PATH to Success
PATH to Success was featured in the
July 2010 Newsletter
Now Accepting Applications for Spring
of the American Psychological Association,
Animal-Human Interaction: Research & Practice Section
Accepting applications for spring enrollment for PATH to Success.
Parent Information meeting January 27, 7:00 pm
at Lincoln Middle School Library.
PATH to Success is an equine assisted growth and learning
program that is directed at healthy youth development. It was
started in 2008 as an extension of the
Area Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) program at Washington
State University. Our program is conducted with the help of 4
The goal of PATH to Success is to improve children's wellbeing
by enhancing their social competence and ability to respond to
common life stress. We believe that all children encounter
stressful events throughout the normal developmental process.
This includes situations at school and home, many of which are
part of everyday life (e.g., academic and athletic demands, peer
pressure, sibling rivalry). Additionally, some children are
exposed to more severe stressors (e.g., family instability due
to parental job loss, financial pressure, illness and family
conflict). It is our goal to help children develop strengths and
skills to respond to these stressors in a positive and
productive way that is built on resilience, competence, and the
ability to make good choices.
This10-week program features a curriculum and lesson plan that
is centered around a series of weekly themes and activities.
Themes are varied (e.g. Friendship/Boundaries, Respect,
Teamwork) and serve as a tool to help our participants focus on
a common goal for that week's lesson. Activities include a
series of recurring activities that emphasize basic horsemanship
skills and knowledge of horse behavior (e.g., grooming, horse
care, horse body language), as well as those that are theme
Although the curriculum features varying lesson themes, each
lesson is designed around a set of touch points that are
consistently infused. Touch points inform activities targeted
towards increasing self-and social awareness, self-management,
goal-directed behavior, relationship skills, personal
responsibility, decision making, and optimistic thinking. We
focus on improving these social competencies as they contribute
to improved coping skills and hence reduced stress in children.
Participants of our program are 11 years, or older, and
physically-able. Each session is conducted under the
supervision of an experienced PATH Intl.-certified riding
instructor and a mental health counselor. Four volunteer horse
specialists assist in implementing the equine activities. Fees
for this program vary depending on the availability of external
funding to support program costs.
Washington State University Program Staff
College of Education
Family therapist and facilitator
People-Pet Partnership/PATH Program Coordinator
College of Veterinary Medicine
North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA)