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. She is a USDF Bronze Medalist and Norco Horse town Hall of Fame inductee. Leaps is proud to have Amanda on our AR team that is growing by Leaps & Bounds! Amanda loves teaching all of our rider’s 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!

Shawn Baker

Facilities Coordinator

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

Adaptive Riding Coordinator & Instructor

Megan is a certified Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International riding instructor. She started volunteering with Leaps & Bounds in 2010 and fell in love with the Leaps mission, which lead her to become a horse handler and now instructor. She has an enthusiasm for teaching and sharing her knowledge of horsemanship to all abilities. Growing up in Norco, she has a background in the discipline of western riding. She is a graduate of Oregon State University with a BS in Agricultural Sciences, and holds certifications in Animal Science and Horse Ranch Management from Mt. San Antonio College.

In her free time you may catch her around the ranch with her horse Patronus Charm, getting ready for their next show in Western Dressage. She is also an active member of the Norco Horseman’s Association and volunteers regularly at community events to support the equestrian lifestyle in our community. 

Haley Samano

Horse Handler & Adaptive Riding Instructor (in-training)

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.

Jenifer Rains

Tack Safety Officer & 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.

Amanda Dotson

Ranch Activities Coordinator & Horse Handler

Amanda graduated from Cal State San Bernardino with two bachelor’s degrees, eager to help children with special needs. After exploring different options for a career path, she came across Occupational Therapy and starting volunteering at Leaps & Bounds in 2017. She has now joined our ranch team and is pursuing a master’s degree in Occupational Therapy.

In her spare time she enjoys spending quality time with my friends, playing games, watching movies and going on different excursions. I also enjoy my time with family, crocheting and reading books!

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.

Cindy Martinez

Horse Handler

Cindy’s bio coming soon!

Nikolas Gustin

Horse Handler

Nik’s bio coming soon!

Jo Flores

Sibling Support Coordinator

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!