MEET OUR staff
All of our riding instructors are certified by the Massachusetts Department of Agricultural Resources, Division of Animal Health. Our Therapeutic Riding instructors are also certified by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH), and our Equine Assisted Learning instructors by the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA).
Sarah McKay, Executive Director
Sarah grew up in Northern Ireland, the seventh child in a family with a long history of horse training and schooling; she started riding at age two. Sarah rode competitively at an early age across all English disciplines before attending the University of Ulster at Magee College where she graduated first in her class with a BA in Business Enterprise Development. As a Fulbright Scholar, Sarah graduated from U Mass Amherst with a Masters in Regional Planning. Her interest in community development led her to Martha’s Vineyard where she served as store manager for the Cronig’s Markets for over 15 years. She has nine years of non-profit management experience serving on the Board and as President, and later, as Executive Director of Island Grown Initiative. Sarah is also a PATH certified therapeutic riding instructor.
Rebecca Miller, Equine Assisted Learning Programs
Before working at the Misty Meadows, Rebecca managed North Tabor Farm for 24 years. Dedicated to community service, Rebecca was one of the founding members of Island Grown Initiative (IGI) as well as Rising Tide Therapeutic Equestrian Center. She acquired her first equine after seeing how much more confident her young daughters were, after learning to ride horses. Zeb, the mule, taught her the value of patience and how to prioritize the relationship before the goal. She holds a Master’s Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Antioch University and is EAGALA certified. She continues to educate herself by learning to help others form better relationships & overcome stress and trauma with the Natural Lifemanship Institute. At Misty Meadows, she fulfills the role of the program director, volunteer coordinator and is the Mental Health Specialist with the EAL programs.
Susie is a native of Washington, DC and moved to the Island full-time six years ago. She has been riding since she was three years old and began showing hunters and jumpers at the age of 9. Continuing to ride competitively throughout high school, Susie began teaching while attending Tulane University in New Orleans where she received her BA in Communications. Since moving to the Island, Susie has begun expanding her equestrian knowledge and skills by taking up dressage and learning the principles of the Vaquero style of horsemanship. She is in the process of becoming certified in the Masterson Method of equine bodywork and is a PATH certified therapeutic riding instructor. In addition to teaching recreational and therapeutic riding lessons Susie brings her 12 years of non-profit fundraising and administration experience to help Misty Meadows grow and thrive.
Sarah Trudel is an island native, who has been riding and working with horses since she was very young. As a child, Sarah rode Hunter/Jumper, and competed in both on-island and local Massachusetts horse shows. In college she was a working student for a hunter barn in New Hampshire, and showed some of the green horses she was working with there. Throughout her more recent adult life, Sarah and her Arabian Aja have worked together to learn a great deal about horsemanship as taught by Vaquero horsemen and women. Her passion with horses has moved from competition to gaining more knowledge and understanding of horse behavior, herd dynamics, and in reading horse language to better connect and establish relationships. A driving force behind her daily activities is this very important energetic connection we have with the horse. Sarah has ridden in clinics with Vaquero horsemen, Ricky Quinn, Martin Black, Bryan Neubert, & Jason Drass, as well as attending clinics and taking lessons with centered riding and biomechanics expert Wendy Murdoch. In her work professions, Sarah has always chosen education as part of her path, working with island non-profits in outdoor & farm based education. She has spent the last few years as a marine biologist in Woods Hole, MA, managing a large high school intern program and leading volunteer programs there. Personally, Sarah loves swimming in the ocean, spending time with her son, taking time to study the art of yoga, and enjoys nature photography.
Sadie Dix grew up on Martha’s Vineyard at North Tabor Farm. She started riding horses at age 5 at Crow Hollow Farm and bounced around all the island barns throughout her childhood. Sadie recently graduated from University of Rochester with a degree in Cognitive Science and will be pursuing a Master’s degree in Nutrition Interventions at The Friedman School in the Fall of 2020. Sadie began working at Misty Meadows in November 2018 and is currently loving the challenge of learning how to organize, systemize and support a growing nonprofit. She enjoys the many connections, equine and human alike, that working in such a diverse environment provides.
Paige recently graduated from University of New Hampshire with a degree in equine studies: industry and management. She has been practicing and providing natural horsemanship training for 5 years. Paige is interested in learning more about Equine Assisted Learning as a tool for helping people have safer, happier relationships. Paige’s keen sense of organization and strong work ethic are valuable assets to Misty Meadows. In addition to being an essential member of our team, Paige is working towards becoming a licensed instructor.
Marissa grew up as the youngest of 7 in Hull, MA surrounded by the woods, wildlife and the ocean, Although her house was filled with more animals than people, Marissa never had a dog or a horse. In the fall of 2014, Marissa found herself on Martha’s Vineyard and (besides traveling some in the winters) she has stayed. This first void was filled when she found Pollo (her pup) while traveling in Ecuador and Marissa is fulfilling the second void now by joining our team here at Misty where she cares for each of our herd as her own. Marissa is also currently apprenticing in Vermont at Gaia School of Healing and Earth Education where she is learning about sacred plant medicine. She is thrilled to see how all her passions uniting and excited for the future here at Misty Meadows.
Elizabeth (Liz) Adams
Elizabeth “Liz” Harris Adams developed a passion for the field of Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT) through volunteering. Liz has worked as Program Director for both large and small centers in her over 20 years in the field and taught at Universities and Approved Training Courses. She is one of thirty Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International Master Instructors in the country as well as holding 2 other PATH International Certifications: Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning and Interactive Vaulting. Liz has served on many volunteer committees to play an active role in shaping the future of EAAT. Currently, Liz’s primary passion is educating and mentoring individuals and centers to achieve their goals.