Abigail Hornik, Founder & Director
She hails from New York City where she had a career in online advertising and marketing. Abigail came to Montana in 2001 to breed Spanish Mustangs and work with children on the Blackfeet Reservation. A year later, she met her husband, a native Montanan. For 8 years, she owned and designed for her high end home accessories company, WesternWare Goods with an equine theme appearing in the majority of her product line. She closed the company in 2013. In 2014, she returned to her original passion and belief that horses are remarkable creatures and make amazing partners in healing and improving people's lives. She pursued and earned both her EAGALA certification and Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning from PATH International. This year she attended Rocky Mountain College's Equine Therapeutic Riding program and her PATH certification is pending to be a Therapeutic Riding Instructor. Abigail owns two horses and loves to do dressage & jumping with them in her free time.
Kelly Melius, Co-facilitator
Kelly has been key in developing our programming for our clientele with autism and learning differences. She is a Licensed and Certified PLAY (Play and Language for Autistic Youngsters) Project and Autism Specialist. Kelly has over 15 years experience working with individuals diagnosed with Autism and other special needs. She has a passion for supporting children and adults on the autism spectrum to reach their fullest potential.
Dr. Bob Bakko, D.Min, LCPC, CCMHC, PC, Co-Facilitator
His current general practice includes counseling with adults, adolescents, couples, specialized group counseling, forensic evaluations for domestic and or sexual violence & comprehensive assessments. Bob specializes in assessing and helping individuals who are struggling and couples going through tough challenges. He works with those who have experienced the darkness of trauma. Bob is EAGALA trained and certified.
Kyane Wear, Co-Facilitator
Kyane graduated from Montana State University, Billings in 2000 with a BS in Psychology, and Walla Walla University, Billings in 2004 with her Masters in Clinical Social Work. She has been a Licensed Clinical Social Worker since 2010. She has gained her experience through providing case management services, individual, group and family therapy at mental health agencies in the Billings and surrounding areas. She branched out into private practice in 2015 and joined Chinook Horses as a co-facilitator in January 2016.
Her experience and supplemental training has primarily focused on working with youth and families addressing concerns with Depression, Mood Disorders, Anxiety Disorders, Oppositional Defiance, Impulse Control Disorders and parenting concerns. After experiencing first hand the power in Equine Assisted Therapy she is expanding her training in this area.
The basis of her therapeutic approach is Person-Centered and Strength Based, however, she makes adjustments along the way to meet the needs of the individual(s) and families she is working with. Her overall goal is to help people reach their full potential and be the happiest and healthiest person they can be. She often tries to set goals and expectations high for clients, but never higher than she truly believes they can achieve.