Big Changes for Central Ohio's Original Therapeutic Riding Program!

 Ben We are very proud to announce that Equine Assisted Therapy, Inc. has changed its name AND has achieved international accreditation through PATH International (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship). PATH has been a global authority, resource, and advocate for equine assisted activities and therapies since 1969.

As of January 27, 2014 Equine Assisted Therapy, Inc. officially became The Shane Center for Therapeutic Horsemanship, Inc., and as of May 20, 2014 The Shane Center for Therapeutic Horsemanship became a PATH Premier Accredited Center after scoring 100% on the site visit. Founded by Karen and Joel Sanchez, Equine Assisted Therapy, Inc. has a strong reputation for providing safe, quality, family-oriented services that are second to none. Located at Willow Farm in Centerburg, Ohio and situated on 40 beautiful acres in Knox County this non-profit organization has been fulfilling its mission of improving the quality of life for people with disabilities through innovative equestrian activities for the past 21 years.

Why change our name? After a year-long strategic planning session by the board of directors, they came to the agreement that the name "Equine Assisted Therapy" was too confusing for participants, volunteers, donors, and stakeholders as a number of other farms in the area have since opened offering "equine assisted therapy" in a variety of forms. Needing a name that was unique, but also meaningful to the founders, staff, participants, and volunteers they chose the name: The Shane Center for Therapeutic Horsemanship. Why the "Shane" Center? "Shane was my childhood horse," says Karen Sanchez, executive director and founder. "He came into my life when I was nine years old and stayed in it for about 36 years. During that time, he taught a lot of people how to ride, how to love, how to respect, and how to communicate. He touched hundreds of lives, including mine in a way that only those who know the unconditional love of a horse can appreciate." Shane's final resting place is in a beautiful garden at the entrance to the parking area. The name took effect this past January after 21 years of being known as Equine Assisted Therapy.

On May 20, The Shane Center officially became a PATH Premier Accredited Center! "The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) was founded in 1969 as the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) to promote safe and effective therapeutic horseback riding throughout the United States and Canada." (-PATH Intl.) Their mission: promote safety and optimal outcomes in equine-assisted activities and therapies for individuals with special needs. Only those centers that adhere to their strict guidelines can be accredited, and The Shane Center passed with 100%. The PATH standards for certification and accreditation have 38 administration and business standards, 41 facility standards, 15 equine welfare and management standards, 5 mounted standards, 1 ground standard, 2 equestrian skill standards, as well as standards for driving, interactive vaulting and medical/mental health services if those services are provided by the center. In Ohio, there are 37 center members of PATH, only 14 of which are Premier Accredited Centers.

The Shane Center is honored to be the only accredited center within a 60 mile radius of Central Ohio. This accreditation gives The Shane Center the ability to apply for PATH's annual assistance rider scholarship for child equestrians, participate in the Wounded Warrior Project scholarship program, and host official PATH workshops and certifications.

Some of the benefits of riding a horse can include improved self-esteem and confidence, increased muscle strength and balance, better trunk control and posture, improved hand-eye coordination, enhanced communication and social skills, improved focus and concentration, as well as fun, friendship and learning responsibility.

For more information on our programs and services or to volunteer call Karen Sanchez at 740-628-9324, email her at This email address is being protected from spambots. You need JavaScript enabled to view it. , or visit us on the web at www.ShaneCenter.org. Summer riding begins the week of June 16. Volunteers are essential to the success of our programs. Volunteer opportunities include lesson and barn volunteers, special event volunteers, fundraising volunteers, office volunteers, and committee volunteers. Volunteering is a great way to give back to the community, have fun, get some exercise, and become part of a remarkable group of authentic, caring people.

Written by Ian Coburn