About Us

Our board represents a cross-section of our community and has a passion for our organization and those we serve. The members work hard to ensure long-term sustainability of the organization and oversee that the funds raised directly affect those in need.

Our staff has a strong commitment to serving the many constituents of our organization. But first and foremost, they focus their energies on those who take advantage of our programs and services.

  • Founder
    Horses for Warriors Program Director
    Director Emeritus
    Instructor

    Larry Barnett is the founder of REACH Therapeutic Riding Center which began operation in the fall of 2007. He is now Executive Director Emeritus and was responsible for starting the Equine Service for Heroes program, also known as Horses for Warriors. He has been working in the therapeutic riding industry for 14 years. In 2004 he became certified as a therapeutic riding instructor by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, (PATH) International. He worked as a volunteer and a riding instructor at two other therapeutic riding centers in central Texas before starting REACH. Larry is a retired USAF Officer, combat veteran, and ex-fighter pilot. He has made many presentations to educational, religious, military, business, and community service organizations in the Waco, Texas area for several years. His goal is to help the community understand the viable benefits of therapeutic riding for special needs children and adults. He holds an AAS in Financial Accounting, a BBA in Marketing and an MBA in Aviation/Airway Management and Operations.

  • Executive Director
    Marketing Director

    Barbara holds a BA in art and lives in Waco on the McLennan Community College Highlander Ranch with her husband, Ron, four dogs, five horses, two goats and a donkey. For the past 30 years she has worked in advertising, marketing, public relations, and graphic design.

    Barbara received her first riding instructor certification from the Certified Horsemanship Association in 2008. In 2009 she received her PATH Intl. therapeutic riding instructor certification. She has been volunteering in the therapeutic riding industry for years. She became REACH Program Director in 2010, and was appointed Executive Director in January 2014.

    Barbara and Ron have three daughters, three grandchildren and one on the way in December 2014. When not at the center, Barbara enjoys riding her horse, traveling, gardening and reading.

  • Shannon started as a volunteer here in 2012. Her love of horses and desire to help others made volunteering at REACH Therapeutic Riding Center the perfect fit. Shannon is a native of Waco. She rode Hunter/Jumper and Cutting Horses competitively until 2002 when she decided to devote her time exclusively to raising her children. Now that her children are all in school, she is ready to take on a larger role here at REACH. She has been married to Rod for 9 years and together they have 5 children and 3 dogs.

  • Instructor/Office Manager

    Since graduating with a Bachelor’s Degree in Youth and Family Ministry in 2010, Krystin moved to Texas to pursue a career in Therapeutic Horseback Riding. She volunteered at REACH for a few months before accepting the job as barn assistant and being mentored to become a certified therapeutic riding instructor. After completing the necessary coursework, she passed her instructor certification and became a licensed Therapeutic Riding Instructor in 2011 and has been with REACH ever since.
    Krystin and her husband Kyle have one boy and are expecting to have another baby in December 2017. Krystin has been accepted into the physical therapy assistant program at MCC and is expected to attend in the fall of 2018.

  • Equine Facilitated Learning Instructor
    Instructor

    Like most horse lovers, Emily’s passion for horses began at a very young age. She started taking Hunter/Jumper lessons and competing in shows when she was 8 years old and received her first horse, George (pictured above), at the age of 12. Emily is also a student of Parelli Natural Horsemanship and is an official Parelli Level 3 graduate. She earned her B.A. in Religion from Carson-Newman College in Jefferson City, TN and then moved to Waco with her husband, Nathanael, to pursue graduate studies at the Baylor School of Social Work and George W. Truett Theological Seminary. She began work at REACH as a barn assistant and volunteer in July 2013. As the Mental Health Program Coordinator, she is excited to offer Equine Facilitated Learning sessions and see the amazing changes that horses can inspire in people in order to bring a new level of health and happiness to their lives. Emily also earned her certification as a PATH instructor in 2016. She is thrilled to be working at a place where she can combine her love for horses with her desire to help people.

  • Chelcie Ayers

    Instructor/Equine Coordinator

  • Kristin Volcik

    Instructor

  • Rachel Bull

    Barn Assistant

  • Charity Martin

    Barn Assistant