Our Staff

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 professional teaching staff at The Shane Center are (CTRI’s) certified therapeutic riding instructors 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 Grants Manager, and a part time Lesson Aide. 

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. 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

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

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

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

Laura Alcantara, CTRI, 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. Laura completed the new CTRI certification process in 2020 and loves being a part of the amazing Shane Center instructor staff!

Emily Kinzer

Emily Kinzer, CTRI and Fundraising Coordinator, has a Bachelor of Arts Degree from Otterbein University in Equine Business Management with concentration in Equine Assisted Activities and therapies. Emily began with us as an intern in 2019, stayed with us as a lesson aide, and has recently completed the CTRI process in early 2022. Emily boards her horse, Marlin, at the Shane Center and you can find them on the trails or jumping around in the playground.

Amanda Woods

Amanda Woods, CTRI, is currently in her senior year as a double major in Equine Business Management and Business Administration and Management with a minor in Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies at Otterbein University. She loves to train and compete in dressage, especially with her new horse, Fancy. When not playing with horses or other fluffy friends, she loves to read books and fiddle around on her violin.

Katrinka Orr

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.

Board of Directors

Joel Sanchez, President
Tom Shovelton, Vice President
John Hinton, Assistant Treasurer
Angie Kaiser, Secretary
Krystina Carter
Erin Humphrey
Dr. Laurie Gallatin