Three horses from our herd eating eating from a hay bale.

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.

MEDICINE
HORSE
STAFF

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Natalie Longhini 
Executive Director

She | Her | Hers

What do you put on your pizza?  Tons of cheese, no tomato sauce, pepperoni, or sardines but other than those items, I'm open to other toppings

In your lifetime, what is your most interesting horse experience?  In 2009 I had the opportunity to go on a ride in the Austrian Alps with my in-laws on Lipizzaner horses. We galloped along streams, through meadows and all of this in the shadow of the Kaisergebirge mountain range of Tyrol.

What is one of your favorite MH stories?  I've done some horse handling for the Operation Be Herd groups and my favorite thing is to see the veterans and active military folks leaving, after a session, with big smiles on their faces and some weight off their shoulders.

How would your 10-year-old self react to what you’re doing in life now?  My 10 year old self wouldn't believe that it's possible to have a career helping people from all walks of life and be around horses, mini donkeys, mini horses and other animals at a barn all day. 

If you could be any animal/creature real or imagined, what would you be and why?  A dolphin would be my real animal choice and a dragon would be my imaginary creature choice... because dolphin seem to be playful and dragons are fierce flying machines.

 

What do you like to do when you're not working?  I am a travel junky.  I love to see new places, meet new people, and learn about other cultures around the world. I also enjoy spending time with family and friends, snuggling with our rescue dogs and riding our horses.

Nancy Hoopes is the Business Manager at Medicine Horse

Nancy Hoopes
Business Manager

She | Her | Hers

What do you put on your pizza?  Extra cheese, pineapple, and red onions.

In your lifetime, what is your most interesting horse experience?  In my teens, I participated in show jumping. My favorite was one held during the Summer in Estes Park.

What is one of your favorite MH stories? One of my favorite stores (and a big reason I got involved with Medicine Horse) is how a parent credits Medicine Horse with saving his son's life. His young son had experienced serious injuries and brain trauma following a skiing accident.  The parents tried several other programs before finding Medicine Horse; through the therapy and experience, their son recovered.

How would your 10-year old self react to what you're doing in life now?   She'd be very happy that I was spending my time helping support people with challenges; and also continuing to ride.

If you could be any animal/creature real or imagined, what would you be and why?  I'd like to be a meerkat... because who can resist those little critters?

What do you like to do when you're not working?  I enjoy being with family and friends, along with riding Silverwood, my horse and playing with our two cats, Watson and Moriarty.

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Courtney Nix
Events Volunteer Coordinator 

She | Her | Hers

What do you put on your pizza? peperoni & bell pepper 

 

In your lifetime, what is your most interesting horse experience? A couple of times I got to ride horses on a massive cow ranch in South Dakota, that was really fun and beautiful. 

Tell us one of your favorite MH stories. My favorite MH story was listening to veterans share their experience and how MH has changed their life at the gala, it was really inspirational to hear how MHs work impacts individuals. 


How would your 10-year-old self react to what you’re doing in life now? She would be excited for us and the future! 

If you could be any animal/creature real or imagined, what would you be and why? I'd be a bird on the beach because I would love to fly over the ocean and then play in the waves. 

What do you like to do when you’re not working? When I am not working I like to ride horses, hike, read and do barre3. 

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Emily Harkless
Grant Writer
She | Her | Hers

What do you put on your pizza?  Pepperoni and red pepper flakes

In your lifetime, what is your most interesting horse experience?  Jumping horses in the Irish countryside during an equestrian vacation.

What is one of your favorite MH stories?  

A mother - daughter retreat in 2019. I was a horse handler for this group, it went for a weekend and it was so cool to see the mother daughter pairs connect and bond over the weekend with horses.

How would your 10-year old self react to what you are doing in life now? I think she would be sad that I am not an olympic medalist (of any sport- ha!) but also excited that I have a horse and am working with horses in my career.

If you could be any kind of animal/creature, real or imagined, what you be and why?  Pegasus - a horse with wings, is there anything better? 

What do you like to do when you're not working?  When I'm not working I enjoy hanging out with my boys ages 6 and 2, spending time outside in the sunlight, usually at a park. It's even better when we bring the dogs and husband along. It's the simple things :)

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Natalee Roeder
Donor Services & Events Developer
She | Her | Hers

What do you put on your pizza?  Any pizza is good pizza in my opinion! I will eat just about any kind of pizza from pepperoni to BBQ to white pizza with veggies. Just NO onions.  

In your lifetime, what is your most interesting horse experience?  I can not think of one isolated experience. In general, what I find more interesting about horses is how they communicate with each other and us, and how they affect us. Sometimes you won’t even know how much they have affected you or changed your life for a long time and then it hits you. I can sit with my horse and just be with them or watch horses interact for hours and never get bored.

Tell us one of your favorite MH stories. 
The stories I hear regularly about how truly life changing working with the horses is for the people we serve is very impactful for me; it lights a fire inside me to want to do everything I can to ensure we help as many people as possible have that experience.

How would your 10-year-old self react to what you’re doing in life now? She wouldn’t believe the opportunities I’ve had, as they have been beyond her wildest dreams. She would tell me not to change a thing as she would be excited to get here and do what I am doing now.

If you could be any animal/creature real or imagined, what would you be and why? 
A dragon because they can fly and are fierce but magical.

What do you like to do when you’re not working?

I have 1 ½ horses, 2 huskies, and most importantly, a husband and an almost grown and flown daughter. This crew keeps me pretty busy outside of Medicine Horse. You’ll find me spending quality time with my family, riding and caring for my horses, being show mom/groom for my daughter at horse shows, running with my huskies, reading and just pursuing knowledge in general (as I am an avid, lifelong learner), traveling, downhill skiing, cross-country skiing/skijoring with my huskies, doing yoga or other fitness activities, hiking, biking, watching sunsets, and enjoying good food and live music with my husband, and occasionally cooking. 

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McKenzie Letendre
Grant Writer

She | Her | Hers

What do you put on your pizza?  I usually just like cheese. If I’m being fancy, I’m a big fan of cheese pizza with white sauce, spinach, artichoke hearts, and goat cheese. 


In your lifetime, what is your most interesting horse experience?  On a trip in Costa Rica I had the opportunity to ride horses along the beach and through beautiful, lush trails among iguanas, toucans, sloths, and other jungle critters. We stopped for a picnic along the way and a friend surprised us all by proposing to his now wife.

 

Tell us one of yor favorite MH stories? The 2021 Barn Dance was so much fun! Spending time with all the wonderful staff, volunteers, and supporters that make medicine horse what it is was just fabulous. 


How would your 10-year-old self react to what you’re doing in life now?  She’d be surprised I’m not a marine biologist studying how dolphins communicate, but happy to know I work in a profession dedicated to social welfare and social justice. 


If you could be any animal/creature real or imagined, what would you be and why? Imagined, I’d be Falkor the luckdragon from the The Neverending Story so I could be friends with Atreyu and live in the magical land of Fantastica. Real, I’d be a blue whale because they are the largest mammal to have ever lived, with almost no predators. I’d spend my time exploring all the wonders of the ocean. 


What do you like to do when you’re not working? 

I spend a lot of time with my family, including my little doggie, Bella. I also enjoy being outside in nature, practicing yoga, DIY projects, experimenting in the kitchen, and baking sweet treats.

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Karin Rathert
Social Media Coordinator
She | Her | Hers

What do you put on your pizza?  I'm mostly a mushroom, sundried tomatoes, and pineapple pizza person, occasionally adding a little onion for some zing.


In your lifetime, what is your most interesting horse experience?  My best horse experience wasn't an event but a time, when it was all horses all the time. Every weekend we would load up the truck and trailer and venture off to a show or rodeo, where my big sister collected saddles—World Championship Quarter Horse Pole Bending Champion, 13 and Under; National High School Rodeo Pole Bending Champion—and my younger sister blew up the dance floors (she couldn't possibly have known about weight-bearing loads, she simply thought her not-so-small pony might want to boogie) I lived on concession stand burgers enjoyed from on top by horse. What a gift, all that focused horse and family time.


What is your favorite MH story?  I love the team—the people and the horses. I am so impressed by their dedication and desire to help.


How would your 10-year-old self react to what you’re doing in life now?  My ten-year-old self would be happy I found my way back to horses and would be surprised and amazed by the way people and horses partner for healing.


If you could be any animal/creature real or imagined, what would you be and why?

A bird, of course, who wouldn't want to fly?  


What do you like to do when you're not working?  I enjoy spending time with family and friends—I have three amazing kids. I get outside as much as I can, love yoga, reading, writing, and photography.

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Kim Buchmann
Communications Strategist
She | Her | Hers

What do you put on your pizza?  Margherita is my go-to, but I'm happy with any toppings except green bell peppers.

 

In your lifetime, what is your most interesting horse experience?  I'm an oddity around Medicine Horse because I have no horse experience except a trail or beach ride here and there. However, I was born the same day as the 94th Kentucky Derby and have been enamored with Thoroughbreds and horse racing for as long as I can remember. I'd have to say my favorite horse experience was a winning bet at 29-1 on Lemon Drop Kid (his damsire is Triple Crown winner Seattle Slew) in the 1999 Belmont.

 

Tell us one of your favorite MH stories?  I live in Texas, so attending the barn dance fundraiser in 2019 was a special treat! I was so impressed with the work Medicine Horse does and all the fun people I met, as well as the event itself, that I became a supporter and volunteer shortly thereafter.

 

How would your 10-year-old self react to what you’re doing in life now? The past 40 years did not turn out the way she planned (i.e. world domination) but I think she'd give me a big thumbs up.

 

If you could be any animal/creature real or imagined, what would you be and why?  I'd be a river otter because hanging out on a river every day would be paradise!

What do you like to do when you're not working? You can usually find me puttering around in my yard or kitchen or playing on the Guadalupe River with friends and family or attending a concert at Gruene Hall, Texas' oldest dance hall.

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Naomi DeMarco
Marketing Specialist

She | Her | Hers

What do you put on your pizza?  Anything that's not beef

In your lifetime, what is your most interesting horse experience?  Riding a horse in the water along the beach in the Bahamas.

Tell us one of your favorite MH stories? On my first visit to Medicine Horse all the horses were very busy enjoying the new spring grass but Big Tex came into the pasture and immediately came up to me and gave me many curious sniffs. I was intimidated by the size of all of the horses but this gentle giant immediately put me at ease!

How would your 10-year-old self react to what you’re doing in life now?  She would be disappointed that I only have ONE dog, but otherwise, I think she would approve.

If you could be any animal/creature real or imagined, what would you be and why?  A dragon. Who wouldn't want to be able to fly, live a very long time and breathe fire?

What do you like to do when you're not working? Hiking, skiing, cooking and seeing as much of the world as possible.