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  1. #1
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    Jul. 11, 2007
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    Question How to become a therapeutic riding instructor

    Can someone explain to me the process? Thanks!



  2. #2
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    Dec. 20, 2009
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    http://www.pathintl.org/resources-ed...certifications

    There is a certification process; see above. Original organization was NARHA, now known as PATH.
    Not all therapeutic riding programs are accredited through PATH, and thus may not require the certification process. If you want to do this as a career, then go through the PATH program.
    We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........



  3. #3
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    Thanks! Having issues with becoming a member online. I'll call them tomorrow.



  4. #4
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    I know this is an extremely open-ended question, but how much can one make doing this for a living? Mid-life crisis/career change...



  5. #5
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    Rather variable based on location and size of the facility, obviously. Some googling around indicates starting wages of $18 per hour, full time at around $30,000. Many positions are part time, for a bunch of reasons. If there is a facility near you go talk to the Exec. Director, volunteer or watch lessons, see what you think.
    We don't get less brave; we get a bigger sense of self-preservation........



  6. #6
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    Quote Originally Posted by 2tempe View Post
    Rather variable based on location and size of the facility, obviously. Some googling around indicates starting wages of $18 per hour, full time at around $30,000. Many positions are part time, for a bunch of reasons. If there is a facility near you go talk to the Exec. Director, volunteer or watch lessons, see what you think.
    THANKS! I do have an appointment with a local program. Hope this works out! Possibly taking a big leap of faith!


    1 members found this post helpful.

  7. #7
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    Dec. 17, 2013
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    Georgia
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    It's fantastic that you would like to be a therapeutic riding instructor. One of the best things you can do is to volunteer with a quality organization in your area. That way you get a feeling as to what the organization does, how it operates, etc. You can also learn the differences among therapeutic riding, adaptive riding, equine facilitated learning, equine assisted psychotherapy, and the other varities of "equine therapies and activities" available.

    After you have volunteered with the organization, you may have narrowed down where you would like your focus to be. If it's therapeutic riding or adaptive riding, then becoming certified through PATH International (formerly NARHA) would be the way to go. Keep in mind that there IS a time limit between obtaining your Instructor In Training letter, meeting the requirements, and testing for your certification. I have seen several active trainers in our area saying they are "Instructors In Training" but have been for the past 3-4 years which is a no-no with PATH International as I believe the required time from letter to testing is a year or so (more information on their website, obviously.)

    If you would like to get more involved in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (which is primarily non-mounted activities though some EAP programs DO mounted activities,) then it gets a bit tricky. If you want to solely assist with the horses and assist the instructor, I'd recommend O.K. Corral Series or EAGALA (make sure you do research on both to find out the history between them.) If you want to work with the clients, then you will have to become a licensed mental health professional.

    Although these are definitely not requirements, when I look at riding centers that focus on Equine Therapy and Activities, I always check things out and make mental notes of various tidbits:

    Check certifications of the instructors. If they are offering any sort of EAP programs (PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, etc.) then there should ALWAYS be a mental health professional that works with the program. I get worried when I see programs offering EAP programs without a mental health professional.

    I check to ensure that the program is licensed by some means/the instructors have training (PATH, OK Corral, EAGALA...I believe there are some others) and EXPERIENCE in teaching. It seems like there are programs out there in which people hope to play on the heart strings of others in helping out the "needy" (term often used) and they also want someone else to pay for their horses' care.

    Quick mental checklist of terminology used: reputable organizations don't use terminology like "handicapped" or "crippled." They know what they're talking about, and they have studied up on ethics and privacy concerns/confidentiality concerns.

    Helmets and other safety methods are used in the program (leader, sidewalkers, safe tack and equipment, safe horses, etc.) I cringe when I see a program with a rider wearing slippers or Crocs or flip flops.

    Best of luck in your endeavors! Even volunteering with a reputable program is rewarding


    1 members found this post helpful.

  8. #8
    Join Date
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    Quote Originally Posted by WorkingDrive View Post
    It's fantastic that you would like to be a therapeutic riding instructor. One of the best things you can do is to volunteer with a quality organization in your area. That way you get a feeling as to what the organization does, how it operates, etc. You can also learn the differences among therapeutic riding, adaptive riding, equine facilitated learning, equine assisted psychotherapy, and the other varities of "equine therapies and activities" available.

    After you have volunteered with the organization, you may have narrowed down where you would like your focus to be. If it's therapeutic riding or adaptive riding, then becoming certified through PATH International (formerly NARHA) would be the way to go. Keep in mind that there IS a time limit between obtaining your Instructor In Training letter, meeting the requirements, and testing for your certification. I have seen several active trainers in our area saying they are "Instructors In Training" but have been for the past 3-4 years which is a no-no with PATH International as I believe the required time from letter to testing is a year or so (more information on their website, obviously.)

    If you would like to get more involved in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (which is primarily non-mounted activities though some EAP programs DO mounted activities,) then it gets a bit tricky. If you want to solely assist with the horses and assist the instructor, I'd recommend O.K. Corral Series or EAGALA (make sure you do research on both to find out the history between them.) If you want to work with the clients, then you will have to become a licensed mental health professional.

    Although these are definitely not requirements, when I look at riding centers that focus on Equine Therapy and Activities, I always check things out and make mental notes of various tidbits:

    Check certifications of the instructors. If they are offering any sort of EAP programs (PTSD, Depression, Anxiety, etc.) then there should ALWAYS be a mental health professional that works with the program. I get worried when I see programs offering EAP programs without a mental health professional.

    I check to ensure that the program is licensed by some means/the instructors have training (PATH, OK Corral, EAGALA...I believe there are some others) and EXPERIENCE in teaching. It seems like there are programs out there in which people hope to play on the heart strings of others in helping out the "needy" (term often used) and they also want someone else to pay for their horses' care.

    Quick mental checklist of terminology used: reputable organizations don't use terminology like "handicapped" or "crippled." They know what they're talking about, and they have studied up on ethics and privacy concerns/confidentiality concerns.

    Helmets and other safety methods are used in the program (leader, sidewalkers, safe tack and equipment, safe horses, etc.) I cringe when I see a program with a rider wearing slippers or Crocs or flip flops.

    Best of luck in your endeavors! Even volunteering with a reputable program is rewarding
    THANK YOU!!!!



  9. #9
    Join Date
    Feb. 5, 2002
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    1,984

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    Excellent comments above. To that, I would add: if you are hoping to support yourself and a family, and/or some animals, it will be very difficult to do on a salary from a TR program unless you are also a therapist of some sort. And full time positions are few and far between. On the other hand - don't quit your day job, but many of us are able to balance teaching time with going part time at a "real" job that provides benefits and some income during the off season. Most programs don't operate 52 weeks/year and often the policy is "no lessons, no pay." Makes a great part time job if you have another profession to rely on for income.

    It's rewarding, it's challenging, and it's fun, for the right person at the right program.


    3 members found this post helpful.

  10. #10
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    May. 8, 2004
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    2boys, I am a PATH Intl. Certified TR instructor and I would highly recommend this career. You won't get rich in the bank account way, but the rewards can't just be measured in money. I was a volunteer in TR for about 12 years before the horrible death of my sister gave me the boot I needed to dedicate my life to helping others heal through horses. Out of tragedy came something so positive and life changing for me, I juggle four jobs to be able to do what I do.
    It is physically demanding and there are days that can be challenging, but the rewards far outweigh those days.
    It's important to find a program that honors the work the horses do, so be sure you do your due diligence before you join up with a program. PATH International is a good place to start. PM me if you have any questions and best of luck if you choose this career!


    1 members found this post helpful.

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