Equine Therapy Staff
Horse Program Director
Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship Certified Instructor for Riding and Driving, Certified Horsemanship Association Equine Facilities Management Level 4, Certified Barefoot Trimmer, Bachelors of Business Administration.
Originally from Kansas City, Jennifer began providing Equine Therapy for children and adults with disabilities in 2010. She has seen the powerful effects of Equine Therapy through first words and steps for children with diagnosis from Autism to Cerebral Palsy. Jennifer pursues dressage and driving training with a variety of accomplished coaches: Benjamin Pfabe, Rachel Calabria, Gene Brown and Jenny Fidler.
Jennifer lives in Lewisville, Texas with her husband, daughter and their three dogs.
PURPOSE Program Staff
Amy Gayhart graduated from Howard Payne University with a bachelor’s degree in Fine Art, Communications and Education. During her time at Howard Payne she served as the marketing intern for the University and was responsible for the University marketing materials and yearbook. She was a member of Delta Chi Rho, and served as an officer for 3 years, and as president of the sorority her senior year. After college Amy worked for several years in advertising and administration as an art buyer. In 2003 Amy left the corporate world to stay home and care for her special needs child, Mabry. She continued to explore creative outlets buy running her own painted mural and photography business.
Amy’s daughter Mabry had years of extensive therapy and finally found her true love which was horses. Not knowing anything about horses other than her daughter’s love for them, in 2012 she agreed to serve on the board of Blue Sky Therapeutic Riding & Respite. She quickly fell in love with therapeutic riding and was given a desire to do more for the special needs population. With the daunting realization that her daughter would one day age out of the public-school system she was determined to create a program where special needs adults could be in community while being able to live out their purpose. So, in addition to therapeutic horseback riding, Amy and her faithful volunteers at Blue Sky created PURPOSE which is a respite program for special needs adults, where Amy teaches art, gardening, cooking along with job and life skills for special needs adults.
Amy is married to John Gayhart and they live in Prosper, Texas with their three children Mabry, Jack and Slater.
RN and Yoga Teacher
Kara Price is a registered nurse and received her nursing degree from Texas Woman’s University. She has worked on a heart and lung transplant floor at UT Southwestern as well as a surgical circulating nurse for Medical City Dallas. She is currently staying home with her two special needs boys.
Her son Ian is a brain cancer survivor and had developmental delays due to the injury caused by the tumor and subsequent treatments to treat it. He is finishing his senior year at Prosper High school and will enroll in a vocational training program upon graduation. Aiden, Kara’s younger son, is a freshman in high school and has been diagnosed with ADHD, Asperger’s, ODD, and anxiety.
She believes in preventative care and healthy habits for both herself and her family. Kara assists Blue Sky riders during horse lessons and teaches Yoga on Fridays for PURPOSE. She loves sharing her knowledge of healthy eating and working out with others!
Kara, her husband Greg and their two sons Ian and Aiden, live in Prosper, Texas.
Autism and Behavioral Advisor
Shanel Tarrant-Simone graduated from the University of North Texas with a BS in Human Resources. She is the mom of twins with Level 3 Autism. Shanel is trained in Applied Behavior Analysis, Verbal Behavior, Positive Behavior Supports and Nonviolent Crisis Intervention.
Shanel worked for 9.5 years with the Frisco Independent School District before leaving to homeschool her sons. Her first year with the district she was a 1:1 support for a student who was previously homebound. She worked with the district’s autism specialist to get this student back in a school setting. The remainder of her years with the district she served on the Behavior Support Team, training teachers in the Autism program. She worked with all levels; from PPCD to High School. When Shanel left the Frisco ISD, she was supporting 27 Autism classrooms and others as requested; including Asperger’s, life skills and emotional disturbance.
Shanel and her sons live in McKinney, Texas.
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 extensive knowledge in food service and customer care. She is a valuable tool when we teach our clients entrepreneurial and job skills. She can show anyone what it means to “work hard.”
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 at Blue Sky.
Beverly currently resides in Pilot Point, Texas.
Certified Art Educator
Lisa Cox attended the Texas Women’s University majoring in Art and received her B.A. in Art Education and is a Texas Certified Art Educator, early childhood through twelfth grade. Lisa currently teaches art at Accommodated Learning Academy in Grapevine, and at her home studio, Little House Studio. In Lisa’s seven-year career she has worked with students with a vast range of learning differences.
Lisa enjoys making her own art, specializing in calligraphy, lettering and ceramics. She loves to view all art and learn about new artists, most of all, she loves teaching art to students of all ability levels. Lisa’s goal as a teacher is to show her students that everyone can be successful in art. Lisa also teaches adult art classes… allowing adults to realize their own artistic ability is very rewarding. She also hosts as many evening adult classes as her schedule allows.
Lisa has been married for twenty-five years to her husband, Tim Cox and they have two children, Jonathan and Claire.