Staff

 

Dita Keith, Executive Director Dita Keith – Executive Director

Dita has been an active and involved member of the Central Oregon community since 1992. Dita graduated from the University of Colorado, Boulder with a Bachelor of Science Degree in Journalism and worked in the publishing, real estate and fundraising fields before joining Healing Reins in 2007. She is a PATH International Certified Instructor as well as a PATH International Certified Equine Specialist. Dita grew up in Los Angeles and has been an avid rider since the age of 10. With a passion for all things equine, she showed in the junior hunter/jumper circuit for many years, and as an adult, Dita has shared her passion for horses by serving as a Bend Senior High School Equestrian Drill Team coach and a Deschutes County Sheriff’s Posse member. She is married, has two daughters, three horses, two mules, three dogs and various other farm animals and spends her free time skiing, hiking, gardening and logging trail miles and horse-camping all over the state. Contact Dita at ditak(at)healingreins(dot)org

Polly Cohen, Program Director Polly Cohen – Program Director

Polly began her professional career working with equines and “at-risk” adolescents by serving as the Equestrian Director for J Bar J Youth Services in Bend, Oregon. Her interest in the field of equine-assisted activities and therapies took her to Seattle where she worked as a therapeutic riding instructor for Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center, one of the top PATH centers in the nation. Polly Is a PATH International certified instructor, a PATH International trained Mentor, and is also the PATH Region IX Representative. Polly grew up on the Oregon Coast showing competitively in both English and Western disciplines for more than 15 years, and was the Lincoln County Rodeo Queen. Polly is married, has two sons, and a beautiful young gelding she is raising and training in her spare time. Contact Polly at pollyc(at)healingreins(dot)org

  Penny Campbell – Program Assistant

Penny grew up in the Portland area and from a young age loved horses. She took jumping lessons as a kid and looked for every opportunity to ride and work with horses. As a young adult, she worked for various horse trainers and learned a lot about the world of showing, training and starting young horses. Soon after moving to Central Oregon with her husband, Jeff, in 1998, Penny met Pam Addington; Healing Reins’ founder. Together, Pam and Penny began building and growing Healing Reins. In 2001, Penny and Jeff bought Faith Run Farms, the future home of Healing Reins. Today, Penny and Jeff continue feel blessed to be able to provide a place for Healing Reins to grow and prosper. Penny has competed in dressage, jumping and western events, coached for Bend High’s OHSET team and co-led her daughter’s goat 4H group. In addition to two almost-grown kids, Penny has two 2 dogs, 4 horses, many chickens and a pig. Penny currently loves working as a Program Assistant to Polly, Dita and the rest of the staff. In her spare time she competes in Reining and Team Penning with her horse, Subie.

Laurie Hoyle – Development Director

Information to come

Linda Rhine, Volunteer Coordinator Linda Rhine – Volunteer Coordinator

Linda’s background is education and working with volunteers. She spent 17 years at the Los Angeles Zoo and came to Central Oregon to work with the High Desert Museum and as the STEM Coordinator for Girl Scouts of Oregon and Southwest Washington. In addition to being the Volunteer Coordinator at Healing Reins, Linda currently works as an online adjunct instructor for Southern Oregon University. Linda has a Bachelors in History, Masters in Education, and all but her dissertation in Education for her PhD. Linda has been in Central Oregon for nine years. She has one daughter, two sons, two dogs and a cat. She loves to kayak and get her feet into lakes, streams, creeks, and the ocean no matter how cold. Contact Linda at lindar(at)healingreins(dot)org

 
  Elese Villoria – Therapeutic Riding Instructor

Elese has been in love with animals and horses since day one. Her love of horses was fostered by her Grandma who gave Elese her first pony ride at the age of 2. From then on there she grew up riding english in Portland, Bend, and Bozeman MT. Elese was attending OSU-Cascades when she began as an intern at Healing Reins by volunteering in the therapeutic riding classes, and aiding in hippotherapy sessions. Elese’s love for everything that was happening at Healing Reins encouraged her to become an Instructor in Training. Since then Elese graduated with a B.S. in Exercise and Sport Science, and has become a certified PATH instructor. She loves being able to share in the magic that comes from the partnership of humans and horses. In her free time Elese likes to spend time with her Grandma, her horses, and a good book.

Jess Lydon Therapeutic Riding Instructor 

Jess has always loved horses, but didn’t ride competitively until she discovered endurance riding in 2012. Since then Jess has been competing in 25 and 50 mile races all over Oregon and California. Jess fell in love with therapeutic horseback riding when she started volunteering with BOK Ranch in California as a 13 year old. This experience led to a life long passion for adapted sport and recreation. Jess has a Bachelors of Science in Kinesiology with an emphasis in Adapted Physical Activities from San Jose State University. She has an extensive background working in the disability field; including adapted personal training, ABA therapy, and therapeutic recreation.

Jenny Chesley, Instructor Jenny Chesley – Therapeutic Riding Instructor, Part Time

Jenny is a PATH International Certified Advanced Instructor and an Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning (ESMHL). She began volunteering at therapeutic riding centers more than 20 years ago. Through the years Jenny has volunteered and taught at centers in Washington, Montana and here in Oregon. During college Jenny worked as a wrangler for two summers in Yellowstone National Park and then spent 10 years working in the accounting industry. She received her PATH certification at High Hopes Therapeutic Riding Center in Connecticut in 2005. She is married and loves spending time with her two young daughters. Jenny has been an instructor at Healing Reins since 2006 and is delighted to be back in Bend. Contact Jenny at jennyc(at)healingreins(dot)org

  Karli Henderson – Therapeutic Riding Instructor, Part Time

I grew up riding and competing in english and western events. I was involved in 4-H for ten years and WAHSET Washington State High School Equestrian Team for four years. My life has always revolved around horses. I fell in love with horsemanship and I knew I wanted to spend the rest of my life learning more and sharing my passion. I went to the University of Montana Western and earned an  AAS in Natural Horsemanship and Business Management. I did my internship to graduate at a therapeutic riding center and decided to become an instructor. I’m so excited to be a part of such an inspiring program! I also love being outside, hiking, and exploring new places.

 Dani Nichols, Instructor  Dani Nichols – Therapeutic Riding Instructor, Part Time: Dani is a lifelong cowgirl with a passion for horses and the outdoors. She became a PATH International certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor in 2010, and worked at a PATH-accredited center in Oceanside, California for four years before moving to Bend. Dani enjoys teaching at Healing Reins and earned her Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning certification in 2015. Dani grew up on a cattle ranch in Klamath County, Oregon and worked for four years as a wrangler for a horse camp and ranch in The Dalles, Oregon. She has a Bachelor’s degree in journalism and when she’s not teaching at Healing Reins, she works as a writer and editor. Dani loves cooking, outdoor adventures and spending time with her husband and young daughter. Contact Dani at danin(at)healingreins(dot)org