Below are resources for more information on benefits of equine assisted activities and therapies.

Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH International)
This organization was formed in 1969, and certifies and accredits instructors and programs providing equine assisted activities and therapies. The website provides educational resources on the benefit these activities and therapies, as well as the ability to search for local programs, instructors, and conferences. We are a center member, and our instructors here at Chasing Rainbows are certified through PATH International.

Federation of Horses in Education and Therapy International
This is the international association of organizations offering equine assisted activities and therapies, with members in over 45 different countries. FRDI publishes an annual Scientific and Educational Journal of Therapeutic Riding, and holds an International Congress every three years. Visit the site for more information on the Federation’s activities and resources.

PA Autism Census
This is the Pennsylvania Autism Census Project Final Report, the first study to estimate the number of individuals living with autism spectrum disorders in the Commonwealth. The report gives a county-by-county count as well as demographic data describing the population of individuals with autism spectrum disorders.

Pennsylvania Council on Therapeutic Horsemanship
PACTH’s mission is to create awareness of the benefits horses can provide children and adults who have disabilities and to encourage the development of services for programs offering all types of equine assisted activities through education, research and application. Check out the website for more information on the Council’s activities.

Bibliography of Academic Resources

Bass, M. M., Duchowny, C.A., & Liabra, M. M. (2009). The effect of therapeutic horseback riding on social functioning in children with autism. Journal of Autism and Development Disorders, 39, pp. 1261-1267.

Cawley, R., Cawley, D. & Retter, K. (1994). Therapeutic horseback riding and self-concept in adolescents with special education needs. Anthrozoos, 7(2), 129-134.

Copeland, J. (1992). Three therapeutic aspects of riding for the disabled. In B.T. Engel (Ed.), Therapeutic riding programs: Instruction and rehabilitation (pp. 19-20). Madison, WI: Omnipress.

Ewing, C. A., MacDonald, P. M., Taylor, M., & Bowers, M. (2007). Equine-facilitated learning for youth with sever emotional disorders: A quantitative and qualitative study. Child and Youth Care Forum, 36, pp. 59-72.

Fine, A., ed. (2008). Animal Assisted-Therapy: Theoretical Foundations and Guidelines for Practice. San Diego, CA: Academic Press.

George, M. (1988). Child therapy and animals: A new way for an old relationship. In C. Schafer (Ed.), Innovative interventions child and adolescent therapy (pp. 400-418). New York: John Wiley & Sons.

Karol, J. (2007). Applying a traditional individual psychotherapy model to equine-facilitated psychotherapy (EFP): Theory and method. Clinical child psychology and psychiatry, 12(1), 77-90.

Lawrence, E.A. (1992). The human-horse bond. In B.T. Engel (Ed.), Therapeutic riding programs: Instruction and rehabilitation (pp. 1-2). Madison, WI: Omnipress.

Macauley, B. L., & Guiterrez, K. M. (2004). The effectiveness of Hippotherapy for children with language-learning disabilities. Communications Disorders Quarterly, 25, pp. 205-217.

Mallon, G. (1992). Utilization of animals as therapeutic adjuncts with children and youth: A review of the literature. Child and Youth Care Forum, 21(1), pp. 53-67.

Martin, F. & Farnum, J. (2002). Animal-assisted therapy for children with pervasive developmental disorders. Western Journal of Nursing Research, 24, pp. 657-670.

Murphy, D., Kahn-D’Angelo, L., & Gleason, J. (2009). The effect of Hippotherapy on functional outcomes for children with disabilities: A pilot study. Pediatric Physical Therapy.

Pendry, P., Smith, A., & Roeter, S. (2014). Randomized trial examines effects of equine facilitated learning on adolescents’ basal cortisol levels.  Human-Animal Interaction Bulletin, 2(1), pp. 80-95.  Available at:

Sams, M.J., Fortney, E.V., & Willenbring, S. (2006). Occupational therapy incorporating animals for children with autism: A pilot investigation. The American Journal of Occupational Therapy, 60(3), pp. 268-274.

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