Lead Instructor: Amanda Ott

Amanda joined the team as our lead instructor and is the main point of contact for the center. Her position includes instruction and management of lessons, volunteer training and management, equine management and schooling, and community outreach. Amanda’s equine interest began as a young hunter/jumper rider in Utah competing at English schooling shows in Utah. Since her move to Montana, she has become more involved in the western discipline, showing on the Western and English teams for IHSA (Intercollegiate Horse Show Association) and training her own colt for Western style riding.

Amanda graduated with bachelors degree in Therapeutic Horse Riding Instruction and Psychology from Rocky Mountain College and with Academic Honors in both concentrations. Her background with therapeutic riding began as a volunteer at the National Ability Center in Park City, UT where she filled many roles ranging from Intern to Summer Camp Counselor. She also completed an internship as an instructor and camp counselor at the Shea Center in San Juan Capistrano, CA. Amanda is certified as a registered level instructor through PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Riding). She is looking forward to teaching and learning more about the veteran population in Montana and the experiences she will gain.

Instructor: Rochelle Smith

Rochelle has been in the equine industry for many years, both riding and through equine facility operations, and has experience in multiple western arenas. She has enjoyed experiences in boarding and training horses, rodeo and show competition, recreational and trail riding, instructing able-bodied and special needs persons in basic riding, working with at-risk youth as well as mentoring students in the Rocky Mountain College Equestrian Program. She is certified through the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) as well as through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International as a Certified Riding Instructor and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning (ESMHL). Rochelle considers herself a lifelong student and continues to further her education in Equine Studies, Psychology and various equine and veteran-specific workshops. She has a talent for identifying the needs of the horse and the needs of the human, and creating a fun, educational, and safe learning environment. Rochelle has been an important part in the creation of our therapeutic programs and we are very excited to have her on board.

Instructor: Katherine Hibbs

Kate has been an avid horse-woman since she was a kid. Becoming involved in the therapeutic riding industry in 2012 has only grown her love for these four-legged animals. She grew up riding western, and spent some time in college riding english. Kate has a passion for all things related to equine assisted activities and therapies, outside teaching she enjoys riding bareback and on trail.  She is a certified riding instructor through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International, in addition to holding a 4-year degree in both Therapeutic Riding and Psychology. In addition to instructing, Kate works as a Behavioral Support Specialist for STEP Inc. Kate has experience working with both children and adults with a variation of abilities and disabilities, she is very creative in her ability to adapt activities to each individual’s needs, and goals.

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