The long-awaited summit for reaching consensus on baseline terms and definitions for Human-Horse Interaction Services and Methods took place in Denver, July 20th – 22nd. Funded by the Bob Woodruff Foundation, seventeen dedicated people bringing different and varied perspectives, expertise and association representation, gathered together and, with the facilitation assistance of Zia partners, tackled the issue of inconsistent terminology. Laurie Schick and Nina Ekholm-Fry joined me in representing AHA, Inc. in the group of 17, who participated. Laurie and Nina did an outstanding job representing the viewpoints of the AHA, Inc.
Significant progress was made in understanding the issues of terminology from a variety of perspectives, reviewing the survey results, clarifying the current language and beginning to develop a white paper to report the findings and recommendations. Finalizing the work and recommendations in the white paper will continue over the next few months. Starting in October, the initial draft will begin to be shared with various stakeholders and association members, including the AHA, Inc, to gather feedback. Gathering and synthesizing this feedback will happen through the end of the year. The summit participants will then review that feedback to complete the final paper with the goal to release the final document by the middle of next year.
A sincere thank you is extended to all of the summit participants for sharing their expertise and their thoughtful conversation. Thank you to everyone that took the survey or shared their perspectives to inform these conversations. And last but not least, a thank you to all of the organizations who have supported this project, including the AHA, Inc. We hope that the results of this project will benefit all of those impacted.
We look forward to the next phase of clarifying how to consistently and clearly communicate about working with equines to benefit people. If you have any questions, please feel free to contact me directly.
Joann Benjamin, PT, HPCS
AHA, Inc. Representative to the Summit