Joy O’Neal is The Red Barn’s Executive Director. Joy earned her Master’s in Public Administration in 2010 from UAB. She is a CHA certified instructor, certified through Greg Kersten’s OK Corral Series to provide equine assisted family counseling and teambuilding, and trained in Natural Lifemanship. She is a member of the Association of Professional Humane Educators and a certified consultant through the Standards for Excellence for Nonprofits. But, mainly it is her many years of experience as a “barn mom” that are being put to good use.
Tiffany Rouse is The Red Barn’s Assistant Director. Tiffany has a bachelor’s degree from the University of Alabama and a Master’s of Public Administration from the University of Alabama at Birmingham. She has worked with multiple local non-profit organizations in variety of different roles. Even though she doesn’t have much horse experience, she loves the atmosphere of the barn and the people that work there. Tiffany is married with one daughter.
Shannon Horsley is our Office Manager. Shannon is new to working around horses, but has worked for many years at other nonprofits. She became acquainted with the barn when her 8-year-old son, Gabriel, began taking lessons. Shannon saw the immediate, drastic change in her son’s self-esteem and became sold on the benefits of horseback riding for children! Shannon graduated from UAB with a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and is one of the first individuals in Alabama to become a Certified Volunteer Administrator.
Grace Butler is The Red Barn’s Program Coordinator. Grace has been an office manager and preschool teacher for the past seven years. She has also worked extensively in her church’s ministries. Grace keeps the weekly riding schedule organized for both students and volunteers. Her family moved frequently growing up, so she knows what it feels like to be the new kid. Grace has a unique ability to make new students and volunteers feel welcome at the barn. She has been married to her husband Kyle for 12 years and they have two daughters, Selah and Rylee.
Katherine Mazzara is our Administrative Assistant. Katherine graduated in 2011 from the University of Alabama at Birmingham with a Bachelor’s degree in Political Science. She is currently pursuing her Master’s in Public Administration at UAB. While new to working around horses, she has experience working with children and families. Katherine works in the office at The Red Barn and assists with administrative tasks. She is excited to learn more about non-profit management and the day to day operations of an agency like The Red Barn.
Danielle Burroughs graduated from William Woods College in 1997 with a degree in Equestrian Science. Danielle grew up in Maine, but after moving to Alabama in 1998 to be a riding instructor she’s never wanted to leave the South! Danielle teaches riding lessons and is a PATH International registered level instructor. She specializes in American Saddlebreds and Arabians, but is able to give riders of any discipline a firm foundation in horsemanship. She is especially famous for her “leg lessons” that give riders the strength to sit any twirl, buck, or spook.
Kyle Butler is The Red Barn’s Facility Director. Kyle has served as a youth pastor in San Diego as well as working at a summer camp for special needs children. Kye fills many roles at the barn, and we are so grateful for everything he does to keep things running smoothly each day. Kyle has been married to Grace Butler since 2002 and they have two daughters together.
Elizabeth Stanley is The Red Barn’s Training Coordinator. Elizabeth has a bachelor’s degree in business management from the University of Montevallo and has worked in the therapeutic riding industry for over a decade. She is a PATH Certified Instructor, CHA Master Level Instructor, CHA Rider’s with Disabilities Instructor, and a CHA Assistant Clinic Evaluator. Elizabeth is certified as an Equine Specialist through PATH and is also certified through Greg Kersten’s OK Corral Series. She has been a Special Olympic Equestrian Coach for 10 years and has loved every minute of it. Elizabeth is married and has four children.
Alexis Braswell graduated from Birmingham-Southern College majoring in religion, with a psychology minor. She has ridden and shown American Saddlebred horses for fifteen years, winning numerous state, regional, and national titles. In 2012 she was named volunteer of the year by The Bunting Center for Engaged Study and Community Action for her work with Urban Kids. She loves volunteering at The Red Barn to share her passion for horses with horse-crazy children.
Shelley Jones is a speech pathologist and holds a certification as an autism specialist by the Alabama State Department of Education. She has been involved in animal assisted therapy for almost twenty years, and especially loves working with horses. She is a PATH registered level instructor, and is also a CHA certified instructor for both typically developing and individuals with disabilities. Shelley has also been a Special Olympics Equestrian Coach.
Hannah Ferrill grew up loving horses but wasn’t able to be around them very much. She first began coming to The Red Barn as a volunteer, but has since earned her PATH instructor certification, as well as CHA Instructors of Riders with Disabilities certification. Growing up in a large family has given her a love for children big and small and, combined with her love of horses, makes working at the barn a dream come true.
Matt Bunt is a PATH International (formerly NARHA) registered level instructor. He has over five years experience teaching lessons to people of all ages with a variety of disabilities. He has also completed training in Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and has facilitated groups for adolescents and families. He holds a Master in Counselor Education with a focus on Marriage and Family Therapy from the University of Montevallo and is a Licensed Professional Counselor.
Mandy Trolard is a CHA certified riding instructor who has been loving, riding, and working with horses for over 25 years. She has worked as a stable hand, groom, and exercise rider to gain knowledge of horses and riding. She has a 6 year old son who began riding in The Red Barn’s Saddle Up program in 2012. She has watched her own son gain self-esteem, confidence, and coordination through riding and believes that being around the horses and the barn atmosphere bring him a sense of peace and belonging that help him in all aspects of his daily life. As a riding instructor, Mandy hopes to help other children to achieve the benefits she has seen in her own child.
Barratt Rudulph graduated from Whitman College in Walla Walla, Washington with a Geology major and a Biology minor. She began riding American Saddlebreds in 3rd grade, and showed horses until she left for college. Her greatest interests are studying science, traveling, exploring the outdoors and working with animals . Barratt loves working at The Red Barn and feels very grateful to be a part of something so special.
Courtney Rubens has always had a passion for horses. She is a CHA Level I Certified Instructor for Rider’s with Disabilities. Courtney has two children, one of which has been diagnosed with autism. She has been actively involved with equine assisted therapy for two years and has seen the amazing effect horses have on people regardless of age or life circumstances. Courtney feels very blessed to be in a position where she can bring her love of horses and children together in a way that has such a positive impact on others.
Wyspr Black has been horse crazy since she was eight years old, and she competed in Eventing through college with her horse Daddy’s Last Chance. Wysper graduated from Auburn with an undergraduate degree in Vocational Rehabilitation and a Master’s in Rehabilitation Counseling and Vocational Education. She has worked with various disability populations, but has a special interest in traumatic brain injury. Her love of horses and rehabilitation counseling came together recently when she became certified as a CHA Instructor of Riders with Disabilities.
Jordan Reynolds grew up always wanting to own her own horse. When she began volunteering with The Red Barn in the winter of 2013, she says a “bell” went off in her head and she knew she was in the right place. She loves the chance to combine her love of horses with her heart for special needs individuals. Jordan hopes to work towards getting her special education degree. Since joining our staff, Jordan has become a CHA Level 1 Instructor for Rider’s with Disabilities.
Amelia Moore grew up at the barn – before it was even The Red Barn! Though she has known the O’Neals her entire life, Amelia only officially joined our staff in September 2014. When she’s not at the barn helping in lessons and with facilities, Amelia is a student at UAB studying Psychology.
Connor Samples has known the O’Neal family since kindergarten! He volunteered at Spirit of Hope Youth Ranch beginning in 2007 and began volunteering at The Red Barn in 2012. Connor has always been a great summer volunteer, but since his recent graduation from Furman University he has been able to join us as a program assistant! Connor has a true heart for our children, and loves to spending time with all the kids.
Briona Allen is interning with The Red Barn for the Spring 2015 semester. Briona is a senior at UAB majoring in Kinesiology with a concentration in Exercise Science. She rode horses in the Western as a child, and is excited to share her love of horses with the children at The Red Barn. Briona wants to help show how horses can benefit people with many different disabilities and circumstances.
Jamie Phillips is intering with The Red Barn for the Spring 2015 semester. Jamie is a senior at UAB majoring in Kinesiology with a concentraion in Exercise Science and a minor in Spanish. After graduation, Jamie hopes to pursue Occupational Therapy and continue learning more about animal assisted therapies.
Laura Davis is a graduate of the University of Alabama with a major in Early Childhood Education and a concentration in Early Childhood Development. Laura now hopes to attend an Occupational Therapy program. She is originally from the Atlanta area and rode horses as a child. Laura recently became a CHA Level 1 Certified Instructor for Rider’s with Disabilities.
All property maintenance is provided free of charge by the landlord Little Cahaba Properties.
“Uncle Jerry” Phillips keeps the barn safe and maintained. He is the quintessential “grand-daddy” and loves seeing the smiles and listening to the laughter of the children that are enjoying themselves at the barn. The twinkle in his eye and his soft-spoken ways make everyone’s day brighter.
Debbie Prewitt helps us do all manner of things at the barn! She keeps the lawns and arenas looking spiffy and makes countless runs to the store for project materials. Debbie has been married to her husband Carl for 38 years, has one daughter named Mandy, and has two precious grandchildren. She loves working outside, running the coffee shop at her church and spending time at The Red Barn.