Careers Career Paths Therapeutic Riding Instructor Certification Options Share PINTEREST Email Print Dave and Les Jacobs/Lloyd Dobbie / Getty Images Career Paths Animal Careers Technology Careers Sports Careers Sales Project Management Professional Writer Music Careers Media Legal Careers US Military Careers Government Careers Finance Careers Fiction Writing Careers Entertainment Careers Criminology Careers Book Publishing Aviation Advertising Learn More By Mary Hope Kramer Mary Hope Kramer Executive Office Manager/Animal Industry Writer Berry College Mary Hope Kramer works in the equine industry and has a passion for careers in the animal industry. Learn about our Editorial Process Updated on 09/05/19 There are several certification options and training courses for those interested in the field of therapeutic riding. Therapeutic riding is an activity for individuals with a disability where they can learn or improve on their sense of positive self, control, focus, and physical well-being. These programs require qualified staff and volunteers who have completed certification programs. Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH) offers a three-level certification program for therapeutic riding instructors. The courses include Registered, Advanced, and Master certifications. The PATH certification program is widely known and respected. There are three pathways to Registered (entry-level) certification:Attending a PATH approved training course,Attending a PATH member college or university,or an experiential path that includes online coursework, teaching under supervision, on-site workshops, and an on-site certification class. Candidates must complete two online exams, attend the workshop and certification class, and have at least 25 hours of teaching under the supervision of a PATH instructor. The application fee is $60. For Advanced certification, A candidate must be an Individual or Registered memberHave taught riders for at least 120 hours at a PATH centerHave completed a workshop or training course within the past two yearsSubmit a resume and references The certification itself requires a written exam, riding demonstration, lunge line demonstration, and a lesson demonstration. The certification fee is $1,000. For Master certification, A candidate must already hold Advanced certificationHave four years of experience with a PATH centerHave at least 400 hours of teaching experienceHave at least two years of service to the PATH International organizationProvide references, a professional resume, case studies, and video footage The Master certification also requires an oral evaluation that must be successfully passed. The certification fee is $1,000. American Hippotherapy Association The American Hippotherapy Association (AHA) offers the Certified Hippotherapy Clinical Specialist designation to physical therapists, occupational therapists, and speech and language pathologists. Those who become certified may use the initials HPCS (Hippotherapy Professional Clinical Specialist) in their credentials. Applicants must have: Been in practice for at least three years (6,000 hours)Have at least 100 hours of hippotherapy practice within the last three yearsPass a multiple-choice exam The certification fee is $275 for AHA members and $375 for nonmembers. An entry-level certification is also available to physical therapists, physical therapist assistants, occupational therapists, occupational therapist assistants, and speech and language pathologists. Applicants must have: Been in practice for at least one year (2,000 hours)Have 25 hours of treating patients using hippotherapyComplete AHA Level I and II skills coursesPass an exam The certification fee is $250 for AHA members and $350 for nonmembers. National Council for Therapeutic Recreation The National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification (NCTRC) is the recognized accrediting body for therapeutic riding instructor certification in Canada. The NCTRC offers the Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) designation to qualified applicants who meet the prerequisites and pass an exam. Applicants must have: A baccalaureate degreePractical experience in the field Exams are offered in January, May, and October. Locations for the exams include Canada, the United States, and Puerto Rico. Full details are available on the NCTRC website. Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Therapeutic Riding The Association of Chartered Physiotherapists in Therapeutic Riding (ACPTR), located in the United Kingdom, offers a hippotherapy course designed for physiotherapists. Applicants must be: Members of ACPTRHave full membership in the Chartered Society of PhysiologyHave at least one year of professional experience as a physiotherapistSubmit a skills assessment checklist The course itself involves two four-day training modules that are scheduled six months apart. There are also written assignments to be completed in advance of the hands-on coursework. The hippotherapy course fee is 1350 GBP (approximately $2,000).