PETS recently passed a full program screening in July to retain its national accreditation as a PATH International Premier Accredited Riding Center, continuing to provide it horsemanship service to Prince George’s County residents.
Beginning just after the first of the year, PETS began work on reviewing the standards PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International) that each associated riding center must follow in order to be accredited in various forms of equine facilitated therapy. Each center, when confident that the standards can be met, schedules a site visit by two PATH International Site Visitors for review and grading. Successful accreditation lasts for five years.
PETS volunteers reviewed the over three dozen standards that applied to all aspects of the program: administration; instruction and facility. The various standards address a variety of details from an effective chain of command to regular checks on human and equine first aid equipment.
After initial review of the current standards, PETS scheduled its site visit for July. Two work days were scheduled to do cleaning and repair to the barn and turnout. This also included a more detailed cleaning and inspection of tack and horse care items as well as review of volunteer and rider records. Every aspect of the program is reviewed and questioned as it pertains to either passing or failing the PATH standards. The week before the site visit volunteers and instructors performed as if the inspection were that day as a series of per-tests.
The site visit took place on a Tuesday. Instructors, volunteers and riders selected for the day help prepare for one riding lesson which include a mount from the ground and one from the new portable mounting ramp. PATH site visitors watched and questioned all parts of the program during the day as they made notes for scoring. Once the lesson was done, horses returned to the barn and the equipment returned, the site visitors went about scoring PETS on all the applicable standards.
PETS received a passing score of 100 percent, allowing the program to remain as a PATH International Premier Accredited Riding Center for another five years. Hard work and sacrifice of time by many of our volunteers, since the beginning of the season and on the day of the site visit, made our success possible.
More about PETS, Inc.
PETS is a 100% volunteer run, non-profit, skill-based equestrian therapeutic program serving, at no cost, disabled children and adults of Prince George’s County, Maryland, sponsored by the MNCPPC.
More about PATH, Int.
PATH Intl. was founded in 1969 as the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) to promote safe and effective therapeutic horseback riding throughout the United States and Canada. Today, PATH Intl. has nearly 800 member centers and over 6,300 individual members in countries all over the world, who help and support more than 42,000 men, women and children with special needs each year through a variety of equine-assisted activity and therapy programs.