf/about-path-intl/PATH-Intl-Terminology-One-Sheet-Summary.pdf

Happy riding!

About PATH Intl.:
The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International® (PATH Intl.®) was formed in 1969. The organization leads the advancement of professional equine-assisted services (EAS) by supporting its members and stakeholders through rigorously developed standards, credentialing and education. At 881 member centers, more than 66,000 children and adults, including 6,200 veterans, may find improved health, wellness and a sense of pride, independence and fun through involvement with horses. EAS at member centers may include therapeutic or adaptive riding, interactive vaulting, driving, adaptive equestrian sport, equine-assisted learning and therapy services. Through a wide variety of educational resources, the association helps individuals start and maintain successful programs and professional careers. There are nearly 62,500 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 Specialist
(800) 369-7433, ext.123
csmith@pathintl.org

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