Ranch Team

Amanda Johnson

Director of Adaptive Riding & 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!

Jo Flores

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!

Shawn Baker

Facilities Manager

Shawn started volunteering with Leaps & Bounds after his daughter, Megan, introduced him to the program. After volunteering for several years, he recently retired and has come to work with us full time!

Shawn married his wife, Terri, in 1983 and they had their only daughter 7 years later. Terri introduced Shawn to horses and the Norco way of life after they met, and he was bitten by the horse “bug” shortly after that. He loves the outdoors, camping, drawing, and painting. Shawn is active in the Norco Horsemen’s Association, the Horsetown USA Hall of Fame, and the Norco Fair, and he also volunteers regularly at community events to support the equestrian lifestyle we enjoy in our town.

He enjoys riding his horses, Copper and Cheyenne, whenever he can. Cheyenne is his project horse that he works with on an ongoing basis because she suffers from PTSD and short-term memory loss, resulting from a car accident she was in many years ago. Shawn looks forward to spending many of his golden years with the horses and kiddos at Leaps & Bounds. If you see him out at the ranch, come on over and say “Howdy!” to Cowboy Shawn.

Megan Baker

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. 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 by leaps and bounds.

Haley Samano

Horse Handler

Born and raised in Norco, Haley has always loved having horses in her life. She has had the opportunity to travel the United States showing Paint/Pinto horses with her mother and grandmother. She has shown all around (Western, English, Showmanship, and Trail) as well as miniature horses (Driving, Trail, Jumping, and Showmanship). After a brain injury, surgery, and recovery at 7 years-old, Haley was unable to play sports and discovered her love for music! She is currently attending Norco College and exploring her future career options.

We love having Haley part of our team to share her extensive horse knowledge and amazing singing voice.

Traci Capes

Horse Handler

Traci graduated from the California State University, San Bernardino with two Bachelors Degrees in Human Development and Psychology. She has always had a passion for working with children. Traci originally joined our volunteer team in 2017 to gain experience and learn more about pediatric therapy in hopes of choosing a career path! She began to volunteer as a horse handler and says her favorite horse is Lexi. She says that working with the children, horses and ranch team has been an incredible experience. Most recently, Traci has began a program to become a speech and language pathologist. Her hope is to one day work as an SLP at Leaps! In her spare time she enjoys going to Disneyland, spending time with family and friends,  and going on adventures.

Jenifer Rains

Horse Handler
Jenifer graduated from California Baptist University with a Bachelor of Science degree in Kinesiology, May 2018. Jenifer began as a volunteer at Leaps & Bounds in October of 2018 in order to complete observation hours to apply for a Doctor of Physical Therapy program, and she is now a part of the Leaps team. It is Jenifer’s ultimate goal to become a Pediatric Physical Therapist.

Jenifer enjoys taking care of horses and has dreamed of working with horses and children during therapy, which has now become a reality. Some of Jenifer’s favorite pastime activities are horseback riding, spending time with friends and family, hiking, and traveling to new places.