N.E.A.T. staff is supervised by a Licensed Marriage and Family Counselor/Licensed Drug and Alcohol Counselor.
N.E.A.T. co-founder Bambi Spahr is a Nevada Medicaid Qualified Mental Health Associate (QMHA) and a lifelong horsewoman experienced and trained in both Western and English riding disciplines. 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 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.
Kendra is a Northern Nevada native whose upbringing in a rural area inspired a lifelong love of horses. This love of horses and the resiliency she learned from them at an early age, has driven her passion for Equine Assisted Therapy. She enjoys helping a variety of people including those who live within the poverty demographic, foster children, cancer survivors, and trauma victims. Kendra attended UNR where she received her Bachelors degree in Human Development and Family Studies and plans on returning to complete the Marriage and Family Therapy program there. While at UNR, she focused her studies on resilience building and adolescence, equipped with the knowledge that this life stage is most influential due to the significance it plays on the entire lifespan and the impact it plays on someone’s future, Kendra also works at the Eddy House, a shelter for homeless adolescents ages 18-24, continuing her passion in helping make a difference in the lives of Northern Nevada’s youth and the community at large.