Lynne Howarth, Executive Director
Lynne joined Medicine Horse in the year 2000, and has been the Executive Director since 2002. She is an experienced horsewoman and is certified in equine sports massage therapy. Along with the herd, she is the heart and vision of the organization. When not at Medicine Horse, Lynne loves to hike with her dogs, ride her bike or just enjoy exploring the outdoors with her family.
“What inspires me about Medicine Horse is the gentleness and spirit of horses helping to guide young lives to a better future. Our horse partners never cease to inspire me to be a better person.”
Fun fact: Lynne used to be part of a horse drill team.
Lesya Krasnikova, Development and Administrative Support
An opportunity to serve an AmeriCorps term at Medicine Horse Center (completed in October 2019) is what brought Lesya and her family to the Mancos Valley. She has been tasked with the establishment of a therapy garden at the Center and integration of nutritional and horticultural learning into our programming. You will frequently find her outside working on the garden space. After completing her term, Lesya had transitioned to a staff position sharing capacity building, grant writing, social media and volunteer management responsibilities with the Executive Director, Lynne Howarth.
She is thrilled to be part of this organization and the garden project. When not at the Center, you will find Lesya crafting leather goods.
What inspires you about MHC? – “Medicine Horse Center introduced me to an alternative and much deeper view of connection and what it means being aware. Observing the moments of transformation with our clients, our mission comes to life. It is also the philosophy and vision behind the type of relationship we nurture between a human and a horse – it inspires me daily. There has also been a professional goal to work for a non-profit organization in a small rural community, Medicine Horse Center and its team have become more than I could have asked for.
Fun fact: Lesya loves dancing, swimming in the Black Sea, and smelling soup as it is being cooked.
Zoe Coleman, Lead Facilitator
Zoe moved to Mancos as an AmeriCorps in 2017, and quickly fell in love with the diverse landscape and community. After teaching in elementary schools, Zoe joined the Medicine Horse team as a facilitator and equine specialist in order to support a more holistic sense of wellness between individuals, nature, and one another in our community. Zoe is deeply inspired by the work of Medicine Horse that helps individuals find deeper awareness, build healthy relationships, and learn to respect and trust themselves in life. Having loved horses since childhood, Zoe is grateful for the opportunity to work with and ride the 6 beautiful horses in the herd every day. In her free time, Zoe loves adventuring in the wilderness, working with clay, dancing, and spending time in the sunshine.
Fun fact: Zoe has been a competitive ultimate frisbee player for the past 10 years and would be happy to throw one anytime. She also loves wearing her bright blue Crocs.
Mia Carrasco-Songer, Facilitator
Mia has been in the Four Corners area for the past 8 years working on community, relationships, and healing work. For several years she worked on a farm and managed a community garden in Durango. For the past few years, she has been working in wilderness therapy. Mia comes to Medicine Horse with a respect for the way that nature and our fellow animals help us see things about ourselves that we are very good at hiding – even from ourselves. In her personal life she loves to explore rivers, go mountain biking, grow and cook food, and dance.
Robin Wolthausen, Facilitator
Robin has loved the mix of being with people and nature since he was a little person. He grew up playing in the ancient forests of California and riding horses as a child. Robin has worked in the wilderness therapy industry for over 12 years, helping thousands of clients and families of all backgrounds to heal, become whole, find their passions, and actualize themselves. He has also worked in food service, cooking, nature education, natural house building, construction, and as an outdoor recreation guide for NOLS and others. He believes in everyone doing their part to make the world a better place. One day he wants to horse pack from Mancos to the Pacific Ocean. He is certified as a Wilderness First Responder, in crises de-escalation, and in post-traumatic growth somatic therapy and is currently a candidate for a masters of social work. In his free time, he likes to cook ancestral food, help seeds grow, make beauty with his hands, and to be with and learn from people and nature.
Karen Finch, LPC
Karen Finch has been a Licensed Professional Counselor and a K-12 School Counselor for the past 25 years. An outdoor educator, Ropes Course Instructor, author, and avid adventurer, Karen has successfully integrated experiential education into her counseling practice.
Specializing in Trauma Informed Care and behavior management strategies, Karen has facilitated over 100 trainings to local and state agencies on a variety of topics.
Recently retired from the schools, Karen has trained with the Natural Lifemanship Institute on delivering trauma informed equine-assisted therapy. She has been using this lifetime of experience helping local youth and agencies at Medicine Horse Center since December 2018.
“What inspires me about Medicine Horse is the connections clients make with the horses, and themselves, in such a short time. I think that saying is true that the best therapist has fur and four legs.”
Karen leads Professional and Personal Development trainings for the Center.
Fun fact: Karen used to have a therapy dog, Stickeen, that went to school with her.
Moses the therapy dog
Moses is a Black Labrador Retriever in training to become a therapy dog at the Center. He frequently joins us for group sessions and gives a warm welcome to everyone he meets.