We have 10 PATH International certified instructors and 8 therapists on staff all working together with our 30 horses to make Ride On happen! Here are bio's from some of our wonderful staff.
Bryan McQueeney - Executive Director
Bryan is the co-founder of Ride On and volunteered for seven years before being hired as Executive Director. With over 28 years experience in therapeutic riding, he has lectured and written on a variety of issues affecting nonprofits and the philanthropic sector including . He is past Region 11 representative for the national organization, PATH International, and was one of the founding members of what is now the PATH Center Advancement Committee. He remains active as a consultant and advisor to riding centers around the country. He is also currently Treasurer of the Social Justice Fund for Ventura County and is on the Board of Directors for Play Conejo. Bryan is an active horseman who enjoys trail riding, horse camping and golf. For many years he worked to preserve equestrian trail access and open space. He has a degree in political science from Occidental College.
Gloria Hamblin - Program Director and PATH International Advanced Instructor
Gloria is the co-founder and Program Director of Ride On. She has a degree in Recreational Therapy and has worked with physically disabled, geriatric, developmentally disabled and emotionally disturbed children and adults for 30 years. A graduate of Cheff Center she taught disabled riders, coached several international dressage teams for the USA as well as the 1996 USA Paralympic Equestrian Team in Atlanta. Gloria is also a PATH International Associate Evaluator for On-Site certifications and workshops. Since 1994 she has taught riders and worked to make Ride On the best place it can be.
Sara Jones - Development Director and PATH International Advanced Instructor
Sara joined Ride On as a volunteer in 1996 after moving to California from England. She has ridden her whole life and became a PATH International Advanced instructor in 1997. Sara is also a PATH International Lead Evaluator for On-Site Certifications and Workshops. As well as teaching the Ride On students she is also responsible for marketing and special events. She has a degree in Marketing and Business Studies. Sara lives in Moorpark with her husband and 2 daughters who are both active Pony Clubbers.
Joann Benjamin, PT, HPCS, C/NDT - Director of Therapy Services/Hippotherapy
Joann has been practicing Physical Therapy for more than 30 years, specializing in the use of Hippotherapy for children and adults. She has a background in neuro rehab, and currently specializes in pediatrics/early intervention. She has taught about Hippotherapy internationally as a Faculty Coordinator with the American Hippotherapy Association (AHA). She is Board Certified as a Hippotherapy Clinical Specialist. She served on the board for the American Hippotherapy Association (AHA). She chairs the Adaptive Sports Committee with the USEF and is a Classifier for the USEF and the FEI for competitive dressage and driving for equestrians with disabilities.
Brie Wilson - PATH International Advanced Instructor – Head Instructor, Chatsworth
Brie has been a dedicated volunteer and supporter of Ride On since she was old enough to get involved. She is a great horse woman and has a wonderfully positive and bright attitude which is infectious with our riders and volunteers. Brie is the Head Instructor at our Chatsworth ranch and is also a PATH International Advanced Instructor.
Katie Emmermann – PATH International Registered Instructor - Head Instructor, Thousand Oaks
Katie joined Ride On in March 2009 and recently passed the PATH International Registered Instructor certification. She grew up in Connecticut training horses and teaching lessons with an emphasis on balanced seat and classical equitation. Katie is now Head Instructor and caretaker at Ride On in Thousand Oaks and excited to be part of such a dynamic team.
Trudy Epstein, OTR, HPCS
Trudy is an occupational therapist and is Board Certified as a Hippotherapy Clinical Specialist. Trudy serves as Apprentice Faculty for the American Hippotherapy Association. With over 35 years clinical experience in occupational therapy she has worked in physical and neurologic rehabilitation, pediatrics, and early intervention. Trudy has been involved with horses since the age of 4 and began riding hunter/jumpers as a teen. Her lifelong love for horses propelled Trudy into merging her career as an OT with her passion for horses.
Erika L Robles – Office Administrator
Erika recently joined Ride On in October 2011 to assist in accounting and provide office support. She is working on getting her degree in Accountancy at the California State University of Northridge and anticipates graduating in May 2013. After she graduates, she plans on traveling before sitting for the CPA exams. She enjoys traveling and being outdoors.
Tio Ayala - Facilities Maintenance
Tio has worked for Ride On since 2001 and is responsible for many of the improvements that you will see if you visit either of our ranches. He brings a wide array of facility experience to Ride On.
Jessica Rodriguez – MSPT
Jessica is a Physical Therapist and has been working with Therapy Services since June 2011. She earned a Masters Degree in Physical Therapy from California State University, Northridge, and was the recipient of CSUN’s Health and Human Development Dean’s Award. She has taken continuing education coursework in Neurodevelopmental Treatment Facilitation Techniques, Pediatrics Ambulation Interventions, and Hippotherapy Level I and II Treatment Principles. Additionally, Jessica has clinical experience with pediatric and adult populations in an aquatic therapy setting.
Ruth Stern, PT, C/NDT
Ruth is a Physical Therapist who has specialized in pediatrics since the mid-1980’s. She is certified in NeuroDevelopmental Treatment for pediatrics and has extensive training in a variety of treatment strategies. She started a physical therapy program for children with severe disabilities working with horses in Massachusetts almost 30 years ago, and has continued her interest and continuing education in the area of Hippotherapy since. She has completed training with AHA through Level II, and has been working with Therapy Services for more than 10 years.
Patty Taylor, PT
Patty is a physical therapist and joined Therapy Services in 2004 after seeing first hand how helpful hippotherapy was in strengthening her own daughter and helping her begin to walk. She completed training as a Level II clinician with the American Hippotherapy Association and has over 20 years of physical therapy clinical experience with pediatrics, physical and neurological rehabilitation, geriatrics and home health.
Karen Cruise, PT, CTRI
Karen is a Physical Therapist and horse owner for over 30 years. She specializes in pediatrics and has worked in the NICU (neonatal intensive care). Karen has completed American Hippotherapy Association training through Level II. She is a Registered Therapist and Certified Instructor with PATH International.
Judith S. Daniels, DPT, RYT
Judith is a Physical Therapist and Registered Yoga Teacher with over 8 years of experience specializing in Pediatrics treating in homes, outpatient clinics and school settings. She strongly believes in the interplay between the nervous, cardiopulmonary, musculoskeletal, and sensory systems in Physical Therapy. This has led to her extensive training in Neurodevelopmental Treatment (NDT), Sensory Integration, the development of a Therapeutic Yoga Program (after receiving her RYT-200 designation) and completion of her Level 1 Therapist designation with the American Hippotherapy Association. Judith continuously incorporates a variety of treatment strategies in Physical Therapy which has effectively improved a child’s overall function.
Susan Pruitt - PATH International Registered Instructor
Susan Stratton Pruitt has been a staff riding instructor at Ride On for the last 4 years and is in the process of completing the PATH, Int. Advanced Level for therapeutic riding instruction. She is passionate about working with people of all ages and abilities in the art and sport of horsemanship, her two teenage boys and her abundant family of animals.
Megan McQueeney – PATH International Advanced Instructor
Megan is a USDF bronze and silver medalist who has been teaching riders with disabilities for more than a decade. She is a PATH certified Advanced Instructor and achieved the B rating from the United States Pony Club. In addition, Megan has been reserve champion at Prix St George and Intermediare-I for CDS and USDF on a horse she trained herself. She continues to compete in dressage, eventing and jumpers, and is enthusiastic about developing Ride On’s Horseshow team.
Jan Broughton - Speech Therapist
Cheryl Garrett - PATH International Registered Instructor
DeDe Holm - PATH International Registered Instructor
Leah Renner - PATH International Registered Instructor
Tess Olnick - PATH International Registered Instructor