Guide to Certification

Welcome! If I were to write a resource book about how to instruct therapeutic riding and pass certification, this is what I’d include in it. However, I’m not publishing one anytime soon for various reasons (mostly because the process is always being updated) so I decided to make this alternative available, because I think it would be really helpful to people going through certification. It’s like you get a book for free! But in the form of a webpage of links. So, this page is a compilation of all the BEST posts on this blog related to getting certified to instruct therapeutic horseback riding through PATH Intl.  This list of resources is not complete – there are many bullet points without links (in red text), which represent blog posts I’d like to write some day, but also information for you to research yourself. *Please know I am NOT an official representative of PATH Intl., and this is not their official word on the matter.* However, I am a PATH Intl. Certified Instructor and Mentor who has helped people through the certification process, and who likes to take notes and share information to help others through the process. I hope you find this resource helpful!

Last updated: 1/23/2018

Table of Contents

Click on the category below to see all the related posts, or scroll down to browse.


Note: PATH Intl. is currently on the track to “achieve independent, third party accreditation” of the Registered Instructor Certification, to make sure the process meets internationally recognized credentialing standards. They say not much should change, but it does appear that they are moving toward only certifying instructors and not educating them (so no more workshops, or at least separate them from the testing) in order to lower the cost for applicants and remove the potential conflict of interest of having the same evaluators both educate and judge. They have also said in order to “ensure consistent, fair, transparent and valid testing practices for all candidates” they plan to make it so one does “not have to contend with the most challenging variables of the current certification process such as the quality/types of the equines provided during testing, the time of day one might be tested, biases toward one discipline or another, the lack of quality control in video re-submissions, etc.” I think these are all great and am looking forward to the results! For more info visit the credentialing webpage here or read the STRIDES article here. I don’t think the changes will be happening anytime soon, but as they do I’ll update this page ASAP.

Before You Get Started

The Certification Process

Getting Started

For When It Gets Hard

Lesson Planning

Pre-Lesson Planning

Lesson Plan Templates

Lesson Plan Components

Post Lesson

Lesson Plan Resources

Riding Concepts

Riding Position

Riding Skills

You can find a complete list of riding skills in the Skills List post (same link as listed above in The Lesson Plan). Below is a list of the primary skills you might teach in your lessons, with links to blog posts hat include the how/what/why for the skill and/or good example lesson plans. It goes in general from easier to harder, but this can vary due to the particular rider and their goals and abilities. This is not an exhaustive list, but a good start. I would highly recommend researching each skill yourself. The best sources I have found are the website for Meredith Manor and the book 101 Arena Exercises for Horse & Rider. If you prefer to listen rather than read, check out the podcast Daily Strides.

Figures & Activities

These are the most basic/important ones to have in your back pocket! Many more can be found here.



Teaching Techniques

Disabilities & Adaptations

These are only the disabilities I have blog posts for, but there are so many more! This is a big hole in the blog waiting to be filled.



Note: This is not professional advice, this is a blog. I am not liable for what you do with or how you use this information. The activities explained in this blog may not be fit for every rider, riding instructor, or riding center depending on their current condition and resources. Use your best personal judgement!