Cat, founder of BDF and certified speech pathologist of 22 years, specializes in: autism, severe speech and language disorders, apraxia, cleft palate, feeding aversion and swallowing disorders. She is also certified by PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International) as a therapeutic riding instructor and with the American Hippotherapy Association. She has been using hippotherapy as a treatment modality since 1994, when she helped to build a hippotherapy center as an adjunct to traditional therapy services at St. Mary’s hospital in Athens.
Erika, a P.A.T.H Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor, has been teaching therapeutic riding at BDF since November 2019. She has been riding competitively since she was 8 years old and has a deep understanding of horse behavior and equitation skills which directly translate into her lessons. Erika is currently a student at the University of Georgia studying Risk Management and Insurance, with minors in Spanish and Religion. Her hometown is Chagrin Falls, Ohio. Post-graduation, Erika hopes to begin her career in the business world while continuing to teach therapeutic riding. Developing the relationship between the horse and rider is of high importance to Erika as well.