“My happy place is at the barn with my horse Merlin.”
Hope Reins is a place of refuge, hope, healing and community. I have personally experienced all of these, first as a volunteer and now as a staff member. The first time I visited the ranch I sensed the presence of God. Since then I have seen His grace in the lives of so many here. There is a genuine, welcoming community at Hope Reins, and while it exists to serve hurting families, it is not just for them. I thought I was coming to Hope Reins to help use horses to bring hope and healing to kids, but I have found those things here myself.
I am an Ob-Gyn physician by training and I served on the Duke School of Medicine faculty for a number of years. My passions were caring for patients and teaching residents and medical students. However, just at the Lord called me into medicine, He called me out of it.
My second career was to raise and home-educate our five children. I loved pouring myself into their lives, activities, schooling, and dreams. Along the way I discovered my passion for administration and communications as my homeschool evolved from an elementary school into a college-preparatory high school, and as I took on more leadership roles in my kids’ homeschool arts and athletics programs. As the years went by and the nest began to empty, I knew God was going to call me into ministry. However, He did the unexpected again: He brought horses back into my life.
I grew up with horses but when my horse was sold as I left for college, I never dreamed I would have horses again. Through my youngest child’s love of horses, I immersed myself in her equestrian world and began to ride again. I rediscovered how much love and healing a horse can bring into one’s life. Finally, in 2018, God, Who never wastes anything and knows the end from the beginning, led me to a place where I could combine medicine (for horses), teaching, administration, ministry and horses—Hope Reins!
As Equine Assistant, my job is everything horses. I handle equine administrative, stocking and inventory functions for the Equine Manager, work closely with the Critical Care and Routine Care Team leaders who oversee all aspects of our horses’ wellness, and assist the Feed Team Coordinator to provide our volunteers the opportunity to help us care for our horses by serving on a feed team. I attend veterinary and farrier visits for our herd, feed on a feed team myself, and offer whatever help I can from my medical and equestrian background. In all we do for our horses, our goal is that they will be happy, healthy, secure, and ready to connect with hurting kids who need them.
I have been married to my physician-researcher-professor husband, David, for 30 years and counting. Our children are: Elizabeth, film and TV producer, London, England; Rebecca, recent UNC graduate, former college basketball athlete, and future Army officer; Anna Laura, pre-nursing student at Appalachian State, former college volleyball athlete; Daniel, 6’7” college basketball athlete and business major at Rutgers University; and Katherine, high school senior and equestrian (hunter/jumpers). We have two dogs, Sophie and Kodiak, and two lease horses, Merlin (mine) and Zoey (Katherine’s). When I am not at Hope Reins you can usually find me at the barn with Merlin and Kody, riding cross-country or just hanging out.