Manes for Movement was founded in 2018 in Rolling Hills Estates, CA by Dr. Erin O’Mahony, PT, DPT. Erin received her Bachelor’s Degree in Exercise Science from Willamette University in Salem OR, and Doctorate in Physical Therapy from Northwestern University’s Feinberg School of Medicine in Chicago IL.
After receiving her Doctorate degree, Erin moved back to the west coast and began her professional life in the South Bay community of Los Angeles County, treating pediatric patients in the outpatient, school based, early intervention, and hippotherapy settings. Having been a horsewoman her entire life, Erin was particularly drawn to hippotherapy- the use of the horse’s movement to help children and adults with neuromuscular dysfunction improve their functional skills.
After 2 years of practicing in the South Bay community it quickly became apparent to Erin that this highly researched and supported intervention was not easily accessible to the families in need in her community, with the closest therapy facilities offering physical therapy using hippotherapy being 50+ miles away. It was then that Erin discovered the city of Rolling Hills Estates, a community committed to preserving the rural environment and equine lifestyle, and she knew it would be the perfect place to bring Hippotherapy to the South Bay community!
Niki MacLeod grew up exploring the South Bay on horseback. Niki developed a life-long passion for horses and riding. She has been a part of the equine-assisted therapy community for over 10 years. She has also worked as a trainer in a show barn, teaching riders of all ages and abilities. She began her competitive career as a professional show jumper in 2015. While competing, Niki obtained her Bachelor’s Degree in Cellular and Molecular Biology from CSU Dominguez Hills.
Niki’s personal experience with the multitude of benefits that horses can provide led her to complete the process of becoming a PATH certified therapeutic riding instructor. Niki is committed to providing a safe and fun learning environment for students to attain their goals. She aims to promote inclusivity and assist her students in achieving recognition for their capabilities.