Jennifer Rouse has worked at Free Rein since 2008, previously serving as both Program Director and Office Manager. She was awarded a Master’s Degree in Feminist Theology from Episcopal Divinity School. Her passion for helping people combined with her love of animals led her to Free Rein. Jennifer is excited to be a part of the dedicated team of staff members and volunteers who work together to make Free Rein a place of hope and healing in our community.
Brittany McCathernProgram Director
Brittany McCathern joined Free Rein in 2011 as Horse Care Coordinator and was certified in 2012 as a PATH instructor, and in 2018 was promoted to Program Director. She earned an Arts & Associates at Blue Ridge Community College. From the age of 8, Brittany has owned and ridden horses, mostly in hunt seat, cross country, lower level eventing and most recently has taken up dressage. Brittany’s favorite thing about working at Free Rein is the ability to build relationships with fellow staff members, students, families and volunteers in conjunction with horses.
Kara Franks PATH Certified Instructor
Kara Franks started working at Free Rein in 2012 as barn staff. She received her PATH certification in 2014 and began working as an instructor that year. Kara received her Associates Degree in Arts at Blue Ridge Community College. She started taking riding lessons at the age of 11 and received her first horse on her 16th birthday. Combining her love of horses and helping her community is what brought Kara to Free Rein.
Mary Stoehr PATH Certified Instructor
Mary Stoehr was PATH Certified in 2011 and started instructing at Free Rein in 2012. She earned her Masters in Criminal Justice from the University of New Haven and a Masters in Communication Disorders from Southern Connecticut State University. Mary is a retired detective from the New Haven Police Department and currently a Speech-Language Pathologist. She is a former Hunter-Jumper with some competitive eventing, and has been training and riding in Dressage for the last five years. Mary was drawn to Free Rein because of the staff and smaller facility with the possibility for growing and changing. She has two cats, two horses and her husband is a retired fire fighter.
Toni GarrettPATH Certified Instructor
Toni grew up in West Texas and has been riding since she was 8 years old. She has owned horses off and on since then and her love for them is what originally brought her to Free Rein as a volunteer in 2015. Her passion for her students ignited a calling in her to become a PATH Certified Instructor which she achieved in March 2020. She spent 21 years as a Flight Attendant for a major airline and now lives in Brevard with her Husband Jim, who is a Free Rein Board Member, along with their very spoiled dog and cat.
No barn is complete without a few kitty cats. Scarlett (the boss) and Sally (behind the scenes mouser) are a big part of our team. They observe daily activities and provide valuable input.