Great and Small Therapeutic Riding


Staff Biographies

Karen Brittle, M.A., Program Director

Karen Brittle

PATH Advanced Instructor Mentor, Faculty/Evaluator

Karen is passionate about sharing her life-long love for horses, learning and teaching with others. Karen is a PATH Intl. Advanced Therapeutic Riding Instructor, as well as a Mentor Instructor and Lead Faculty/Evaluator for instructor workshops and certifications. She lives with her husband in D.C.






Laurie Dove, PATH Registered Instructor

staff instructor Laurie Dove

Laurie Dove
PATH instructor

Laurie graduated from the University of Maryland with a Bachelor of Science in Dental Hygiene. She has worked as a dental hygienist since 1975. In 2008 she was asked to volunteer at a therapeutic riding center because of her many years of horse experience. She became a PATH certified instructor in December of 2009. Laurie is proud to be an instructor and receives much gratification from working with her students and their equine partners.




Katy Hansen, Volunteer Manager

Rider on jumping horse

Katy Hansen Volunteer Manager

Katy joined Great and Small in May 2016 after more than 17 years as an Adjunct Professor of English at Frederick Community College.  She also works part-time as a technical writing consultant. She began riding horses at five years old and currently owns Angus, a Great and Small  therapy horse, and competes her OTTB Marquus in eventing. She lives in Poolesville with her husband Chris, a Neuropsychologist, her daughter Julia and son Alex, and three dogs.




Nancy Heller, PATH Registered Instructor

staff instructor mentor Nancy Heller

Nancy Heller
PATH instructor & mentor


Nancy is a retired special educator who specialized in early childhood special education. She has been a PATH certified instructor since 2003. Nancy has participated in PATH’s Mentor Training program and serves as a mentor to those who are working toward instructor certification. She has also served as vice president of the Maryland Council of Equestrian Therapies.




Peggy Itrich, PATH Registered Instructor

staff trainee Peggy Itrich

Peggy Itrich
PATH instructor


Peggy graduated from the University of Minnesota with a Bachelor of Science in Finance and worked for Lockheed Martin from 1993 to 2012. A life-long horse lover, opportunities to ride and be around horses were few and far between. When she began volunteering at Great and Small in 2007, it was a dream come true. She loves seeing the smiles on her students’ faces and the wonderful accomplishments that can happen when kids and horses come together.



Rachel Neff, Center Director

staff director Rachel Neff

Rachel Neff
Center Director


Rachel graduated from Murray State University in 2010, where she received a B.S.A. in Agribusiness and minored in both Equine Science and Spanish. Rachel was the Farm Manager at Great and Small prior to becoming Center Director. She has served as treasurer and secretary of the Maryland Council of Equestrian Therapies.




Judy Voorhees, PATH Registered Instructor

Judy Voorhees PATH Instructor

Judy Voorhees
PATH Instructor


Judy is the proud mother of five young adults (including triplets!), two dogs, and two horses.  She received her B.A. from Connecticut College and a Masters of Social Work from the University of Michigan.  In 2013 she became a PATH certified therapeutic riding instructor.  In her free time, Judy hikes with her dogs, travels to visit her kids, does yoga, and rides.  Her horse River lives at Great and Small.