Therapeutic Riding At Centenary (TRAC) will be hosting an On-site Workshop and Horsemanship Skills Test for those pursuing Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning (ESMHL) certification through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.), June 1 – 4, 2023.

About the ESMHL

A PATH Intl. ESMHL ensures the safety and well-being of the equine participating in mental health or equine-assisted learning sessions and serves as the equine expert during equine-human interactions. The ESMHL works alongside a mental health professional or educator in typically unmounted activities aimed at benefiting the participant(s) in ways related to mental health and/or educational goals. It is important that those interested in the workshop first review the “Steps to Certification” and ESMHL Certification Program Handbook on PATH Intl.’s website here: PATH Intl. Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning.

In addition to being a gateway towards ESMHL certification, the 3-day ESMHL workshop is approved by PATH Intl. for the following Continuing Education Units (CEUs) for already-certified professionals: PATH Intl. approved CEU’s = 2 ESMHL CR; 6 DE; 12 CE. Those seeking ESMHL certification can also opt to take the Horsemanship Skills Test on Day 4.

This workshop is perfect for equine professionals and therapeutic riding instructors who are interested in working with individuals with mental health and/or learning considerations in an equine-assisted services (EAS) program. It is also a good fit for mental health or education professionals with prior horse experience who are interested in gaining experience with incorporating equine-assisted services into their current treatment protocols.

Workshop Point of Contact:

Karen Brittle, Director of TRAC or (908) 852-1400 ext. 2174

Event Details

Workshop Dates: June 1 – 3, 2023
Horsemanship Skills Testing: June 4, 2023
Times: 8:30 AM – 6 PM, all days

Event Fees

  • ESMHL Workshop Only (June 1 – 3) = $500
  • ESMHL Horsemanship Skills Test Only (June 4) = $150
  • Workshop and Horsemanship Skills Test Combo (June 1 – 4) = $650
  • Workshop and Horsemanship Skills Test (June 1 – 4) Combo for Centenary University current student = $520 (20% discount for current students)

*A light continental breakfast, lunch, and snacks will be included on all dates for attendees.

ESMHL Workshop and Horsemanship Skills Test Registration

To register for the ESMHL Workshop and Horsemanship Skills Test, please follow the following steps:

  1. Interested individuals must submit the ESMHL certification application form and ESMHL certification application payment to the PATH Intl. Office. The form, fees, and contact information can be found here: PATH Intl. Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning Certification ApplicationNote that these fees are separate from workshop fees due to Centenary University when registering for the event itself.
  2. Once your application has been acknowledged by the PATH Intl. office, you can register for the ESMHL Workshop and Horsemanship Skills Test event at CU. Please download and complete the Registration Application Form.
  3. If paying by check, please make payable to Centenary University. Mail your check to:
    Therapeutic Riding At Centenary
    c/o Karen Brittle
    400 Jefferson Street
    Hackettstown, NJ 07840
  4. If paying by credit card, please include your credit card information on the first page of the Registration Application Form. Your card will be charged when your application form is received. Note there is a 2.65% convenience fee if paying by credit card.

Space is limited and spots will be assigned on a first-come, first-served basis. Registration is considered complete only once payment in full has been received.

Workshop Faculty

Martha Dubensky – Founder, Executive Director (1995-2022), President of the Board (2023) of GAIT Therapeutic Riding, Licensed Professional Counselor, PATH Intl. Advanced Instructor, Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning Faculty, Certified Life Coach, Addiction Counselor, PATH Intl’ Mentor and Lead Evaluator.

Mrs. Dubensky is a past PATH Intl. Region 2 Representative from 2009 to 2011. She is a Faculty Lead for PATH Intl’ conducting Equine Specialists in Mental Health & Learning workshops.

Martha graduated from the University of New Hampshire with a Bachelor of Science degree and Master of Science degree from Cornell University as well as a Master of Psychology from Capella University.

Nancy Van Wyk – PATH International Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor, Mentor, Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning (ESMHL), Faculty at PATH Intl. for ESMHL. Current Chair for ESMHL Subcommittee and is the Program Specialist for Veterans at GAIT Therapeutic Riding Center in Milford, PA.

Former Law Enforcement background. Obtained a master’s degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling, pursuing licensure as LPC. Currently pursuing a Doctorate in Marriage and Family Therapy with a specialization in Military Family Culture. Does not bite or kick.


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