INSTRUCTORS

Jen Dermody, Advanced Instructor
Jen@manestreamnj.org
     Jen Dermody is a PATH Intl Certified Advanced Instructor.   specializes in teaching riders that are independent in their willingness to learn and she strives to get the most out of her riders while developing their skills.  Jen spends much of her free time riding and showing her own horses.   She has had success showing in the Adult Hunters, Adult Equitation, and Amateur Owner Hunters.  She utilizes what she learns from her own experiences and adapts that to help her riders reach their goals and become as independent as possible. 

Melanie Dominko-Richards, Registered Instructor
Melanie@manestreamnj.org
     Melanie is a PATH Intl. Registered Instructor. She graduated from Seton Hall University in 2011 with a B.S. in Education and in 2013 with an M.S in Speech-Language Pathology. She became an instructor in February 2013. Due to her background in special education and speech-language pathology, Melanie enjoys working with participants who are non-verbal, participants who wish to work on social skills, and participants who are just beginning to learn how to ride. Melanie has been involved with Mane Stream for close to 17 years, starting out as a camper and then as a volunteer. Melanie has been riding for 15 years; her main discipline is hunter/jumpers, however she has dabbled in dressage and western. Melanie enjoys all aspects of the horse industry, whether it is working horse shows in the area, volunteering at events held at the United States Equestrian Team, or attending horse expos throughout the country. When not at Mane Stream, Melanie enjoys going to concerts, traveling to other states, and taking Arnold the corgi for long walks in the Cold Brook Preserve!

Casey Donovan, Registered Instructor
Casey@manestreamnj.org
     Casey is a PATH Intl. Certified instructor and teaches lessons for the adaptive riding program. Casey grew up riding horses, owning her own for over 10 years. Her riding is primarily Hunter-Jumper based, but she has a background in basic dressage and western riding as well. Casey worked at a therapeutic horseback riding program on Long Island for many years teaching lessons, doing summer camp, and aided in other programs, such as work study and at-risk youth programs. She graduated from Delaware Valley College with a BS in General Science for Secondary Education. Casey has both a PA and NJ teaching certificate and currently works as a behavioral support staff member.

Holland Kochanski, Registered Instructor
Holland@manestreamnj.org
     Holland Kochanski is the Camp Director, Barn Manager, and a PATH Registered Instructor.  Holland joined Mane Stream in 2009 as the Camp Counselor, and worked as barn staff and as the Program Assistant before becoming Barn Manager in 2011.  Holland holds a Bachelor of Arts in Sociology: Law, Criminology and Deviance from the University of Minnesota, and has been a PATH Registered instructor since 2006.  Holland earned her Registered Instructor Certification through her work with Octavia Brown's Therapeutic Riding At Centenary (TRAC) program.
     Holland's first professional role in this field was with an Adaptive Riding and Equine Assisted Therapy organization in Minnesota.  During her time there, she taught approximately 10 adaptive riding group lessons each week and worked as the Special Projects Coordinator for the organization.  Because of a unique arrangement at the organization, she was able to apply her college degree as she worked with a group of volunteers who were non-violent residents at a youth correctional facility.  The residents earned the opportunity to volunteer with the organization.
     Holland was born and raised in New Jersey, and enjoys spending time with her family.  She and her husband live in Somerville.

Ruth Nortje, Registered Instructor
Ruth@manestreaminc.org
Ruth provides physical therapy at Mane Stream on Tuesdays and Fridays and is a PATH Intl. Registered Instructor.

Gina Taylor, Advanced Instructor
Gina@manestreaminc.org
     Gina Taylor is a lifelong equestrian.  She participated in 4-H and a local riding program assisting children with special needs in middle and high school.  She graduated from Averett University with a Bachelor of Science in Equine Studies.  Gina is a PATH Advanced Riding instructor, Vaulting and Driving instructor.  Gina enjoys working with students who love horses and show an interest in learning new skills.  Carriage driving was introduced to Gina at Mane Stream.  She is a PATH certified Driving Instructor and likes driving miniature horses the best.  Gina’s favorite equestrian activity is vaulting.  Vaulting is gymnastics on horseback and allows students to learn about caring for the horse, practice gymnastic moves on a vaulting barrel and then work in singles, pairs or groups on the horse.  Vaulting can be choreographed into a group routine that highlights each individual students’ skills.   Gina enjoys seeing all students enjoy the benefits that horses can offer.