Adaptive Riding Instructor & Barn Manager
Amanda Johnson is one of our awesome therapeutic riding instructors as well as the Leaps Ranch Barn Manager! Amanda is a PATH International Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor, with a passion for sharing her knowledge with children and helping all riders pursue their equestrian goals. She is a graduate of Colorado State University with a BS in Equine Science and has ridden both Western and Dressage since a young age. Leaps is proud to have Amanda on our TR team that is growing by Leaps & Bounds! Amanda loves teaching all of our riders horsemanship skills and helping them work on their balance, postural control, strength, motor planning, sequencing, and social skills. We are lucky to have Amanda as a part of our Leaps Family!
Adaptive Riding Instructor
Jo Flores is an Adaptive Riding instructor certified by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International. Crazy about animals from childhood, she completed her Bachelors of Science in Zoology at Cal Poly Pomona. She taught science for over 20 years, and then returned to school at Loma Linda University, earning a certification as a Child Life Specialist. She has experience working with children and adults in a variety of contexts: hospitals, classrooms, camps, equine facilitated mental health programs, and therapeutic riding centers. She is an advocate for animal assisted therapies and supports utilizing the human-animal bond to facilitate health and well-being. Her goal is to continue studies in equine and canine communication in order to enhance therapeutic relationships with our animal partners. She is excited to be part of the Leaps & Bounds team.
Jo is a wife, mother, and “Nana”. She loves being out on the trails with her horse, Coda, and three Australian Shepherds, Sheela, Sydney, and Jake (therapy dog in training). When she isn’t riding her horse, she is riding her bicycle!
Lead Horse Handler
Megan Baker became a volunteer with Leaps & Bounds a short month after we opened. After volunteering for a few months she became a horse handler at Leaps & Bounds and has been with the program for well over three years. Now she is our lead horse handler that assists with duties of the barn manager and guides the other horse handlers to be the best that they can be in handling the horses. She graduated from Norco High School in 2008 and is currently attending Mt. San Antonio College in Walnut California. She is enrolled in the animal science program and studying to become a large animal veterinarian. She will graduate and transfer with in the year with two Associates in science degrees, one in horse ranch management and the other in animal science. Among these degrees she will also have certificates in horse ranch management and animal science. She will be transferring to California State University of Fresno to obtain her Bachelor’s in Animal science . Megan has grown up with horses since she was four and enjoys riding with her best friends, coworkers, and parents all over the trails of Norco and beyond. Megan is active in the Norco Horseman’s Association and volunteers regularly at community events to support the equestrian lifestyle in our community. She also works with many other horses, some include the broodmares of Spear Head Cattle Company and Quarter horse racing babies that come in and out of Spartan 300. Megan enjoys teaching young children of all ability levels how to ride and has done so at many different summer camps over the years. She has a natural ability to adapt the setting to promote independence, for our children with disabilities. She looks forward to meeting your children and watching them grow with leaps and bounds.
Heather graduated in December 2016 with her Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology with a concentration in Allied Health. She also received an Associates Degree in Health Science from Riverside Community College in June 2013. Heather’s goal is to work with animals and do canine and wild life rehabilitation, so she is currently looking into programs in order to receive a certificate that will help her achieve this career path. She enjoys learning new things about horses and watching children continue to succeed and grow every day. In her free time, Heather enjoys reading, find new places to hike, walk her dogs, and play basketball.
Amanda is new to California, having previously lived in New Jersey where she volunteered at a sensory gym for children with special needs and completed coursework in teaching preschool. Amanda is a junior in high school and is interested in pursuing a career in special education and Occupational Therapy. She is an avid horse lover and rider, and began volunteering at Leaps in Spring 2015. Now working at Leaps & Bounds, she is able to combine the two things she loves most, working with children and horses.
Horse Handler/Billing Assistant
Clara started with horses at the age of 7 and never looked back, riding and competing on the Arabian horse circuit. Clara graduated from UC Riverside in 2013 with a BA in English, with a passion to teach children and help kids through animal therapies after watching all the joy that it brought her little brother. When Leaps & Bounds moved to the new campus it was a match made in heaven; kids and horses. After several months of volunteering she joined the ranch team in August 2016. Clara has goals of being a certified PATH teacher. Clara can be found out at the ranch or in the office!