Chris has been involved with the program since 1986 when her daughter, Lindsey, began hippotherapy at the age of 2 to aid her low muscle tone characteristic of Down Syndrome. Over the next 17 years, her role changed from parent to volunteer to instructor and to board member, but always an advocate for the program, having witnessed first-hand the benefits riding had provided for her daughter. In 2004, tragically Lindsey passed away from leukemia after only a month-long battle; she was 10 days shy of her 20th birthday. Lindsey was successful at getting the whole family involved with horses, participating in 4H horse shows with her brother and sister and the family horse, Twizzle. Horses not only aided Lindsey’s health but Chris also credits Twizzle with helping the family with their grief from their loss. Feeling such passion for the program that had helped her family, Chris decided to pursue the General Manager position and began in November 2008. Chris feels that she couldn’t be luckier, being able to do what she loves!
Chris is the Montgomery County Special Olympics Equestrian Team Head Coach and looks forward to the county show and state games each year. Chris holds the Professional Association on Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) certification in Equine Specialist in Mental Health Learning and is a Certified Instructor .
Chris is a co-investigator and instructor for the Riding Free Pilot Study and Program for adolescents with Post Traumatic Stress Disorder. Chris and Twizzle continue to work and grow together as a team. They competed in their first event in the fall of 2013, but also enjoy trail riding through Evansburg State Park.
Jenny has been at Sebastian Riding Associates since 2002. Starting as a volunteer, Jenny began instructing in 2003. Jenny was born in Illinois. She has a Bachelors degree in Equestrian Science. Jenny is also a PATH International Certified Instructor .
Jenny’s connection with horses and riding is extensive. She has trained Arabian show horses, taught amateur riders, and competed up to the National level. Jenny’s personal horse is named Kool Kool Kitty—remember the 1960’s Manhatten Transfer song ‘The Boy From New York City’? “Ooo wah, ooo wah cool, cool kitty Talkin‘ about the boy from New York City!” Kitty has her own theme song!
Other than hanging out with horses, Jenny enjoys hiking in the Canadian Rockies and snorkeling in the Carribean!
Alicia (McElroy) Fox
Alicia has been volunteering and working at Sebastian for 10 years—since the day after her 13th birthday. Alicia has risen through the ranks, starting as barn staff, mucking out stalls on the weekends, to assistant instructor in 2005, to attaining her goal of becoming a therapeutic riding instructor in September 2010. She is currently working toward receiving her PATH Certification in May 2012.
Alicia received her BA in Art Education in May 2011 to help her fulfill her dream of becoming an art teacher. She is currently a substitute teacher at Methacton and Perkiomen Valley School Districts; she also works on Saturdays as an art teacher at the Variety Club Camp and Development Center in Worcester and as a teacher’s assistant for their ESY program in the summer. She encourages you to check out this great non-profit program if you haven’t heard about it. Her free time is dedicated to job hunting.
Hobbies that Alicia enjoys include swing and blues dancing, horseback riding (preferably dressage) and using various mediums to create art—she draws, paints and sculpts. If you’ve seen the big carrot in the arena, you’ve seen some of her handiwork! Having concentrated in fine arts and drawing in college, she is skilled in portraiture, saying, “if you know anyone that is interested in pet portraits or people portraits, let me know!”
Kellen spent 5 years volunteering for Sebastian before becoming an assistant instructor in 2013 and an instructor in 2015. She has been riding for 14 years and her love of horses and SRA helped her decide to major in Equine Facilitated Therapeutics while attending Wilson College. Kellen is a PACTH Certified Instructor, and in addition to teaching lessons enjoys furthering her education through clinics and training with as many Equine and Therapeutic Riding professionals as possible. She believes that it is important to never stop learning! Kellen enjoys riding English and Western as well as driving, and holds a special place in her heart for cross-country jumping and the basics of vaulting. She believes that solid ground training is an important part of every horse’s training, and loves working with horses on the ground as well as in the saddle. Kellen feels incredibly privileged to be doing what she loves and to have the ability to impact so many lives (human and equine) in a positive way!
You ca n find Jess at SRA on Wednesday evenings and every other Saturday. Jessica is a longtime volunteer, as well as an instructor at SRA. Jessica eagerly began volunteering at SRA in 2003, on her 13th birthday. She was attracted to SRA due to her love of horses and her passion has continued to grow with each day spent at the farm. Jessica works with the farmers of Montgomery County through her fulltime position of Ag Conservation Specialist for the Montgomery County Conservation District.
Jeff started as a volunteer at SRA in 2002 as a horse handler and sidewalker. He’s been an instructor here since March 2004. Jeff is married and has two daughters, both of whom enjoy horses.
Jeff’s involvement with horses is far-reaching, including having been a horse owner of two great horses for several years.
In April 2004, Jeff started volunteering with the Special Olympics Equestrian program. In February 2008, he earned his certification as a Special Olympics Equestrian Coach, and he has been the Head Coach for the Montgomery County Special Olympics Equestrian program since March 2008. Also in 2008, he earned his certification as a PA Qualified Instructor of Therapeutic Horsemanship.
Jeff is a PATH International Certified Instructor, and he continues to hone his skills in instructing, horsemanship and riding through clinics and trainings in Natural Horsemanship (Buck Brannaman, Pat Parelli and others) and in Centered Riding (Peggy Brown, Annalie Andersson-Beck, Stephanie Barbarra and others), along with trainings by Special Olympics, PACTH and PATH International.
Jo has been working with and learning from horses for more than 40 years. Jo started out with young Thoroughbred race horses and has had a self-taught/grass-roots/learn-from-your-mistakes (with a few professional lessons thrown in) sort of education in the field of equines.
Although Jo rides English and Western, jumps a little and drives a little, she still prefers a bareback pad to all other forms.
While she is no horse whisperer and would never claim to be, she has been caught numerous times whispering to the horses and looks forward to learning all they still have to teach her.
First time riders and nervous riders are Jo’s specialty.
Lara is a graduate of Delaware Valley College with a degree in Equine Sciences. She is also currently enrolled in Sul Ross State’s Masters Degree program for Animal Science as well as Purdue University’s Associates degree in Veterinary Technology. Lara is certified in Equine Massage and is also a PATH International Certified Instructor. While Lara enjoys all Sebastian horses, Radar holds a special place in her heart. Working with Sebastian students has helped Lara combine her love of horses and helping others, saying, “Every day, I strive to see my students grow and shine both within and outside the stable.”Lara will be celebrating her 12th year with Sebastian in January 2017!——–
Lyn Harper Mozley
Lyn started riding at the age of 4 and took formal lessons from the ages of 7-10. Following a hiatus during which she pursued other sports and rode horses only intermittently (she was always the person inquiring if facilities offered English tack for trail riding), she resumed riding more seriously about 6 years ago after meeting a very special horse named “Pro” on a trail ride. Subsequently, a colleague who is an SRA instructor encouraged Lyn to stop by SRA, and she never left.
A Certified Level 1 Centered Riding© instructor and PATH International Certified Instructor, Lyn currently enjoys taking lessons from 2 trainers. Novice and nervous riders are her specialty. She still rides English on trails.
Val became interested in therapeutic riding after a riding accident significantly damaged her leg. Although most of her leg healed, she does not have an ACL and rehabilitation was extremely painful. When Val negotiated with her caregiver to try riding a little, she rode a sure and steady Palomino who helped Val gently bend and stretch her leg with a quiet jog. The joy of getting back on the horse and the added benefit of a quicker recovery, made her think of helping others – having worked through her own rehab helps Val understand how hard it is when your body doesn’t work as you want it to. As a PATH certified instructor, she believes finding the right horse – specific size, speed, movement style and even temperament should be considered seriously in order to help the rider benefit the most.
Val is married and has three accomplished daughters and has recently welcomed her first grandchild! Her household includes one horse, two cats and two dogs – one of which is a therapy dog. She is a laboratory director at Merck by day.
Michele lives in Collegeville with my husband Dave, my 4 awesome kids, and 3 dogs. We moved here a little less than 3 years ago for Dave’s job from the Chicago area, and we love it here. I started at SRA after coming for a Servefest day with our church, CCV, first as a volunteer, then assistant instructor, and now instructor. I grew up riding horses, but had to quit due to allergy and health reasons. I’m so excited to be back in the barn, and that PA has different trees and weeds. SRA is the most special place with wonderful staff, volunteers, horses, and students! What a blessing to go from being a CPA in Illinois to this in such a short time…….life is an amazing journey.
Janice has been riding since about age 6. She got her first horse, Sonny, at age 9 and showed in the jumper ring with him for a few years. Next, she rescued and began rehabilitating her second horse, Hamlet, about 2 years ago. After showing, she went on to teach lessons for a few years and is now studying to be an occupational therapist as an undergraduate student at Ursinus, She volunteered and judged at Thorncroft Equestrian Center throughout high school and wanted to continue, so she came to SRA to combine years of horse experience with increasing OT knowledge. When Janice is not at SRA, she is studying, riding, or enjoying her part time job as a veterinary technician at Animal Medical Center in Trappe.
Cyndi MacFarland,Volunteer Coordinator/Instructor
Cyndi was put astride a ‘Dusty Pony’ when she was a toddler and this started a passion with horses for a lifetime. As soon as able, she started out with halter & lead rope in the pasture at play, learning. She was introduced to the work at Sebastian Riding Associates in the early days and the Ride-a-thon currently called the Jeopardy Ride. She trained in our arena with Kathy Metz, before SRA moved to the farm. By age 12 she started competing locally with Jumpers. At the same time, she was studying Pointe ballet with the Jr PA Ballet Company. These experiences combined, Cyndi strives to bring balance & confidence in ground training and in the saddle for SRA students and volunteers. Cyndi earned an Applied Science degree in North Carolina with a focus on Communication Arts. After a long period of traveling abroad as a project manager/programmer for Johnson Matthey and receiving her equine practitioners license in Equine Body Work, she returned to SRA in 2010 as a volunteer. By this time she had experience with her niece Taylor, disabled with low muscle tone and learning difficulties, and knew the benefits of working with horses. Cyndi’s experiences working with stroke patients, veterans, sport injuries, disabilities and horses brought her back to her favorite farm in support of the programs & devoted staff. She currently enjoys competitive trail riding and challenging obstacles with her cousins as teammates. But most of all, loves sharing the world of horses and the benefits these wonderful creatures have to share with humans.