Dipman is a seventh generation Oakland native who was raised in
Pleasant Hill. The oldest of three girls, Tish started showing
interest in horses at age four and by age nine she was taking formal
lessons and began showing in local shows throughout Northern
California. Throughout her life she has ridden, leased, and owned
many horses. By age seventeen, Tish was showing and training event
Her life was changed forever when, at the age of eighteen, Tish
started taking care of a little girl with Autism whose mother had
passed away from cancer. Within that year her focus changed from
horses to working exclusively with the special needs community. Tish
has worked as a 1:1 with many special needs children in both their
school and home environments. She spent seven years working at the
Recreation Center for the Handicapped, now known as the Janey
Pomeroy Center, before moving on to the Bridge School and B.O.K.
Tish married her longtime boyfriend Scott in Las Vegas on 08-08-08.
Baby makes three, Scott and Tish were very excited to welcome their
Baby Benjamin into the world the following year, and then baby Beau
three years after that!
Community Service is an important part of Tish’s day to day life.
Currently, Tish sits on several community based Board of Directors,
including: Animal Assisted Happiness, San Mateo County Horseman’s
Association, and Washington Elementary School’s PTA. In addition to
volunteering as Washington Elementary SEDAC (Special Education
Department Advisory Committee) Representative, and Community
Gatepath-Parent Advisory Committee Participant. Tish is a PATH Intl.
Certified Instructor, PATH Intl. Certified Mentor, and a CHA
be reached at firstname.lastname@example.org.
Doubek grew up in farm country surrounded by horses in Western
New York State. She fantasized about having a horse of her own,
but it wasn’t until her daughter, Ivana, showed an interest in
horses did Sharon’s dream come true. Ivana had been taking
riding lessons for a few years and participated in Hunter/Jumper
shows when a teacher recommended that it was a good time for
Ivana to have a horse of her own.
The horse Sharon and Ivana found was an Arab gelding, Cody that
had been rescued from an abusive training situation. When Sharon
first saw Cody running around the round pen with his neck arched
and his nostrils flaring, she was reminded of the Godolphin Arab
in the book, King of the Wind. Cody was smart, willing to please
but because of his sensitivity and lack of training, he was not
ready to become the hunter/jumper Ivana wanted. Ivana went on to
lease other horses and compete in A Circuit Jumping and
Meanwhile, Sharon fell in love with Cody and discovered Parelli
Natural Horsemanship. It was a perfect training method for both
Sharon and Cody because it requires patience, understanding the
way horses think, and concentration on becoming safe and
confident on the ground before attempting to ride. It has been a
slow process but now Cody is a more confident, well-behaved
Sharon’s love for horses continues to grow because of her
personal experience with their gentle, healing nature. Sharon is
eager to bring her project/business management skills, her
commitment to children with special needs and her love of horses
to B.O.K. Ranch as the Equine Administration Assistant.
and raised in Northern California, Liz comes from a long line of farmers
and ranchers. As a child she would often spend winters in Jalisco,
Mexico on her Grandparents Ranch. She took her first riding lesson at
age 9 and by 11 she owned her first horse.
After studying theater and living in New York City she came back to
California and rediscovered her love of horses. She has volunteered for
the Mounted Units of the San Francisco Police and Los Angeles Park
Ranger Service as a first responder.
She was also an instructor and primary care taker for a herd of 16
horses at Camp Max Straus where she taught at risk youth to horseback
"I knew I wanted to continue working with horses and children at that
point so I researched other equine professions with kids and when I
found therapeutic riding I was immediately inspired and was excited to
find a ranch close by...BOK Ranch. I started volunteering and
immediately knew this was the place I wanted to be."
riding at the age of four, and started volunteering
with BOK in 1992. Over the years she became more and more
involved with the program, and before moving out of state in 2001,
she was working as BOK's office manager and volunteer
After the move
maintaining the BOK website, and she adopted one of BOK's founding
Fjords, PJ, when he retired in 2006 (pictured is PJ with Jamie in the volunteer class at a 1998 horse
Jamie now lives on a farm in Washington state with her horse, dogs, and
cats, but hopes to return to California someday.
spending time with her animals, she enjoys work as a web designer and 3D artist, and is
happy to be able to continue her involvement with BOK.
originally joined the BOK Ranch 10 years ago, as the head
instructor. After returning from a seven-year hiatus, Ashely has
returned to re-join the BOK team. Ashley and her husband now live in
San Jose with their two children Dylan and Alyvia. When Ashley isn’t
busy horsing around she coaches volleyball and basketball at a local
school near her home. Ashley grew up riding in Southern California
and has owned and loved horses her whole life. She currently owns
and trains her own Westphalian gelding, Celsius. Ashley’s daughter
Aly is now taking after her Mom and practices her riding every
chance she gets. Ashley is loved by all her students for her wealth
of knowledge, giving spirit, and compassion for her students.
Vincent describes her experience on a horse as one of spiritual
oneness with life and nature. Growing up on a farm in the French
Alps, her budding passion for horses was shared with her
cherished grandfather. A horse lover himself and avid rider, he
transmitted his equestrian knowledge to Francoise early on, and
mentored her through her formal horseback riding lessons which
she started at eight years old. As an adult she continued to
ride and eventually rescued a spirited Arabian horse with which
she developed a deep connection and a great friendship. The two
enjoyed many endurance and pleasure rides through the rolling
hills of Northern California.
As a young adult, Francoise had discovered her second life-long
passion, and had become a yoga practitioner and soon after, a
yoga instructor. Through the practice of yoga she developed a
deep intuition and was astonished to discover how it enhanced
her communication with the horse and consequently improved the
equestrian experience for both. She knew that yoga helps develop
a strong physical core, which is also essential to riding. As a
result, Francoise now combines these two practices, yoga and
horsemanship, and helps riders commune with their four-legged
When she started volunteering at BOK Ranch several years ago,
Francoise was greatly moved when she witnessed that students
with special needs developed a rapport with the horse and began
to thrive in ways often inaccessible to them otherwise. This
realization inspired her to become a PATH- certified therapeutic
riding instructor and to transmit her passions for the art of
riding and the art of yoga to students of all ages and
capabilities. Francoise appreciates every opportunity to work
with students, horses, and with the dedicated volunteers and
staff at BOK ranch.
Taylor Singmaster was 5 years old she took her first trail ride
with her father during a vacation in Salt Lake City, Utah. She
immediately wanted a horse and made a deal with her dad, if she
took lessons every week for a year she could then have a horse
of her own.
Over 20 years later Taylor is still riding every week. Since
that day her equestrian accomplishments include being named
champion at the All American Quarter Horse Congress and the NSBA
World Championship Show, competing for the University of South
Carolina's NCAA Equestrian team and becoming a PATH Certified
Therapeutic Riding Instructor.
Taylor's passion for the special needs community began when her
retired show horse, Bentley, moved to a small therapy farm in
her home state of Pennsylvania. Taylor's life was changed upon
meeting the family's son, Jack, who has Down Syndrome. Her
extensive volunteer work began with Camp PALS, The
Congratulations Project, 100cameras, UP Academy and many other
nonprofit organizations. Now, she is working with a broader
demographic and has found her true calling sharing her own
personal love for horses with her students.
is a lifelong horse lover who has always had a passion for
teaching others how to care for and interact with animals and to
take the time to experience firsthand the natural world around
them. She has long appreciated the healing power of horses and
therapeutic riding to help both children and adults improve
their physical and emotional health and reconnect with
themselves and each other. Christiana grew up in the East Bay
and started taking riding lessons at a barn in the Oakland hills
at age nine. At age thirteen, she started leasing a horse named
Tampico, a sweet Morgan/Arabian cross who quickly became her
best friend and equine mentor. She continued riding and caring
for Tampico for the next twenty years, until he passed away in
2015 after a long and happy life.
Christiana worked for many years at a small nonprofit
educational farm with several horses and a variety of other farm
animals that provided humane education and animal assisted
therapy programs to children with special needs and youth
at-risk. She also worked for several years in the veterinary
field, training with both large and small animal veterinarians;
she has experience with animals as small as hedgehogs and as
large as elephants. Her love of working with both children and
animals inspired her to pursue a B.Sc. degree in Animal Studies
with a special focus on humane education, animal assisted
activities and animal assisted therapy.
Christiana moved to the Peninsula in 2013 with her husband, dog,
and bunny and began to volunteer at B.O.K. Ranch just a month
later. She immediately loved volunteering and was amazed by the
entire community of loving staff, volunteers, horses families,
and participants at B.O.K.; it wasn’t long until she knew that
this was what she wanted to do with the rest of her career!
After more than three years of volunteering, Christiana decided
she was ready to pursue her certification as a PATH-certified
therapeutic riding instructor. Christiana is thrilled to join
the staff at B.O.K. and continue her relationship with all the
amazing people and horses at B.O.K.
Mallory and her husband and two young children moved from
Boston, Massachusetts to Palo Alto, California in 1992. She grew
up in Massachusetts, where she went to college and majored in
outdoor education and went on to teach at a traveling school
called the Audubon Expedition Institute.
She has backpacked through many of the US mountain ranges,
paddled the coast of Florida and across Portugal, ski-toured
through Yellowstone Nat. Park, climbed the Swiss Alps, cycled
through Spain, and hiked the West Coast of Scotland. When not in
California she and her husband are paddling the Aegean off the
coast of Greece.
After moving to the west coast, Kathy took up horseback riding
for fun and ended up riding for 15 years, during which time she
competed in the Adult Amateur Hunter 3ft Division in shows
around Woodside and Portola Valley. Kathy has owned 4 different
horses but owes her success in the show ring to her lease,
Prince, an Appendix Quarter Horse.
A runner, swimmer and biker, Kathy is certified in the Burdenko
Method of Physical Rehabilitation, that uses a progression of
water and land exercises to help athletes recover from injury.
Kathy began volunteering at B.O.K as a way to work with and help
more people and to be around horses again. She is now a
Certified PATH Instructor and Volunteer at B.O.K.
grew up in the Adirondack Mountains near Old Forge, New York. She
always had an affinity for horses and used to bring the horses from
a local trail-riding outfit down to a stream to drink. After
studying marine biology at Oregon State and science education and
University of Virginia, she moved to the Bay Area in 1986 to work at
Syntex/Roche Bioscience as a research scientist studying cell
Deborah’s daughter became interested in horses, she took the
opportunity to reenter the horse world. Deborah has worked as an
instructor and horse manager for another local therapeutic riding
program for 12 years. She is also very involved in the Mid-Cal
region of the USPC and has been serving as the region’s Horse
Management Organizer for 4 years. In her personal riding Deborah is
interested in classical dressage. During her non-barn time, Deborah
works as an instructional assistant at a local elementary school.
enjoys hiking, sailing, traveling, and spending time with her
family. She is excited to be working with everyone at BOK Ranch and
for the opportunity to share her love of horses and their healing
powers with others.
diverse experiences with leadership, people, and animals starts with
her 4-H filled childhood. From the ages 10 - 16, Natori took in
"unwanted horses," including Premarin babies. Natori also 4-H
networking and competitions to spread awareness about Premarin
lived on 3 continents and traveled to over 15 countries to complete
internships, continuing education, and certifications relating to:
Natori is grateful to be working with B.O.K. Ranch. Her inspiration
comes from the students and staff of B.O.K. working to achieve life
goals through experiential learning and riding horses.
is a native of the Bay Area. Her love of riding and horses began at the
age of 7 when her family would take their annual trip down to a guest
ranch near Santa Barbara. For the past several years she has worked
with the wranglers at a ranch in Bridgeport on the other side of the
Yosemite range with their annual Spring cattle work. She follows the PBR
(Professional Bull Riding) and rodeo circuits along with attending the
concerts of her favorite country performers. She enjoys both
volunteering and working at the BOK. It fulfills her dream of doing
what she loves the most which is to be with and care for horses.
Other Instructors and Therapists
that facilitate people
with special needs at the Horse
Park at Woodside:
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy
Sherman, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist (PSY23689),
with a long standing interest in human-animal
interactions. She has extensive experience working with
individuals with behavioral and emotional difficulties
as well as learning and autism spectrum disorders. Dr.
Sherman is committed to helping people increase
self-awareness and come to healthier ways of interacting
with the world around them and believes that horses are
a good match for helping with this goal. For this work,
Dr. Sherman is certified through the Equine Assisted
Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA). She is also a
previous BOK Ranch PATH certified Therapeutic Riding
Instructor. For more
information on Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine
Assisted Learning, contact Dr. Sherman at (650)
always been Moraga-native Julie Freschi’s dream occupation. To this
end she combines her passion for and knowledge of horses with her
career as a physical therapist. Julie gained her foundational horse
knowledge in Pony Club. She competed in Eventing during high school.
As a University of Oregon undergrad, Julie founded the
nationally-competitive Intercollegiate Equestrian Team. She later
attended Boston University, earning a Masters of Science in Physical
Therapy. Her initial decision to move East was heavily influenced by
her desire to ride there. During her time East Julie strengthened
her interest in dressage through her assignment as a working
student. She continues to enjoy dressage with her leased mare Fabbi.
Julie’s interest in working with children with special needs stems
from her service in her church’s Children’s Ministry Class,
specially designed for children with special needs. She has since
helped establish similar programs in Kenya, also serving as a
mentor. She currently works as a full-time physical therapist at the
Hope Technology School in Palo Alto, California.
Broder began her professional equine career at the age of 15. She
went to work for a horse trainer in Rancho Sante Fe, California and
spent the next several years working with beautiful show horses.
Even back then, she felt the healing power in horses and was
developing ideas about how to pass this to others. 15 years later
she embarked on her career in the fields of, first, substance abuse
treatment then more broadly clinical psychology. She has focused her
career on treating individuals who have experienced trauma and felt
the effects of that in their life paths. With Horse Sensing, she
brings together her clinical expertise and equine expertise to
facilitate the healing process in her clients.