​​​Kristen has been working with both children and horses for most of her life. She began her equestrian journey learning English style riding, taking hunter/jumper lessons on her beloved lesson horse Profit. For the last three years, she has been learning western style, focusing on western pleasure. Kristen has worked in special needs for many years. She has her degree in Early Childhood Education, with an emphasis in special education. She has worked in the field extensively, not only in the classroom but in many other settings as well. She also knows American Sign Language. She had been a volunteer with Dream Catcher of L.A. for many years before becoming an instructor and loves being able to bring her two passions together every day.

Rachael McCaskill 

PATH International Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor

Rachael started her career at the age of 8 years old when she successfully showed her pony on the hunter/jumper circuit. At the age of 14, Rachael purchased an off the track thoroughbred and began the arduous job of training the horse. Confident that she could ride and school challenging horses, she was hired at a facility in Hidden Valley where she served as Barn Manager, Head Trainer for the Hunter/EQ/Jumpers and Assistant Dressage Trainer. Rachael received extensive formal training with Louise Koch. In Rachael’s own training program, students have enjoyed success throughout the years. She is excited to move into the therapeutic riding and training arena where she can continue to focus on rider fulfillment and success. 

Nicole Cook

PATH, Professional Clinical Counselor, Equine Assisted Psychotherapist


​​PATH, International Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor


Kristen Spendlove
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Joan Blank

Founder, Executive Director, PATH, International Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning, EAGALA Certified, M.A.

Joan built her business expertise in the Fashion Industry working as a designer, merchandiser, salesperson and owner. She traveled extensively to major domestic and international markets, bringing back new and innovative ideas.  Joan received a Master’s Degree from N.Y.U. including a minor in psychology and a teaching certificate. After 25 years of a successful career, she returned to school to study Equine Management at Pierce College. While volunteering at a Therapeutic Riding Center, Joan found her passion. Seeing there was more of need in the Long Beach and the Los Angeles areas, Joan decided to launch Dream Catcher LA.

​​PATH, International Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor

Nicole Cook grew up in Virginia having horses in her backyard and riding bareback. She then rode English and jumped courses at The Madeira School and at the College of William and Mary. Moving to Santa Fe after college she fell in love with living and trail riding in rural New Mexico on Spanish Mustangs. Nicole has been a PATH-certified instructor since 2010. She takes a gentle and holistic approach to teaching and believes horses can dramatically improve quality of life for people. She also knows how much riding can transform pain and heal mind, body and heart.