Amy Gayhart
Executive Director

(469) 450-9594
[email protected]

Amy has a bachelor’s degree in art communications from Howard Payne University. Amy served as the marketing intern for Howard Payne for 3 years and found a love for telling stories through marketing and media. As a member of Delta Chi Rho sorority, she served as an officer for 3 years, including president her senior year. After college, Amy worked in advertising and administration. In 2003 Amy left the corporate world to stay home and care for her special needs daughter, Mabry. She continued to explore creative outlets by running her own painted mural and photography business.

Amy’s daughter Mabry had years of extensive therapy before finding her true love which was horses. That love brought them to Blue Sky where Amy started serving on the Board of Directors in 2012. Serving and volunteering at Blue Sky sparked a desire to do more for the special needs community. With the daunting realization that her daughter, Mabry, would soon age out of the public school system she was determined to create a program where special needs adults could be in community while living out their purpose. So, in addition to therapeutic horseback riding, Amy and her faithful volunteers at Blue Sky created the PURPOSE Program, which is a day program for special needs adults.

Amy is married to John, and they live in Prosper, Texas with their three children Mabry, Jack, and Slater.

Olivia DiStasio
Horse Program Director
Client Services Coordinator, Certified PATH Instructor

[email protected]

Bachelor of Science in Child Development, PATH International Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor In-Training, Certified Equine Sports Massage Therapist

Olivia began her journey at Blue Sky as an intern, finishing her Child Development degree at Texas Women’s University. After completing her Internship, Olivia knew that there was no place she’d rather be. Her passion for therapeutic riding continued to grow and she soon became certified as a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) Instructor. Also, her love for our Blue Sky horses motivated her to pursue her certification in Equine Sports Massage Therapy, so that she could learn how to give back to the horses in a meaningful way through the benefits of Equine Massage. Olivia now serves as our Horse Program Director.

Olivia pursues dressage and jumping training from. You will also see Olivia inside, supporting the PURPOSE program whenever she can.

Olivia lives in Aubrey with her dogs Moe and Lola.

Gloria Maillard
Behavior Analyst

[email protected]

Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship Certified Instructor for Riding and Driving, Board Certified Behavior Analyst, M.S. BCBA.

Gloria is a PATH certified therapeutic riding instructor and a Board Certified Behavior Analyst with over 15 years of working with children, adolescents, and adults with ASD, communication disorders, and intellectual delays.

Gloria received a degree in Pack Station/Stable Operation Management and Horse Training from Feather River College and a bachelor’s in psychology from University of Nevada-Reno. She attended the University of North Texas and graduated with a Master of Science in Behavior Analysis in 2014.

Wes Southard
Volunteer Coordinator

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Wes grew up in Pilot Point and graduated from Pilot Point High School. After high school he pursued a career as a firefighter and has been a member of the Dallas Fire Department since 2008.

Wes’ sister Paige has been a client at Blue Sky for over 10 years, and his mother and father have been faithful volunteers during that time. Wes is excited to be a part of the Blue Sky team and family! He lives in Aubrey with his wife Allison and their daughter Sunny Rose who was recently voted the cutest baby ever.

Beverly Aten
Facilities Manager and Fun Friday Coordinator

[email protected]

Beverly Aten was born and raised in Lamesa, Texas. She attended college at Levelland College and Texas Tech University.

In 1970 she moved to the North Texas area where she owned and operated several small businesses until 2003. In the spring of 2003, she began working in the Food and Nutrition Department at Denton Regional Medical Center, where she remained for 15 years. In 2010 she was named Employee of the Year.

Beverly has been involved with horses and western lifestyle her entire life. She began volunteering for Blue Sky Therapeutic Riding and Respite in 2010. She has been invaluable in the planning and development of the Purpose Project and all facilities at Blue Sky.

Beverly currently resides in Pilot Point, Texas.

Jenny Garcia
PURPOSE Program Lead and HOPE Program Facilitator
[email protected]

Jenny Garcia has been involved with Blue Sky since January of 2019. She first started volunteering and quickly became a pillar of our PURPOSE Program and now serves on the Board of Directors, as well as a PURPOSE Program Lead, and a HOPE Program Facilitator. Jenny holds a bachelor’s degree in psychology and interdisciplinary studies from Dallas Baptist University. She taught special education in the public school system for 8 years, as well as 12 years in private education. Jenny recently received her certification in Equine Behavior and Management from the Animal Behavior Institute and is working towards her Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning through PATH International.

Jenny has held a position of prestige in her company for 6 consecutive years. She loves to travel, spend time with family, teach, learn, and any type of competition. Jenny and her partner, Coach, live in Aubrey with her 2 teen children Hudson and Sophie, 4 dogs and an ornery cat.

Maryana Sloniewsky
PURPOSE Program Lead and HOPE Program Facilitator

[email protected]

Maryana Sloniewsky is a third year student at Texas Woman’s University, majoring in Psychology, and is on a graduate school prep track. Since beginning her studies, her goal has been to receive a Doctoral degree and have a lifelong career in Animal Assisted Therapy. Her hope is to have a traditional counseling program, that is accessible and effective, for those with a wide range of needs, everything from depression to Autism, as well as those who wish to live happier and more fulfilling lives. 

Maryana is working towards her certification in Advanced Canine Training from the Animal Behavior Institute, as well as her certification as an Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning through PATH International.

Abigail Sawyer
PATH Therapeutic Riding Instructor in Training

[email protected]

Abigail has been a part of the Blue Sky community since 2014. She is currently pursuing her bachelor’s degree in special education with plans to pursue a masters in the education field, as well as a bachelor’s degree in equine science.  Abigail competes on the IHSA Western and English Show Team at the University of North Texas.

Isla Paterson
PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor

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Isla is currently pursuing a degree in special education at the elementary level from the University of North Texas. Her goal is to teach and better the lives of others.

Isla has been around horses since she was 6 and has continued riding ever since. She competes in Hunter/Jumper competitions and is also a member of the UNT equestrian team. She lives in Denton with her lizard Winnie.