FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS

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WHERE IS THE MILES OF SMILES FACILITY?

 

We are located at 901 W. Maple Street in Garden City, Kansas.

 

WHAT IS THERAPEUTIC RIDING?

 

The North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) was established in 1969. In 2010 and 2011 there were many changes made to the organization, the most significant of which was the name change to “Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International” (PATH Intl) and today there are more than 650 PATH Intl - affiliated centers in the U.S., Canada, and throughout the world. These centers offer a variety of hippo therapy (physical therapy on horseback) activities to riders with a wide range of disabilities and injuries. The movement of the horse both relaxes tight muscles and stimulates unused muscles, which encourages better balance, flexibility, coordination, posture, and muscular strength and control.

 

Horseback riding & the associated activities also offer many psychological benefits. Mastering the commands and controlling the horse give the rider a wonderful sense of accomplishment as well as greater self-confidence, self-esteem, and a sense of independence. Horseback riding requires, and thus promotes, the development of patience and self-control. Interaction with the horse, volunteers, instructor, and other riders can also improve the rider’s social development. The experience includes so many sensory stimuli - the smells of the barn, the feel of the horse’s soft coat - that just being there is beneficial to the rider!

 

Therapeutic riding is recognized and endorsed by many medical organizations, and specifically, the American Occupational Therapy Association and the American Physical Therapy Association.

 

PATH Intl. FAQs

Name Change

 

What is the association's new name?

Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International.

 

That's a mouthful! Is there an abbreviation to use verbally and in print?

It is acceptable to say PATH International and even abbreviate it to PATH Intl. in print, although we encourage people for a great long while to use the full name until it becomes more familiar.

 

What is the objective of the new name?

The new name will communicate the essence of the organization and promote future growth and expansion. The new name is comprehendible and recognizable.

 

What is the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International tagline?

Ensuring excellence and changing lives through equine-assisted activities and therapies.

 

Why was the name change necessary?

  • The previous name was deemed obsolete because of the word "handicapped," which is inappropriate, outdated terminology
  • The previous name did not convey the breadth of the organization and its disciplines, previously limited to riding
  • The previous name did not convey international growth

 

http://www.pathintl.org/

 

WHEN ARE THE RIDING SESSIONS?

 

We currently offer four sessions per year, a six-week session in the spring, a five-week session in the summer, another six-week session in the fall, and in winter 2011 we started a special winter session. Within each regular session, there are two riding classes each on Monday and Tuesday evenings, and vaulting on Saturday afternoons. The summer session also adds a Thursday morning or daytime riding class and the special winter session currently is being held on Tuesdays or as weather permits.

 

WHAT IS VAULTING?

 

Vaulting is gymnastics on horseback, and yes, it's as fun as it sounds...whether you're participating or just watching! Visit www.americanvaulting.org for more information about this incredible activity!

 

IS MILES OF SMILES PART OF A NATIONAL ORGANIZATION?

 

Yes and no. It is not a chapter or a branch of a national group, which means it is operated completely locally, and all money raised is used only by this local organization. However, being a member of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Int'l), means it is a legitimate organization and does have a national "support system". The instructors must become certified through PATH Int'l, and there are certain guidelines and safety standards the program must follow in order to achieve & maintain its PATH Int'l membership.

 

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