My mother had always wanted a horse of her own since she was a little girl so when I was 8 years old and started asking for a pony, she jumped at the chance to fulfill both our childhood dreams. I very soon joined the local Pony Club and 4-H, eager to learn as much about horses as I possibly could. I worked at barns and took on training projects all through high school.
When I went off to college, I competed in the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association but made sure to organize my schedule so I could work at the barn every weekend we didn’t have a show. During the summers, I gave lessons, trained horses and helped run horse camps. I also started supplementing my college education with Certified Horsemanship Association (CHA) accreditation and training with the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA).
During that time, I started to feel a calling to ministry, but I loved my horses too much to completely surrender that part of my life. I remember asking God to make it obvious to me if horses weren’t part of the future He had for me. Soon after that, I was asked to be the “equine expert” for the planning committee for a residential home for at-risk girls that wanted to use horses as part of their program. In the spring of 2013, I was offered a position on staff at that program, which we named Meadows of Hope. As the first Equine Supervisor there, I got a front-row seat to both the triumphs and the challenges of growing a new ministry. Over the years, God provided countless opportunities for me to deepen my understanding of relationships, both with horses and hurting people.
The same year I came on staff at MOH, I married my husband Derek. Five and a half years later, in December of 2018, our son Booker was born. His arrival changed many things in our lives, not the least of which was forcing me to take a break from ministry and reflect. I found I had a vision for empowering others to do ministry work with horses. Once again, God was setting things up for me.
Just at the time I was ready for the next level in coaching horses and people to help each other, the folks at Green Meadow Farm were looking for someone who could support their current instructors and bring on new ones to deepen the excellent work that has been happening with the children who come to the farm. Coming on board at GMF has dovetailed with a lot of transitions in my life, including moving to a new house and welcoming our second son Kellen in June of 2020. These shifts, both with the farm and in my family have continued to move and grow me toward what God has in store. I feel so very blessed to be part of the team and can’t wait to see what more the Lord has in store for us.