Meet the People

 

Brownie is a ten year old American quarter horse gelding. He relocated to Florida with his brother Roani in 2015. Brownie was trained for reigning, but now enjoys a more relaxed lifestyle. Brownie is a very smart horse, a skilled jumper, and he loves trail rides. Brownie has struggled with summer itch but has thrived at Unbridled Strides. Brownie enjoys a special connection with some of our special needs students, and has been a huge asset to the Unbridled Strides program. 

Brownie
Equine Assisted Learning Teacher

Meet the Teachers

Pocahontas
Equine Assisted Learning Teacher

Pocahontas goes by "Poco" for short and is an Arab/Welsh pony. Although, she may be little in stature with dainty features, there is nothing small about her. Poco’s expressive personality, intuitive nature and willingness to learn have made her a valuable teacher for our EAL courses. 

Jessie
Equine Assisted Learning Teacher

Jessie is a 4 year old Thoroughbred mare with a staggering height of 17 H, making her both the tallest and youngest member of our herd. Despite her young age and impressive stature, Jessie has an old soul mentality and gentle demeanor. Jessie is an OTTB who has overcome great adversity, experiencing a slab fracture in her leg while training to be a racehorse and an illness that nearly took her life. With loving care, she is now grazing greener pastures and enjoying her new career as a teacher.

Olaf is a special guy and anyone who knows him loves him. He is such a gentle soul with a side of spunk. He was recently diagnosed with cancer and his eye was removed but that hasn’t slowed down this little man one bit. In fact, it makes him even more endearing and a true testament that disabilities don’t make you disabled. Olaf is a sneaky little pony who loves attention and won’t hesitate to demand more pats and treats. 

Olaf
Equine Assisted Learning Teacher
Ginny
Equine Assisted Learning Teacher

Ginny recently made a cross country move from California to Florida to be reunited with her owner, Katie, to start the journey of creating Unbridled Strides. Ginny is the barn sweetheart and is equally loved by horse and human. She is a 15 year old registered American Paint Horse and began her career as a top rated show horse in western pleasure until her owner/trainer was charged with animal cruelty. She and her stablemates were placed in a holding pasture for several years to await their fate. Once released, she was auctioned off to a sale barn where she and Katie crossed paths. The two had an instant connection and became teammates for life. For the past five years they have worked together providing opportunities for individuals to grow and learn. Ginny is a true professional with a natural intuitive sense to understand and respond to the feelings of the people around her. 

Tiger Lily
Sensory Farm Crew

Tiger Lily is docile and timid. She prefers to watch from the background, and is sometimes shy of new people. She doesn’t like to take food from visitors, unless you've brought her favorite animal crackers. To make friends with Tiger Lily, you must be patient and let her come to you.

Goldilocks is the matriarch of our Nigerian dwarf goat family. Our mama goat wears a cowbell, and will make her presence know to everyone who visits. She is friendly, especially to those bringing treats. Goldi is easy to hand feed, and will eat pretty much anything we give her. 

Goldilocks
Sensory Farm Crew
Nala
Sensory Farm Crew

Nala is our feisty girl. She follows close to her mother, but will not be outshone. Always a part of the action, she can be a little jealous if she's not getting the notice she desires. Though she no longer has horns, Nala will still bump or push to get attention, or establish her dominance. Though a slightly picky eater, Nala will take food from your hand. 

Alyssa Moyik is a lifelong equine enthusiast. Originally from Latvia, she was adopted by a couple in Long Island, New York. Despite her childhood learning disabilities due to fetal alcohol syndrome, Alyssa graduated high school in 2012. Alyssa first fell in love with horses as part of a therapeutic riding program called Rocky Top, in Keller, TX. She was part of their program for five years. Upon relocating to Florida, Alyssa came to Unbridled Strides, where she brings her bright smile and interminable positive attitude to all her interactions with the horses. She is grateful for the confidence she’s gained working with animals, and for her new Unbridled Strides family. Alyssa’s hard work and optimism make her a role model to everyone on the ranch. She hopes to continue working in equine education, and to help people overcome their own adversity. 

Alyssa Moyik
Sensory Farm Volunteer

Tyra Watson is a recent graduate of Space Coast Junior Senior High School and a native Floridian. During her high school years, she worked as a volunteer at a horse rescue facility, where she learned a great deal about equine care and training. Tyra brings a wealth of knowledge and skill to the Unbridled Strides team. She works tirelessly to ensure the safety and health of all the animals in her care. Tyra is currently a student at Eastern Florida State College, and will soon finish her Associates degree. She plans to continue her education, and hopes to pursue a career working with animals. 

Tyra Watson
Sensory Farm Volunteer

Rachel Williams grew up in Brevard county, and graduated from West Shore Junior Senior High School in 2002. She went on to graduate with honors from the University of Miami. Upon graduation, Rachel joined her husband, who was serving in the United States Air Force. After traveling and living all over the world for twelve years, she and her family returned to the space coast in 2014. As the parent of a special needs child, Rachel and her family are involved in several local organizations supporting that community. Rachel joined Unbridled Strides to bring her creative vision to the Sensory Farm. Her goal was to create a colorful, engaging, natural play space. In this unique space, children of all ages and abilities can enjoy the animals, and play in a naturally therapeutic environment. Rachel designed activities targeting a variety of developmentally appropriate skills, to include gross motor, fine motor, balance, coordination, muscle strengthening, and sensory integration. Creating and building the Sensory Farm was the experience of a lifetime for her. Rachel was new to the equine world. But she has loved learning about horses and hopes to continue working in the special needs community and in equine education. 

Rachel Williams
Sensory Farm Creative Visionary 

Meet The Team

​​Katie Stricklin, founder and owner at/of Unbridled Strides, heads up an exceptional team both human and equine.  Katie’s equestrian knowledge and experience extends from her childhood, where she competed in multiple riding disciplines that ultimately led her to participate and lead the Intercollegiate Horse Show Association team at Cal Poly Pomona in the areas of reining and Western Horsemanship.  In 2008, Katie competed at the national level with Cal Poly ranking 3rd in the show.  The following year she was designated as head trainer at El Rodeo Equestrian Center in Brea, California where she managed boarding for up to 90 horses, trained staff on ranch management, coordinated shows and events, provided riding lessons to individuals of all abilities and ages, and provided training for problem horses.     

 

Horses aside, there were several experiences that influenced Katie’s drive to establish Unbridled Strides.  During her time studying Adapted Physical Education at Cal Poly, she developed an after-school program for at-risk youth where she utilized problem-solving and team-building strategies to increase confidence and independent life skills.  Additionally, Katie participated in certified therapy animal training programs and facilitated visits with various populations in the community.  Furthermore, through working with children diagnosed with Autism Spectrum Disorder and other developmental disabilities using Applied Behavior Analysis techniques, she acquired the Registered Behavior Technician (RBT) credential through the Behavior Analyst Certification Board (BACB).  Recognizing the amazing benefits and ability to learn critical life skills through horse interaction, Katie went on to pursue certification as an Equine Assisted Learning Facilitator under the Academy of Equine Assisted Learning based out of Strathmore, Alberta, Canada.  Her dream of marrying the concepts of human behavior and horse interaction is what propelled her determination in bringing Unbridled Strides to life.

 

Katie’s ultimate goal in life is simple – she strives to encourage overall wellness through helping others find happiness, communicate effectively, and overcome/understand personal obstacles through engaging learning opportunities in a multifaceted, positive environment.  She provides her own unique, individualized approach to facilitation, riding, teaching and training by integrating skill sets acquired throughout her extensive background in horsemanship, EAL and ABA. 

Katie Stricklin
Equine Assisted Learning Facilitator/Owner