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 the opportunities to utilize our programs and services.

  • Founder
    Horses for Warriors Program Director
    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

    Kristin is a life-long Wacoan and horse-lover. She has been a member of the REACH family since the fall of 2008, initially as a volunteer and went on to become a PATH Intl. certified therapeutic riding instructor. Kristin became Volunteer Coordinator at REACH in 2009 and served through 2010. She has continued to teach part-time at REACH while managing a successful real estate business.
    Kristin is very active in the Waco community and loves to volunteer with organizations that make our community thrive. Kristin serves on the American Heart Association Advisory Board, is a member of the Junior League of Waco, and is currently working on the Revive the SuperSlide committee.
    When not at the barn, Kristin can be found on the lake, traveling to far-away places, riding horses or walking her German Shepherd.

  • Program Director

    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. She is married to Rod and together they have 5 children and 3 dogs.

  • Instructor
    Equine Coordinator

    Chelcie is from Gatesville and married her husband, Doug Ayers, in December 2015. She graduated from Texas Tech University in 2014 with a Bachelor’s of Science in Animal Sciences. She also received an Equine Certified focused in Equine Assisted Therapy. She became a PATH International Registered Therapeutic Riding Instructor in 2014 and worked for Texas Tech Therapeutic Riding Center for 3 years before moving back home to Gatesville. Chelcie joined the REACH team in the fall of 2016 as an instructor and has since become our Equine Coordinator, taking care of our four-legged therapists and their management.

  • Veteran Program Director
    Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning
    Certified Instructor

    Kelly grew up around horses and has been around them most of her life. Her father was a A.Q.H.A. judge and they both trained and showed Quarter Horses.
    Kelly earned a Bachelor’s Degree in Criminal Justice from Tarleton State University in 1986 and became a Licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor in 1990 and began working with chemically dependent youth.
    In 1993 she and her family moved to Waco where she began working as a Juvenile Probation Officer. Additionally, Kelly has worked as a Drug Court Officer for McLennan County and is currently a member of the Texas Gang Task Force. She is also a member of the Heart of Texas Human Trafficking Coalition.
    Kelly began as a volunteer at REACH in December of 2015. In April of 2016, she became certified as an Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning and became a PATH certified Instructor in the summer of 2017.
    Since retiring from the Juvenile Probation Department in 2019, Kelly is now the director of our veteran program on Monday nights.

  • Volunteer Coordinator
    Instructor & Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning
    Barn Office Manager
    Amber started as a volunteer here in the Summer of 2018. She loves people. She loves Jesus. She loves horses. She loves seeing Jesus and horses help people. Prior to joining the REACH family, she worked at a two other therapeutic riding centers in Texas, gaining the knowledge and experience that made her a perfect fit as our Volunteer Coordinator. She also serves as our barn office manager, a PATH Intl certified therapeutic riding instructor and ESMHL. She is a native Wacoan. She resides between Waco & West, where her daughter, Taylor graduated highschool in 2020 and now attends Tarleton State University in Stephenville. Taylor’s love for horses and involvement in therapeutic riding was the contagious fever that started Amber’s journey into equine therapy. After seeing the incredible effects it had on her daughter’s emotional health, she knew she had to be part of it.

  • Josh Stewart

    Barn Assistant

  • Megan Attaway

    Barn Assistant
    2019 Recipient of the Matthew Nassab Volunteer of Excellence Award