Meet Our Team

Melissa Bennett (she/her/hers)
Owner, Lead Facilitator
, resident pony squisher

A Favorite Quote: “Our word ‘courage’ comes from the French word coeur, ‘heart’. Courage is a willingness to act from the heart, to let your heart lead the way, not knowing what will be required of you next, and if you can do it.” – Jean Shinoda Bolen (Author, Jungian Analyst, Activist)

3 Favorite Books/Podcasts: Biology of Belief, the Art of Gathering, and the Power of the Herd have been some of the most influential in my work.

What kind of work gets you excited: Big picture heartstorming with others around a shared vision, Detailed designing of an experience to support a purpose

What are your credentials/experience as it relates to your role in our organization? My undergraduate training focused on designing group experiences through Therapeutic Recreation and Team Building. My secondary focus of study was in Psychology and Applied Behavioral Analysis. During this time I also became a PATH certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor with a focus on Equine Facilitated Mental Health. Over the next decade my experiences would lead me to becoming a certified Equine Facilitated Learning and Coaching practitioner.

Looking back at my trainings and certifications there’s a clear evolution of body-focused work that integrated brain science, which then evolved to include heart-brain interactions and emotional wellbeing. At this point in my life and career mind-body-heart-soul/energy are central to and integrated in every experience I offer whether that be within or without the presence of the horses. I’m super curious to see what digging deeper into these layers of the human experience reveals and how my work might evolve further into other realms.

What attracted you to working within this organization? It began with a desire to present new options to individuals in transition, women standing at a crossroad with the opportunity to create their own watershed moment in life. It has since evolved into collaborating with other professionals to offer a variety of means to a similar end, an invitation into a new way of being. My role has shifted into a position of creating a culture within the organization that supports all providers, including myself as lead facilitator, to carry out the Purpose and Vision of the organization.

What Values drive you? The Values I’m most focused on currently are Social Justice, Connection, Courageous Risk Taking, Leadership, and Community

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working? Reading, Going Into the Woods, Art, Writing, and anything involving Horses

Kristie McKinley
Keeper of Safe Spaces, Master Reiki Instructor

A Favorite Quote: “When you truly love yourself, you inspire others.” I’m not sure of author, but I’m pretty sure it’s from an ad. I found it as part of a vision board project.

3 Favorite Books/Podcasts: Outrageous Openness by Tosha Silver, Tao Teh Ching, The Billionaire Who Wasn’t by Conor O’Clery

What kind of work gets you excited: Powerful work that feels effortless

What are your credentials/experience as it relates to your role in our organization? Reiki practitioner since 2008, Reiki Master Teacher since 2012, Undergraduate in Psychology with Anthropology minor, MBA. Leads talks about different aspects of self care. Small group leader and facilitator for 7 years.

What attracted you to working within this organization? I’ve know Melissa for a long time, and I appreciate how she shows up in the world.

What Values drive you? Integrity, Honesty, Resiliency

What do you enjoy doing when you’re not working? watching movies, playing board games, putting together puzzles, sitting on my porch with a cup of tea or coffee