Well, I am not yet certified, I'm actually just starting the process. However, there are two ways to do it:
1. attend an approved training course, usually around $3500 and requires you to be there for 2-3 months full time to finish your certification. This would be fantastic experience, but if you're anything like me you'll never go away like this unless you happen to be close enough to live at home while attending one of them--I'm not. I know there's one in NJ, CT, NH, TX, and CA.
2. This is what I'm doing. You apply. If accepted, you take two short online courses and have to pass the tests for each of those courses. Then, you complete 25 hours of mentored instruction as a volunteer....and then you go to a 4 day OSWC (on-site workshop and certification). The workshop/cert is about $700 and the application process including books and stuff is a little over $200. PLUS, you can stay home right up until the workshop. AND the workshops are held at much more locations than the approved training courses are...
This is just a summary....all the details are on the PATH website. Pathintl.org
I printed the riding instructor certification program manual and that's been all the info I've needed.
A horse is the projection of peoples' views about themselves--strong, powerful, beautiful--and it has the capability of giving us escape from our mundane existance.