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Our Staff at High Horses

Susan (Sue) Miller

Susan Miller

With High Horses since 1998

Position at High Horses: Program Director and PATH Intl’ Advanced Level Instructor & Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning.

Professional Background: Sue started with saddleseat lessons on Morgans and has ridden and studied huntseat, sidesaddle, and dressage, and has an interest in natural horsemanship. She has a small farm in Bradford where she and her family have raised a few  Morgan horses with the Misure prefix. Sue has served in different capacities over the years at High Horses and helps on different committees for  PATH Intl’, such as PATH International Accreditation Subcommittee, New England Special Activities Resources (NESAR) as a Board Member, Site Representative, PATH  Site Visitor, Mentor and is the former region one communication chair & PATH Intl’ Vermont State Chairperson. Sue continues to assist in revamping the Site Visitor Training Course to become an online course. Sue is also involved with Vermont equine activities and is the former Vice President of the Vermont Horse Shows Association, and remains a board member and past President of the Vermont Horse Council. Sue graduated from the Community College of Vermont with an Associate’s degree in childhood education and Johnson State College with a BA in professional studies and is a level 2 Reiki practitioner. Sue is also an MMES Equine Specialist in Masterson Method.

Teaching Philosophy: Sue’s teaching philosophy is one that she creates and builds upon as she acquires new experiences. Susan enjoys teaching lessons that are fun and interesting for the rider and watching riders reach their personal riding goals. Sue aspires to bring an open mind, a positive attitude, and high expectations to High Horses each day.

Ellen M. Zaika

Ellen Zaika

With High Horses since 2009

Position at High Horses: Operations Manager

Professional Background: Ellen grew up in Amherst, New York. She moved to New England to attend Boston University where she earned a degree in Communications. She has always loved horses but really didn’t have time to indulge that passion until retiring from Verizon Communications in 2008. Ellen began with High Horses as a volunteer soon after retirement and became the Site Coordinator in 2009. She truly loves the program. Ellen feels so fortunate to be the staff member always on-site. She loves witnessing and sharing in the happiness, and physical and emotional benefits that the program provides to riders, families, caregivers, and also our volunteers!

Hobbies & Interests: Ellen enjoys being outdoors and always loves spending time with her Jack Russell Terrier & Golden Retriever and her trail horse Slim.

 

Cortney Nichols

With High Horses Since 2016

Position: Public Relations Coordinator & Assistant Operations Manager

Professional Background: Cortney grew up in Plainfield, NH, and has lived in the Upper Valley her whole life. She has been working with nonprofits across the country for over 10 years sharing her communications, fundraising, and marketing expertise. She joined the High Horses team in 2016 and manages all of our social media, newsletters, website, and outreach. In the summer of 2021, she started as the Assistant Operations Manager and manages the Saturday lesson program.

Cortney grew up with horses and loves riding, spending time outside, and gardening with her daughter Bella and her husband. She also works part-time managing an insurance agency that caters to farmers, specifically horse farms.

Caroline Heinbuch

With High Horses since 2020

Position at High Horses: Facility Manager

Professional Background: Caroline grew up riding horses in upstate New York, where she concurrently studied with Hunter-Jumper, Dressage, and Eventing trainers in pursuit of a balanced education. After graduating from Mount Holyoke College with a degree in Sustainable Development, she gained valuable management experience in the financial industry prior to bringing her talents to A/AA-level Hunter-Jumper show barns, where she learned the ropes in the roles of Assistant Trainer,  Instructor,  and Barn Manager. She later progressed to managing the facility and operations of a commercial equestrian show park in West Palm Beach, FL. She continues to ride and compete with her own young hunter, Dexter, who also resides at High Horses.

Julie Ann Otis

With High Horses since 2020

Position at High Horses: Development Manager

Professional Background:
With deep roots in the Upper Valley, Julie Ann joins High Horses with ten-plus years of professional experience in multifaceted nonprofit fundraising, marketing, and special event planning capacities. Her career has included positions with Smith College, SpeakEasy Stage Company in Boston, the Hood Museum of Art, the Montshire Museum of Science, and most recently as the Director of Leadership Giving for Vermont PBS. Julie Ann has volunteered at High Horses since 2002, regularly side walking in lessons, and serving on the Public Relations and Fundraising Events committee since 2015. Julie Ann is a 2008 graduate of Smith College and holds a B.A. degree in Theater.

Andrea Brissette

With High Horses since 2021
Position at High Horses: Barn Assistant
Professional Background: Andrea, also known widely around the facility as Andie, is a mom of 3 and a big animal lover with experience working in many fields such as dog boarding, training, and grooming, horse boarding facilities, and spent some time working at a vets office. She has always had a love for horses since she was a little girl and found her passion for equine therapeutic riding with her love of horses and her interest in making people smile and feel good about themselves. She is really interested in supporting and one-day helping veterans heal and find their place in the world through equine therapy. She is currently working on her Bachelors in Equine Studies through Post University In Connecticut. She is looking forward to learning and growing here at High Horses in hopes to achieve a lifelong career.

Our Instructors:

All of our instructors undergo rigorous training and lengthy apprenticeship overseen by PATH Intl’, (the organization that certifies, accredits, and is primarily responsible for educating centers and members). There are three levels of certification available to prospective instructors: Registered, Advanced, and Master. High Horses instructors are paid professionals who are certified in CPR and First Aid.

Krystal Ingerson

With High Horses Since 2020

Position at High Horses: Instructor and Assistant Facility Manager

Professional Background:

For the past 3 years Krystal has been an Equine Assisted Communications Class Facilitator, Ranch hand, volunteer coordinator and for a short time a basic horseback riding instructor for Horse and Family Institute and Anchored Ranch, Jacksonville, North Carolina. Before that, I mentored troubled kids through Upper Valley Pediatrics and worked as a Dairy Farmhand at Rocky Hill Farm. As a mentor, I was introduced to High Horses and started volunteering in between mentoring and farm chores. Krystal is the daughter of a country Preacher. She loves Jesus and helping her folks at church. has been involved in church youth ministries most of her life.

Hobbies & Interests: Hiking and kayaking, gardening, taking pictures, hanging out with her friends and family, especially her nieces and nephews are a few of her favorite pastimes… and as crazy as it sounds though she likes riding, Krystal loves round penning and lunging far more than riding… learning how horses communicate and learn, learning how that understanding teaches her how to communicate better with horses and even people and then imparting that knowledge in an understandable manner to other people (especially kids), watching them smile with those ah-ha moments is one of her passions. For that reason, my next goal is to improve my riding and train to become a Therapeutic Riding Instructor.

 

Shari Gliedman-Baker

With High Horses Since 2018

Position at High Horses:  COTA practicing Hippotherapy, Program Administrator

Professional Background: Shari is a Certified Occupational Therapy Assistant licensed in Vermont since 2012.  She is a certified level 1 Hippotherapy practitioner by the American Hippotherapy Association and is looking forward to gaining her level 2 certification. In addition, Shari is a PATH Registered Level instructor, a registered yoga teacher, and a Reiki level 2 practitioner.  She has been volunteering in Therapeutic Riding programs since 2002.  Shari grew up as a horse-crazy kid in a suburb of New York City taking any opportunity she could to be around horses and ride. It wasn’t until 2000 when she moved to Putney, Vermont to raise her children that she was able to have her own horses and make them an everyday part of her and her family’s life.  When one of her sons was diagnosed with Asperger’s Syndrome and Sensory Processing Disorder at a young age, the resulting journey led her to Occupational Therapy and eventually to Therapeutic Riding and Hippotherapy. Shari has experience treating across the life span including sub-acute clinical experience in Adult and Geriatric rehabilitation, training in Manual Therapy, and a special interest in Sensory Processing. Shari is also an MMES-trained Masterson Method Equine Specialist.

Hobbies and Interests:  Shari enjoys spending time outdoors with her husband, 2 rescue horses, and 3 dogs (plus her 4 adult children whenever possible).  She is a dedicated yoga practitioner as well as a self-confessed Workshop/Continuing Ed junkie taking courses on all kinds of holistic health care for humans as well as for horses. Shari enjoys volunteering in her community for Putney Community Cares as well as Meals on Wheels.

Sienna Whitney

With High Horses since 2015

Position at High Horses:  PATH Intl’ Registered Level Instructor & Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning.

Professional Background: Sienna grew up in San Diego, California where she began volunteering at a therapeutic riding program, B.E.T.H (Bonita Equestrian Therapy for the Handicapped) in the late 80’s. The BETH program was founded and run by JoAnn Rangus who was a passionate, loving and empowering woman and brought out the best in people she came into contact with. Sienna greatly respected and admired her as well as Jo’s lead instructor, Amy Sheets. Over her eight years of volunteering, Sienna learned a great deal about working with horses, people with disabilities, and many life lessons that she carries with her today. She rode and worked at Blackland Farm which was a hunter/jumper stable in Bonita, California.

In the late 90’s Sienna moved to Vermont where she worked for four years for Rozo McLaughlin at Hitching Post Farm, which is a stable that hosts and competes in three-phase eventing. Sienna had the opportunity to work with the at-risk population at an alternative school run by the Clara Martin Center where she worked in the Elementary and Adventure Learning Program. She also had the privilege to work with children at the Barnard Academy. After a dozen years working within the schools, Sienna was drawn back to Therapeutic Riding. She received her Registered Level Certification through High Hopes Instructor Training Course in Old Lyme Connecticut.

Teaching Philosophy: Winston Churchill said, “There is something about the outside of a horse that is good for the inside of a man.” The horse is the greatest teacher, the instructor is only the facilitator and the volunteers are an extension of her. Together with the many other facilitators in our team, each of us has the opportunity to reach our full potential as we partner with our intuitive equine teachers. Sienna is proud to be a part of the process.

Lindsay Harris

With High Horses Since 2019

Position at High Horses: Instructor in training

Professional Background: From the beginning of my memory, I have longed to be near horses, but I grew up a frustrated suburban kid with few opportunities. As soon as I could, I got out west. Somehow, I made my way to a ranch in northern Wyoming, helping care for a herd of 50. I moved on to studying biology at Humboldt State in northern California and worked as a field biologist in Arizona and Alaska, trading chores for lessons and trail rides wherever I could. I finally settled down in Vermont in 2004 working as an aquatic biologist. I also worked and rode at a lesson barn, but it was not enough. I needed a farm! So, I put my biology education to use and figured out how to make a living grazing a herd of organic Guernsey cows. I sold milk, cheese, butter, pastured pork, and beef. I taught dairy processing and small farming classes and advocated on behalf of sustainable farmers in the Vermont legislature and nationally. FINALLY, at the age of 36, I bought my first horse; a fast, intelligent, spicy mustang named Ten Buck Trucker. After many adventures, he is retired, and I no longer milk cows. I still have Trucker and now four other horses, two donkeys, and two equine-loving daughters. For me, the horse and human connection is sacred. Whether they have been in your dreams forever or have more recently found you, their warm smell, the clippity clop of their hooves, their silky soft noses, and of course the miracle of power and speed that they share with us are the most generous of gifts. It is my deep honor to be a part of High Horses and help our two species work together towards healing.

Olivia Pembroke

With High Horses since 2019

Position at High Horses: Instructor in Training

Professional Background: Olivia was born and raised in Vermont and has been riding horses since she was five years old. She grew up showing and competing as a member of the United States Pony Club in dressage and eventing. She graduated from the University of Vermont in 2020 with a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise Science and a minor in Nutrition. She was a member of the UVM Horse Barn Cooperative for four years, where she served on the executive committee, learning how to run a horse facility and work with a wide variety of horses and people. Olivia has always had a passion for horses and for working with people with disabilities. Therapeutic riding is a way she can bring these two passions together. She began her journey at High Horses in 2019 as a volunteer while shadowing our trainers during her Senior Capstone Project, then came on board as an instructor a year later. 

Hobbies and Interests: During the warmer months Olivia enjoys hiking with her dog Marley and competing on her horse Dakota in dressage. In the winter she loves to ski and snowboard with family and friends. 

Sara Lamie

With High Horses Since 2019

Position at High Horses: Doctor of Physical Therapy

Professional Background: Sara is a Doctor of Physical Therapy with over 12 years of experience in outpatient, sports, and geriatric settings. She brings this solid background in rehabilitation to her work here in the High Horses Hippotherapy Program. Sara’s treatment philosophy incorporates her solid background in psychology and movement science to promote wellness within the individual in body and mind. She truly appreciates the transformative nature of hippotherapy and the depth of enrichment it brings to her client’s lives.

Betsy Medinger

With High Horses since 2010

Betsy Medinger

Position at High Horses: PATH Intl’ Registered Level Instructor
Professional Background: Betsy moved to Vermont a year ago and joined High Horses soon after. She comes from Connecticut with a background in Special Education, and the Hunter/Jumper show world. Betsy started her career working in residential facilities while continuing to ride and work at the local show stable. Blending the two vocations led her to a career as an instructor and program director for Pegasus Therapeutic Riding for 26 years.

Hobbies & Interests: Betsy is an avid rider and lover of outdoor activities. She also enjoys life on a horse farm in W. Windsor with her husband, dogs, cat, chickens, and two kids when they can visit.

Caroline Dupere

With High Horses since June 2016

Position at High Horses: American Hippotherapy Association Level II

Professional Background: Caroline graduated from the University of New Hampshire in 2013 with a Master’s of Science degree in Occupational Therapy and a minor in Deaf and Hard of Hearing Studies. She is a registered occupational therapist and is licensed in the states of New Hampshire & Vermont. Caroline has experience working across the age span and has specialized in working with children ages birth to three, providing transdisciplinary therapy services to infants and toddlers in their homes. She also works with the pediatric population focused on testing and therapeutic intervention within the clinic setting. Caroline joins High Horses as a treating OT and supervisor for the use of equine movement as a treatment strategy.