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Equest offers a variety of accredited programs for professional education.

Including INTERNSHIPS, elead, mental health first aid, aha, instructor training course, equine specialist, and onsite Certification

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PATH Intl. Instructor Training Course

Have you ever considered a career in equine-assisted therapy?

The 2019 Fall Instructor Training Courses is scheduled for: August 16-October 14, 2019.

Application deadline for the fall course is July 1, 2019.

Equest offers a PATH International approved training course! Equest's Instructor Training Course (ITC) is designed for experienced horse people, with a variety of riding backgrounds, who are looking to pursue a career in therapeutic riding. The course is also suited to current instructors seeking continuing education, or preparation for advanced certification.

PATH Intl. Approved Instructor Training Course Schedule

The Equest Instructor Training Course is a seven-week program designed to follow a Tuesday through Saturday format. Classes meet on additional Mondays and evenings as needed. Student instructors should plan for study and preparation time during the evening and weekend hours. A detailed course calendar will be provided on the first day of the course. Vacancies for the course are filled on a first-come, first-served basis.

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  • Human Anatomy and Kinesiology

  • Human Psychology

  • Teaching Methodology

  • Disabilities

  • Mounting Techniques

  • The Therapy Horse

  • Adaptive Equipment

  • Volunteer Recruitment and Management

  • Hippotherapy

  • Practical Teaching Experience


Application Requirements

To accomplish the demands of this course, and to qualify for certification upon completion, candidates must meet certain competency requirements. To be accepted into the course, a candidate must complete and submit two proficiency exams: One written and one mounted. These are included in the Training Course Application, and must be returned as specified in the course information.


Stable Management

The written exam includes questions on conformation, blemishes and unsoundness, general feeding requirements, ailments, diseases and their treatments, worming and vaccination requirements, stable maintenance, grooming, breeds, first-aid treatment, and movement analysis.  This must be submitted with the application.


Riding Skills

This is a mounted test of riding skills. Candidates of varying riding backgrounds are accepted into the course; however a solid knowledge of walk-trot-canter with correct leads and diagonals, simple lead changes, leg yielding, turns on the forehand and haunches, and suppling exercises is needed. We welcome candidates with diverse riding experience. The riding skills test may be taken in either English or Western tack. The riding skills pattern is included in the application packet. This should be submitted either as a DVD with your application, or posted with a YouTube link. Students should be familiar with the English discipline as this is the style most of our clients ride, and will be the style taught.

Entrance Test Suggested References

Horse, J. Warren Evans, et. al.
The United States Pony Club Manual (level D, C, A/B)
Horse, Gaits, Balance and Movement, Susan Harris
101 Arena Exercises, Cherry Hil
Becoming an Effective Rider, Cherry Hill


Candidates who successfully complete all training course requirements will complete a PATH Intl. On-Site Workshop and Certification. Candidates will be graded by PATH Intl. evaluators on a mounted riding exam as well as sample teaching. The OSWC is included in the Instructor Training Course fees and time period.

For more information on instructor training, contact Equest Registrar Amanda Fastle at



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Application fee (non-refundable) - $150.00 must be included with application and completed exams.

Tuition Balance:

First payment $2,000 due upon notification you have been accepted into the course, and no later than July 5th.

Second payment $1,000 due no later than August 1st.

Housing (Optional):

$900 plus $100 security deposit due with first payment.

Fees include: Textbooks, all printed materials, and the PATH International On-Site Workshop and Certification.

Additional Fees:

PATH Intl membership fee: Please see PATH website to apply for membership

First Aid/CPR $50 (if not already certified)

Housing information is included in the application packet at the top of this page.

Other PATH Int'l Workshops

Educational Opportunities at Equest!


January 24, 2019

Advanced Mounting & Dismounting Techniques

Improve your mounting skills by adding techniques to your tool box for riders that need more assistance - learn body mechanics for assisting riders during mounting and dismounting. Hands-on practice for all participants. $75 per person – space is limited.

Water provided but bring your own brown bag lunch


January 25, 2019

Equine Movement Analysis & Application in Therapeutic Riding

Learn about different types of movement provided by our equines and how this movement affects our riders while mounted. Address posture and alignment of individuals with varied disabilities and learn how to encourage neutral pelvis and shoulder-hip-heel alignment. Hands-on practice for all participants. $75 per person- space is limited.

Water provided but bring your own brown bag lunch

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May 6-9, 2019

Equine Specialist in Mental Health & Learning Workshop and Skills Test

Get your PATH Int’l certification as an Equine Specialist! Options available for ESMHL Workshop only, Skills test only, or combination of both. Space is limited - register now!

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May 16-19, 2019

AHA Level II Workshop

This course is designed for licensed PT’’s, OTs, SLPs, PTAs, OTAs, and SLPA’s and it is strongly recommended that therapists complete 30 hours incorporating hippotherapy as a treatment tool/strategy prior to taking Level II to most effectively benefit from the treatment sessions conducted during the course.  Therapists must attend all four days of the course to receive a certificate of attendance.


Questions about the course? Please contact Equest Operations Coordinator Joan Cutler at

For more information on this workshop, please contact Joan at To register for this workshop, please contact AHA directly.

AHA Hippotherapy Level II Workshop

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This curriculum is the follow-up to AHA, Inc. Treatment Principles – Level I, with an emphasis on patient treatment, and more advanced equine knowledge necessary for Hippotherapy as an equine discipline. Lecture, discussion, collaborative work, and actual patient treatment occur over four (4) days.

This workshop is scheduled for May 16-19, 2019. For more information on this workshop, please contact Joan at To register for this workshop, please contact AHA directly.


Who can attend this course?

Adaptive riding instructors, horse handlers, administrators, and others interested in HPOT principles are welcome to attend, teamed with their therapist.

Licensed speech, physical, and occupational therapists and assistants (PTA, COTA, and SLPA’s) are eligible to attend this course.


Building on these equine skills, the participant will explore the dynamic system of therapist, patient, horse handler, and horse as is applied with Hippotherapy.

Topics include:

  • Recognizing desirable conformation, soundness, and movement qualities of the therapy horse

  • Training, conditioning, and monitoring of the therapy horse

  • Understanding optimization of the therapy horse for a patient treatment

  • Safety principles for the therapy horse and environment

  • Educate and train staff and volunteers who will be working with the therapy horse

  • Maintain a safe, effective, and successful clinic program

Mental Health First Aid

Many Equest staff members are certified in Youth Mental Health First Aid

Many Equest staff members are certified in Youth Mental Health First Aid

Equest offers three modules for Mental Health First Aid: Youth module, adult module, and adult module with veteran emphasis. 

MHFA certification is available for individuals, and corporate or community groups. To arrange a training, please contact Susannah Denney at

Mental Health First Aid is an eight (8) hour course that teaches you how to identify, understand, and respond to signs of mental illnesses and substance use disorders.

Mental Health First Aid USA is a live training program — like regular First Aid or CPR — designed to give ordinary people the skills to help someone who is developing a mental health problem or experiencing a mental health crisis. Mental Health First Aid uses role-playing and simulations to demonstrate how to recognize and respond to the warning signs of specific illnesses.

Mental Health First Aid teaches participants a five-step action plan, ALGEE, to support someone developing signs and symptoms of a mental illness or in an emotional crisis:

  • Assess for risk of suicide or harm

  • Listen non-judgmentally

  • Give reassurance and information

  • Encourage appropriate professional help

  • Encourage self-help and other support strategies

For more information, or to register for Mental Health First Aid, contact Susannah Denney at


To apply for any of the internships listed below, please contact Amy Causey at or (972) 412-1099, ext. 204.

Equest provides a variety of internships centered around equine-assisted activities and therapies as well as nonprofit administration. 

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Therapeutic Riding Program Internship

Prerequisite Skills: N/A
Description: The program intern duties will focus on the varied aspects of the therapeutic riding program. Interns will assist with therapy classes, horses, and with the administration of the program, including supervising volunteers, special events, and facility needs.

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Therapeutic Riding Instructor Internship

Prerequisite Skills: Should have basic equestrian experience, and submit a resume for consideration.
Description: Interns will assist the instructors in the implementation of the therapeutic riding classes and/or Hippotherapy. Interns may also help with administrative tasks, special events, and competitions.

Administrative Program Internship

Prerequisite Skills: Proficiency in data entry, Microsoft Office, and internet technology a plus.
Description: Interns will assist with administrative office duties. Interns are required to go through volunteer training, and may volunteer with the clients.


Therapeutic Riding Stable Management Internship

Prerequisite Skills: Should have equine experience, and must submit a resume for consideration.
Description: Interns will assist the stable manager with daily barn maintenance, feeding, horse evaluations, and veterinary care of our therapy horses.

Volunteer Services Internship

Prerequisite Skills: Proficiency in data entry, Microsoft Office, and internet technology a plus.
Description: Interns will assist the volunteer director with volunteer recruiting, scheduling including confirming class assignments, updating paperwork and files, and helping with special events and volunteer training. There will be times when help is needed during lessons, and the intern will fill in as a volunteer.

Development Office Internship

Prerequisite Skills: Must have excellent communication and interpersonal skills, and high-level computer proficiency - Microsoft Office is required. Candidates for the development internship must submit a resume, and cover letter for consideration.
Description: Interns will assist the development team with donor-related outreach, marketing materials, special events, donor recognition, and other fundraising and communication related activities.


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ELEAD packages include:

  • Half-day ELEAD at Texas Horse Park for up to 16 participants    $3500
  • Full-day ELEAD at Texas Horse Park for up to 25 participants     $5000

Reduced prices are available for nonprofit groups and organizations. To take action call Christine Volkmer, Director of Development, at 214-794-5498, or email

Equest's Leadership through Equine Assisted Development

Unbridle leadership and team potential through customized experiential learning that makes an immediate difference.

ELEAD designs and facilitates interactive experiences with horses to unlock your strengths, and uncover practical opportunities for improving. Take advantage of a unique solution for unleashing people’s talent regardless of their role or position.

Traditional classroom programs, online classes, and technology-enhanced training often fail to apply the self-discoveries that complete the learning cycle.

A half-day or full-day of professional development is designed specifically for you at the Texas Horse Park in Dallas. Capitalize on eye-opening and motivational experiences with horses. Practical insights and self-correcting actions are revealed.  Would you like to

  • Develop self-awareness and the power of centeredness?
  • Discover the impact of non-verbal communication?
  • Experience solution-oriented collaboration?
  • Uncover fear-based patterns and habits?
  • Identify and set healthy boundaries?
  • Build trust and self-confidence?
  • Reduce and cope with stress?

Interacting with horses demands full attention, active listening, and observation. Horses will reflect the inner landscape of the individual or team in a non-judgmental way. Our professionals guide participants to discover multiple applications of their learning, which reinforces the experience for lasting impact. 

Jeff Hensley, Equest's director of clinical and veteran services and Licensed Professional Counselor (MS, LPC), directs ELEAD.  ELEAD is facilitated by Susannah Denney, a certified equine specialist in mental health and learning, who guides with professional experience in leadership, management, and collaborative/human behaviors using the beloved Equest horse herd

Equest also offers extended services in partnership with Dr. Tom Boldrey, Ed.D. Tom’s deep expertise with many assessment instruments, including HBDI, MBTI, and SDI, integrated with expertly guided experiences with horses, optimize learning outcomes. Bundled pricing available upon request.

Want a way to stretch as a leader? ELEAD™ helped us get in touch with the unspoken ways we communicate, and get centered on how to best motivate ourselves and our team. I highly recommend it for your next team offsite.
— Carol Goglia, Communities Foundation of Texas, April 2016

Ready to help?



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