Making Strides started in 2019, offering mounted Therapeutic Riding Lessons exclusively to our community. Throughout the years we have witnessed many amazing bonds created by horse and human!
Through our Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) and Equine Assisted Activities & Therapies (EAAT) sessions, I noticed profound changes in my students behavior, thinking, motor skills, speech and the like. I witnessed firsthand how spending time on the ground with the horses changed their lives for the better! These unmounted sessions brought purpose, independence, health and hope to those with special and different needs.
As of November 2022, three years after our very first riding lesson, we have decided to reinvent Making Strides and offer unmounted only programs to our community. We may, in the future, offer mounted TR lessons, but for now we will only offer unmounted ground programs.
They will take on an experiential-based approach to learning that utilizes a variety of activities to teach abstract concepts including personal boundaries, self-awareness, cooperation, empathy, impulse control and independence. We hope you will continue to support us in our new endeavors!
Kimberly Childs, Founder & Executive Director
PATH, Intl CTRI & Mentor
As the Founder and Executive Director of Making Strides, Kimberly is passionate about “everything equine”. She has been riding and owned horses for over 30 years. Training and showing under talented instructors in the Hunter/Jumper world, has provided her with the opportunity to pass down a wealth of knowledge to her students.
As a former Barn Manager; a Certified Equine Kinesiology Tape Practitioner; Equine Massage Therapist and Level II Reiki Practitioner she holds a diverse equine background.
In 2018, Kimberly was certified through PATH, Intl. as a Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor, and is also a PATH, Intl. Certified Mentor. In 2019 her desire to open a Therapeutic Horsemanship Center came to fruition when Making Strides Therapeutic Horsemanship, Inc. was opened as a 501 (c)(3) Non Profit Organization. Through her commitment to the community, upholding the highest standards and her genuine love for her equine partners,Making Strides will continue to grow.
Jenna started her riding career at the young age of just 4 years old. She started off riding and showing ponies for several barns in the hunters and equitation. At 5 years old she won the Emerson Burr Leadline Perpetual Trophy at the Fairfield Hunt Club.
Moving on from ponies, she then assisted in training and showing her two horses Revel and Snowman. Today, Jenna can be found running our After School Program and Summer Camp, giving Community Lessons and one-on-one horsemanship sessions.
Laurie, Giannola, LCSW-R
Laurie Giannola is a mindfulness-based clinical social worker who began her career over 20 years ago at an outdoor wilderness program for adjudicated adolescents. During this time, she had the privilege of working closely with the Crow Tribe of Montana, became certified in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and traveled through big sky country building tipis and learning wilderness survival skills. Laurie has had the privilege of training in Mindful-Based Stress Reduction and attending workshops
guided by Jon Kabat Zinn. Laurie went on to attend intimate workshops facilitated by Tara Brach, Jonathan Faust, Adyashanti, and became a certified Mindfulness Meditation Teacher Trainer with Sean Fargo, former Monk and official Instructor for Google’s mindfulness program. During what she calls her incredible journey through life, Laurie became a Master Level Reiki practitioner and certified in Ericksonian Hypnosis.
A deep love for Mother Earth, trails, and animals, combined with a passion for helping others, has led Laurie to guide others on a journey with horses where anything can happen.