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Our Team

The JoyRide Team is the engine behind “making the impossible possible” for our clients. The staff is a caring group invested in the success of the clients and horses, and they use the highest levels of professionalism in their work. Riding instructors are certified through PATH Intl. as Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructors (CTRI). Our day program instructors come from a variety of backgrounds, and provide high quality instruction to all their clients.

To view current JoyRide job openings, Click Here.  To get to our application, Click Here.

Carrie Kennedy

Executive Director 

Carrie was born and raised in Annapolis Maryland and has been living in Texas for the past 11 years. She has a Bachelor’s degree in Sociology and a Master’s degree in Business Administration. She has years of business operations experience, and a love of horses and serving her community. She enjoys spending her free time with her children, biking, swimming, and reading.

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Tara Kennedy

Prep Day Program Manager

Tara is a local resident of Magnolia, and resides there with her husband, two boys, and many pets.  Tara holds a Bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston-Downtown and brings extensive experience from her tenure in the Tomball and Magnolia Independent School Districts since 2009. For the past four years, she has been devoted to teaching Life Skills and Adult Transition to 9th-12th graders at Magnolia High School.  Tara brings her enthusiasm and expertise to our Prep program, focusing on creating JOY, the practical application of vocational & life skills, and outdoor learning.

Regina Pakstas-Smith

Equine Programs Manager

Regina was born in Maryland and raised in New York. She relocated to Magnolia, TX, from Western Kentucky with her dog Jasper, where she was the barn manager and PATH CTRI at two therapeutic riding facilities. She has been a PATH CTRI for 6 years, with a degree in Psychology from the College of Saint Rose and a Master's degree in Crisis Counseling and Trauma from Liberty University. Regina has been riding horses for 18 years and has 2 horses, Peppy and Duke. She has interned with international horse-icon Alycia Burton for 6 weeks during a tour of the United States, has a background in hunter/jumper and dressage, and teaches from a natural horsemanship perspective. She is passionate about her work and fully believes that therapeutic riding is her strength and calling in life.

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Tiffany Wallace

Development Manager

Tiffany comes to JoyRide after attending Jamborees since it was founded. She has a passion for helping people, the community, and building relationships. She helped start a grassroots nonprofit and currently serves in a board position for 100+ Women Who Care-Cy-Fair, and has been involved with the organization for four years. She holds a Bachelor’s Degree in Business Administration and a double minor in Marketing and Spanish from The University of Houston. She enjoys brunch and random acts of kindness. She is married to her husband Alan, of 15 years, and together they are raising their 3 boys Owen, Kipp, and Cade, and their German Shepherd rescue, Glory. If she’s not on a baseball or soccer field you can find her spending time with her family in the country or hosting dinner parties.

Craig Arny

Volunteer Coordinator

Craig grew up in Houston with a love of both horses and volunteering. He discovered the combination of both at SIRE in 2002, where he volunteered for a few years until JoyRide was founded in 2009. He has been a volunteer at JoyRide since the beginning. Craig joined JoyRide’s staff as the volunteer coordinator in 2019. Craig is married to artist Sam Sartorius and lives in Magnolia with a rescued Great Dane and one cat. He is also a doting father and grandfather.

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Lily Johnson

Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor

Lily was born and raised in The Woodlands, Texas.  Her love of horses began in her youth.  With 5 years experience at Therapeutic Riding Centers, Lily got her PATH CTRI in January of 2024.  When she is not at JoyRide, you can find her at Texas A&M pursuing her Engineering degree.

Blake Lewis

Office Manager & Equine Specialist

Born and raised in Texas, Blake has grown up with a love and understanding of horses that runs generations deep.  She earned a Bachelor's Degree in Agricultural Services and Development with a Minor in Agriculture Economics from Tarleton State University.  Her passion for therapeutic equine-assisted services stems from volunteering with T.R.E.A.T Rodeo in college.  Blake completed her Equine Specialist in Mental Health & Learning certificate in May of 2024.

Terry Ballard

Facility Manager

Terry was born in Paducah, Kentucky, and grew up around horses on his family farm.  While in Paducah, Terry volunteered at two equine facilities and felt his calling was to help others with the use of horses.  Terry has 32 years of residential and commercial construction work and personal equine experience.  Terry relocated to Texas in 2022.

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Travis Cain

Facility Coordinator

Travis was born in Baton Rouge, Louisiana. Graduated from Klein High School in 2006. He was awarded his Eagle Scout rank in the Boy Scouts of America in 2006. From there he went on to serve in the United States Marine Corps and United States Army. He held many roles over a span of 7 years in the oil and gas industry. Retired from the US Army in 2022. He attended Operation Equine in January of 2023. He is married to his wife Melissa of 6 years and together they raise their 2 daughters Shelby and Charlotte. Travis has a big heart for animals and loves serving his community.

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Lorraine Ostrowski

Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor and Equine Specialist

Lorraine is a PATH CTRI and an equine specialist. Lorraine brings many years of experience with her.  Lorraine has been a PATH CTRI since 1994 and has held her Equine Specialist certificate since 2019. Lorraine spends her free time crafting and with her family.

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Wendy Brewer

Prep Assistant Program Manager

Wendy was raised in New Waverly, Texas. She met her husband and married in 1995. Wendy and her family moved to Magnolia, Texas in 2006. Wendy and her husband ran the Texas Opry in Magnolia, which was a live country music show and café for 6 years. Wendy is a mother of 6 boys. This is the greatest and most important accomplishment of her life. Her son Mac, who attends JoyRide, is autistic. From teaching and caring for Mac, she found another joy and passion that she has is caring and learning from others with special needs. In her free time, she loves singing, traveling, and spending as much time as possible with her family.

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Erica Morales

Instructor in Training

Erica is a proud Texan who has been around horses all of her life.  She has worked various jobs, including rodeo competitor, a nurse, and managed a Veterinary Hospital for 10+ years.  Erica has always had a passion and calling to help people and horses, which led to her pursuing her PATH CTRI.  Erica lives in Willis with her husband, son, 3 Silkie chickens, and her rescue dog, Hunny Buns.  She enjoys gardening, farming, fishing, and riding/driving her draft horse, Bill.

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Amanda Weber

Day Program Mentor

Amanda graduated from Klein High School in 2009. That fall, Amanda began riding lessons at JoyRide. In recognition of her skills and commitment, she trained as a volunteer and became a sidewalker and a horse handler. Once the day program was formed, Amanda began working with the young adults as a mentor.  Amanda, an avid equestrian competitor, has won many trophies, belt buckles, and ribbons galore as an Equestrian with Disabilities Rider in Quarter Horse shows. Still committed to learning, Amanda is currently taking reining lessons. She loves taking care of her 3 horses, Forrest, Bella, and Bodemeister.

Board of
Directors and Board  Members

Scott Vann


Leonard Kalfayan 

Vice President

Guy Hunter


Mary Brezina


Rod King


Madeline Brogan


Bryce Speer


Gary Mahaffey


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