Board Member Natalea Watkins holds PATH Certification in Instructing, Mentoring and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning. Program Coordinator Callie Bennett is a Certified Instructor. Schooling Manager Meredith Moore is also a Certified Instructor, Herd Manager Kenzie Hindman has met all requirements except her final on-site test in riding and instructing. And this semester, Turning Point will have three Instructors in Training: Dez Michaelson and Elizabeth Weidner have attended a workshop and passes three tests. Amy Blalock has passed her tests and is awaiting a nearby workshop to attend.
Attending a PATH Workshop is just one step in the process to become a PATH Certified Instructor. Everyone teaching at Turning Point has First Aid and CPR training and has passed two levels of PATH tests. Each one is completing 25 hours of mentored instruction and lesson planning in preparation for certification in 2012. The process can cost up to $1200 per instructor.
Every instructor at Turning Point Ranch Therapeutic Riding Center is also a chief safety officer for riding session. And that’s quite a responsibility in an arena busy with flight animals like horses, riders who may have impulse control challenges and volunteers with varying levels of horse sense.
“It can be very challenging but always rewarding,” says Turning Point Program Coordinator Callie Bennett. “We have at least two trained instructors in the arena at every session and a PATH certified instructor supervising.”