The HPITS curriculum will contain a variety of components. Each component will combine hands-on participation, observation, reading and reflection. At the conclusion of this course each ITC will leave with a full professional portfolio to assist in obtaining employment in the exciting field of therapeutic horsemanship. Some of the components of study are outlined below.
Horsemanship: ITCs will be actively involved in the day-to-day operation of the Touchstone Farm riding and teaching facility, which includes horse care, feeding, turnout and stable management. Each candidate will be involved in the direct care of several horses and be responsible for mounted schooling and ground manners training for some of these horses. ITCs will work with horses both on the ground and in the saddle to learn how to evaluate and assess horses, maintain good manners and appropriate conditioning for the work the horses will be expected to do.
Teaching: ITCs will be actively involved in the riding and horsemanship lessons for Horse Power students on a weekly basis at Touchstone Farm. This will include, but is not limited to, volunteering, lesson planning, goal setting, evaluation and the implementation of games, exercises and equine experiences for various levels and ages of students. Each ITC will gradually increase the level of responsibility they have for teaching students, while under the supervision of a PATH Intl. certified instructor.
Disabilities and Mental Health: ITCs will actively participate in lectures, talks, presentations and informational sessions conducted by faculty members, farm staff, therapists, teachers and parents of TR students about a variety of disabilities and mental health issues ITCs may encounter in the TR field. This information will be reinforced throughout the course by observation, reading and reflection, lesson planning and hands on experience with the clients and horses at Touchstone Farm. Information will be presented from the PATH Intl. Standards of Accreditation Manual, which includes the Precautions and Contraindications, as well as, the PATH Intl. Instructor Educational Guide.
Riding: ITCs will be given two weekly riding lessons by qualified instructors that will help prepare them for the riding portion of the PATH Intl. certification in addition to improving their riding skills. Candidates may ride additional times each week to hone their riding skills, facilitate mounted schooling of their “schooling” horse and enjoy the horses and facilities of Touchstone Farm. A variety of clinics and carriage driving opportunities may be available for those who desire such experience.
Volunteer Training & Organization: ITCs will participate in, and observe, Volunteer Training for volunteers who come weekly to help in lessons. They will also learn safe and effective utilization of volunteers and the importance of volunteer support to enhance retention and commitment.
Business: ITCs will attend lectures about how to start or maintain a successful business. Including budgeting and financial practices, computer programs, Strategic Planning, considerations for becoming a non-profit with a board of directors, or a for profit organization, grant writing, staffing, and the recruiting of clients, securing horses and PR. Candidates will leave with an assortment of materials and skills they can utilize to begin their own business or to strengthen the organizations in which they work.
Instructor Certification: ITCs will receive the training and support to achieve PATH Intl. Instructor Certification at the Registered or Advanced Level. Please note that Advanced Instructor Certification will be done on an individual basis and will carry additional costs to the candidate as well as to Horse Power. Candidates must be over 21 years of age to qualify for the Advanced Certification. Please speak directly to Sddita for information on this level of certification.