Program Director & Co-Founder: KALEY MILLENDER
Kaley has been a PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship) Certified Instructor since 2012, and received her Advanced PATH Certification in June of 2018. She developed a passion for helping people though the use of horses when she started volunteering at a therapeutic riding center in 2007. Kaley received her certification in therapeutic riding right after the completion of high school, then wanted to further her education to better fit a career within the equine therapy industry. She graduated from Texas Tech University in 2015 with a degree in General Studies with minors in Animal Science, Psychology, and Pre-Health. She has taught at three therapeutic riding centers including: The Stages of Changes, Texas Tech Therapeutic Riding Center, and ManeGait Therapeutic Horsemanship. After the completion of her education, the Millender family had a dream of opening a new therapeutic riding facility in the ever-growing DFW area. In November of 2017 their dream became a reality through the completion of their new facility and the beginning of the therapy program. Kaley’s mission in the equine therapy industry is to make a difference in the lives of each rider, whether they are in the program due to emotional or physical needs, so that they can accomplish any goal they set their minds to!
PATH Instructor & BCBA: GLORIA MAILLARD
Gloria is a PATH certified therapeutic riding instructor and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst, licensed in the state of Texas with over 12 years of working with children, adolescents, and adults with ASD, Communication disorders, and intellectual delays.
Gloria Received a degree in Pack Station and Stable Operation Management and a degree in Horse Training from Feather River College and a bachelors in psychology from University of Nevada-Reno. She attended the University of North Texas and graduated with a masters of science in Behavior Analysis in 2014.
Gloria grew up riding and showing horses through her 4-H club in northern California. She started volunteering at Pinnacle Therapeutic riding Center in late 2018 and realized after watching one lesson that she wanted to combine her love for horses and her behavior analytic skills while making a difference in riders lives at Pinnacle.
Physical Therapist: JENNIFER BESCH
Jennifer Besch has been a physical therapist since 1988 and working with children since 1990. In 1992 she became SIPT certified (Sensory Integration and Praxis Test). She feels that getting the sensory connections in place is the basis of building all skills. She left a well developed sensory therapy gym to move with her husband’s job in 2005. She worked with adults for a few years, still implementing sensory strategies, but with much less equipment. 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 specialization in Hippotherapy (another word for Equine Assisted Therapy). She took her Level 1 class in 2013 and Level II class in 2014 and since 2015, has been a registered hippotherapist through Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) She has been providing Equine Assisted therapy on and off since then working with other hippotherapist through Equest. She has taken the “Gaitway to the Brain” class by Robin Harwell, SLP at Manegait in McKinney in 2015. This advanced her passion for sensory processing and brain connections even further. She authored a case study on this topic for her final Doctorate capstone. Since then she has been implementing those principles in pediatric home health and in out patient facilities. She looks forward to providing an off the horse brain building program to complement therapeutic riding sessions as well as full 50 minute hippotherapy sessions.
Jennifer lives in Bonham, TX with her husband and 3 daughters who are 20 and 16. Her oldest daughter (22) and her first son in law live in Houston. She is active in her church and Moms In Prayer International. She enjoys hanging out (often shopping), playing NERTS and simple domino games (mostly losing) and boating with the family and friends.
Director of Community Engagement & Business Operations: LAURA BELCHER, MBA
Laura developed a love for non-profits in high school while volunteering with several organizations supporting children with special needs. Her passion expanded while in college and she began to volunteer at her local animal shelter. Upon graduating with a Bachelor of Science degree in Applied Behavior Analysis from the University of North Texas, Laura was hired for a full-time position at the Dallas Zoo. After a few years, she was recruited into corporate America. Laura decided to begin volunteering at a local equestrian therapy center in her free time to learn a new skill of working with horses and individuals with disabilities. She soon fell in love with the joy that equestrian therapy brings to its riders while finishing her Master in Business Administration at Texas Woman’s University. She looks forward to bringing her passion for nonprofit management to her role at PTRC.
Licensed Counselor: Kellie Schriver, LCDC
Kellie Schriver has served as a licensed and board certified counselor for over 30 years. Incorporating her counseling services with her love of horses and her calling to help others, she developed the equine therapy program, The “Stages” of Changes, endorsed by top professionals in the equine-assisted therapy and mental health fields.
Licensed Professional Counselor: Sandra Farahani
Sandra is a licensed Licensed Professional Counselor and
Licensed Chemical Dependence Counselor. She holds a
Master of Science Degree in Mental Health Counseling from
Texas Women’s University and a Bachelor’s Degree from
the University of North Texas in Applied Arts and Science,
with a focus on addiction.
Sandra has an eclectic approach to therapy, which includes
the utilization of DBT (Dialectical Behavior Therapy), Person-
Centered Therapy, Trauma Model Therapy (TMT), Ego
States, and Integral Therapy. She is certified in TMT and
utilizes Emotional Transformation Therapy (ETT) in
therapeutic work. She has studied directly with the creator
of ETT, Stephen Vasquez, and is trained in 5 levels of this