Our Team

Betty Gray, Executive Director

I have been blessed to live my lifelong dream of working with horses for over 55 years. At the age of 16, I opened my 1st boarding & training stable in New York. I started showing horses at the age of 9 & was very active in the 4-H. I showed Western, Hunters and Open Jumpers in my teens. I started training and showing Morgan Horses in 1965. After marrying into Florida in 1971, I opened a Morgan training & show barn under the banner of Hi-Time Farm & became a Recognized Morgan judge in 1995.

After my daughter, Kathy, was kicked in the head by a horse in 1980 I helped start the 1st therapeutic horseback riding program in Marion County in 1983. I became a certified therapeutic riding and carriage driving instructor and started promoting therapeutic riding in our community. People needed to learn about the “miracles” that can happen to children and adults that live with disabilities after riding a horse. After seeing what riding did for my daughter, this became my #1 goal in life.

In 2007, I opened Stirrups ‘n Strides Therapeutic Riding Center at Hi-Time Farm in Orange Lake. Since we have been in existence, we have grown to 15 horses, 3 arenas and over 60 clients. Therapeutic riding has become my 1st love; I want to help as many people as possible with disabilities to overcome their challenges in life. I sadly had to give up my training & show barn in order to continue to grow Stirrups ‘n Strides, but this is now where my heart lies and I have a very special daughter that gives me the strength to continue on this wondrous path that helps make miracles happen.

Gail McDaniel, Program Manager

Susan Bean, Horse and Barn Caretaker

Karolina Wignall, Volunteer Coordinator

 

Anita Gossett, Volunteer Co-Coordinator (Recruitment & Training)

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Elaine Richter, Volunteer Co-Coordinator (Recruitment & Training)

While growing up, Elaine lived in Brooklyn and East Meadow, NY.  During her marriage, Elaine and husband Bruce moved from Brooklyn, NY to Fair Lawn, NJ where they lived and raised a family. Elaine was the Parent Support Coordinator at the Paramus Vocational High School Program that her daughter Becky attended, where she coordinated services with the student’s parents. She also served on the Board of Directors for Morris County, NJ ARC for 3 years. Her daughter Becky had been riding in a PATH therapeutic riding program with great results in New York.

Elaine and Becky moved to Ocala, FL, in 2010 after her husband Bruce passed away. She went back to work as a Customer Service Manager for Alpex Wheel Company, a manufacturing company that made diamond and borazon grinding wheels.

Elaine searched out just the right therapeutic riding program for Becky to continue her riding and they found it at Stirrups ‘n Strides! Becky began riding again and Elaine became a volunteer in 2010. Elaine was asked to join the board as Treasurer in October, 2016.

“My daughter Becky rides with Stirrups ‘n Strides and I felt it was very important to become involved. Not only is it an excellent therapeutic riding facility, we have experienced such a genuine feeling of caring, friendship and family at Stirrups ‘n Strides. ”