Therapeutic Riding Staff at Helen Woodward Animal Center


Courtney Mellor, Program Manager

Courtney is a PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor (CTRI) who has also earned her Advanced TRI and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning (ESMHL). She is a member of the PATH Intl. Leadership Team and Membership Oversight Committee as the Region 11 Representative.  Courtney has a lifetime of equine experience as a United States Pony Club graduate and as a provisional Chief Horse Management Judge. Courtney truly enjoys sharing her passion of equine assisted activities through her mentorship and supervision of instructors in training. Originally from Kansas City, Courtney has both domestic and international experience as a certified riding instructor, and has been excited to call San Diego home since 2016.

Gretchen Davis, Lead Instructor & PATH CTRI

Gretchen grew up riding at Blackland Farm in San Diego and has been teaching for over 20 years, both locally and in the southwest Virginia area where she earned her BA from Virginia Intermont College.  She earned her PATH Int’l Registered Level Instructor Certification in June 2009 and joined the staff at Helen Woodward shortly after. Her students are an inspiration and a joy, and the wonderful volunteers and co-workers make the work here even more enjoyable.


Susan Quillman, On Call Instructor & PATH CTRI

Susan is an example of how some of the best employees can come through the Volunteer program. Susan was a volunteer with Therapeutic Riding and was motivated by her experience to take her horse experience and begin pursing her PATH Int’l Instructor Certification. Shortly after that, we were delighted to have her join our staff as an Instructor in Training. In July 2016, after a long and challenging process, Susan achieved her PATH Registered Level Instructor Certification and was promoted to Instructor.


Elizabeth Kyle, Instructor & PATH CTRI

Elizabeth grew up locally, successfully competing in several disciplines, often through La Jolla Farms. Her 30+ years of horse experience includes jumpers, equitation and running her family’s thoroughbred breeding barn in France for several years. She began as a volunteer with the program in early 2016, further proof that some of the Center’s best employees start as volunteers. She’s very excited to be a part of the Therapeutic Riding team and achieved her PATH instructor certification in early 2018 after a year of dedication and hard work.

Deryn Hannapel, Barn Coordinator

Colleen Moore, Instructor in Training

Due to Hurricane Hilary, all  departments will be closing at 3pm today.  Stay safe!