Our Human Staff

Crossroads Equine Academy was established by Judi Burns and Christina Dahleen in October of 2013 in order to combine two of their life passions, helping people and horses.   Licensed therapist, Terry Thayer, joined Crossroads EAL in October of 2014.

Judi Burns has had horses since childhood and raised her children with horses as well.  She has been rigorously studying Parelli Natural Horsemanship since 1993 and is on her way to becoming a certified 2 Star Instructor.  She has ridden with and learned from many of the top horsemen across the country.  Over the years she has bred horses, raised foals and competed in many different disciplines with her home bred horses.  She has been a member of Kern County Mounted Search and Rescue for 17 years.  Judi is passionate about understanding horses, finding the keys to communication with horses and has a gift for teaching horsemanship.   For a number of years Judi worked with adults with developmental disabilities, using activities with horses as a way to teach them life skills, social skills and work skills.  This work led to the founding of Crossroads.  Judi is a certified Equine Professional with EAGALA.

Christina Dahleen  has loved horses for as long as she can remember and bought her first horse in 1979 and has had horses ever since.  Chris has also bred, raised and trained her own horses over the years and competed in a number of disciplines, particularly enjoying dressage and trail riding.  She discovered Natural Horsemanship and fell in love with the philosophy of being a partner and leader for her horses.  So many of the keys to success with horses parallels with life and human interaction.  In 1998 Chris began fostering adolescent children, children with special needs and “at risk” youth and began incorporating horse activities to help her foster kids develop self worth, confidence, social skills, build relationships and advance their education.  For several years Chris also worked with Judi assisting adults with developmental disabilities, using horses and horse activities to help them achieve their life goals.  Christina is also a certified Equine Professional with EAGALA.

Terry Thayer is a MS, LMFT specializing in individual, couples and family therapy with children, adolescents and adults, and maintains a private practice in Bakersfield, California.  Terry has life-long experience with horses and grew up owning, riding and showing horses.  Joining Crossroads has given Terry an opportunity to bring her love of horses and helping people together in the form of equine assisted psychotherapy.

With over 20 years experience as a marriage and family therapist, and as a graduate of California State University, Bakersfield specializing in solution focused therapy, she is currently serving as private practitioner working with a broad spectrum of clients.  Among her areas of expertise are Therapy for Depression and Anxiety, Couples Counseling, Family Counseling, Parenting Support, ADHD, OCD, Behavioral issues, Relationship Issues including, Conflict Resolution, and Oppositional Defiance.

In addition to being a prominent relationship therapist, Terry is an interactive, solution-focused therapist. Her therapeutic approach is to provide support and practical feedback to help clients effectively address personal life challenges. She integrates complementary methodologies and techniques to offer a highly personalized approach tailored to each client. With compassion and understanding, she works with each individual to help them build on their strengths and attain the personal growth they are committed to accomplishing.

California State University Bakersfield/Master of Science in M.S. MFC
California State University Bakersfield/B.S. in Psychology/Minor in Sociology
Bakersfield Junior College/AA in Liberal Studies

License:  MFC #37677





Having personally experienced the special power horses have had on our lives and seeing, first hand, the impact that interacting with horses can have on others has created a compelling desire in us to share this experience with everyone.

Our other human staff are volunteers who are as passionate and dedicated to horses and helping people as we are.  Our volunteers are essential to Crossroads Equine by helping us take care of the horses, maintain the property and equipment, host our events and assist in setting up for sessions and workshops.   We greatly appreciate our volunteers and give thanks to them, our friends and families for all their support and help.  If you are interested in becoming a volunteer, please give us a call.

All staff and volunteers abide by confidentiality agreements, are background checked and are given training in natural horsemanship and in the EAGALA model.





1 Comment

  1. Pingback: Special Announcement! | Crossroads Equine Assisted Learning

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