KATHY HOLMAN- FOUNDER OF OTRA MAS
Help me make a difference
I’ve always had a soft spot for horses that no one else can work with, or horses that still had the heart and will to work, but were not able to meet performance horse standards.
My love for horses has been in my heart for as long as I can remember. As a young child, I’d go to my Aunt’s house and groom the “picture ponies” who lived next door to her. I’d spend hours brushing and cleaning the pony’s just for the chance to be close to them. Later, I hung around the local stables, offering to clean stalls, brush the horses, or feed- anything to be around them.
I cared for “Cheyenne” a 30-year-old retired roping horse. Some said he’d seen better days, but I didn’t agree. I never got to ride him, but he lived out his final days knowing he was loved.
I bought my first horse, Pepper, a so called used -up cow horse. She was a real dynamo. My husband John, my nieces, and nephews all learned to ride on her.
My reputation as a kid that could train anything started to spread, and with that came a long string of horses that were deemed dangerous. However, most of them were simply handled improperly or spoiled. A good solid program of exercise and structure straightened them out.
I got my first investment horse, Bay Dog, from the Camp Pendleton Rodeo because he was a weak bucker and was let go. He was a tough cookie, but he couldn’t unseat me, so I was able to train and sell him for a profit.
I found that I had a natural talent for training rogue, misunderstood horses. I took in horses that their owners thought were too high strung, used up, or slightly lame and gave them a reason to live. It was more than just a hobby. John called it a crusade. The secret to their rehabilitation is to give them a job, lots of love, and brush them till they shine – then they will work their heart out for you.
I’m constantly getting calls asking if I can take another horse. Some of the reasons the owners can’t keep them are:
1. He’s just too old. He can’t keep up with my friend’s horses.
2. He doesn’t do well in large groups. He won’t go on trail by himself.
3. My kid’s gone off to school and doesn’t have time.
4. I can’t afford him any longer.
5. I’m ill and can no longer ride.
I have established Otra Mas out of the satisfaction I’ve gained from bringing horses back to mental and physical health. We provide shelter, rehabilitation and training for serviceably-sound horses. My goal is to pave a smooth road for these horses and provide a safe haven so that they do not suffer in their later years. Many of our horses are retrained for equine-assisted psychotherapy and learning programs.
CAROL CADDES- OTRA MAS PROGRAM DIRECTOR LMFT, SEP
In the summer of 2010, Carol had an emotionally healing experience with a horse. Since that time she has been finding ways to make that type of experience available to others. Her trainings have included numerous Equine-Assisted Psychotherapy programs, equine education, and learning to train horses at liberty.
Carol blends those trainings with her background as a Marriage and Family Therapist to provide experiences of emotional growth for clients at Otra Mas.
Carol has had a private psychotherapy practice in Newport Beach since 1994. She has a MA in Clinical Psychology from Antioch University and additional certifications in EMDR, Imago Relationship Therapy, and Somatic Experiencing.
Her passion is spending time with her horse and the rest of the Otra Mas herd.
MELBA SLAVIN- EQUINE ASSISTED LEARNING FACILITATOR
Melba Slavin, MS
Equine-Assisted Learning Facilitator.
Melba has a Master’s in Social Work. She is passionate about helping adolescents and children face the challenges of growing up in today’s world. She also loves to work with groups and families.
Melba believes in the emotional growth and learning that can come from the human-horse bond. Her own bonding with horses started in her childhood in rural Indiana. There she cared for ponies, competed in barrel racing with her quarter horse Buck, and even walked the fields along side draft horses as they cultivated fields. Out of those experiences, she brings knowledge of how to emotionally connect with a horse and learn about one’s self at the same time.
Her motto is “Be safe and have fun!”
KAREN KATZMARK - EQUINE SPECIALIST
Karen has a heart for horses. She spent many years observing the wild Mustangs and burrows as they traveled over national reserves in Nevada.
In 2000 Karen earned her Massage Therapy Certificate and became a Certified Equine Sports Massage Therapist. She has been riding horses since 2002. Additionally, she has studied natural horsemanship and various equine therapy and healing modalities.
Karen has also volunteered at a therapeutic riding center as a horse handler, a side walker, and as an assistant to the instructors.
She has been providing care for Otra Mas horses since 2014. In 2017 she started assisting in Equine Assisted Learning programs as an equine specialist.
A Horse Rescue and Equine Therapy Organization