At Horses Adaptive Riding and Therapy, we are committed to nonprofit excellence in service to our clients. We operate a fiscally responsible, operationally sound 501(c)(3) nonprofit. Our instructors, therapists, staff, volunteers are experienced, professional and qualified. Safety is our top priority. We are passionate about the services we provide.
Tanya (Toni) Bordadora – BS, OTR/L, AHA (American Hippotherapy Association, Level I & II), Occupational Therapist, Founder, Past Board President
Tanya (Toni) graduated from the University of Puget Sound in 2000 with a bachelor degree in occupational therapy. Toni heads up the Hippotherapy Program at Horses Adaptive Riding and Therapy.
During the last 14 years, she has specialized in pediatrics, working with children with various disabilities (i.e. autism, down syndrome, cerebral palsy, attention deficit disorder, sensory dysfunction, etc.) helping them become more independent in everyday activities. Toni, a horsewoman herself, was introduced to equine therapy 5 years ago through Easter Seals Children’s Therapy Center of Salem. She has received Level I and Level II training as a provider of Hippotherapy through the American Hippotherapy Association and has put her profession and her passion together at Horses Adaptive Riding and Therapy. Toni has seen firsthand how the unique equine movement can provide multiple therapeutic benefits to children and adults with special needs. Toni lives in Salem, Oregon with her husband, three children, and several adorable pets
Lee Ann Nail, MSW, BA, LMSW, CSWA & certified in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy
Lee Ann Nail is a professionally certified equine assisted psychotherapist, having studied with Greg Kersten who originated the use of horses as a mirror for client’s fears, feelings and emerging strengths. She is a licensed master social worker and clinical social work associate and welcomes private clients interested in exploring how the intuitive, empathetic nature of these animals can help heal old wounds, overcome anxiety and lead clients to live a more grounded and contented life. Lee Ann believes deeply in all of Horses Adaptive Riding and Therapy’s programs and is onsite most days we are open. She welcomes both youth and adult clients and is also our lead mental health therapist serving veterans and their families through Horses Adaptive Riding and Therapy’s returning veterans project. Feel free to say hello and ask about scheduling individual therapy services with Lee Ann.
Susanne J. Rosen – Executive Director
Susanne has over 35 years of experience in the nonprofit sector connecting people with special needs and animals. She was an assistance dog trainer, volunteer coordinator and development director at Canine Companions for Independence in California. In 1988, Sue and her sister Kerrill Knaus-Hardy, founded HORSES for the Physically Challenged in Oregon. During her 26 years there she trained therapy horses for persons with special needs; ran the first and only all access horse rental business at Silver Falls State Park; designed custom riding equipment; and took people with disabilities on equine pack trips into the wild and wilderness areas of Oregon. Susanne was the Executive Director at Adaptive Riding Institute which was the third largest equine therapy program in Oregon before assisting with the founding of Horses Adaptive Riding and Therapy.
Amber L. Schoeff – Program Coordinator, Head Instructor
Amber was ‘raised on the back of a horse’ and spent much of her youth showing horses and pleasure riding in the Cascade Range of Oregon. After attending college and starting a family she followed the path of her true passion uniting well trained horses with people who have physical, emotional and behavioral issues.She has recently participated in training with the American Hippotherapy Association as a horse handler who works as a team member with a licensed Occupational, Physical or Speech Therapist providing equine therapy. Growing up around special needs individuals, Amber has an amazing ability to relate to and develop lasting relationships with her clients and their families.
Tricia McCormick – Instructor
I am passionate about horses and helping people, so being part of Horses Adaptive Riding and Therapy is a perfect fit for me. Over the many years I have volunteered I have seen miraculous things happen. There is almost a mystical power horses have to help people whether their needs are physical, emotional, psychological, or spiritual. I am so excited to be part of Horses Adaptive Riding and Therapy. Their vision is to help every individual who has a desire to experience the special love horses give to us, regardless of any physical or financial limitations. How could I not be part of that?!
Barbara Payton – Instructor
Barb Payton has been a lifelong equestrian. She followed her father’s teaching of “When the kids are on horseback, they are on the right path”. Barb has been involved in many aspects of the equine world including 4H, saddle clubs, and endurance riding. She has also worked with the Missouri Department of the Interior and the Missouri Equestrian Council. Barb has owned and operated her own stable. She has mentored students with gaited horses, hunter/jumpers, fox hunting, polo and western pleasure. Along with being part of the team at Horses Adaptive Riding and Therapy, Barb teaches equine skills including mounted archery to at-risk children at her home in the Oregon Coast Range.
Mija Paris (Sims) – Instructor
Mija joined the Horses Adaptive Riding and Therapy team in May of 2017. Her background includes a Bachelor’s of Science degree from OSU, and 20 years of experience as an accomplished Dressage trainer/instructor. She is also a USDF Bronze medalist. Mija is the current president of the Mid Valley Chapter Oregon Dressage Society. Mija has been very instrumental in helping Horses Adaptive Riding and Therapy’s clients expand their independence and confidence.