Our Staff

Our program staff consists of our Program Director, Head Instructor, Driver/Assistant Instructor and lesson Instructor, making it a strong team with each member having the capacity to step into leadership roles. Urban Stable currently has two Senior Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association (CanTRA) certified instructors and one Intermediate CanTRA certified instructor who is working towards her Senior level.  Our Senior level instructors have the capacity to mentor instructors/CanTRA candidates of all levels of instructor certification right here in Manitoba. Urban Stable is the first CanTRA Accredited Exam Centre for Basic One and Basic Two Instructor level examinations in the province.

Board of Directors

Lana Stevenson – President
Chamaine Walsh - Secretary
Kate Simes - Treasurer
Melissa Klimack - Director
Heather Clements - Director
Val Holloway - Director
Dawna Atamanchuk - Director


Hayley – Executive Director

Hayley Edwards is Executive Director for Urban Stable. She specializes in assisting teams and individuals to overcome barriers, build confidence and strengthen connections to their education, organization, and community through working with horses.

Hayley is a certified Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association (CanTRA) Senior Instructor, Equestrian Canada Instructor of Beginners and CanTRA instructor mentor. Hayley joined the Urban Stable team in 2014 and has over fifteen years experience in the therapeutic riding and equine facilitated learning industry.

Growing up in a village in leafy Surrey, UK, Hayley developed a deep passion for charitable work in her youth. Participating in horse riding activities as a young person she quickly discovered the strategic and life-changing benefits interacting with horses can bring. As a result Hayley believes in the growth, trust, connection, and personal discovery that individuals can gain from hands-on learning experiences with horses.

Now living under the vast and spectacular prairie skies in Winnipeg, MB, Hayley is inspired from these experiences and helps teams, peers, and individuals recognize their unique capabilities through mentorship and leadership development. Hayley enjoys watching the connection participants make with their horses and celebrating in their growth and personal success.

Hayley has worked in all areas of the organization and emanates the heart of Urban Stable. It is her continuous enthusiasm and passionate belief in people that inspires individuals and teams to become prouder, stronger, and more valuable contributors in their school, organization, and community.

Carla – Head Instructor

Carla Bergen, our Head Instructor, is a certified Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association (CanTRA) Senior Instructor and Equestrian Canada Instructor of Beginners who is dedicated to helping people make meaningful connections with horses. Whether she is coaching students through work on the ground or in the saddle, building a partnership with the horse based on trust is her main focus. From this trusting partnership, Carla helps students understand the lessons their 4-legged teachers are offering, from lessons that are personal, social and emotional to lessons that are technical skills in riding and horsemanship.

With a diverse background in the horse industry Carla began working at Urban Stable in 2014 and loves watching the magic of the connection between participants and their horses, the growth participants demonstrate through their time in our programs, and the pride and confidence participants show when they share their growth and skills with their families, communities and team members.

Carla believes that the horse can teach us things about ourselves that no one else can and feels privileged to be able to create space for this learning.

“Horses teach us to ask without aggression, how to love without condition, and how to avoid the destructive side of perfection.” – Dominique Barbier

Tavia – Program Director

Tavia’s story with horses began when she was a child who wanted to spend every spare minute at the barn. The time spent with horses throughout her childhood (and beyond) helped her grow in confidence and compassion and provided her a refuge during the ups and downs of life.

Tavia first joined the team in 2017 as Assistant Instructor and Driver. After a few years away, she returned to Urban Stable in September 2023 as Program Director. In addition to experience in horse training, barn management, and coaching riding lessons, Tavia is a certified CanTRA Intermediate Instructor and a Registered Social Worker with a Master of Social Work. She is delighted to bring these skillsets together in her role at Urban Stable.

Tavia appreciates that Urban Stable opens the door to horses for young people who might otherwise never have the chance to spend time with a horse. She finds it rewarding to see students progress in skills, ease and confidence as they return each week and to witness the joy they experience so fully with the horses in the program. Tavia is honoured to be part of the Urban Stable team.

Ashley – Program Coordinator

Ashley is the Program Coordinator for Urban Stable. She grew up on a farm and has been around horses her whole life. She began taking riding lessons when she was seven years old and competed in several disciplines including Hunter/Jumper, 3-day Eventing, and was an active member of Manitoba Pony Club.

Ashley joins the Urban Stable team with considerable experience working on farms and in the equine industry. She is currently working on her CanTRA Intermediate Instructor certification. Ashley enjoys spending quality time with her beautiful Morgan Mare, Vera, and is passionate about creating similar life experiences for her students.

Lana – Assistant Instructor

Lana Stevenson joined the Urban Stable team in 2015. She started as a Volunteer Horse Handler, served on the Board for seven years, and more recently has become an Assistant Instructor. Over the years she has enjoyed witnessing the transformation that occurs in the students as they develop their partnership with their horse, gain confidence, and grow as individuals. She has a strong belief that the program can work for anyone as the horses provide the students with the skills they need – whether it is finding ways to be calm and focused or finding ways to be confident and clear in their communication.

Lana’s background in psychology and horses has helped prepare her for this role. She has been involved with horses most of her life, and as an adult amateur continues to ride and compete in jumping events with her horse Gemini. Lana also enjoys spending time with her family, supporting her teen daughters in their activities and volunteering on other non-profit Boards.

Cathy – Assistant Instructor

Cathy joined the Urban Stable team in 2022 as Assistant Instructor.

Cathy found horses as an adult when she followed her curiosity and began riding lessons. From that point on, Cathy’s passion for horses was solidified and has consistently developed her riding and horsemanship skills.

Cathy knows firsthand the power of the human horse connection and the ability of horses to heal. Horses are a grounding force in Cathy’s life and have created a safe space to develop her own personal power.

After a career in law and discovering her passion for horses, Cathy began volunteering at Urban Stable. Right away, Cathy saw the transformation in young people as a direct result of working with horses. From learning how to work with and care for horses on the ground to riding in saddle, young people learn to develop confidence, personal power, and life skills to carry into their everyday lives. Cathy is proud to be part of a team that provides a safe, kind, and supportive environment for young people to thrive.

Cathy is particularly passionate about the Urban Stable Horse Connection Program and facilitating therapeutic and sensory touch activities for young people and adults.

Cathy is currently working on her CanTRA Intermediate Instructor certification. Cathy enjoys spending time with and riding her thoroughbred mare, Foxy.

Wendy – Program Driver

Wendy finds it a pleasure transporting Urban Stable students safely from their school to the stable and back every week. She enjoys chatting with the students about their equine partners and watching the students connect with and learn from their horses. Observing the benefits of Urban Stable grow in the students and seeing the smiles on their faces amazes Wendy.

Wendy has been fortunate to have had many riding horses throughout her life. Her husbands’ family showed heavy horses, so naturally she learned to drive a team of Clydesdales too. Currently, Wendy owns two miniature donkeys and Ms. Piffles, a retired Urban Stable program horse! She loves looking after her animals and wants to share her love of horses with her grandkids.

Over the years Wendy has enjoyed the opportunity to work with youth as a 4-H leader and Sunday School teacher. Between her family’s sheep farm, a catering business, and her five grandkids, she keeps pretty busy. Wendy enjoys painting barn quilts and scrapbooking when time allows. Being at Urban Stable is her favourite day of the week!

Iris – Program Driver

Iris is a retired teacher who joined the Urban Stable team as a driver and thoroughly enjoys it. Iris is very familiar with horses and working with youth as she has had the opportunity to be involved in both these areas most of her life.

Iris grew up with horses on a mixed farm in northwestern Saskatchewan. She has a degree in Physical Education and Mathematics from the University of Saskatchewan, and an Education degree from the University of Manitoba.

In her career as a teacher Iris taught in Northern Manitoba, Winnipeg, and Stonewall. She is now retired from teaching full time, but still does some tutoring. And of course enjoys spending time driving for Urban Stable.

Iris enjoys curling, golfing, camping, and riding her horses. She competes in Competitive Trail and Endurance riding with her Arabian mare.