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.

  • Board of Directors
  • Rich Chatmas-Secretary
  • Sarah Kendrick-Vice President
  • Bricker Bruner-Chairman
  • Clint Savage
  • Van Weymeyer, M.D.
  • Shannon Hankhouse
  • Kimberly Nielson
  • Jill Goss
  • Carol Pope
  • Rhonda Capron

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 the opportunities to utilize our programs and services.

  • Founder
    Director Emeritus

    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
    Staff Management
    Marketing & Fundraising

    Shannon started as a volunteer here in 2011. 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. In 2015 Shannon became the Volunteer Director at REACH. In 2018, she was ready to take on a larger role here at REACH and became the Program Director where she remained until the opportunity presented itself and she is now our Executive Director. She has 5 children and 3 dogs.

  • Program Director
    Equine Co-Director
    PATH Certified Riding Instructor

    Catherine began volunteering at REACH in 2019 and took on the role of Volunteer Coordinator in 2022; in 2023 she became the Program Director. She is also a PATH Certified Riding Instructor. Catherine’s love for horses started when she was in elementary school, riding eventing ponies and competing in a few local shows in the DC area. She started volunteering at Lift Me Up Therapeutic Riding Center in Virginia when she was only 12 years old and realized that was where her passions for teaching, helping people, and horses could all come together. After moving to Texas in 2010, she discovered reining horses and began showing at NRHA shows most weekends through high school. Catherine holds a Bachelor of Science in Education and a Master of Science in Sports Pedagogy from Baylor University, where she was a member of the Equestrian Team. She met her husband, Jackson, during her years at Baylor and they live in the Waco area with their two dachshunds.

  • Volunteer Coordinator
    Equine Manager

    Lauren was born and raised in China Spring outside of Waco, Texas. She started riding when she was 7 years old and got her first horse Mooney at the age of 10. At the age of 19 she moved to California where she worked at a French classical dressage training barn and fell in love with Lusitanos for a year and seven months. She came back because her love of Texas and REACH. She recently completed her instructor certification for PATH so she can move forward with her work for REACH and is so excited to see what’s waiting around the next corner!

  • Instructor

  • Taylor Mynar

    Equine Manager Assistant

  • Dytrun Thirkill


  • Bowman Smith

    Barn & Equine Assistant

  • Donna Santen

    Barn & Equine Assistant

  • Madison Wiley
  • Jacob Burleson