Founder, Director, PATH Intl. Certified Advanced Instructor, Equine Specialist in Mental Health & Learning
Holly began teaching recreational riding lessons in 1998 and received her PATH certification in 1999. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Social Work. She is a PATH Intl. Advanced Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor and an Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning. Holly began Grace Lake Ministries out of the barn at her home in 2004 to combine her passion for horses, helping people, and loving God.
Volunteer and Administrative Coordinator
Shelley had an 18 year career at Electronic Data Systems, where some of her duties included consulting and project management. She was also a preschool teacher at a Christian learning center. Shelley started volunteering at Grace Lake in 2013. Feeling the need to give back in a Christian environment, along with her love of children and horses, made Grace Lake the perfect place to serve. She enjoys reading, riding, and spending time with her husband and son.
Charlotte managed her husband’s business office and bookkeeping responsibilities for 15 years. She found Grace Lake on the Volunteer McKinney website and noticed the need for someone with QuickBooks experience, which was a perfect match for her. She began bookkeeping for Grace Lake in 2013. Charlotte enjoys reading, traveling, and spending time with her family.
PATH Intl. Certified Instructor and Equine Specialist in Mental Health & Learning
Cindy became a PATH Instructor in 2013 and has been studying horse psychology and behavior as well as the horse/human connection extensively for over 10 years. She is also a PATH Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning and a Certified Brain Injury Specialist working in the field of neuro rehab for more than 20 years. She has been incorporating horses into her treatment plans for 11 years and also uses brain building techniques to improve outcomes. Cindy began instructing at Grace Lake in 2013. She enjoys trail riding, working on her new wildlife garden and spending time with her husband, Wyatt, family and friends.
PATH Intl. Certified Instructor
Nikki started volunteering at Grace Lake in 2017. Having a special needs daughter and seeing the benefits of therapeutic riding, she obtained her PATH Instructor certification in 2019. She works at Southwest Airlines as an Aircraft Mechanic and is one of 10 DFW-based women among 125 female innovators nationwide selected as American Association for the Advancement of Science IF/THEN Ambassadors who plan to share their stories and be high-profile role models for girls. Spending time with her family and going on a nice, long trail ride on a beautiful day are Nikki’s favorite things to do.
PATH Intl. Certified Instructor
Krista received certification from the Association for Equotherapy in 2002 while serving as a long term missionary in Brazil. She founded the first equestrian center in her hometown on her family ranch in northern Brazil and taught many lessons to kids with disabilities and without. Krista obtained her PATH Instructor Certification in 2005 and began instructing at Grace Lake in 2010. For fun, she enjoys playing her musical instruments, making soap or doing things like swimming in rivers and exploring new places. Krista also enjoys raising and showing her registered dairy goats.
Riding and Groundwork Connection Instructor
She has been handling horses extensively for over 20 years and teaching horsemanship for well over 16 years. She has trained with some of the top horse professionals in the world including the Parelli Natural Horsemanship Program, where she has achieved her Level 4.
Debbie has managed equine breeding programs, kids’ riding camps, and boarding facilities in addition to helping hundreds of students improve their riding and horsemanship.
Prior to Debbie’s immersion in the world of horses, she raised 5 kids with her husband, Robert, while working as a Computer Programmer at EDS. She has an Andalusion gelding named Udacio. Her hobbies include spending time with her family including 10 grandchildren and her horse Udacio, cooking and gardening.
Ainsley began volunteering for Grace Lake in 2015 during the first season of Barn Ambassadors and hasn’t stopped since. Her passion for people with special needs began when her parents adopted her brother Zeb, who has Down Syndrome, from Russia 10 years ago. Her new position at Grace Lake combines all of her passions (serving others, special needs, and horses) into one ideal job.
Jennifer has been a physical therapist since 1988 and has worked primarily with children since 1990. In 2013, she was introduced to Equine Assisted Therapy and realized that God was revealing to her a new type of outdoor sensory therapy gym. When she realized the horse provided the perfect pelvic and trunk movement to simulate gait as well as a special connection with the child, she began to pursue her education in using the horse for PT right away and has completed the required courses offered by The American Hippotherapy Association. She has been practicing PT with the option of using the horse since then, applying principles from “Gateway to the Brain”, Brain Gym (TM), Bal-A-Vis-X (TM) and Postural Restoration Institute (TM) as well as other educational pursuits along her PT journey.
Cheryl has 20+ years in software sales and retired in 2016 from the corporate world. She has spent the last three years writing home studies for potential foster/adoptive families and finds great joy serving children and families. Cheryl has been volunteering at Grace Lake since 2018 as a horse handler and accepted the challenge of writing grants. She retired again in 2021 and plans to spend more time with their 10 grandchildren, volunteering at Grace Lake, and traveling with her husband. Cheryl enjoys anytime outdoors, especially around horses, family time, and camping with friends.