History of Therapeutic Riding and PATH International
Historical references to the physical and emotional benefits of work with horses date back to the 1600’s. PATH Intl (Professional Association of Therapeutic Riding, International) is the International Governing body that sets the standards for best practices, credentialing, and center accreditation.Today there are over 800 PATH Intl affiliated centers nationally, assisting individuals with physical, cognitive and emotional disabilities.
The Horses Healing Humans Story
Founder Lee Paradis has had a lifelong love affair with horses and the healing qualities associated with equine work. For years she had been formulating a business plan to offer emotional healing programs for women dealing with issues of bereavement, abuse, unemployment, PTSD, eating disorders, and other mental health issues, but with a busy career did not have the opportunity to put that plan into action.
During her mother’s final illness in 2006, Lee turned to volunteering at High Hopes Therapeutic Riding in Old Lyme, CT to help her through the grieving process. 2 years later, an automobile accident resulting in TBI and bilateral Carpal Tunnel injuries ended her 35 year career in Dental Hygiene and Periodontal Therapy. Once again, Therapeutic Riding was essential in the healing process, helping her to regain strength, balance, and repair hand and cognitive function. While recovering from her injuries, she was accepted into and completed the intensive Instructor Training program at High Hopes in March 2010. Lee looked for TR opportunities in the local area, but found none with the high standards and credentials she was looking for. She decided to start her own program, completing additional Certifications in EFP/ EAL with OK Corral and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning through PATH, Intl., and Equine Sports Massage to help keep the horses happy in their work. Horses Healing Humans, Inc was incorporated in June 2011 as a not-for profit corporation ( 501(c)(3).
The program began with one full time volunteer instructor, 12 volunteers, 4 therapy horses and 6 regular participants. Many hours were devoted to bringing the facility, horses, administration and programs up to PATH, Intl Center Standards and HHH achieved PATH Int’l Center Membership in January 2012. The program quickly outgrew the location in Voluntown, and on July 1,2012 moved to its current home in Stonington with indoor arena, direct trail access, restroom and laundry facilities, and a heated office/ therapy room, allowing the program to expand and run year-round regardless of weather. In 2015 the facility was purchased by HHH and we earned PATH Intl Premier Accreditation.
“Horses Healing Humans” exists to enrich the lives of people with special challenges through Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies.
Experienced, caring instructors and therapists at Horses Healing Humans, Inc. create individualized equine programs for people from all walks of life, all abilities and challenges. The specific educational, psychological, and therapeutic goals of each client are addressed in a physically and emotionally safe environment by our Certified Equine and Mental Health Professionals.
Our primary focus is on providing high-quality education and healing therapeutic services that incorporate the physical and emotional benefits of mounted and unmounted work with horses. We work collaboratively with area training facilities to support students desiring traditional riding lessons at a competitive level, and will prepare students prior to referral to an excellent program in your chosen discipline. We also integrate natural, holistic equine training and management methodologies which respect the physical and emotional well-being of our equine partners.
Our program is based on the belief that our participants’ needs are of the utmost importance-horses and humans alike. Our entire team is committed to meeting those needs. As a result, a high percentage of our business is from repeat customers and referrals. We would welcome the opportunity to earn your trust and deliver you the best service in the EAAT industry. With a variety of program offerings to choose from, we’re sure you’ll be happy working with us. Look around our website and if you have any comments or questions, and please feel free to contact us. We will do everything we can to meet and exceed your expectations.