Grace Lake was founded by Executive Director and Instructor, Holly Robinson, in June 2004. Holly is a Christian, a Licensed Social Worker, a PATH Intl. Advanced Level Certified Instructor, and an Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning. Holly began teaching horsemanship to people with disabilities, “at risk” youth and recreational students in 1998. Holly operates Grace Lake Ministries out of the barn at her home. The Robinson family is located on Holly’s parent’s quiet and beautiful 230 acre ranch.
Randy was first involved in therapeutic riding while living in Colorado, volunteering his time at a small center that used a loafing shed and a small arena as a working area, serving clients of all ages and abilities. After a long break from therapeutic riding and a move to Texas, Randy found another small center where and he and his first horse both volunteered their time serving others. Randy received his PATH Intl. Registered Instructor certification in May 2011, working as an instructor ever since. He has been a horse owner and rider for many years with experience riding in and announcing at AQHA shows, trail riding, horse training and was a team member representing the Colorado U.S. Marshals posse, riding in parades and special events.
Shelley Egger is the Volunteer Coordinator at Grace Lake. She had an 18 year career at EDS where some of her duties included project management. The past 8 years she has been a preschool teacher at a Christian learning center. She started volunteering at Grace Lake in September 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 teenage son.
Charlotte Strouse started volunteering at Grace Lake Ministries in May 2013. Her husband, Dwight, had his own business for 15 years and Charlotte worked with him managing the office and bookkeeping responsibilities. He sold the business in 2013 so she had some free time on her hands and wanted to volunteer. She found Grace Lake on the Volunteer McKinney website and noticed they needed someone with QuickBooks experience, which was a perfect match for her. After meeting Holly and hearing all the wonderful things going on at Grace Lake, Charlotte was thrilled when Holly asked her to become a volunteer. It is perfect coming out here, enjoying the country and seeing the horses. On a personal note, Charlotte has been married to Dwight for almost 36 years. They have two sons, ages 30 and 26, whom are both Aggies! Their youngest one just recently married and the oldest one will be marrying within the next year. She is originally from Kansas but moved to Plano thirty fives years ago where they raised their two sons. They moved to Fairview almost a year ago. Charlotte enjoys reading and traveling, especially to Playa del Carmen, Mexico, where they have a condo.
Cindy Long is a Certified Brain Injury Specialist and a PATH Registered Instructor. Cindy has been working in the field of neuro rehab for more than twenty years and has been a PATH instructor since 2013. Cindy has been studying horse psychology and behavior and the horse/human connection extensively for over ten years. She has been incorporating horses into her treatment plans for eleven years, often working with very impaired patients and clients who otherwise wouldn’t have this opportunity. She also works with Veteran’s using her expertise in non-verbal communication to establish communication between horse and client to help them overcome a variety of challenges.
Cindy often uses her training in brain building to work with clients before they work with the horse. The work with the horses can be either riding or communicating on the ground. Learning to read and thus communicate with a horse on the ground can elicit huge changes in the brain.
Cindy has experience working with young children up through the geriatric population. She has experience working with individuals with a variety of diagnoses ranging from traumatic brain injury, Autism, Cerebral Palsy, ADD/ADHD, Developmentally Delayed, Down Syndrome plus others.
She loves the Christian environment at GraceLake and that God is put before all else in the program. Prayer is encouraged before each lesson, meeting and decision. This makes a huge impact on all aspects of the program. We hear often, “I feel God’s presence when I drive onto the property”. We can’t ask for a higher compliment than that.
Connie has been a volunteer since 2011. She serves in many capacities as our photographer, volunteer trainer, horse schooler and whatever else we need. She and Randy graciously allow their horse, Kody to serve as one of our therapy horses. Connie and husband Randy, have five children between them and 6 grands. She shares her love for Christ through the ministry at Grace Lake in whatever way God gives the opportunity. Connie has a special understanding of parents with children that have special needs as she walks in their shoes, her youngest daughter is severely disabled. Connie has been involved in therapeutic riding for 10 years starting out at a program in Lubbock, TX. She loves what therapeutic riding does for those who partake in the classes and she loves what God does through the ministry at Grace Lake for all that are in need of hope and healing, sometimes it’s as much for the family and volunteers as it is for the rider. She enjoys riding, drawing, fishing, camping and spending time with family and friends.