Our Team

Liz Grayson

Director of Operations

Liz started her equestrian journey at Hasty Heart Stables, spending time under the tutelage of Aggie Johnson. It was there her interest peaked on to the astounding benefits of therapeutic riding.

 

While still young and competitive, Liz decided to dedicate her time on getting the best education possible. Liz has Masters in Equine Management, from Iowa State University. She has spent time as a working student for Three Day International Event Rider and Olympian, Phyllis Dawson.  Author, Former USEA President,  United States International Three Day  Event Team, Tevis Cup Buckle in Endurance,  Denny Emerson. Denny, is the only rider in history to win Gold for both. 

 

From there having a better grasp in the equestrian industry; Liz was able to make connections while at Emerson’s, with FEI Event Rider and USEA ECP III Instructor and Competitor Tom Davis. Eventually leading to a position as Barn Manager  for Tom and his wife Joan, also a very accomplished rider, trainer instructor and Equine Sports photographer. Liz spent 5 years with them at their facility Flatlands Equestrian Center, in Rehoboth, Massachusetts. It was there she was able to put knowledge in to motion. Dialing in on biomechanics of horse and rider, developing horses and riders, competing, instructing and coaching. 

 

When not around the horses, you can find Liz spending time with her beloved dogs, and focusing on exploring and traveling to different countries. Mainly Brazil, her home away from home. Spending time with some of her favorite people and learning about their culture and spirituality. 

 

Liz joined Inspiration Stables at the onset of building our new facility in La Motte, Iowa. She is excited to share her wealth of knowledge with the community. 

Wendy Knight

Development Director

Wendy brings over 27 years of diverse experience in nonprofit leadership to strategically develop and fulfill Inspiration Stables’ mission. She is passionate about serving children through the amazing power the horse has to give. Wendy will be a liaison with the community to help bring our mission deeper into new service populations and develop the financial support needed to bring our vision to fruition.

Callie Lynch

Horse Mentor/ Lead Instructor

Callie has been with Inspiration Stables since the inception of the program.  She began as a mentor working with the children we serve.  From there, she became a horse leader building relationships with our program horses.  Callie is now our Horse Mentor working with our horses weekly for exercise riding, training, health care issues and conditioning.  She has built on her knowledge learned from owning her own horse and competing in 4H by working with our team.  Callie has grown so much in her two years with us!  Her commitment, dedication and true love of the horses makes her an invaluable team member.

Dawn Rick

Instructor

Dawn is certified in the Masterson Method and Equine Body Work Specialist as well as a PATH, Intl CTRI.  She has an amazing understanding and connection with the horse that makes her an incredible instructor.  She helps the kids to understand not only riding skills, but also empathy in building a relationship with their horse.  We are so grateful that she shares her passion and talent with us!

Cynthia Van Groningan

Instructor

Cynthia Van Groningen is in her third year with Inspiration Stables. Cynthia loves seeing other people learn to love horses and appreciates the safe environment participants are given to learn and grow. Her hobbies are painting, skiing, mountain biking, and gardening. Thank you Cynthia for all you do!

passionate about serving children through the amazing power the horse has to give. Wendy will be a liaison with the community to help bring our mission deeper into new service populations and develop the financial support needed to bring our vision to fruition.

Natasha Porter

Instructor

Natasha has cared for and owned horses since she was 13 year old and loves sharing her passion for horses with others. Currently, Natasha works as an electrical engineer at John Deere. On the side, she enjoys training horses when time allows. Natasha also enjoys hiking, running, and riding horses with her dogs. Natasha has occasionally volunteered as a horse leader the last few years, but is excited to start as an instructor.serving children through the amazing power the horse has to give. Wendy will be a liaison with the community to help bring our mission deeper into new service populations and develop the financial support needed to bring our vision to fruition.