ESMHL Equine Specialist in Mental Health & Learning

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The Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning workshop is a three-day workshop which provides specialized training for equestrians who are interested in conducting equine-facilitated mental health and/or equine-assisted learning programs.  This workshop is not designed to train educators or mental health professionals how to perform their role in equine-facilitated psychotherapy or equine-assisted learning sessions, nor is it designed to teach equine handling skills.  Attendees should come with these skills already in place or a plan to obtain them following the workshop.  The workshop does not include practice leading equines through the horsemanship skills test course.

  • PATH Intl. approved CEU’s = 2 ESMHL CR; 6 DE; 12 CE

This workshop will be taught by some of the most experienced people in the field of equine-facilitated mental health and learning and will give the participants a chance to see what is current in the field.  Each course will be team taught by an equine professional in collaboration with a mental health professional working with several equines.  The workshop is a requirement of the ESMHL certification. Horsemanship Skills Test: The skills test is held on day 4 following the ESMHL workshop.



  • The specific role of the equine specialist when assisting or collaborating with human service providers
  • Design safe, mutually beneficial and effective activities to enhance participant outcomes
  • Determining specific equine handling methods
  • Understanding students with mental health and/or learning issues
  • Assessing the equine’s response to student behaviors and needs
  • To help prepare qualified participants to complete the PATH Intl. Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning Certification


  • Individuals 21 years of age and older with a high school diploma or GED
  • Equine professionals
  • Therapeutic riding instructors looking to collaborate with mental health and education professionals to incorporate equine-facilitated mental health and/or equine-assisted learning sessions into center programing
  • Those who wish to enhance their ability to work with mental health and education professionals and their clients

PREREQUISITES for registration:

  • Equine handling skills comparable to those described in the PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor criteria, Pony Club C or CHA Level 1
  • Familiarity with PATH Intl. Standards and code of ethics

PREREQUISITES prior to attending in person workshop and skills test

  • PATH Intl. Professional Level Membership
  • Submission of ESMHL Application to PATH Intl.
    • Complete PATH Intl. Standards Course and Exam
    • Complete PATH Intl. EFHMA History Video


High Hopes has 50 years of demonstrated success in the field of Equine Assisted Services & nonprofit management:

  • Program, equine, and facility management.
  • Business and volunteer management, marketing fundraising, & board development.
  • Workshops, certifications, and professional development in all aspects of Equine Assisted Services.
  • PATH Intl. Premier Accredited Center since 1979.
  • PATH Intl. Training Curriculum since 1996.
  • PATH Intl. Master, Advanced and Specialty Certified mentors.
  • Full service indoor and outdoor facility, extensive sensory trails
  • Dedicated air-conditioned classroom, library and kitchen facility.



High Hopes Training & Education Registration

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