Our Staff

  • Name: Fern Goodman (Bonchek)
  • Type of Therapeutic Riding Certification: PATH Intl. Advanced Instructor
  • Position: Executive Director
  • Email: fern@nullpalstherapy.org
  • Phone: (812) 336-2798 ext. 12
  • The person at PALS that has seen it all and been there from the beginning is Fern, the Executive Director and Founder. Before she started PALS, she obtained a B.A. degree in Psychology with a specialization in Human & Animal Interactions and worked at other therapeutic riding centers from California to New York since 1995. Fern started PALS because she wanted to bring her experience in therapeutic riding back home to Indiana. Fern served as the chair of the Higher Education Committee of Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) from 2004 – 2006, is a PATH Intl. Registered On-Site Workshop/Certification Associate Evaluator, an adjunct instructor at Indiana University School of Public Health (formally HPER) and a 2010 graduate of Leadership Bloomington-Monroe County (LBMC). Fern’s life isn’t all work, she enjoys hiking, rock climbing, camping, and of course riding her horse “Sunny”.
  • Name: Annie Cornett, MS, CTRS
  • Type of Therapeutic Riding Certification: PATH Intl. Registered Instructor
  • Position: Assistant Director
  • Email: annie@nullpalstherapy.org
  • Phone: (812) 336-2798 ext. 13
  • Annie was first introduced to therapeutic riding when she began volunteering at PALS in 2005 as a sidewalker, horse leader, and barn manager. The passion she developed for the field only grew as she spent more and more time with the program, and in 2009 she became a PATH Intl. Registered Instructor. She is a two-time graduate of Indiana University, most recently completing her Masters of Science in Recreation, with a concentration in Therapeutic Recreation. She received her professional certification as a Certified Therapeutic Recreation Specialist (CTRS) from the National Council for Therapeutic Recreation Certification in 2011. Annie was recently named one of Bloomington’s “10 Under 40″ award recipients for her work in our community. Check out her video from the award presentation here! In addition to her time at PALS, Annie enjoys showing her 6 year old OTTB Bubba, running, walking her dog, and reading.
Kara Square
  • Name: Kara Szabo
  • Position: Head Instructor
  • Type of Therapeutic Riding Certification: PATH Intl. Registered Instructor
  • Email: kara@nullpalstherapy.org
  • Phone: (812) 336-2798 ext. 14
  • Kara was first introduced to therapeutic riding in 1994 when she began taking dressage lessons from then, para-equestrian coach, Linda Fristch. She has been a volunteer at PALS since 2005, as a side walker, horse leader, and barn manager. Her work at PALS inspired Kara to remain at Indiana University and change her major from marine biology to therapeutic recreation. She has an A.A. in Liberal Arts from Ivy Tech University, and hopes to continue her education at IU. Kara also plans to become a PATH Intl Registered Instructor. Kara has experience as a barn manager since 2007, and has worked as a veterinarian assistant at Farmstead Veterinary Services PC since 2008. In her down time Kara enjoys riding her two horse Tee and Gracie, kayaking and snowboarding.
  • Name: Jennylynn Vidas
  • Position: Community Outreach Coordinator
  • Email: jennylynn@nullpalstherapy.org
  • Phone: (812) 336-2798 ext. 15
  •  As a recent graduate of Indiana University, Jennylynn is excited to join the PALS team as the new Community Outreach Coordinator. Having completed a Masters in Music from the Jacobs School of Music and a Masters in Non-profit Arts Management with SPEA, she is ready to jump right in and start working with all of you! Jennylynn loves animals, engaging with the community, and planning fun events so this new challenge is right up her alley. She looks forward to getting to know all of the current volunteers, and becoming part of the PALS family!


Lindsay Y Final
  • Name: Lindsay Yohn
  • Position: Facility Manager
  • Email: lyohn@nullpalstherapy.org
  • Phone: (812) 336-2798 ext. 16
  • Lindsay graduated from Indiana University with a degree in Entrepreneurship in 2014. She is from the DC area but has called Bloomington home for years. Lindsay has been riding horses since 2000, starting in Maryland where she was a working student for a riding academy and training in English disciplines. Since 2010, she has been involved in rescuing and training all types of horses and is particularly passionate about giving horses a second chance after coming off the track or surviving difficult situations. Lindsay is excited to be a part of an organization that is doing such wonderful things for the entire community!
  • Name: Deirdre Stanton
  • Type of Therapeutic Riding Certification: PATH Intl. Registered Instructor
  • Position: Program Coordinator
  • Email: deirdre@nullpalstherapy.org
  • Phone: (812) 336-2798 ext. 17
  • Originally from the Chicago area, Deirdre currently resides in Bloomington, IN.  There, Deirdre has practiced Behavior Consultation for the past two years, having been a Behavior Consultant since 1998. Deirdre graduated from Roosevelt University, Chicago, IL where she received her Master’s degree in Psychology and Behavior.  Deirdre specializes in human/animal interactions and has been a certified PATH, Intl therapeutic riding instructor since 2003.  She has been a Certified Equine Interaction Professional-Mental Health (CEIP-MH) since 2009.


 Lindsay FINAL
  • Name: Lindsay Nash
  • Position: Development Associate
  • Email: lindsay@nullpalstherapy.org
  • Phone: (812) 336-2798 ext. 18
  • Lindsay is a recent graduate of Indiana University’s Master’s in Public Affairs program and one of the newest members of the PALS team. She is a recently-converted Bloomington citizen with roots in Northwest Indiana and Chicago. Lindsay enjoys planning events, engaging with new people and remaining active in the community. While you won’t see her riding horses due to her dreadful allergies, she has a friend in Dottie, the PALS lamb. She looks forward to growing with the organization and getting to know all of the amazing people (and animals, of course) at PALS! In her spare time, you will find her playing her guitar, exploring culinary interests or pursuing crafty, artistic endeavors.
Cindy - Final
  • Name: Cindy Linsenbardt
  • Type of Therapeutic Riding Certification: PATH Intl. Registered Instructor
  • Position: Instructor
  • Email: cindy@nullpalstherapy.org
  • Phone: (812) 336-2798 ext. 11
  • Growing up Cindy developed her love of horses through riding lessons, 4-H, and by leasing a horse. Cindy attended the University of California at Davis where she graduated in 2007 with a BA in Studio Art and Minors in Equine Science and Spanish, and completed a Foal Management Internship at the Animal Science Horse Barn. In addition Cindy holds a Certificate of Experiential Teaching as well as a Certificate of Entrepreneurship from the Keller Graduate School of Management at DeVry University. After volunteering at several therapeutic riding programs in Illinois, Cindy became a Certified PATH Registered Level Therapeutic Horseback Riding Instructor in 2012. When she and her husband moved to Bloomington, Indiana, she immediately started volunteering at PALS, and the rest is history! In her free time Cindy enjoys training her horse Zella, being outdoors, doing gymnastics, reading, writing and traveling.
 Picture on the Horizon
  • Name: Barb Bonchek
  • Type of Therapeutic Riding Certification: PATH Intl. Registered Instructor
  • Position: Volunteer Instructor
  • Email: bbonchek@nullgmail.com
  • Phone: (812) 336-2798 ext. 11
  • Therapeutic equine activities have been of interest of Barb’s for a long time and she has been a part of PALS from the beginning. She developed her knowledge and love of horses throughout the years with her horses as she has done dressage, eventing, jumping, trail riding, and natural horsemanship. Barb and her husband, Steve, founded Harmony School in Bloomington in 1974 where she has worked since that time. Barb and Steve own a farm in Greene County where she spends her time working with her horses, gardening, enjoying nature, keeping up with the farm, and doing her Dizzy Art projects. Her fondest memory was when she saw one of her PALS clients trot off lead for the first time and she especially loves working with clients who are able to develop as independent riders. In the future, Barb would love to see PALS continue to grow with it’s new facility, teach sessions and volunteer in any way that is needed.


  • Name: Holly Foster
  • Type of Therapeutic Riding Certification: PATH Intl. Registered Instructor
  • Position: Instructor
  • Email: holly@nullpalstherapy.org
  • Phone: (812) 336-2798 ext. 11
  • For at least 50 years, Holly has had horses in her life and has ridden different styles. She has trained in English and Western riding, and is currently training in natural horsemanship. She is a graduate of Indiana University with a Masters Degree in Special Education. After graduation, Holly worked for the North Lawrence County Schools as a Special Education Resource Teacher. She served children with many disabilities in grades K-6 for 34 years and has recently retired. Holly began volunteering at PALS as a horse leader when they were first established in 2000. Now as a retired teacher, she has chosen to stay involved by combining her special education background and all that her past experiences have taught her with her lifelong commitment to horses.


  • Name: Erin Stottlemyer
  • Position: Indiana University Advocate for Community Engagement (ACE)
  • E-mail: erinstot@nullumail.iu.edu
  • Phone: (765) 639-2589
  • Erin works as our ACE (Advocate for Community Engagement) through Indiana University and is currently attending Indiana University. She is passionate and excited to engage IU students in volunteerism within the community of Bloomington. More specifically she is excited to introduce students to PALS and everything PALS has to offer, not only the riders, but also each volunteer. Erin has worked for two at-risk youth programs in Atlanta, GA. She worked as a program developer and counselor for SAY Yes! After School program and as the Associate Director for Urban Perform non-profit gym. She loves getting to assist people in over-coming obstacles and in reaching their goals. Erin loves anything outdoors, spending time with her dog, cooking really good vegan food, traveling and biking
Barn Assistants

  • Tiffanie Wright
  • Taylor Chasteen
  • Cody Testerman

*** All PALS instructors are PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructors or are supervised by a PATH Intl. Certified Instructor at all times.



Email Login© 2012 People & Animal Learning Services (PALS)
Website Design - Josh & Adam