Why I became a PATH International Therapeutic Riding and Driving Instructor

11 Oct

My History
Susan A Tambone

Classes of Distinction;
NAMI Family to Family Education Program
Lutheran Family Services
Manatee County Family Services
Special Olympics Volunteer Training
28 hours per year Continuing Education activities for PATH International Riding and Driving Instructor Compliance
Current CPR and First Aid Certifications

Ducks Unlimited
Tribute to Heroes
Local Schools Collier and Manatee Counties
Local Church
Nursing Homes
Local Christian Women’s Business Club
Manasota Operation Troop Support

I have personal experience with my own children with special needs, and 12 years experience with Exceptional Student Services thru the public school system.
When assisting with my youngest child’s needs in a combination with a fascination of horses, I was introduced to Therapeutic Riding in 2004. Having experienced the progress of riders becoming more independent, seeing my own child’s progression, I joyfully shared in their fulfillment. Developing and strengthening my own patience and empathy.

The interest of therapeutic experiences between animals and humans began with the hosting and training of SEGDI service dogs for those with sight impairments over 12 years ago. I see the unique bond and security between animals and people. Our family raised 3 successful guide dogs and hosted many others during their transitions. We currently have a retired breeder from SEGDI.

Because of my own family’s history, medical issues and associated disabilities I have been immersed in finding accommodations and modifications for those with special needs.
My ability to dialogue on a vast scale of personal and professional issues as it relates to limitations, mentally and physically, has been a source of information and comfort to others for years.

After my first year of volunteering with therapeutic riding I wanted to be more closely involved with students and use my own experience in a more tangible way.
The next step was to become a NARHA (North American Riding for the Handicap)
Certified Instructor in 2005 and NARHA Certified Driving Instructor in 2006. NARHA is now PATH International, Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship.

I formed my ideas into practical, useful additions to the SMART Therapeutic Riding Center program I was an Instructor with for the next 4 years- (2005-2009) solely in a volunteer position. I became a sub contract Instructor with SMART in 2009.

*I introduced a workable, portable, PECS (Picture Exchange Communication System) program for those visual learners or non-verbal participants. Included were take home pages and samples for parents and care-givers.

*Created and organized accessible, quick and easy to use horse related craft activities, connected to current lesson plans. Painting, coloring, puzzles using photos of the therapeutic herd of horses, etc. were available in the parent area before lessons and for siblings, guests or visitors during lessons.

*Arranged arena game plans and diagrams in a three ring binder made available to all instructors for ease of availability, with limited time expenditure for arena set up and implementing fresh ideas in the arena.

*Prepared activities for unmounted lessons, utilized for field trips and inclement weather lessons.

*Provided encouragement and praise reinforcement certificates, behavior charts, awards, obtainable for all instructors.

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Posted by on October 11, 2011 in Uncategorized


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