The staff of Courageous Connections not only share their valuable knowledge and expertise, but their passion in supporting others through horses and nature. They expand the reach of our program by bringing their own unique background and education for the benefit of our mission.
Natalie Steilling (she/her)
Natalie Steilling is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant (COTA/L), Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor (CTRI), Certified Therapeutic Recreation Therapist (CTRS) and, Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) Instructor. She first became involved in therapeutic horsemanship 17 years ago as a volunteer at Little Bit Therapeutic Riding Center where she later met Kathy and Sue. After completing her CTRI certification she attended Western Washington University and graduated with a B.S in Therapeutic Recreation. She has since worked at a CTRS in therapeutic horse riding centers and memory care. She recently became a COTA/L and worked in pediatric therapy until she realized she missed working outside with horses. She is excited about implementing all of the skills she has gained over the years into teaching horsemanship at Courageous Connections. She is excited to be a part of something that she is passionate about and helping people to find their value through partnering with horses.
“You are braver than you believe, stronger than you seem and smarter than you think”
― A.A Milne
Leah Hutchins (she/her)
Leah started riding when she was 5 years old. She owned and showed two horses starting in junior high school until she graduated from high school. Leah loved to teach horseback riding lessons when she was younger. Her educational background is in abnormal psychology and criminal science. She graduated from the University of Washington with a Bachelors of Science degree in HDFS (human development and family studies). She has been working in Equine Assisted Learning and Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy classes since 2017 with people ranging from age 4 to 84 years old with a wide range of diagnoses and treatment goals. Her passion for working with people and horses shines through whenever she is around!