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 Partners Therapeutic Horsemanship Staff

 
Karen, Executive Director, Partners TH

Karen Crampton

Executive Director

PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor

Karen is a co-founder and Executive Director of Partners Therapeutic Horsemanship. She became a PATH certified therapeutic riding instructor in 2001 after obtaining a degree from SDSU and a 25-year career in Graphic Design.  She also owns and runs a commercial and residential property family enterprise. She has ridden for over 35 years in various disciplines, including dressage, jumping, trail, and polo. A former Helix High School band mom/board president, she has two grown, married children, and four grandchildren.  

Laura B, Assistant Program Manager

Laura Barton

Program Manager

PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor

 

Laura was raised in Ohio riding hunter/jumper and currently enjoys trail riding. She holds an economics degree from Macalester College in St. Paul, MN, and a law degree from UVA in Charlottesville, VA. After practicing law for ten years, she raised four kids and became a CASA (court-appointed special advocate for foster youth) volunteer. She began volunteering at a therapeutic riding facility in Bonita in 2013 and in 2015, mentored with Karen Crampton and became a PATH Certified Instructor with Partners. She is always looking for more ways to help the program, and to continue working with challenged individuals.  

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Bobbi Buettgenbach

Business Manager

Equine Manager

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Bobbi, originally from the Minneapolis area, and a graduate of the University of Minnesota, retired after 35 years of intensive care nursing with VA Hospitals, in Chicago, Minneapolis, and San Diego.  She held administrative responsibilities for much of that time. Bobbi is a former competitor on the A show hunter/jumper circuit and has been involved with therapeutic riding since 2002. She is one of the original staff of Partners, and was Partners' Volunteer of the Year for 2014.

Bobbi is a past president of the Lakeside Chamber of Commerce. She has a dog named Gracie.

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Emily Pierce

Program Coordinator

PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor

Emily is a native of San Diego and is a PATH CTRI . She started riding at the age of ten and spent many years exploring San Diego’s trails on horseback. She graduated Magna Cum Laude from San Diego State University in 2016 with a degree in education and a specialty in mathematics. Emily has numerous years of experience in the special needs’ community. Working with Partners has given Emily the unique opportunity to combine her passion for teaching and her love of horses. 

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Patti Brasher

PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor

Patti holds a BA in Child Development from Point Loma Nazarene University. After working for 10 years in early childhood education, Patti spent another 10 years working within the foster care system. An avid animal lover, Patti gave up on her dream of working with horses as a young girl believing it was out of reach, but returned to her love of horses more than 30 years later when her oldest children began riding lessons. Patti and her family now own two horses, Zelly and Breeze, and cannot imagine life without them. Patti is a PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor. She is passionate about  biomechanics, relational horsemanship, and understanding communication between horses and humans. 

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Samantha Schmidt

Riding Instructor         

Sam has been a rider as well as a competitive swimmer since age ten. She attended San Diego State University where she studied Physical Therapy and will begin graduate-level physical therapy work in fall 2024. Sam hopes to specialize in hippotherapy, combining her passions of caring for both horses and people. When Sam is not at Partners, she is growing her knowledge in hippotherapy by volunteering at The Shea Center in Orange County. She is thrilled to be instructing at PTH, knowing that she is surrounded by fellow instructors and students who share the same love for bringing horses and people together

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Valya Marr

Program Assistant

Instructor in Training

Valya grew up in Maryland, and moved to San Diego for her undergraduate studies at SDSU. She recently graduated in 2023 with a degree in Psychology and a minor in Interdisciplinary Studies. Valya grew up working with horses from a young age, and competed over-fences as a part of the Interscholastic Equestrian Association (IEA) as she got older. She mainly rode hunter/jumpers, but also has experience with cross-country, dressage, and trail riding. When she is not at Partners, she is a behavioral class aide for the San Diego Unified and Lemon Grove School district, and is a research assistant for a SDSU psychology research lab. She plans to pursue a graduate education and conduct her own research on the relationship between horses and humans. 

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