Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl., formerly NARHA.)

Thorncroft is an honored to have earned the designation of “Premier Center”.

Thorncroft’s staff of instructors includes 5 Registered and 1 Advanced instructor.

As quoted from The PATH web site:

Mission: The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) changes and enriches lives by promoting excellence in equine-assisted activities and therapies.

Since 1969, the PATH has provided Equine Assisted Activity and Therapy (EAAT) programs in the United States and Canada through its network of nearly 800 member centers. Each year, dozens of new centers initiate new programs and more than 42,000 individuals with special needs benefit from activities which include therapeutic riding, hippotherapy, equine facilitated psychotherapy and learning, driving, interactive vaulting and competition.

Headquartered in Denver, Colorado, PATH’s mission is to “change and enrich lives by promoting excellence in equine assisted activities.” To accomplish this mission, PATH fosters safe, professional, ethical and therapeutic equine activities through education, communication, research and standards. The association ensures its standards are met through an accreditation process for centers and a certification process for instructors.

A section of PATH, the Equine Facilitated Mental Health Association (EFMHA), founded in 1996, provides equine-facilitated psychotherapy (EFP) for people with psychological issues and mental health needs, including anxiety, depression, and autism. EFP is facilitated by a licensed, credentialed mental health professional that works with an appropriately credentialed equine professional, or is dually credentialed as an equine professional.

Centered Riding

Thorncroft is a Supporting Member of “Centered Riding”.

Our staff includes 1 Level 1 and 1 Level III Instructors.

As quoted from the Centered Riding web site:

Centered Riding is an innovative way of expressing the classical principles of riding, using body awareness, centering, and imagery. Centered Riding encompasses all seats and styles of riding. It teaches a language that allows clearer communication between horse, rider, and instructor. Centered Riding was developed by Sally Swift, author of the best-selling book and videotapes, and is now taught by Centered Riding Instructors around the world.

Centered Riding is based on a knowledge of human and horse anatomy, balance, movement, and on understanding how the mind affects the body and how both affect the horse. It uses centering and grounding techniques from the oriental martial arts, along with body awareness, mental imagery and sports psychology. Through increasing body awareness, inhibiting old patterns, and replacing them with a more balanced, free, and coordinated use of self, both horse and rider can move more freely and comfortably, and develop their best performance.

The Four Basics of Centered Riding

  1. Soft Eyes - Encourage visual and physical awareness, better peripheral vision, and improved “feel.”
  2. Breathing - Using the diaphragm and breathing correctly for better posture, relaxation, and energy.
  3. Balance or Building Blocks - Aligns the riders body for improved balance, straightness, and ease of movement.
  4. Centering - Using the center of balance, movement and control, located deep in the body, gives quiet strength, harmony and power, as in the oriental martial arts.

These fundamentals, along with clear intent for effective control, direction and use of aids, and grounding for stability and balance, promote freedom of movement, confidence and harmony between horse and rider, and can help in solving many problems

Pennsylvania Council on Therapeutic Horsemanship

Thorncroft is a “Lifetime Member” of the “PA Council

As quoted from the PA Council web site:

The Pennsylvania Council on Therapeutic Horsemanship (PACTH) is a coordinating council serving therapeutic horsemanship programs and the participants, instructors, volunteers and administrators who are involved in these programs. Founded in 1984 by Penn State University, Pennsylvania State 4-H and the Pennsylvania Easter Seal Society, the PACTH has a long history of support to the profession of therapeutic horsemanship

Riding for the Disabled

Thorncroft is a Life Member of “RDA”

As quoted from the RDA web site:

Since 1970 RDA has been delivering opportunities for therapy, achievement and enjoyment to people with disabilities. Founded as a National organization in 1969, RDA now has 500 Member Groups across the UK – together, these Groups help 23,000 people to take part in riding, carriage driving and vaulting activities.

Although RDA was set up to work mainly with people with physical disabilities, RDA Groups now work across the spectrum of disabilities, age range, social status and urban and rural environments. The focus of our work is to ensure that each individual has the chance to derive a direct therapeutic benefit and the opportunity to achieve their personal goal (whether that be learning a very simple skill or winning a major competition).

RDA gives individuals the opportunity to:

  • Reach therapeutic goals: improve muscle tone and posture, develop fine and gross motor movement
  • Achieve their personal ambitions: sit on a horse for the first time, learn new skills, win a Paralympic medal
  • Combat social isolation: build relationships, enjoy events and competition, develop self-confidence
  • Develop life skills: improve communication, take responsibility, be a team player
  • Experience the outdoors: ride in the countryside, access rural Britain
  • Connect with animals: bringing positivity and optimism, adding a new element to life