The Shane Center has over 60 volunteers who give roughly 3000 hours of service to the program each year. Without our volunteers we couldn’t fulfill our mission of improving the quality of life for people with disabilities through innovative equestrian activities. People volunteer because it is a way to “give back”, get some exercise, have fun, develop new friendships and most volunteers will tell you they get more out of being here than they feel they give! Our staff even gives back by volunteering on their days off just so our participants can enjoy their weekly riding sessions!
The Instructors at The Shane Center are certified PATH Intl. therapeutic riding professionals and are required to complete a minimum of 20 hours of continuing education each year. Other staff includes a part time Facility Manager, a part time Administrative Assistant, and two part time Horse Care Assistants. Our equine partners are carefully selected and put through a comprehensive training program specially designed around the needs of the organization and population served. Horses receive on-going training and exercise to ensure they are mentally and physically ready for their jobs. The organization invests significant resources to make sure the animals are prepared to participate in lessons each week and each day they are to be used. State of the art equipment is utilized and adapted as needed to encourage students to be as independent as possible.
The PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor (CTRI) is a voluntary, entry-level credential for individuals in the equine-assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) profession who provide riding instruction and therapeutic value to people with disabilities. This may include mounted or unmounted work ethically partnering with an equine. PATH Intl. CTRIs have met established criteria and standards of practice in the field. They have demonstrated their knowledge of disabilities, equines, teaching and human-animal interactions. See the full job description here.
This certification program has been designed to meet the rigorous accreditation standards of the National Council of Certifying Agencies (NCCA).
Karen Sanchez, Founder and Executive Director, has a Bachelor’s Degree in Education and is a PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship) CTRI (Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor and an ATRI (Advanced Therapeutic Riding Instructor), as well as an official PATH Instructor Mentor. She is an accomplished horsewoman, served as an equestrian judge during the 2000 Sydney Olympic Games, graduated at the “A” Level of the United States Pony Club, spent 10 years participating in 4-H, and served 5 years as the organizational advisor to the Savvy Riders 4-H Club of Licking County. She is studying Level 5 of the Parelli Savvy System and has studied with numerous top horseman including Ray Hunt, Walter Zettel, Jimmy Wofford, Jesse Peters, Carol Coppinger, and Pat and Linda Parelli.
Jessica Wolgast CTRI, Program Coordinator. She has a Bachelor's degree in Equine Facility Management and Administration and is a passionate horsewoman. She found the Shane Center in 2007 as a college intern and began teaching in 2010. Since then, she has achieved Level 2 in the Parelli Savvy System and has become an official PATH Instructor Mentor. When not horsing around, she enjoys being a very busy wife and mother and mucking about in her garden.
Mindy Ingalls CTRI, Administrative Assistant, has a Bachelor of Arts Degree in Arts and Humanities/Dance Therapy. She has over 20 years’ experience working in non-profit organizations, providing therapeutic and recreational opportunities to individuals of all ages and all abilities, as well as grant writing, and office management skills. She enjoys competing at horse shows and trail riding with her daughter. She and her family live on a horse-powered farm, using their Percheron draft horses.
Laura Alcantara, Instructor Aide, grew up riding horses on her family's horse farm in NJ. She was an active participant in 4-H throughout her childhood. She enjoyed training and competing in Jumpers and especially Dressage, and earned her bronze medal riding award from the USDF. She graduated from Rutgers University with her Masters in Education in 2013. She is currently an applicant for the PATH Certified Therapeutic Registered Instructor certification.
Katrinka Orr, Facility Manager and StableMates Instructor, graduated from Otterbein College, Westerville, Ohio with a Bachelor’s of Science in both Equine Science and Stable Management in 1990. She is a passionate horsewoman and advocate of children. She has been involved with Knox County 4-H for the past 20 years as an advisor and parent. She has been a part of The Shane Center in various capacities since its inception in 1993.
2020 Board of Directors
Joel Sanchez, President
Kathie Sanchez, Vice President
John Hinton, Assistant Treasurer
Angie Kaiser, Secretary