Who We Are
We are an inclusive community of trainers, volunteers, and instructors serving children, teens and adults that come from all walks of life, all ages, all abilities and all geographies surrounding the greater Atlanta area.
Our mission is to empower riders of all abilities through life-changing relationships with horses.
Our vision is to become the model recognized by professional equestrian organizations throughout the U.S. for bringing riders of all abilities together into a single inclusive community.
Who We Serve
Through our Therapeutic Program, we serve individuals with a broad range of physical, cognitive and emotional abilities and all socioeconomic backgrounds. Through our School and Boarder Programs, we provide opportunities for beginner, intermediate and advanced riders to excel in the sport of horsemanship.
Board of Directors
Chastain Horse Park is a 501(c) 3 non-profit organization governed by a Board of Directors who donate thier time and resources to ensure the success of our mission.
Jennifer Flanagan, Board Chair
Director of Development
Lorin grew up in Pennsylvania, outside of Valley Forge National Park, and began riding horses at age 10. When her family moved to Singapore in 1982, she continued her riding pursuits there until the age of 16 when other interests took over, but her love of horses never waned.
After graduating from Florida State University with a degree in Actuarial Science, her career turned toward finance, and she worked in Wealth Management over the next 23 years, earning her CFP® and CPWA® designations.
Her daughter began taking riding lessons at Chastain Horse Park in 2009 and the love affair with the amazing community of Chastain Horse Park began.
Born and raised in Atlanta, Georgia, Lori is one of six children from a very close knit family. She has been involved with horses since she was bitten by the bug at the age of 12. Riding mostly for pleasure, she did local showing as a child riding mainly hunters and jumpers but also showed in open shows in western and saddle seat. As a matter of fact, she actually showed at Chastain Park in the 1970’s! Since then, she has been an avid trail rider.
After graduating from St. Pius X High School in 1979, Lori went right to work as a Veterinary Technician for a small animal veterinarian and continued riding. After marrying, convinced her husband to join her in riding as well. She worked for 12 years as a Veterinary Technician with Equine Veterinarian Dr. Hugh Worsham who was a great teacher and mentor. Read More
Assistant Head Trainer
Missy was born and raised in Atlanta and began riding at the age of 5. She studied Psychology and Equine Studies at Virginia Intermont College. Missy joined Chastain Horse Park in 2000 and has over 20 years experience coaching children and adults. Missy prides herself on coaching girls from beginners all the way to national levels. Missy leads our IEA team.
In her spare time, Missy is a APA pool player. She competes in tournaments and competes on a weekly pool team.
Steven Dennis began volunteering at CHP in September 2019. However, he’s known about CHP for 10 years. While serving in the United States Navy 2007-2012, he sustained an injury that caused him to lose his ability to walk and use the right side of his body. During treatment at the Shepherd Center, he was first introduced to PATH Intl. and the power of horses at Chastain's Therapeutic Riding program.
Participating in the program inspired him to learn more about these wonderful creatures and give back to others participating in the therapeutic horsemanship. He attended St. Andrews University, an equestrian college in Laurinburg, NC. He learned a lot about horses and competed in IHSA (Intercollegiate Horse Show Association). After receiving his degree in Visual Art and Therapeutic Horsemanship, he returned home and began volunteering at CHP to show his gratitude and help give others the same experience that helped him grow as a person. Steven has volunteered in a variety of roles over the years, including earning the title of fungal bath master of 2020. Steven joined the team as a Volunteer Coordinator in March of 2021 where he particularly enjoys training new volunteers.
Currently, Steven’s working towards becoming a PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor so he can deepen his impact in the equine assisted services industry. He is excited to continue and expand working with these wonderful animals and provide the best opportunities and experiences for all who are a part of the therapeutic riding program. Contributing to CHP’s mission and helping people heal through the power of horses is a dream come true for Steven.
Manager of Volunteer Services
Amanda is originally from Illinois where she earned a BS in Management at Northern Illinois University and an MS in Sociology at Illinois State University.
Her passion for volunteerism led Amanda to complete two-terms of service with AmeriCorps working with non-profits in five states. Prior to joining the Chastain Horse Park team, Amanda served as a Peace Corps volunteer in Ukraine.
In her free time, Amanda enjoys hiking with her husband, volunteering in the community and continuing her education.
Alberto, born in the city of Bogota, Colombia, met his passion for horses at a young age, dedicating all of his free time to training at different equestrian centers including the Bacata Club and the Equestrian Club of the National Police. Scoring impressive results in national competitions won him placing in the Equestrian Federation of Colombia.
With the goal of improving his horsemanship skills, Alberto enrolled in the Equestrian Center of the National Police where he earned a degree as an Equestrian Instructor.
In his professional career Alberto became a Certified Public Account at the University of Manizales, all the while continuing to pursue his passion for horses as a hobby.
Upon moving to the USA with his family, Alberto was able to newly embrace his passion for horses and now in a professional capacity as the Facilities Manager at Chastain Horse Park.
Having worked in the travel industry for most of her life and owning an agency in Georgia for 9 years certainly prepared Margie for her role as the administrative coordinator for both the school program and Horse Lovers Camp, among other duties. A pride in good customer service and a love of horses and children has also made the role of Pony Party coordinator one of her favorite jobs at CHP. Her love affair with Chastain Horse Park began in 2004 when she followed in her daughter’s footsteps and started volunteering with the Therapeutic Program. Since then she has also been lucky enough to ride in both the Therapeutic and School programs, own and board a horse at the barn, and assume many other roles when needed. In her spare time Margie enjoys collecting college degrees and is currently studying Modern Hebrew.
A native New Yorker from the New York City area, Christian got her Bachelor of Arts degree from the State University of New York at Buffalo. After years of dealing with cold weather and snow, she moved to sunny, Atlanta, Georgia. Christian has 12+ years of Accounting experience in the public and non-profit sector and enjoys working at Chastain Horse Park because of its mission and its commitment to serving others.
Therapeutic Riding & Horsemanship Instructors
PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor
A native of Atlanta, Dustin got his start with horses at the age of six when he attended YMCA horse camp. From there, Dustin immersed himself in all things equine. He spent countless hours in the saddle as a youth showing at saddle clubs where he rode hunt seat, western pleasure, barrel racing, and pole bending. In high school, Dustin rode in the High School Rodeo Association as a bull rider winning a number of championships.
At age 15 Dustin found his niche when a racehorse trainer noticed his talents and offered a job exercising racehorses on his farm. Dustin fell in love with racing and devoted himself to pursuing a career as a thoroughbred jockey. Dustin’s dream became reality in 1990 in Fort Worth, Texas at Trinity Meadows Raceway, when on his first official ride, he brought his horse from off the pace to win by a head at the wire; the horse’s name: Incredible Story. Dustin won four out of his next eight starts and was quickly recruited to ride at prestigious Gulfstream Park in Miami, FL. Read More
PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor
Gabriella is a PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor (CTRI). Her first introduction to Chastain Horse Park was in 2017, when she completed her practicum hours for certification. She has always had a love of horses but did not start actively riding until she was 14 years old. She has been a dynamic volunteer at Chastain Horse Park’s Therapeutic Program for over three years and has been serving an important role of "lesson captain". Since 2018, Gabriella has coached the Douglas County Special Olympics Equestrian Team. She has a Master’s in Clinical Mental Health Counseling and is a Licensed Professional Counselor Associate working toward full licensure by completing a designated amount of supervised clinical counseling hours. Eventually, Gabriella would like to combine her love of equines and professional background by conducting psychotherapy here at CHP. This is a practice of incorporating horses by skillfully integrating the qualities of the horse or equine environments within individualized plans of care benefiting patients and clients.
PATH Intl. Advanced Therapeutic Riding Instructor with PATH Intl. CTRI certification
Originally from Wellington, Florida. Sarah has been around equine assisted activities since she was 14 years old. She logged over 4000 volunteer hours at Vinceremos Therapeutic Riding Center, a PATH Intl. Premiere Accredited Center. This drove her to peruse her Path Intl. Registered Instructor at the age of 18 years.
Sarah attended college at Saint Andrews University (Laruinburg, NC) where she was part of the IHSA (Intercollegiate Horse Show Association) and IDA (Intercollegiate Dressage Association) teams competing all 4 years of college. She attained her PATH Intl. Advanced Instructor, her bachelor’s degree in Therapeutic Horsemanship, and a minor in equine business in 2015.
For the last two and a half years, Sarah and her husband, an airborne medic and Sergeant in the Army, lived in Italy. Sarah had several interesting opportunities. She traveled Europe, worked with military children and established her own self esteem program to help them cope with their life challenges
PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor
Gail is a Certified PATH Intl. Registered Level Instructor and owner of Horse Heaven Therapeutic Riding, LLC. She grew up on a ranch in Washington State raising, training and riding horses. She competed in gymkhanas, rodeo and the local 4-H equestrian drill team. Her equestrian involvement was put on hiatus during her
33-year career with UPS, Inc. due to frequent relocations and global travel responsibilities.
After being relocated to Atlanta, Gail volunteered with Chastain Horse Park nearly every Saturday for 5 years. Upon retiring, she became the CHP Volunteer Coordinator while working toward her certification as a Therapeutic Riding Instructor. She loves working with clients of all ages and feels humbled by these amazing riders and their families.
“I love the challenge of using time, patience, creativity and ingenuity in teaching riding skills to people who are challenged with a disability. Seeing a client make progress, even the smallest thing, makes me so very happy!”
Brent Applegate, MPT
Physical Therapist, owner of My Heroes Therapy
Carrie Bartelme, MS, OTR/L
Occupational Therapist, PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor, AHA Level 2
Michelle Winer, MSPT
Physical Therapist, AHA Level 2
Hippotherapy Clinical Specialist
Lauris Jones, COTA
Occupational Therapy Assistant, AHA Level 1
Sue Soha, PT
Physical Therapist, AHA Level 1
Without you, they don't ride!
If you are interested in giving back to your community, impacting peoples' lives and being surrounded by some of natures most magical equines, come join us.
Trish grew up in a small town in Michigan with a dream of riding horses but as with many things, life intervened. After earning a BS in Engineering from Michigan State University and an MBA from the University of Chicago, Trish founded a company where under her leadership as President and CEO,the company grew aggressively over 12 years culminating in a successful exit in 2012. Since 2012, she has been paying it forward and is currently on the board of the Leatherby Center for Entrepreneurship at Chapman University, is an Entrepreneur in Residence at University of California Irvine and Chapman and a board member for a number of high potential start-ups.
While re-locating to Atlanta in 2015, Trish and her family discovered Chastain Park and fell in love with the area. She is passionate about the benefits of horsemanship for riders of all abilities and is equally passionate about helping companies reach their highest potential. It is her vision for CHP to become the model recognized throughout the US for bringing together riders of all abilities into a single community benefiting from the healing power of horses.
Head Trainer and Program Director
Lisa Anderson has been training and showing horses and teaching riders since 1980. After graduating from Columbia University Lisa began her professional career as a hunter and jumper trainer at Lamplight Equestrian Center in Wayne, IL where she was based until 1992. After catch riding a colleague’s event horses, Lisa began a second career as an event rider which led to her competing at the advanced level, riding for two years with Olympic coach Jack LeGoff at USET headquarters in S Hamilton, MA and being named 6th leading event rider in the United States in 1989. She remained active on the eventing circuit until 1996, winning divisions of Rolex*, Essex*, N GA* and placing at Radnor**, Rolex**, Atlanta** and Fair Hill***, competing over 30 different horses at the preliminary level and above and coaching hundreds of students in clinics across the country.
Therapeutic Program Director
Originally from New Orleans, Kelcy grew up competitively showing nationally and internationally in the saddle seat discipline. She earned a spot on the United States World Cup Saddle Seat Equitation Team in 2002, served on three other Invitational World Cup Teams and competed in South Africa where she captured three gold medals and one silver medal.
It was in college, at the University of Georgia where she earned a Bachelor of Arts in Anthropology and Art History, that Kelcy was first involved as a volunteer at a PATH Intl. Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies program Kelcy has been a PATH Intl. Certified Instructor since 2008 and earned her Advanced Certification in 2016. She served as the Volunteer and Development Coordinator at Jackson Hole Therapeutic Riding Association for several years before she moved to Atlanta in 2011. Kelcy joined the CHP team as an instructor in 2012 and became Therapeutic Program Director in 2014.
HISTORY OF CHASTAIN HORSE PARK
Although established in 1999, Chastain Horse Park's (CHP) history and importance in the community date back for generations.
The original stables were built as part of the park plan in 1939 offering riding lessons and horse boarding for local residents while serving as a popular destination for horse show competitions.
After years of disrepair, in 1992 our founder proposed a plan to rebuild the facility. Her vision was to create an acclaimed equestrian center which would operate as a 501(c)(3) charitable organization specializing in educational and therapeutic programs for students with mental, cognitive, emotional and physical impairments and outreach programs for children-at-risk, along with riding lessons and boarding services for the general public.
In spring of 1998, Atlanta Mayor Bill Campbell signed off on a 20-year lease for the facility to be privately operated.
Today, CHP ranks among the region’s premier equestrian facilities having served hundreds of children and adults of all ages and abilities, from all walks of life. Its' facilities house three barns and four arenas for therapeutic riding lessons and Hippotherapy, a riding lesson program, summer and holiday camps, pony birthday parties, and celebratory events.
My son, who has a PDD-NOS diagnosis, started hippotherapy at the age of 4. He is now 8 years old and has improved
so much over the past 4 years. His core is much stronger and he has developed a bond with his favorite horse, Gallagher.
The therapists are so positive and encouraging which has helped his
self-esteem and he looks forward
to going to the barn every Thursday.
I would highly recommend this program
to anyone looking for a therapeutic
riding program for their child.
Director of STARS Program, Center for the Visually Impaired
Working with Chastain Horse Park for therapeutic riding has been a favorite activity of STARS members. Parents love it because their child gets a hands-on, up close and personal experience with a horse that they might not have access to in any other environment. Our Youth love it because they get a meaningful interaction with the horses through grooming, saddle mounting, walking and trotting. The volunteers are knowledgeable and confident with our youth, which is extremely helpful in working with youth who have vision impairment.
The therapeutic program at Chastain has been a wonderful opportunity for my daughter to get out of her wheelchair and get the exercise that is only available to her through Hippotherapy. The therapists are top notch and the volunteers are friendly and always ready to help. The program at Chastain is highly recommended by Shepherd Center MS Physicians.