DENVER, Colo.  –  Lucy, a member of the Therapeutic Riding at Centenary (TRAC) herd has been named Region 2 Equine of the Year by PATH Intl.

According to its website: “TRAC is housed at the Centenary Equestrian Center, Califon Road, Long Valley, N.J. The center serves children and adults with a variety of disabilities from the surrounding area.  It also offers volunteer opportunities to local high school students and others interested in assisting riders with disabilities.

Therapeutic horseback riding offers a variety of benefits for children and adults with disabilities. As a physical activity, sitting on a moving horse causes the rider’s upper body to respond to the movement of the horse in a three-dimensional manner. The rhythm of 80 to 100 steps each minute stimulates reflexes and balance reactions in a way that cannot be duplicated by the human therapist.

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On the psychological and emotional level, the thrill of being seated on a horse or pony that is trained to respond willingly to the rider’s signals is a powerful benefit. As a form of cognitive therapy, the rider learns to relate to the space of the riding arena including other riders and special equipment, and interact with his horse to navigate safely.

Other 2017 PATH Intl. Adult, Youth and PATH International Equine Services for Heroes Equestrian Award winners from Region 2 are:

Credentialed Professional of the Year: Kelly Slonaker, Endeavor Therapeutic Horsemanship, Inc., Bedford, N.Y.

Veterinarian of the Year: Dr. Alexandra Bernard, LeCheval Stable, Inc., Glenwood, Md.

Volunteer of the Year: Sandra Wolinski, Access Equestrian, Bedford, N.Y.

Region 2 includes Delaware, Maryland, New Jersey, New York Pennsylvania and Washington, D.C.; and Scandinavia, Europe, Middle East

All region award winners will be recognized, and the 2017 PATH Intl. equine, certified professional, veterinarian and volunteer of the year will be announced at the 2017 PATH Intl. Conference and Annual Meeting Awards Luncheon in San Antonio, Texas, Friday, Nov. 10.

This year, the judges read through the more than 220 nomination essays to select the award winners.

About PATH Intl.:

The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International® (PATH Intl.®) was formed in 1969 to promote safety and optimal outcomes in equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) for individuals with special needs. At 881 member centers, more than 66,000 children and adults, including 6,200 veterans, may find improved health, wellness and a sense of pride, independence and fun through involvement with horses. Therapeutic horsemanship at member centers may include hippotherapy, equine-facilitated mental health, driving, interactive vaulting, trail riding, competition, ground work and stable management. Through a wide variety of educational resources, the association helps individuals start and maintain successful EAAT programs. There are nearly 62,500 volunteers, 5,011 instructors, 7,800 equines and thousands of contributors from all over the world helping people at PATH Intl. Member Centers.