Our Team

Molly Scannell, Executive Director
mscannell@halleckcreekranch.org

Molly was a volunteer with the program in her youth. She has an Animal Science degree from Cal Poly, and served an internship with Hoofbeats, a therapeutic riding program in Virginia. She came back to Halleck Creek as a part-time instructor, working her way up to Program Director in 2007 and she became Executive Director in April 2017. She brings a long history of community service, horsemanship and passion for therapeutic riding to her position. She is Certified in Therapeutic Riding from the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International.

Brenda Falco, Program Director
bfalco@halleckcreekranch.org

Brenda is a CHA certified riding instructor, teaching both English and Western disciplines. She  is certified as a Therapeutic Riding Instructor, Mentor, and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning from the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International. She brings over 30 years of equine experience to Halleck Creek, including teaching, riding, training and leading trail rides. She enjoys spending time riding on the trails of Marin with Reno, the Quarter Horse she has owned since 2010. Her favorite part of being on the Halleck Creek team is seeing her students succeed in achieving their riding goals and feeling confident with their equine friends.

 

Maya Stessin, Director of Administration & Operations
mstessin@halleckcreekranch.org

Maya first began taking riding lessons at the age of 5 and has continued riding ever since. After graduating from Duke University in 2008 Maya accepted a job riding for Hall of Fame Coach Dutch Chapman in Woodbine, Maryland. During her time there Maya earned two World Champion Titles from the National Reining Horse Association. She brings to HCR years of experience training horses of all ages, as well as teaching riders of all levels and ages to reach their goals. Sharing her love and knowledge of horses is something Maya is very passionate about, as she loves watching both riders and volunteers become more confident around them. When she is not teaching you can still find her competing on her two horses Lenny and Keke in NRHA events around the country.  Maya is Certified in Therapeutic Riding from the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International.

Kayla Andersen Volunteer Coordinator
kandersen@halleckcreekranch.org

Kayla grew up absolutely loving horses. She started riding at ten years old, and rode for her early teenage years, coming back to the horse world once she started going to school for a Psychology degree at Dominican University of California. Kayla started out in the therapeutic riding world as a volunteer, working as a sidewalker and horse leader for two years before obtaining her  PATH Int’l instructor certification in 2019. Kayla has taught at three programs in the past few years, one of which being Halleck Creek! Combining her experience as a rider, volunteer, and instructor, Kayla has now become the Volunteer Coordinator for Halleck Creek Ranch. Her favorite part about being the Volunteer Coordinator is being able to connect with people, and help them become a vital part of the Halleck Creek program.

Dave Petrie, Ranch Caretaker
dpetrie@halleckcreekranch.org

David comes to Halleck Creek Ranch all the way from a small town in Michigan. He began horseback riding at nine-years-old and spent his childhood learning about and caring for horses. After finishing school, he worked in construction, and then went on to spend a season in Colorado as a Wrangler taking ranch guests on back country trail rides. His background in ranch care, construction, welding, mechanics, and horsemanship make him an asset here at the ranch. Additionally, he is in the National Guard as a Combat Engineer and spends one weekend a month serving the state. He enjoys seeing the horses he cares for bring smiles to each participant’s face, and the joy that they express after each ride. David is looking forward to what his future at Halleck Creek holds!

OUR INSTRUCTORS

Saga McIsaac, PATH Certified Instructor

Born and raised in West Marin, she joined Pony Club and took her first lesson shortly after she was four. She has been teaching lessons and working with horses for over 24 years and owns a rescued horse named Daisy. In 2017, she became a Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor from the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship. Horses have been in her life for a long time, and she hopes they will always be.

Robyn Moyer, PATH Certified Instructor

Robyn was fortunate to grow up with horses and benefited from their strong, loving and generous spirit. In her youth, Robyn was involved with 4-H and enjoyed Western Pleasure horse shows as well as riding her horse Lily on the hills of Novato. Coming to HCR almost four years ago, Robyn has enjoyed the opportunity to share that experience with so many others. Robyn says that witnessing the joy and confidence the riders feel and show through their smiles is simply the best! In 2017, she became a Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor from the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship. Robyn says she can’t imagine doing anything else, anywhere else.

Lucy Viscardi, Instructor

Lucy started volunteering at HCR in 2012 and feels at home at the ranch. She brings 15 years of equine experience to the ranch and enjoys sharing her love for horses with all of the clients and volunteers. Lucy is attending nursing school at the University of San Francisco to pursue her passion for caring for others. Aside from riding horses, she loves to snowboard, skate and hike.

Beth Raetz, Instructor

Beth grew up riding horses in San Mateo county. She had her first ride at the age of 5 and continued up through Pony Club. She took a break from horses to go to school to be a helicopter pilot and get her Bachelor’s in Aeronautical Science. After a career as a helicopter pilot instructor, she has returned to her first love of horses and brings her teaching experience to therapeutic riding. In her free time she enjoys hiking and spending time with family and her cat, Winter.

Nancy Foster, Assistant Instructor

Nancy is a retired nurse practitioner, and though she had a rewarding career, she is loving retirement and her time at Halleck Creek Ranch. She began volunteering at the Ranch in 2018, and has come to love all of the horses and riders there. She has 30 years of riding experience, mostly trail and pleasure riding. She currently owns a Tennessee Walking Horse named Jake. Nancy was born and raised in Ohio, but has called California and the Bay Area her home for about 45 years. In addition to horses, Nancy loves travel, music and sewing, and she has started making quilts since her retirement. Working at Halleck Creek, helping disabled riders and watching them grow in their confidence, strength and abilities on horseback is what keeps her coming back to the ranch every week.

OUR ADMIN TEAM

Claudia Johnson, Admin & Tech Support

Raised in Marin County, Claudia Johnson began riding at Halleck Creek Ranch in 1979, finding freedom from her wheelchair while on the back of a horse. An athlete in numerous ways, Claudia won a gold medal in freestyle swimming in the Pan-Am Cerebral Palsy games in 1987. After teaching herself how to use a computer, she became a computerized bookkeeper and has been a whiz with technology ever since! In 1997, Claudia joined the Halleck Creek Ranch Board of Directors, serving as a representative for HCR participants.Shortly thereafter, she was elected as Board Secretary, and held this role for over nineteen years. As a participant and a disability advocate, she assisted in helping educate and train HCR volunteers in Disability Awareness. In 2016, Claudia moved to Washington, where despite the distance she continues to volunteer her time by supporting the HCR admin team with technology, website development, outreach and communications, database management, session invoicing, and systems development five days a week.