2003 Regular Session
To: Public Health and Welfare
By: Representative Ford, Dedeaux
AN ACT TO ESTABLISH A PROGRAM OF STATE CERTIFICATION FOR THERAPEUTIC RIDING INSTRUCTORS IN MISSISSIPPI, TO BE ADMINISTERED BY THE MISSISSIPPI STATE UNIVERSITY EXTENSION SERVICE; TO PROVIDE THAT A THERAPEUTIC RIDING INSTRUCTOR MUST COMPLETE THE TRAINING PROVIDED BY THE EXTENSION SERVICE IN ORDER TO RECEIVE CERTIFICATION; TO PROVIDE THAT THE INITIAL CERTIFICATION MAY BE RENEWED BY ATTENDING A CONTINUING EDUCATION SEMINAR THAT IS PROVIDED BY OR APPROVED BY THE EXTENSION SERVICE; AND FOR RELATED PURPOSES.
BE IT ENACTED BY THE LEGISLATURE OF THE STATE OF MISSISSIPPI:
SECTION 1. (1) As used in this section:
(a) "Extension service" means the Mississippi State University Extension Service.
(b) "Fiscal year" means the period beginning on July 1 of any year and ending on June 30 of the following year.
(c) "Therapeutic riding" means the use of equine-facilitated activities for the purpose of contributing positively to the cognitive, physical, emotional and social well-being of people with disabilities.
(2) There is established a program of state certification for therapeutic riding instructors in Mississippi, which shall be administered by the Mississippi State University Extension Service. In order to receive certification under the state program, a therapeutic riding instructor must complete the training provided by the extension service, which shall address standards of safety for participants, volunteers, staff, equipment, facilities and horses, and standards of health care for horses. The extension service shall provide, or facilitate through contracts with third parties, the training necessary to obtain certification.
(3) Initial and renewal certification under the state program will be valid for one (1) fiscal year. The initial certification will be valid for the fiscal year in which it is obtained. In order to renew the certification for later fiscal years, the instructor must attend, in each fiscal year, a continuing education seminar that is provided by or approved by the extension service.
(4) The extension service may charge reasonable fees for providing training, initial certification, and continuing education seminars.
(5) The state certification program is a program to identify and recognize those therapeutic riding instructors who have completed training in safety standards in therapeutic riding. The state certification program is not a regulatory program, and the extension service shall not have any regulatory authority over therapeutic riding instructors, facilities or programs in Mississippi.
SECTION 2. This act shall take effect and be in force from and after July 1, 2003.