Therapy In Motion opened its doors in 2015 to continue the work of Bob and Timi Burmood, who ran S.A.M.S. Riders for over 25 years. (Please see more about them under our "History" page.) The focus was initially on continuing the beneficial therapeutic horseback riding services that were already being provided, but quickly expanded to include clinic-based occupational therapy, occupational therapy incorporating a horse's movement, and most recently, certified lactation counseling. With an eclectic range of services to offer, we are dedicated to supporting development throughout the lifespan.
Here you can get to know a little bit about our wonderful staff and volunteers, both two- and four-legged! We could not provide these amazing services without our dedicated team of volunteers and equine staff. Horses in general have a special place in our hearts, but therapy horses take it to a whole different level...they have something extra special! They must be solid citizens, good riders, have a heart of gold, patience in spades, and fight their natural instinct to spook when frightened. Therapy horses are exposed to strange therapy tools, unbalanced riders, emotional outbursts, and much more. Not only do they expertly handle all of these issues, they do it with a sense of acceptance, understanding, and love that cannot be taught. Our horses have the most incredible and unique personalities. Please read a bit about each one below.
If you would like to see your smiling face on this page, please do not hesitate to contact us. We are always looking for dedicated volunteers!
MS, OTR/L, CLC
TRISH "MADDIE" PAJAK
Lynnette is an Occupational Therapist (OT), who specializes in integrating the use of equine movement into treatment (hippotherapy). She is also a Certified Lactation Counselor (CLC). She was born and raised in Bozeman, Montana and grew up with an avid interest in horses. She moved to California to attend San Jose State University, specifically for their exceptional occupational therapy program. During her time there, she volunteered with a hippotherapy program in Woodside, CA and gained further experience in how to combine the use of a horse with traditional therapy services. In 2013, she returned to Montana after receiving her Master of Science degree in occupational therapy. Immediately, she began volunteering for S.A.M.S. and fell in love with it. The owners, Bob and Timi Burmood, had been hoping to retire, and after getting to know Lynnette, decided that she was the right fit to fill their shoes. Lynnette is now running Therapy In Motion, which allows Bob and Timi’s legacy to live on. Prior to opening her own practice, Lynnette worked at Whitefish Therapy and North Valley Hospital and has experience with individuals of all ages with a wide variety of challenges.
FORMER EQUINE STAFF
Snickers is a 23-year old trail horse, and if you can't tell...she's kind of a goofball. She has had goats as company for the past couple of years (maybe that went to her head). We're pretty sure they loved her a LOT more than she liked them. She seems quite pleased to be around creatures of her own kind now. She was a little nervous about being in an indoor arena, but has decided that it's not so terrifying after all. She's started working with both OT and adaptive riding clients and doesn't seem bothered by any of the strange positions we put the kids in while on her back. She is being leased from the lovely Brooke Walker!
PATH INTL. CERTIFIED EQUINE SPECIALIST IN MENTAL HEALTH AND LEARNING
Maddie has had an interest in horses since she was little. She was born and raised in Montana, but moved to New Jersey during her teenage years. While in NJ, she ended up working at Rocking Horse Rehab, wearing many hats (equine trainer/handler, office manager, and instructor, just to name a few). This is where she developed a love and understanding for equine assisted therapies and activities. As much as she loved this job, the mountains kept calling her name. She eventually returned home, immersing herself in all that nature had to offer. She is an avid outdoorswoman and feels most at peace in nature and when working with horses. She began to miss being able to help people heal through the power of horses. She began volunteering with Therapy In Motion and quickly became an integral part of the team, donating more time and expertise than humanly possible. She became exactly what the program needed and has since been hired on as a full-time equine specialist. She has a deep love and compassion for horses and her training style reflects this. She uses primarily positive reinforcement and liberty work, which has brought out the very best in our horses. She ensures that our horses are happy, healthy, and enjoy their job. She also provides adaptive riding lessons in collaboration with our OT to give our clients the best possible experience.
Angel is a 17 year old Haflinger. She is short and curvaceous and has a tremendous amount of multidirectional movement, which has proven incredibly beneficial to our clients with sensory issues. She is quite inquisitive about everything in her surroundings and took to the lifestyle of a therapy horse very quickly. She has been our "rockstar" therapy horse for the past 4 years now and consistently takes on the most challenging clients with the grace and understanding of her namesake, an angel. She has carried our program single-handedly at times, but we are happy to announce that she's got some friends who have joined the ranks and a couple more who are in their final phases of training.
FORMER EQUINE STAFF
"Private Andrew Malone" is a 17 year old Appendix. He is a retired three-day eventing horse. Due to a thickening of his tendon sheath in his left front leg, he can't quite keep up with the strenuous requirements of eventing, but actually benefits from the consistency of working with us and our slightly less demanding physical requirements. He has worked very smoothly into our program and seems to enjoy being back to work. He primarily works with our adaptive riding clients, as he has skills to challenge them and is quite tall (which makes it challenging for clients with mobility limitations that require significant support). We lease him from the kind folks at Ashley Creek Stables!