Executive Director

Tish Dipman

Tish Dipman is a seventh generation Oakland native who was raised in Pleasant Hill. The oldest of three girls, Tish started showing interest in horses at age four and by age nine she was taking formal lessons and began showing in local shows throughout Northern California. Throughout her life she has ridden, leased, and owned many horses. By age seventeen, Tish was showing and training event horses professionally.

Her life was changed forever when, at the age of eighteen, Tish started taking care of a little girl with Autism whose mother had passed away from cancer. Within that year her focus changed from horses to working exclusively with the special needs community. Tish has worked as a 1:1 with many special needs children in both their school and home environments. She spent seven years working at the Recreation Center for the Handicapped, now known as the Janey Pomeroy Center, before moving on to the Bridge School and B.O.K. Ranch.

Tish married her longtime boyfriend Scott in Las Vegas on 08-08-08. Baby makes three, Scott and Tish were very excited to welcome their Baby Benjamin into the world the following year, and then baby Beau three years after that!

Tish can be reached at




Jamie Morris

Jamie began riding at the age of four, and started volunteering with BOK in 1992.  Over the years she became more and more involved with the program, and before moving out of state in 2001, she was working as BOK's office manager and volunteer coordinator.

After the move she continued maintaining the BOK website, and she adopted one of BOK's founding Fjords, PJ, when he retired in 2006 (pictured is PJ with Jamie in the volunteer class at a 1998 horse show).

Jamie now lives in Washington state with her horse, dogs, and cats, but hopes to return to California someday.  When not spending time with her animals, she enjoys work as a web designer and 3D artist, and is happy to be able to continue her involvement with BOK.


PATH Instructor

Advanced PATH Instructor and Mentor


Ashley McIntyre

Ashley originally joined the BOK Ranch 10 years ago, as the head instructor. After returning from a seven-year hiatus, Ashely has returned to re-join the BOK team. Ashley and her husband now live in San Jose with their two children Dylan and Alyvia. When Ashley isnít busy horsing around she coaches volleyball and basketball at a local school near her home. Ashley grew up riding in Southern California and has owned and loved horses her whole life. She currently owns and trains her own Westphalian gelding, Celsius. Ashleyís daughter Aly is now taking after her Mom and practices her riding every chance she gets. Ashley is loved by all her students for her wealth of knowledge, giving spirit, and compassion for her students.



PATH Instructor


Francoise Vincent

Francoise Vincent describes her experience on a horse as one of spiritual oneness with life and nature. Growing up on a farm in the French Alps, her budding passion for horses was shared with her cherished grandfather. A horse lover himself and avid rider, he transmitted his equestrian knowledge to Francoise early on, and mentored her through her formal horseback riding lessons which she started at eight years old. As an adult she continued to ride and eventually rescued a spirited Arabian horse with which she developed a deep connection and a great friendship. The two enjoyed many endurance and pleasure rides through the rolling hills of Northern California.

As a young adult, Francoise had discovered her second life-long passion, and had become a yoga practitioner and soon after, a yoga instructor. Through the practice of yoga she developed a deep intuition and was astonished to discover how it enhanced her communication with the horse and consequently improved the equestrian experience for both. She knew that yoga helps develop a strong physical core, which is also essential to riding. As a result, Francoise now combines these two practices, yoga and horsemanship, and helps riders commune with their four-legged friend.

When she started volunteering at BOK Ranch several years ago, Francoise was greatly moved when she witnessed that students with special needs developed a rapport with the horse and began to thrive in ways often inaccessible to them otherwise. This realization inspired her to become a PATH- certified therapeutic riding instructor and to transmit her passions for the art of riding and the art of yoga to students of all ages and capabilities. Francoise appreciates every opportunity to work with students, horses, and with the dedicated volunteers and staff at BOK ranch.


PATH Instructor and Volunteer Coordinator


Taylor Singmaster

When Taylor Singmaster was 5 years old she took her first trail ride with her father during a vacation in Salt Lake City, Utah. She immediately wanted a horse and made a deal with her dad, if she took lessons every week for a year she could then have a horse of her own.

Over 20 years later Taylor is still riding every week. Since that day her equestrian accomplishments include being named champion at the All American Quarter Horse Congress and the NSBA World Championship Show, competing for the University of South Carolina's NCAA Equestrian team and becoming a PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor.

Taylor's passion for the special needs community began when her retired show horse, Bentley, moved to a small therapy farm in her home state of Pennsylvania. Taylor's life was changed upon meeting the family's son, Jack, who has Down Syndrome. Her extensive volunteer work began with Camp PALS, The Congratulations Project, 100cameras, UP Academy and many other nonprofit organizations. Now, she is working with a broader demographic and has found her true calling sharing her own personal love for horses with her students.



PATH Instructor


Christiana Merritt

Christiana is a lifelong horse lover who has always had a passion for teaching others how to care for and interact with animals and to take the time to experience firsthand the natural world around them. She has long appreciated the healing power of horses and therapeutic riding to help both children and adults improve their physical and emotional health and reconnect with themselves and each other. Christiana grew up in the East Bay and started taking riding lessons at a barn in the Oakland hills at age nine. At age thirteen, she started leasing a horse named Tampico, a sweet Morgan/Arabian cross who quickly became her best friend and equine mentor. She continued riding and caring for Tampico for the next twenty years, until he passed away in 2015 after a long and happy life.

Christiana worked for many years at a small nonprofit educational farm with several horses and a variety of other farm animals that provided humane education and animal assisted therapy programs to children with special needs and youth at-risk. She also worked for several years in the veterinary field, training with both large and small animal veterinarians; she has experience with animals as small as hedgehogs and as large as elephants. Her love of working with both children and animals inspired her to pursue a B.Sc. degree in Animal Studies with a special focus on humane education, animal assisted activities and animal assisted therapy.

Christiana moved to the Peninsula in 2013 with her husband, dog, and bunny and began to volunteer at B.O.K. Ranch just a month later. She immediately loved volunteering and was amazed by the entire community of loving staff, volunteers, horses families, and participants at B.O.K.; it wasnít long until she knew that this was what she wanted to do with the rest of her career! After more than three years of volunteering, Christiana decided she was ready to pursue her certification as a PATH-certified therapeutic riding instructor. Christiana is thrilled to join the staff at B.O.K. and continue her relationship with all the amazing people and horses at B.O.K.



PATH Instructor


Deborah McCarley

Deborah grew up in the Adirondack Mountains near Old Forge, New York. She always had an affinity for horses and used to bring the horses from a local trail-riding outfit down to a stream to drink. After studying marine biology at Oregon State and science education and University of Virginia, she moved to the Bay Area in 1986 to work at Syntex/Roche Bioscience as a research scientist studying cell signaling.

When Deborahís daughter became interested in horses, she took the opportunity to reenter the horse world. Deborah has worked as an instructor and horse manager for another local therapeutic riding program for 12 years. She is also very involved in the Mid-Cal region of the USPC and has been serving as the regionís Horse Management Organizer for 4 years. In her personal riding Deborah is interested in classical dressage. During her non-barn time, Deborah works as an instructional assistant at a local elementary school.

Deborah enjoys hiking, sailing, traveling, and spending time with her family. She is excited to be working with everyone at BOK Ranch and for the opportunity to share her love of horses and their healing powers with others.


PATH Instructor


Natori Coleman

Natoriís diverse experiences with leadership, people, and animals starts with her 4-H filled childhood. From the ages 10 - 16, Natori took in "unwanted horses," including Premarin babies. Natori also 4-H networking and competitions to spread awareness about Premarin Horses.

Natori has lived on 3 continents and traveled to over 15 countries to complete internships, continuing education, and certifications relating to:

  • Wildlife conservation

  • Special Ed teaching

  • Photography

  • Horsemanship

  • Leadership development

  • Wild horse activism

  • Energetic bodywork for animals and humans

Natori is grateful to be working with B.O.K. Ranch. Her inspiration comes from the students and staff of B.O.K. working to achieve life goals through experiential learning and riding horses.


Stable Assistant


Megan Dinsmore

Megan is a native of the Bay Area.  Her love of riding and horses began at the age of 7 when her family would take their annual trip down to a guest ranch near Santa Barbara.  For the past several years she has worked with the wranglers at a ranch in Bridgeport on the other side of the Yosemite range with their annual Spring cattle work. She follows the PBR (Professional Bull Riding) and rodeo circuits along with attending the concerts of her favorite country performers.  She enjoys both volunteering and working at the BOK.  It fulfills her dream of doing what she loves the most which is to be with and care for horses.



Additional Services offered within

The Horse Park at Woodside


Dr. Angela Sherman

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy

Angela Sherman, Ph.D. is a clinical psychologist (PSY23689), with a long standing interest in human-animal interactions. She has extensive experience working with individuals with behavioral and emotional difficulties as well as learning and autism spectrum disorders. Dr. Sherman is committed to helping people increase self-awareness and come to healthier ways of interacting with the world around them and believes that horses are a good match for helping with this goal. For this work, Dr. Sherman is certified through the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA). She is also a previous BOK Ranch PATH certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor.  For more information on Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine Assisted Learning, contact Dr. Sherman at (650) 248-4072 or


Julie Freschi

Physical Therapist

Hippotherapy has always been Moraga-native Julie Freschiís dream occupation. To this end she combines her passion for and knowledge of horses with her career as a physical therapist. Julie gained her foundational horse knowledge in Pony Club. She competed in Eventing during high school. As a University of Oregon undergrad, Julie founded the nationally-competitive Intercollegiate Equestrian Team. She later attended Boston University, earning a Masters of Science in Physical Therapy. Her initial decision to move East was heavily influenced by her desire to ride there. During her time East Julie strengthened her interest in dressage through her assignment as a working student. She continues to enjoy dressage with her leased mare Fabbi. Julieís interest in working with children with special needs stems from her service in her churchís Childrenís Ministry Class, specially designed for children with special needs. She has since helped establish similar programs in Kenya, also serving as a mentor. She currently works as a full-time physical therapist at the Hope Technology School in Palo Alto, California.


Horse Sensing

Sally Broder

Dr. Broder began her professional equine career at the age of 15. She went to work for a horse trainer in Rancho Sante Fe, California and spent the next several years working with beautiful show horses. Even back then, she felt the healing power in horses and was developing ideas about how to pass this to others. 15 years later she embarked on her career in the fields of, first, substance abuse treatment then more broadly clinical psychology. She has focused her career on treating individuals who have experienced trauma and felt the effects of that in their life paths. With Horse Sensing, she brings together her clinical expertise and equine expertise to facilitate the healing process in her clients.