Amanda’s passion for horses, teaching, and helping others is evident in her background and what ultimately led her to become a PATH certified therapeutic riding instructor in 2008. This journey began long ago as a horse crazy kid learning from trainers, 4-H, and participating in local shows both English and Western. Her horse dream was put on hold in college while she pursued other passions and obtained an art education degree. During this time, she also discovered her love of working with individuals that have special needs and disabilities.
While living in Wisconsin and attending grad school, Amanda discovered therapeutic riding at a facility called Lifestriders. She knew immediately that it was a perfect fit for her. There she met the requirements to become a PATH certified instructor and eventually became a lead instructor for the facility. After receiving her masters in art education she returned to Omaha and became involved with HETRA. There she worked in many different roles including teaching weekly therapeutic riding lessons, planning and implementing summer horse camps, coaching Special Olympics teams, and co-leading a Life Skills program. She also earned a second PATH certification as an Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning.
Her passion for helping others reaches outside of the barn to her involvement as a counselor for Royal Family Kids Camp and Teen Reach Adventure camp, which are faith-based camps that serve abused and neglected children in the foster system. She also spends her time as a Reach for Success mentor and visiting nursing homes and schools with her therapy dog Dude.
All of this has led her to VRA where she is looking forward to combining all of her experience in new and exciting ways!