At HART, 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 HART.
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 HART. 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 HART’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 HART’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 HART.
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.
Megan Newell – BA, MAT, Certified Teacher K-8, Office Manager, Assistant Instructor
Ever since I was a little girl, I dreamed of teaching others. I spent my days in class pretending to assist my fellow students with assignments. I relished thinking up alternative strategies to reach them, and celebrated their successes. It was not surprising that I would grow up to become an educator and an advocate for all children. My youngest daughter was born with a genetic disorder that would change our lives. Watching her struggle to gain strength and balance led me to seek out alternative therapies, and ultimately led me to equine therapy. I was so amazed by the physical transformation brought about by horses that I signed up to become a volunteer myself. Working with the clients of HART is one of the greatest things I do. Alongside HART’s knowledgeable leaders and volunteers, I have witnessed miracles through the magic of horses. I feel privileged to be a small part of an organization such as HART that fosters emotional bonds, strengthens bodies, increases flexibility, and gives its clients the resources and skills to do what once seemed impossible.
Erin Bradley – Instructor
I love seeing the smiling faces of the clients. It is amazing to watch the clients progress while they enjoy the lovely horses. I believe the horses love the clients as much as we do. I have met many new friends. Working at HART has become such a positive part of my life.
Tricia McCormick – Volunteer
I am passionate about horses and helping people, so being part of HART 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 HART. 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?!
Rachel A. Moreno – Volunteer
Growing up I was always one of those kids who loved horses, and dreamed of working among them. I never had that chance until I volunteered at a hippotherapy program in July 2012. The position was a dream come true, and I got to see the incredible process of people with limitations improving their social skills and strengthening physically and emotionally on the back of a gentle giant. What I like best about working with horses and people with special needs is the opportunity to BE in the moment and actually be PRESENT. Much of life today takes us out of the present moment with constant interruption and information overload but volunteering at Horses Adaptive Riding and Therapy (HART) allows me to relax and breathe and bear witness to little miracles.
Brenna Norval – Volunteer
I am a HART volunteer who has 30+ years working with special needs populations and 3 years of therapeutic riding volunteering. Currently I work for the school district with special needs students and see firsthand how therapeutic horseback riding makes a huge difference in the lives of the students. I see improvements in speech and language acquisition, mobility and self-help skills and wonderful growth in the area of self-esteem. I consider myself incredibly lucky to be able to see the HART clients learning and growing and becoming the best they can be!