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/Citra
Diane Mathieson, Program Manager/Hillcrest School
Susan Bean, Horse and Barn Caretaker
Karolina Wignall, Volunteer Coordinator