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.
Rebecca Miller, Equine Assisted Learning Programs
Before working at the Horse Center, 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 Masters Degree in Mental Health Counseling from Antioch University and is EAGALA certified. At Misty Meadows, she fulfills the role of the program director, volunteer coordinator and is the Mental Health Specialist with the EAP 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 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.
Linda came to us from Rising Tide Therapeutic Equestrian Center. She has worked as a riding instructor for 25 years and in 2013 was certified by PATH as a therapeutic riding instructor. Linda brings an incredible depth of training knowledge, passion and enthusiasm to our program! She is currently working on her certification as a specialist in mental health and learning. Linda moved to the Vineyard from Warwick, NY in 2016 with her horse Classy, a 30-year old thoroughbred.
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.
Sean O’Malley moved to the island with his family when he was 3 and started riding at Rising Tide when he was four years old. Sean has been volunteering at Misty Meadows since the beginning. Sean is interested in pursuing a career as a mental health specialist in Equine Assisted Learning as well as becoming a Therapeutic Riding Instructor. He loves to volunteer especially giving back to the horse community. He enjoys the challenges and adventure that come with introducing little kids to horsemanship and riding.