MEET OUR TEAM
SonRise Equestrian Foundation could not successfully make a difference for children without the efforts of our staff and volunteer team.
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Executive Director & Instructor
For as long as I can remember, I have loved horses. Not having the opportunity to own my own horse as a child, I would save my $5 and go to a local barn with a friend and rent a horse, as often as I could. At the age of 22, I was given a retired race horse and have owned a horse ever since.
I believe that I have been called by God to participate in SonRise and that He has given me such varied life experiences to prepare me for the uniqueness of this position. I know that lives can be changed and hearts can heal, and that horses are an incredible tool through which God can work.
I think from the time I could say “horse” they have been one of my passions! I was fortunate to grow up on a ranch and have horses. I learned to ride from an old cowboy who taught me not only to ride, but also about the relationship you can have with a horse – how they are calming, loving and therapeutic. My horse became one of my best friends.
I believe that is why SonRise is so dear to my heart! I love to see the glimmer in the children's eyes when they groom the horses and the smile on their face when they ride. How they light up when the horse nudges them and how calm they become just by touching the horse. I think I get just as much from being there with them as they do.
When I first started working with horses and riding, I was fascinated by therapeutic riding — I knew the benefits riding had for me, and wanted to see how it could help others. Over the years, I have volunteered for short periods when I could with several therapeutic programs, and knew it was something I wanted to do more of.
God has taught me so many wonderful things through the horses and people I have been blessed to work with.
I think one of my favorite things is how much horses can tell us if we learn to listen — more than once I have ignored when people told me something, but was more willing to listen when my horse told me to!
The feedback horses provide is very straightforward and honest, making them fantastic teachers and partners.
I am thrilled to be working with the kids and crew here at Sonrise, and to keep learning more about the God who created these amazing creatures for us to enjoy.
Volunteer Coordinator & Communication Specialist
I was an 11-year-old when the first SonRise kiddos arrived at the ranch in 2005. My mom had been a part of the program from the beginning so I like to say I “grew up” with SonRise. I give credit to God, SonRise, and my own horse for keeping me out of trouble, giving me a sense of responsibility, and being a comforting community to me during my teen years and into young adulthood.
I believe God uniquely designed horses to physically, emotionally, socially, and spiritually benefit humans, especially those with special needs. It is an honor and a joy to do this work and watch what God can do through these amazing animals.
I was very fortunate to grow up surrounded by animals. They taught me the value of hard work and responsibility. I have always enjoyed working with horses and teaching my own kids to ride.
I love the connection between a young person and a horse. The horse is so big, yet quiet and gentle, willingly obeying the commands of a child. This makes for a beautiful relationship as they learn to care for and work with the horse. Healing and growth happen before your eyes as the horse responds to the child and the child to the horse. SonRise is a place of blessing for everyone: the kids, the volunteers, and the horses.