|N.E.A.T. staff is supervised by a Licensed Clinical Social Worker.
N.E.A.T. co-founder Bambi Spahr is a PATH-Certified Therapeutic Equine Instructor (CTEI), a Nevada Medicaid Qualified Mental Health Associate (QMHA) and a lifelong horsewoman experienced and trained in both Western and English riding disciplines. (PATH is an international organization setting the standard for equine programs for those with special needs for over 50 years.) She has successfully shown in Hunter, Equitation, and Jumper competitions and competed in Western 4-H club events as a child.
Bambi has a B.S. from Virginia Commonwealth University and an M.A. from the University of Connecticut, and she spent the last 10 years of her career in executive management positions. Upon moving to Reno, she was fortunate to develop a good friendship with Laurie Roberts, who was looking for a riding companion. It is through this friendship that Bambi was introduced to the field of equine-facilitated therapy.Working in the field, Bambi has discovered her new passion: using horses to help adults and children with mental health, emotional, or behavioral challenges.”It has been so rewarding to work with my clients and see the significant progress they have made while working with horses,” says Bambi. “I now see the opportunity to combine my lifelong love of horses, over 23 years of management experience, and a desire to help others–the perfect job!”
N.E.A.T. co-founder Laurie Roberts is a PATH-Certified Therapeutic Equine Instructor (CTEI) and a Nevada Medicaid Qualified Mental Health Associate (QMHA). Laurie believes that, as with humans, there is no “one right way” when working with horses.Laurie has studied both childhood and aging in an academic setting. While pursuing her degree in early childhood education, Laurie worked in a number of private preschool and daycare programs, experiencing a variety of teaching philosophies–from a science-based curriculum to Head Start. Years later, she took a degree in sociology with an emphasis in aging.Continuing her education, Laurie has participated in seminars led by some of the most well-known people in the horse field, including the OK Corral series of EAGALA (Equine-Assisted Growth and Learning Association) founder Greg Kersten as well as seminars by Pat and Linda Parelli and Gawani Pony Boy. She has also studied the philosophies of leaders in the horse world such as Alois Podhjsky, Linda Tellington-Jones, Chris Irwin, Tom Dorrance, Linda Kohanov, Leif Halberg, and Monty Roberts, to name just a few.Laurie is excited about taking her unique and varied lifelong experiences–which include over a decade working with horses–and creating a therapeutic horse program to meet the needs of children, teens, and adults in northern Nevada.
Kelsey is a Qualified Mental Health Associate (QMHA), and a PATH- Certified Therapeutic Equine Instructor (CTEI). Kelsey has ridden horses her entire life, and competed in eventing for the last eleven years. She graduated from the University of Nevada, Reno with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and English-Writing. Upon graduation, she was able to combine her lifelong love of horses with her degree in Psychology and come to work at NEAT. Kelsey fell in love with therapeutic horseback riding in high school, when she spent four years volunteering for a non-profit therapeutic horseback riding center. In addition to her job at NEAT, Kelsey is also a nanny. She has worked with various families for over five years. Kelsey is a volunteer puppy raiser for Guide Dogs for the Blind and has raised over eleven puppies. In her spare time she enjoys reading, writing fiction, hiking, spending time with friends and
family and her dog, Chappelle. Kelsey is enthusiastic about starting her career at NEAT.