Founder, Executive Director & Co-Facilitator
Suzanne has a psychology degree from Duke University, and a master’s degree in mental health counseling from Capella University. Suzanne’s interest in horses began as an adult when she was introduced to Linda Kohanov’s work on the beneficial and life-changing relationship that can occur between humans and horses. Having experienced the healing that a relationship with horses can provide, her passion is to share this work with veterans. She also saw her uncle struggle and eventually withdraw from life after returning from Vietnam and wishes she could have shared this work with him. She has participated in trainings in equine-assisted learning at Eponaquest and Rancho Bosque in Arizona, as well as in trauma-focused equine assisted psychotherapy (TF-EAP™) at Natural Lifemanship in Texas. She is a certified Equus Effect facilitator.
Leigh Ann Apanites
Leigh Ann has an animal science degree from NC State University. Riding hunter-jumpers and owning her own horse as a teenager helped her manage both adolescence and the additional challenges of depression and anxiety. As an adult, she was introduced to the more structured healing influence of horses through volunteering with a therapeutic riding program and helping friends with their equine-assisted psychotherapy practice. Leigh Ann’s current passion is finding ways to support other people in experiencing that healing influence. Leigh Ann has many friends and family who are veterans, and she is committed to applying her skills and knowledge of horsemanship to support veterans in appreciation for their dedication and struggle. She loves furthering her education in EAL/EFL/EAP and has participated in training in trauma-focused equine assisted psychotherapy (TF-EAP™) training at Natural Lifemanship in Texas. She is a certified Equus Effect facilitator.
Director & Volunteer Coordinator
Alicia is a PATH International Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor and Equine Specialist in Mental Health. Most recently she was a part-owner of Trailblazers Therapeutic Services and worked as the equine professional with children who had experienced complex trauma using the Natural Lifemanship model. She has an MBA from The University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill. Alicia is honored to be working alongside the talented staff and The Mighty Herd to fulfill the Peace Reins mission to help veterans.