Rebecca Caruso, LCSW, Clinical Program Director
Rebecca joined the Hidden Acres team in 2014 as a PATH Intl. certified therapeutic riding instructor. She also maintains certification as an equine specialist in mental health and learning. Rebecca has more than 20 years experience as a licensed clinical social worker with experience working with children, adolescents, families and survivors of trauma and abuse. After spending a year as the interim Program Director of Hidden Acres, she is now the Clinical Program Director, focusing on serving populations with mental health issues and social/emotional challenges through equine facilitated learning and therapy. She is also developing Hidden Acres programs for mindfulness, self awareness and self discovery. Rebecca enjoys horseback riding, cross country skiing and hiking in her time away from the farm.
Mary Andersen, Director of Development
Mary has been an executive level fundraising, educator and program development professional for over 2 decades, and brings a wealth of knowledge and professionalism to the position of Director of Development. She was former Executive Director of The Cove Center for Grieving Children and Development Director for The San Diego Archeological Center and The New Children’s Museum of San Diego. Her experience with children’s educational programming, bereavement support and trauma informed care as well as her extensive fundraising experience, is a great fit for her new role at Hidden Acres Therapeutic Riding Center begun in August 2019. Mary enjoys encaustic, mixed media and watercolor painting in her free time.
Angela Kennedy, B.S. TRI; Program Director and Volunteer Coordinator
Angela recently graduated from the University of New Hampshire where she obtained a bachelor’s degree in Equine Science and a concentration in Therapeutic Riding. Angela obtained her PATH Intl. Therapeutic riding instructor certification in 2015. She has over 17 years of experience in Hunter/Jumper competition, and riding. Angela has been an important part of the Hidden Acres team since September of 2019. She has served in a capacity of instructor, volunteer coordinator and is now taking on a new role as Program Director of our therapeutic riding program. We are all excited to have Angela lead the farm in a new direction with the entire team!
Nancy Moore, Barn Manager
Nancy Moore is our Hidden Acres Barn Manager and PATH Certified Therapeutic Carriage Driving Instructor. Lifelong horseman with a background in hunters and over 20 years of carriage driving experience.
Amy Coulter, Therapeutic Riding Instructor
Amy Coulter is a PATH certified instructor and a specialist in Equine Facilitated Mental Health and Learning. Prior to moving to Connecticut in 2007, she was a therapeutic riding instructor at Lancaster County Therapeutic Riding (now Greystone Manor Therapeutic Riding in Lancaster, PA. Amy is a retired attorney specializing in school law and special education.
Nicole Gonzalez, Therapeutic Riding Instructor
Nicole recently received her Bachelor’s Degree in Animal Science from the University of Connecticut with a concentration in Equine Science and a minor in Therapeutic Horsemanship Education. She is currently completing her Master’s Degree in Animal Science, studying the gut microbiome of the horse. Nicole obtained her PATH Intl. Therapeutic Riding Instructor Certification in 2018 and has been riding, competing, and working with horses both hunter and western for 17 years. She is very excited to be a part of the Hidden Acres team!
Anthony “Tony” Cota, Garden Director
Tony joins us this year as Garden Director. A lifelong organic grower, he was introduced to the concept of living soil and no till gardening about a decade ago. He has learned through his research that providing a habitat where living soil thrives naturally, the overall quality and yield of the plants increase dramatically. The plants become vibrantly healthy and resilient, nutrient dense, and pests and disease decrease. Tony continues to expand his knowledge of living soil habitats and we are so grateful to have him on our Hidden Acres team!
Katherine “Nina” Levenduski, Barn Staff
Nina has had a lifelong interest and love of horses starting in early childhood. Riding lessons started as soon as she was old enough, and as a teenager she rode and cared for her own horses at home. While a student at Skidmore College, Nina participated in the college riding program and polo team, and took summer jobs in a variety of equine settings, including as an exercise rider and polo groom. After over a decade of working as a professional geologist, Nina decided to change careers and looked for ways to bring horses and a healthier lifestyle back into her life. She attended Equine Husbandry courses at Post University, has worked and volunteered for the past several years at therapeutic riding centers, and hopes to become a PATH certified therapeutic riding instructor. Nina is also a yoga instructor trained and registered with Yoga Alliance and Accessible Yoga and currently owns a quarter horse named Lumiere. We are so grateful she has joined our team!
Aurora Proulx, Barn Staff
Aurora started volunteering at Hidden Acres two years ago as a freshman in High School. She recently got promoted to work on the weekends and care for the horses. Aurora is currently a junior and taking a horse management class. She has many years of experience riding and caring for horses. She has ridden both western and English and currently takes lessons at Hidden Acres to expand her riding skills. She also has tried barrel racing. Aurora has enjoyed gymnastics most of her life. We are so excited to have her on our team!