Janet is the executive director of Horse and Buddy. She has been involved with therapeutic riding for almost 15 years. Her background is in the corporate world, having worked for IBM over 20 years. She has an MBA from Duke and is thrilled to be using it to help run Horse and Buddy. Janet is a registered PATH instructor. Janet has a sweet, beautiful, brilliant 15 year old daughter named Sarah. Janet also has a horse, 6 dogs and a cat at her farm in Siler City.
Holly is our Program Director. She is an Occupational Therapist and a PATH registered instructor. Holly earned her BS in OT at Tufts University in Medford , MA. She worked for 10 years in a pediatric rehab hospitial in NJ before moving to NC in 1997. Holly has been riding since age 9. She has been with our program since 2002, first as a volunteer and now as a staff member, and currently conducts most of our evaluation rides, private lessons, and all of our hippotherapy sessions. Holly also works part time for a local pediatric therapy practice. She is married to Joe and has 3 daughters (two of whom sometimes volunteer with Horse and Buddy).
Rosa began her time with Horse and Buddy in 2006 as a volunteer. Impressed by the benefits the program provided to the riders, she became a PATH Registered Instructor. By day Rosa is a Healthcare Billing Manager and lives in Durham with her husband, son, and four-legged boys. Rosa enjoys leaving the office behind to be outside and at the barn, bringing her background of working with children and horse experience to the program.
Melissa is a registered PATH instructor. She began volunteering back in 2004 at Horse and Buddy, and fell in love with the program. When she left for college at UNC-Asheville, she found another program in the Asheville area to volunteer with, but missed Horse and Buddy. After graduating, she moved back to the area and returned to Horse and Buddy. She is so glad to be part of the H&B "family", and loves every second with the children! Outside of Horse and Buddy, she spends her free time reading books and working on a research project through which she hopes to have a few articles and perhaps a book published.
Lisa is a registered instructor. She grew up with horse trainer parents. She has an extensive background in training and showing Quarter horses, Appaloosas, and Thoroughbreds in english and western disciplines. Lisa has retired from GlaxoSmithKline as a Research Scientist. Lisa has a background working with young people through BSA. Lisa started volunteering at Horse and Buddy in 2010 and became certified as a PATH Registered Instructor in 2011. Lisa is married and has 3 children, 3 grand children, and a Basenji. Her family is very supportive of her time at Horse and Buddy. "It makes my heart smile to be around horses again, and I love seeing the smiles on the faces of the kids and adults that come to Horse and Buddy.” In her spare time, Lisa likes to travel to the Caribbean to scuba dive or travel with her husband on their Harley.
Katie is a registered PATH instructor and half of our Volunteer Coordinator team (shared with Laura). She started with the program as a volunteer in 2010. She fell in love with therapeutic riding after volunteering for another program while in college. Katie has over 15 years of riding experience including riding on the ECU Equestrian Team and serving as the Team Captain for two years. She lives in Apex with her husband Tim, daughters Olivia and Addison, and two sweet dogs, Gabriella and Lenny.
Alaina grew up in the Cary/Apex area and lives in New Hill with her husband Jorge, her dog, cats and horses. She became a volunteer with Horse and Buddy in 2004 and became a PATH certified instructor in November, 2012. She has 2 grown children who have also volunteered with Horse and Buddy in the past. She welcomed her first granddaughter in February, 2016. She has a degree in Early Childhood Education and currently teaches first grade at Cary Christian School. "It is an honor and a privilege to work with the very special riders at Horse and Buddy!"
Laura is a graduate of St. Andrews Presbyterian College in Laurinburg, NC where she achieved a BA in Therapeutic Horsemanship. Laura is also a certified Special Olympics equestrian coach and is a member of the Sports Development team for the equestrian games. Laura grew up with horses and has owned and showed horses for over 15 years. Laura lives in Spring Lake, NC with her Husband Hugh, and their 4 dogs. Laura Says " I am so incredibly fortunate to be able to work with such a talented group of instructors and staff members and I look forward to coming to work every day to work with a great group of riders. I am truly blessed."
Melissa started volunteering with Horse and Buddy in 2011 and fell in love with the program and the riders. She is now a registered PATH instructor. Melissa has over 15 years of riding experience and participated in many Pony Club events over the years. She owned several horses throughout her youth, and has experience in the hunter/jumper ring, although her heart always enjoyed Three Day Eventing the most. Melissa was lucky enough to train and work for some of the top Three Day Eventing coaches in Washington State, and loves sharing their teaching styles and what she has learned with her riders. Melissa currently resides in Clayton with her three pooches and works as a Project/Program Manager for a Telecommunications company. In her spare time, Melissa enjoys working out, attending Canes games, and just spending time with friends. Melissa says " Working at Horse and Buddy has been a life changing experience that I am truly grateful for. It is so rewarding and I look forward to every moment that I get to spend with the riders, horses, parents, volunteers and staff."
Jessica can't remember a time when she wasn't completely horse crazy. Growing up in a rural area of the northeast, she had the opportunity to begin riding at a very young age. She took riding lessons for several years and was a member of 4H where she learned all aspects of horse care and handling and met other horse enthusiasts. She was able to convince her parents that she could not live without a horse of her own by the time she was 10. With the assistance of a family friend and trainer, Jessica and her first pony learned to jump together and competed in the local 4H show circuit. She did barn work as trade for the boarding costs of her horse and was at the barn everyday after school and on the weekends for years. Sadly she outgrew her pony and was never able to continue with her passion until after college, marriage, and 3 children were born. She began riding again after 25 years out of the saddle when her oldest daughter expressed an interest in horse back riding. She then discovered the existence of therapeutic horse back riding and equine assisted therapy while pursuing her masters degree in psychology. She learned about the therapeutic riding program at Horse & Buddy and began volunteering in May 2011. It didn't take long before she made the decision to become a PATH Int. Instructor. It was a natural career progression and perfect combination of her passion for horses and education in psychology.
Kate joined Horse and Buddy as a volunteer in 2010. The riders’ smiles each week compelled her to become a registered PATH instructor. She is truly honored to be able to work with such outstanding riders, volunteers, horses and staff. Kate started taking riding lessons when she was five because she wanted to go on trail rides with her mother whose multiple sclerosis never deterred her from following her dream of riding horses. Kate values the partnership that can develop between horse and rider. In the past 30 years she is grateful to have experienced a wide variety of riding disciplines – three day eventing, team penning, polo, fox hunting, reining, huntseat and western horsemanship, competing at the national level. In college she competed on the riding team where she served as co-captain for 3 years. Nowadays, she enjoys peaceful trail rides on her wonder horse Zeke who’s been part of her family for over 20 years. In addition to Zeke, Kate and her husband have two little girls. Kate has a BA in Psychology from the State University of NY at Geneseo and a Masters in Human Resources from Cornell University.
Elle joined Horse & Buddy as a volunteer and instructor-in-training in 2016, and became certified as a PATH therapeutic riding instructor in September 2016.
She holds a Master’s degree in Equine Nutrition from NCSU and a Bachelor’s degree in Horse Science from Middle Tennessee State University. Elle has taught riding in
several southern states and Michigan, and has taught locally since 2013, focusing on dressage, jumping, and behavior-based horsemanship. She also teaches at NCTRC in
Mebane, and around the Triangle as an independent instructor. After living in Michigan for a year, Elle is excited to be back to North Carolina as part of the team at
Horse & Buddy.