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 is a PATH Intl Registered Instructor, 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: Abi Yates
  • Position: Outreach Coordinator
  • Email: abi@nullpalstherapy.org
  • Phone: (812) 336-2798 ext. 15
  •  Abi is a 2015 graduate from Indiana University with a degree in Telecommunications. Her dedication to helping others, community outreach, and event planning led her to PALS where her passion for non-profits can continue to grow. In her spare time Abi loves to cook, participate in winter sports, and cuddle with her cat!


Ben Final
  • Name: Ben Slinkard
  • Position: Facility Manager
  • Email: ben@nullpalstherapy.org
  • Phone: (812) 336-2798 ext. 16
  • Ben has owned horses his entire life and has been riding since age four. He was introduced to PALS in 2008 when he became a volunteer, he volunteered for two years as a leader and side walker, then continued another three years as a Stable Manager. Ben is excited to be a part of the PALS team as Facility Manager. He enjoys spending time with friends and family, traveling, and the outdoors.
 Lindsay FINAL
  • Name: Lindsay Nash
  • Position: Development Associate
  • Email: lindsay@nullpalstherapy.org
  • Phone: (812) 336-2798 ext. 18
  • Lindsay is a graduate of Indiana University’s Master’s in Public Affairs program and has her Bachelor’s from Loyola University Chicago. She is a recently-converted Bloomington resident with roots in Northwest Indiana. Lindsay enjoys being a part of the PALS team, engaging with new people and remaining involved in the community. She is new to riding horses due to her dreadful allergies, but has found a friend in PALS therapy horse, Tux. In her spare time, you will find her playing her guitar, exploring culinary interests or pursuing 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.
  • 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: Joshua Apanavicius
  • Position: Indiana University Advocate for Community Engagement (ACE)
  • E-mail: japanavi@nullumail.iu.edu
  • Phone: (765) 635-5123
  • Josh is a student at Indiana University studying Biochemistry and Physics in hopes of one day becoming a physician so he can change the lives of others. In his free time Josh likes to work on his car, ride bicycles, and read poetry. Some of his favorite poets are Edgar Allan Poe and Pablo Neruda. He is super excited to be at PALS and learn as much as he can from all of the wonderful people here.
Barn Assistants

  • Tiffanie Wright
  • Taylor Chasteen
  • Lillian Hogan
  • 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