Our Team
 

Furnace Brook Farm is an exciting and nurturing place to learn. Students benefit from the extensive experience of our instructors and their commitment to meeting each student wherever they are -- to help them meet their goals. Click on each of the pictures below to read more about each of our instructors.

Erin Van Steenburgh
Kate Daly
Katie Murphy Gordon
Kim Fuda
Danielle Helle
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ERIN VAN STEENBURGH

Owner and Director of Furnace Brook Farm

Commonwealth of Massachusetts Licensed Riding Instructor

PATH International Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor

Having begun riding at the age of four, Erin Van Steenburgh has dedicated herself to her riding, competing and teaching. In her early years, Erin was an active member of 4-H and the Morgan Youth program, competing in horse shows, horse competitions and judging competitions.

 

As a teenager, Erin represented Massachusetts twice in national 4-H competition as well as competing nationally in the Grand National Morgan Youth of the Year competition, which she won in 1994. At this time she was competing her Morgans throughout the region in saddleseat and driving competitions, wining many championships along the way.

 

During her sophomore year at Bowdoin College, Erin decided to change the direction of her riding career and began studying dressage with her Morgan stallion Syndical Legaltender. After graduation, her passion for dressage led her to a working student position with Olympian Lendon Gray and ultimately her decision to make Morgans and dressage her career.

Furnace Brook Farm was born and Erin continued her own riding as well as beginning her career teaching children the joy of riding and caring for horses. In 2016, Erin received her Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH International) certification to teach therapeutic riding. She looks forward to expanding her business to serve the needs of many children and adults with varying challenges.

 

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KATE DALY

Commonwealth of Massachusetts Licensed Riding Instructor

PATH International Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor

Kate began her riding career at the age of five, attending weekly lessons with Erin Van Steenburgh as well as participating in almost every FBF camp held each year. From the beginning, Kate knew that horses were her life passion. At the age of 10, Kate began her competitive career and seven years later, in 2013, won two World Championships for training level and first level dressage as well as a Reserve Championship in the American Morgan Horse Association (AMHA) Dressage Seat Gold Medal Division with her horse, Diva in Black. in 2014, Kate earned her Massachusetts Riding Instructors License and began to teach at FBF. 

Following her call to work with animals, in 2014 Kate enrolled at the University of Vermont to pursue a degree in animal science. While at UVM, Kate became interested in therapeutic riding. During her sophomore year, she began boarding her pony, Kiel, at a barn that focused in therapeutic riding, Champlain Adaptive Mounted Program (CHAMP). Every free moment was spent at CHAMP, volunteering during lessons, taking care of horses and training Kiel to become a therapy pony.

 

After graduation, Kate returned to FBF and began working towards her Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH International) certification, receiving it in June 2019. Since then, Kate has been active in the development of the FBF therapeutic riding program. 

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KATIE MURPHY GORDON

Commonwealth of Massachusetts Licensed Riding Instructor

PATH International Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor

PATH International Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning

Commonwealth of Massachusetts Licensed Certified Social Worker

Katie Murphy Gordon is a Licensed Certified Social Worker who earned her Master’s degree from Simmons College in Boston, MA. She has experience as a mental health practitioner working with a wide demographic in a variety of settings. Katie has had a passion for horses since she was very young, first starting riding lessons at around age 4. She is licensed by the Commonwealth of MA as a horseback riding instructor and is certified by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH International) as a Therapeutic Riding Instructor and an Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning.

 

Under the instruction of Erin Van Steenburgh in the late nineties, Katie began her riding career at Furnace Brook Farm. There she gained a love for horses, a supportive community and a solid foundation of dressage- based riding skills. Katie won two world championship titles under Erin’s guidance in 2005 with her horse, Tucker. Katie has worked with a number of competitive dressage and equine professionals across the state and country, bringing over 20 years of knowledge and experience to her instruction and therapeutic work. 

 

Katie hopes to expand the therapy program at FBF, continue building on her education as an instructor and therapist and would love to eventually get back into the show ring! Katie loves seeing her clients find harmony with their horses. The best part of her work is watching a client build skills at the barn that they can bring back to their everyday life. Katie’s favorite thing about FBF is that it is a family-focused and client-centered program, all in one. There is a feeling of community that is second to none at FBF and the well-being and success of our horses and participants is always number one. 

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KIM FUDA

Commonwealth of Massachusetts Licensed Occupational Therapist

Kim Fuda is a registered and licensed occupational therapist who earned her master’s degree at Boston University. Kim has spent her entire career working with children of all ages and abilities, as well as adults with developmental disabilities. She has pursued specialized training in the areas of sensory processing, autism, oral motor and feeding, myofacial release, a variety of neuromuscular facilitation and handling techniques and Therapeutic Listening. She is a certified early intervention specialist who has worked in the field of early intervention for almost 30 years.

Kim arrived at Furnace Brook Farm when she followed a family who was searching for opportunities for their son to receive therapy on a horse. On her first visit to the farm with this little boy and his mom, Kim immediately saw the endless therapeutic benefits available from the loving community of people and horses at Furnace Brook Farm. She was so grateful that Erin invited her to be a part of such a nurturing and exciting environment and even more appreciative that she offered to teach her how to ride a horse!

 

Kim spent the next two years volunteering at the farm and learning all she could about the amazing world of horses and the limitless sensory, motor, and emotional benefits that equines offer to children and adults experiencing various challenges. Kim completed the American Hippotherapy Association’s Level 1 Treatment Principles Course in 2018, in order to expand and legitimize her ability to offer occupational therapy services with the help of the beautiful horses and people at Furnace Brook Farm.   

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DANIELLE HELLE

Commonwealth of Massachusetts Licensed Riding Instructor

PATH International Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor

Commonwealth of Massachusetts Licensed Special Education Teacher:

  Severe Disabilities K-12

 

At 6 years old, Danielle began her horseback riding career at Furnace Brook Farm as a camper in the FBF summer program.  She began weekly lessons with Erin Van Steenburgh and continued to attend camp each year, fueling her lifelong obsession with horses.  Danielle’s competitive career began a few years later, leading her to become the World Champion of the American Morgan Horse Association (AMHA) Dressage Seat Gold Medal Division in 2011 with her horse, Baystate Quizzical (Quiz). 

 

After years of being a camp counselor, Danielle received her Massachusetts Riding Instructor license in 2015 and began teaching traditional riding lessons at FBF. The following year in 2016, Danielle received her Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH International) certification to teach therapeutic riding. In 2019, she graduated with her bachelor’s degree in Special Education, specifically severe and profound disabilities K-12.  Danielle is a licensed special education teacher for severe and profound disabilities in both Massachusetts and North Carolina.

 

Danielle has always held a special place in her heart for FBF.  She looks forward to helping her students reach their fullest potential on and off the horse.

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