It takes a dedicated team to help ensure the continuing success of Medicine Horse. These individuals continue to offer their time and energy to help take Medicine Horse to the next level.
David Baker - Board President
David was raised in England but has been in North America for over 35 years. He is an engineer, initially building supply ships in Singapore for the North Sea and subsequently ice breakers in Japan and Canada for the Arctic. In the mid 90’s his career changed course into Medical devices and since then he has been building and selling several medical device companies in the Neurodiagnostic field. His involvement with Medicine horse started over 10 years ago. His son has had various horses at the facility and both he and his wife (Cathy) have been volunteering at MHP ever since. David became more involved when he was elected to the Board and then to Chairman in 2017 and has been instrumental in rebuilding the organization. However, although he enjoys bringing a business perspective to Medicine Horse and being on the Board, he is happier working on the renovations and upkeep of the facility rebuilding the MHP infrastructure.
Gennaro DeSantis - Board Vice-President
Gennaro received his Bachelor of Science with distinction from Middle Tennessee State University and his J.D. from the University of Denver, School of Law. He is a principal of the DeSantis Law Firm where he helps businesses of all kinds with real estate, corporate and transactional matters. As a principal in several Colorado businesses, he also has practical experience in the real estate industry, as well as, business ownership and management. As a resident of Boulder County, Gennaro found Medicine Horse while looking for an opportunity to use his legal and business experiences to assist a local non-profit and give back to the community. He was elected to a board position in 2017. Gennaro enjoys spending time with his family, skiing, cooking and traveling.
Mike Franklin - Board Treasurer
Mike joined the Medicine Horse board in 2018 and currently serves as the board treasurer. He has a long history in the software technology industry having started and sold several businesses over the years, most recently TouchSource, Inc., a provider of digital directory and wayfinding systems. Prior to founding TouchSource Mike was the Vice-President of Finance for EAP, International, a Denver-based company providing employee assistance programs to employers throughout the US. He has a background in finance with a BS from Colorado State University and previously served on the tax staff of one of the world's largest accounting firms. Mike is currently retired and lives in Erie with his wife Deirdre. He is a horse owner and spends time each year in central Illinois helping farm the family's 170 year-old farm.
Nancy Hoopes - Board Secretary
Nancy has ridden and shown horses since she was in her teens. Nancy's professional life was heading up Human Resources for several start up companies including WholeFoods.com, CareerTrack and several other Boulder companies. At her last position, she was VP of Human Resources, Legal and Administration for Pharmaca Integrative Pharmacy. Nancy graduated with a degree in Political Science from the University of Colorado and has an MBA in Finance and Accounting from Regis University. Wanting to combine her love for horses and helping others, Nancy started volunteering at MHP two years ago. She's grateful for the opportunity to work with such a great team of dedicated staff, therapists and horses who are transforming lives through equine therapy.
Tabitha Farrar - Board Member and Executive Director
Tabitha has been riding and working with horses since she was seven. She competed in British Eventing in her teens and has ridden and trained horses to some degree throughout all her life. Before working at Medicine Horse, Tabitha founded and directed two nonprofit organisations, both in the mental health sector, and worked in the startup industry as a marketer. Tabitha currently also works as an advocate and coach for eating disorder recovery, has published two books on anorexia recovery, and frequently speaks at international conferences on the topic. As someone who talks publicly about the importance of mental health, and a lifelong horse person, Tabitha understands the healing that is possible when humans connect therapeutically with horses, hence her dedication to the success of Medicine Horse. Tabitha has been with MHP since 2017, is currently the Executive Director, and was elected to the board in 2018.
Nyle Biondi - Board Member and Program Director
Nyle Biondi grew up in the Midwest, where he spent most of his free time with his horses. He finished his master’s degree in Marriage and Family Therapy in 2007 and has worked for various agencies and in private practice since then. Nyle joined the MHP team immediately after moving to the area in August of 2015, first as a volunteer. Through his volunteer experience, Nyle became passionate about the MHP mission and bringing healing through working with horses to his clients and the broader Boulder community. Nyle became the program director in 2016 and joined the board in 2017. In addition to his work at MHP, Nyle has a successful private practice in Boulder where he works primarily with transgender youth and adults
Sarah V. Barnes, Ph.D., Certified EFL Instructor - Board Member
Sarah has been around horses most of her life and currently works as a riding instructor and equine-facilitated coach. Her approach to teaching in partnership with horses focuses on fostering physical, emotional and mental awareness and developing relationship and leadership skills. She has been part of the Boulder County horse community for nearly twenty years, serving in leadership roles on several other horse-related non-profit boards. Her involvement with Medicine Horse spans more than a decade. In February 2018 she joined the Medicine Horse board, eager to contribute to the renewed energy and vision that is currently bringing the organization to a new level. She believes passionately in the unique power of horses to nourish and heal the human spirit, having experienced the gift over and over in her own life and the lives of her clients. Sarah is a certified equine-facilitated instructor and the founder of Anam Cara Equestrian. Find out more at
Natalie Longhini - Board Member and Development Director
Natalie began her professional career in Human Resources as a Training Specialist and Corporate Recruiter and after 7 years in this field decided to return to college and complete her bachelors degree from University of Colorado at Boulder. Upon graduation, she developed a career in the High Tech industry as a Business Development leader at start-ups and large Tech Industry corporations. During this time she built and managed global and large national partnerships with IBM, Dell, HP and others while mentoring and leading diverse and international teams. Since 2017 Natalie has been working with several Colorado based non-profit organizations which led her to Medicine Horse. In 2018, she received her certification for Animal-Assisted Business Coaching and has founded a corporate training business, called Unleashed Coaching, that leverages both her business acumen and love of horses to enhance team building, leadership and empowerment within businesses.
Julie Lobdell - Board Member
Julie, a career entrepreneur, started her first company, Real Entertainment, at the age of 21. After many years in the entertainment business, she co-founded Bodacious Buns, a retail bakery and coffee-bar franchise with multiple locations in Southern California. In 1996 she moved to Colorado seeking a lifestyle change. A lifelong fitness enthusiast, she founded Peak Pilates®, a pilates equipment manufacturer and instructor training company. As an industry expert she spoke at many conferences and held multiple patents which she licensed to LifeFitness, the world’s largest manufacturer of exercise equipment. A dedicated horsewoman and a previous Board member of Colorado Horse Rescue, Julie is also a Certified Skyhorse Equine Guided Education coach. Led to Medicine Horse by her belief in their mission and the desire to help the organization grow and flourish, she was elected to the Board in January 2019.