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Christi king

executive director


Christi grew up in Boise, Idaho and fell in love with horses at the age of four. As a Boise native, she was involved with the equine 4-H community for ten years. Christi graduated from Warner Pacific College in Portland, Oregon with a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology and earned a Masters Degree in Public Administration at Boise State University in 2019. Christi became a PATH Intl. Certified Instructor in December 2014. Throughout her life, she has had a passion for helping people and caring for horses. With Ride for Joy, she does both.

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heather miner

Program Manager


Heather grew up in the Treasure Valley riding and playing a variety of sports. She spent a year studying Equine Management in Kentucky before returning home, eventually graduating with degrees in Liberal Studies (B.A.) and Community Counseling (M.S.) from Northwest Nazarene University.

She spent several years working at counseling agencies and the State of Idaho, earning her status as a Licensed Clinical Professional Counselor (LCPC) along the way.  Heather worked as a mental health professional in the EAGALA model for a year and was a Lead Facilitator at a challenge course for two years.  Her work generally focused on struggling youth but she also had the opportunity to work with adults and veterans in multiple settings.

Heather joined the RFJ team in 2016 as the Equine Assistant but was quickly promoted when the Program Manager position became available.  She hopes to use her extensive mental health and experiential therapy experience to add a mental health track to the programming at RFJ.  She became a Certified Instructor with PATH Intl. in 2018.

Riding continues to bring joy to Heather’s life. She performs in and coaches drill teams, provides private riding lessons often focused on bareback and bridleless skills, and has recently returned to English riding in the hopes of teaching her horse to jump.

Heather lives in New Plymouth with her husband, Travis, who is also an avid rider.  They recently added a daughter to their family who they hope will grow to love the menagerie of pets on their mini country farm.

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Lauren Zimmerman

Fundraising Coordinator


Lauren started volunteering with Ride For Joy in 2009 as a side walker, horse leader, and also helped on special donation projects. In 2013, she was offered a staff position as Assistant Equine Manager and began handling more of the RFJ operations as the Volunteer and Office Assistant.  In April 2016, she assumed the position of Volunteer Manager and then transitioned to Fundraising Coordinator in 2018. Lauren is currently working to become an Instructor-in-Training.  

Lauren grew up on a farm and began riding horses before she could walk. She has experience in rodeo competitions, drill team, and field trials. For two years, Lauren worked with kids with Dravet syndrome, autism and other disorders through a developmental therapy program in Meridian.

She is very committed to serving at Ride for Joy and recently added Instructor-in-Training to her list of titles.


Brandi Horsley-Krajnik

equine manager


Brandi joined Ride for Joy in 2017 after being courted for the position for almost a year.  She stepped into her new role with ease and is a beloved face at the barn.

Brandi comes to Ride for Joy with a wealth of equine experience.  She spent her youth riding in the EhCapa Bareback Riders and competing in rodeo queen contests, holding the title of Caldwell Night Rodeo Queen in 1995.

Since 2002, Brandi has been instructing the riders of EhCapa, using her exceptional knowledge to continue a 60 plus year tradition of teaching youth horsemanship skills and entertaining audiences throughout the Northwest.

Brandi has been a member of the Snake River Stampeders Night Light Drill Team off and on since its inception in 1997, riding with the team at both the National Finals Rodeo in Las Vegas and the Olympics in Salt Lake City.  She became the Assistant Drill Instructor in 2017.

Additionally, Brandi is an Accredited Instructor and Trainer through the Richard Shrake Resistance Free Riding and Training Method.

Brandi lives in Nampa with her husband, Ben, helping to manage the Krajnik family farm, which boasts a variety of crops as well as cattle.  Ben’s son has three children, making Brandi a very young but doting grandma.  Brandi’s adult daughter is pursuing her future.

In her limited spare time, Brandi enjoys being active in the Nampa Historical Society, pottery, beading, old western movies, country swing dancing, watching Ben rope, and collecting red, white and blue items.

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Sandy James-Sherman


PATH intl. certified instructor

Sandy began riding horses through Pony Club at age 15.  Around that time, she started volunteering for a therapeutic riding program in Southern California. 

In 2004, Sandy obtained her certification as a Registered Instructor with PATH Intl. She joined Ride for Joy in 2014, bringing years of experience at two other therapeutic riding facilities.

Her educational background is in Recreational Therapy and she likes to practice what she preaches through a dedication to health and recreation.  Sandy enjoys cooking, hiking, snowboarding, gardening, camping, triathlons, and, of course, riding.


bailey garner

Volunteer coordinator


Bailey began volunteering with Ride for Joy in 2015 as part of a senior project. The fit was immediate and she stayed on, enjoying all aspects of the volunteer process, while also hoping for an opportunity to make it a career. When the job of Volunteer Coordinator opened, she jumped at the chance to join the staff in 2019.

Outside of Ride for Joy, you can probably find Bailey working at the Village or spending quality time with her family and friends. For fun, she rides three day eventing, stadium jumping, and cross country.

Bailey is very excited I am to join the Ride for Joy team and work with all the staff, students, and amazing volunteers.


Natalie Sheffer

Path intl. certified therapeutic riding instructor

Natalie was born in Aurora, Colorado and has always loved animals. In her younger years, she played soccer and sang in the choir throughout middle school, then became a part of the swim team in high school.

Natalie found her passion for therapeutic riding when she was 16 and began as a volunteer for a center in Parker, Colorado. After discovering this passion, she attended Rocky Mountain College where she completed a Bachelors of Science in Equestrian Studies with a concentration in Therapeutic Riding and minors in Psychology and Business Management in December of 2017.

While attending college, she began showing in Western Equitation classes for the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association, where she won several region classes and attended Semi-Final Shows. Natalie enjoys training young horses and jumping.


KristyLee Ricketts

Equine Assistant


Kristylee grew up on the Big Island of Hawaii until moving to the mountains of western North Carolina in high school. Since graduating from Western Carolina University with a B.S. in Recreational Therapy, she has moved all around the US, with her favorite and longest-term stint being in Alaska. She moved to Idaho in November 2017 and found RFJ just a couple months later in February of 2018. She has loved it so much that she has no plan of moving again anytime soon!

Kristylee grew up with all sorts of animals and has been riding since she can remember. As much as she has always loved horses, it wasn't until her high school senior community service hours at a therapeutic riding stables that she knew she needed to work with animals and children permanently. During her first two hours at the stable, she got to witness an eight year old boy on the autism spectrum get on his horse and say the first word his mom had ever heard. “Fun!" he said.

Between her experiences working with kids with emotional and behavioral disabilities, her passion for seeing joy awakened in their hearts, and having a history with and respect for those who serve in our armed forces, Kristylee is thrilled to be a part of the RFJ family that reflects all three.  And she can't wait to finish up her PATH certification and become an instructor.


Cindy McBride

path intl. instructor-in-training

Cindy joined Ride for Joy as a volunteer in the summer of 2016. She was raised in a family that has always volunteered and loves doing it. She has served on several non-profit boards, been involved with 4-H, and with Therapy Dogs Inc. Cindy also provided her energy to the position of RFJ Volunteer Coordinator in 2018 and 2019.

It has been a childhood goal of hers to be a part of a therapeutic riding program so she is very passionate about Ride for Joy.  She is very excited to dedicate her time to such a valuable organization.


Norma Jaeger

Community Partnership coordinator

Norma Jaeger spent more than thirty years managing and evaluating substance use disorder prevention and treatment systems, mental health programs, and integrated behavioral health services in North Idaho, Portland, Oregon and Seattle, Washington.  She developed several collaborative interagency service projects in criminal justice and behavioral health in Idaho and throughout the Northwest. She served as Programs Manager for the Idaho Department of Correction and as the Statewide Coordinator for Idaho’s 70 Drug, Veterans’, and Mental Health Courts, served on the Board of Directors of the National Association of Drug Court Professionals, and received the Stanley M. Goldstein Hall of Fame Award from the association in 2018. 

She taught for fifteen years at Boise State University in the Department of Criminal Justice.  She holds a Masters’ Degree in Health Administration and is completing a dissertation for a Ph.D. in Public Policy and Administration from Boise State University.  She wrote and managed 13 federal grants over the past 20 years and served on numerous federal grant review committees.

Norma joined RFJ in 2018, excited to “retire” to a new adventure in her life by continuing to support a valuable community organization.

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gretchen schultz

PATH Intl. certified instructor

Originally from Boise, Gretchen began volunteering with the Boise Community Special Olympics equestrian team in junior high and loved helping the team have fun while spending time with horses and learning to ride. In college, she volunteered with Washington State University’s Palouse Area Therapeutic Horsemanship program, where she worked with a variety of programs that provide horsemanship and riding lessons to riders with special needs, veterans, at-risk teenagers and families.

Since becoming a PATH Certified Instructor in 2016, Gretchen has volunteered with Ride for Joy and the Idaho Youth Ranch, and she became a Ride for Joy instructor in 2018.

Gretchen holds a B.S. in Education, a B.A. in English, and an M.F.A. in Creative Writing. She teaches English and enjoys riding, running, skiing, gardening, yoga, and spending time in Idaho’s mountains.