Exceptional Equestrians is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization (tax ID 39-1959653).that provides hippotherapy, adaptive riding and equine-assisted learning services to children, teens and adults with physical, cognitive and mental health challenges.

 

Our mission is to better the lives of people of all abilities through the healing power of horses.

Exceptional Equestrians 
1130 Orlando Drive
De Pere, Wisconsin 54115

Phone: (920) 347-3174

Fax: (920) 347-3175

Programming questions: lkpediatrics@aol.com

Volunteer questions: mkafka@exceptionalequestrians.org

Charitable giving inquiries: lkpediatrics@aol.com

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© 2019 by EXCEPTIONAL EQUESTRIANS

OUR STAFF

Our therapists, equine professionals, and instructors understand the unique therapeutic value of the human-horse bond.

They have chosen to pursue additional training and certification with internationally recognized organizations, the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) and the American Hippotherapy Association (AHA), in order to expand their professional skills and maximize the benefits for the wide variety of clients we serve.

LISA KAFKA, EXECUTIVE DIRECTOR

 

Lisa is a licensed occupational therapist with more than 25 years pediatric experience, a certified American Hippotherapy Association hippotherapy clinical specialist, and a PATH-certified riding instructor.

In addition to her clinical duties, oversees all programming at Exceptional Equestrians.

Contact Lisa at lkpediatrics@aol.com

SAMANTHA BERGER, COTA

 

Samantha is a certified occupational therapy assistant who received her occupational therapy assistant (COTA) associate’s degree at Fox Valley Technical College. She has also recently been accepted at Concordia University where she will be working towards both Bachelor of Science in Rehabilitation Science and Master of Occupational Therapy degrees. 

 

Samantha grew up riding and showing horses, and she likes working at EE because it combines two of her passions: horses and working with people. She loves seeing her clients work hard towards their goals and achieve them because she knows that it ultimately improves their quality of live. Of course, she enjoys the smiles and laughs shared with clients, volunteers and therapist in the barn.

CAROL KLAK, OTR, MA

 

Carol is a Registered Occupational Therapist with 30+ years of experience. A graduate of UW-Milwaukee in OT, Carol also has certification in Guidance and Counseling from UW-Whitewater and a Masters degree from St. Mary's University in Winona, MN.

 

Carol has been involved at Exceptional Equestrians for over 25 years and is also works in the Green Bay Area Public School District.

 

Carol has extensive experience in providing OT to individuals with autism, anxiety and children who have experienced trauma.She has also completed additional courses provided through American Hippotherapy Association and PATH, Int.

 

When not working, Carol enjoys spending time with family and friends, biking and walking her German Shepherd Shelby.

Contact Carol at cklak@exceptionalequestrians.org

DIANE McINNIS, PT

 

Diane graduated from University of Wisconsin-Madison with a degree in Physical Therapy.  She worked at Country Kids during summers off from the Green Bay Public Schools and, upon her retirement from Green Bay, she took a part-time, year-round position there. 

 

Diane  has been involved with Exceptional Equestrians directly and indirectly since its inception and believes strongly in the therapeutic value of horse-based therapy.

According to Diane, "In my years as a therapist, my greatest joy and blessings have come from the many long lasting attachments that I have made with my clients and their families.  I have been so privileged to watch them grow, many of them into adulthood.  And I hope that I have helped in even a small way to make their lives better." 

LORYN SHEAHAN, PTA

 

Loryn attended Western Technical College and received her degree as a physical therapy assistant. She has always had a passion and mindset for wanting to help others live their best lives, and she has found that through physical therapy.

Loryn has been riding horses since she was eight years old and has always had her eyes set on working at Exceptional Equestrians. This job fulfills her dream of working with horses and using her skills to help others.

When Loryn isn't working at EE, she is working at one of her other three jobs, attending barrel races, trail riding with friends, playing with her chocolate lab or enjoying quality time with  her husband and family.

According to Loryn, "Working with horses, changing the lives of others and seeing the smiling faces of clients as a reward? I can't think of a better job!"

CARISSA HILLMANN, COTA

 

Carissa is a graduate of Fox Valley Technical College with an associate's degree in occupational therapy. She has previously worked primarily with the geriatric population and looks forward to expanding her skill set to include children and teens.

 

In addition to her three children which keep Carissa on her toes, she and her husband own a small hobby farm where she can explore her passion for animals.

MICAH KESHEMBERG, CERTIFIED RIDING INSTRUCTOR

 

Micah has worked with horses since she was eight years old, and she began volunteering with a therapeutic riding program in 2006.

 

Certified as a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) International Riding Instructor in 2013, Micah has worked with two other PATH International centers prior to joining the team at Exceptional Equestrians.

 

Micah is a woman of many talents but even with a B.A. in sociology, criminology and psychology from Marquette University as well as a degree in culinary arts from Le Cordon Bleu in Chicago, she still finds horses and teaching adaptive riding to be her true passion. 

 

“Seeing the physical, cognitive, and emotional changes in a client as they work with horses and learn to ride has been so inspirational and moving for me. I cannot express how grateful I am to be able to be part of that process!”

 

When not working, Micah loves spending time with her own mare and seeking out new opportunities to study natural horsemanship techniques. 

ELIZABETH KARRMANN, EQUINE MANAGER

Elizabeth is a graduate of UW River Falls with a B.S. in Animal Science and an emphasis in Equine Science.

She started riding when she was 14 through 4H and is experienced in western and English riding styles, as well as some driving. Her favorite riding style is dressage.

Elizabeth has extensive experience with equine-assisted therapy. At 14, she began as a volunteer with Free SPIRIT Riders in Fond du Lac and eventually served as their equine manager for four years before joining Exceptional Equestrians. 

 

Elizabeth is in the process of becoming certified as a registered therapeutic riding instructor through PATH, Intl.

Contact Elizabeth at ekarrmann@exceptionalequestrians.org

MICHAELA DIEDRICK, OFFICE ASSISTANT

Micaela is tasked with greeting our clients and families. She holds a degree in business administration from St. Norbert College.