Meet Our Team

Our team is a dedicated group with hundreds of hours of in-ring and classroom experience and training. Each Instructor goes through a rigorous program so that they fully understand the requirements of providing safe and meaningful therapeutic riding lessons.

In Addition to this training, our Instructors are certified by PATH or are working toward the certification. In the ring, when necessary, volunteers assist the rider and support the teaching of the instructors. We currently have fourteen Therapeutic Riding Instructors working with our program all with unique backgrounds and expertise.

Katie McGowan
Executive Director / Founder
KatieMcGowan@HorseAbility.org



Katie McGowan is a Certified Advanced Therapeutic Riding Instructor & Mentor from the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH), as well as an accredited Instructor from the renowned Cheff Center for the Handicapped in Augusta, Michigan. In 1993, she combined her love of people and animals but also her passion for education and founding HorseAbility, Center for Equine Facilitated Programs. Katie holds a B.A. in Philosophy from Molloy College with an M.A. in Elementary Education from LIU CW Post.

In 2008 Katie was given the honor of being chosen as one of the “Fortune 52” distinguished women from the LI Press. Also in 2008, she was awarded the Molloy Distinguished Alumni Achievement Award. Her many years’ experience as a horse professional, combined with her education is the foundation on which HorseAbility was built and continues to grow well into the future.

In April 2010, Katie was announced “Woman of Distinction” by Senator Marcellino’s office. The Woman of Distinction was created to honor New York women who exemplify personal excellence, or whose professional achievements or acts of courage, selflessness, integrity or perseverance serve as an example to all New Yorkers.

In 2016, Katie was recognized by Brava as a SmartCEO honoring top female CEO’s. Also that year she was chosen for the prestigious Goldman Sachs 10K Small Business Program. And in 2018 Katie was inducted into the WPO, the Women’s President Organization. Katie is an adjunct professor at Molloy College, SUNY Old Westbury, and LIU CW Post. Katie has been recognized numerous times for the contributions she and HorseAbility have made to the community. Katie is an active mother of two teenagers. Sports and competition are a part of their family. She coaches both softball and basketball for her children and in the community. Katie remains an avid Equestrian. She and her horse Archon train and compete in local Dressage shows.


Jamie Thomas-Martin
Director of Operations



A graduate from SUNY Cobleskill with a B.T. in Equine Studies, Jamie started working for HorseAbility in the winter of 2005 on an internship. Her vast knowledge of therapeutic riding and horsemanship, along with her managerial skills helped her to find her niche and stay on with the organization; Involved in numerous aspects of the program including teaching, overseeing general programming and coordinating, customer service, special events and fundraising. Not only is a program director, she is also certified as a PATH Int. instructor at the registered level and Special Olympics Equestrian Coach.

Named an honoree of the 2016 Business & Finance Awards by Long Island Business News.




Paula McGuffey PT, MA, HPCS


Paula received her masters degree in Physical Therapy from Touro College in 1989. Initially focusing on adult rehabilitation, she was drawn to pediatrics and began working at the Little Village school in Seaford where she has been a staff therapist for over 20 years, and more recently a therapy supervisor for their Early Intervention and related service programs.


Paula began incorporating hippotherapy into her practice at HorseAbility in 2009 and is constantly amazed at the horse/human connection and the unique qualities that combining horses and physical therapy provides. She earned her board certification as a hippotherapy professional clinical specialist in 2012 and became a PATH certified therapeutic riding instructor in 2017. She is a member of the American Hippotherapy Association and has guest lectured for Stonybrook, NYIT and Touro college. Her riding experience includes a strong introduction in dressage and proficiency over a two foot six course.


Sarah Lynas-Koenig MSPT


Sarah is an alumni of Mercy College. After completing her training in massage therapy Sarah decided that she was going back to school to become a physical therapist. In this pursuit she decided that children would be her focus. She is currently working as a pediatric physical therapist at Nassau BOCES.

Sarah working with children allows her to combine the playfulness of children with the rigors of physical therapy, disguised in a school setting with other kids. It is no surprise that Sarah, who is always energetic, is an exercise enthusiast, using Crossfit as her pallet to keep fit. Sarah also loves animals and being outdoors and it was a natural progression for her to combine these with her profession. She is excited to have the opportunity to work at HorseAbility.


Janey Marano MS, OTR/L

Janey is an alumni of Touro college and has been a school-based pediatric occupational therapist for 4 years. She currently works with the New York City department of education and is also a lab professor for the Introduction to Occupational Therapy course at Touro College. She is looking forward to the new experiences she will encounter at Horseability, as well as working alongside a very dedicated team!


Ashley Zizzo MS, OTR/L

Ashley works as an Occupational Therapist at Barbara C. Wilson Preschool for children 3-5 years of age. She started at HorseAbility in 2004 as a volunteer, which was one of the main influences of pursuing a degree in Occupational Therapy.

She became a PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor in 2017. Ashley graduated from NYIT with a Master's in Occupational Therapy in 2018 and is excited to incorporate the use of hippotherapy in her practice.


Angelique Licari MS, CCC-LSLP

Angelique is an alumni of LIU Post, where she received her bachelor’s degree and Adelphi University, where she completed her Master’s in speech-language pathology. She has been a practicing speech-language pathologist for 4 1/2 years and is certified in PROMPT Level 1 training, LSVT.

She currently works with both children and adult populations, specializing in dysphagia (swallowing disorders), cognitive-communication disorders, articulation/phonology, expressive/receptive language. She is thrilled to embark on a new journey using Hippotherapy thankful to be apart of this incredible, supportive organization.


Rem Narain MS, OTR/L

Rem received a Bachelors in Psychology from SUNY Stony Brook and a Masters degree in Occupational Therapy from Touro College. Rem has over 20 years of experience specializing in pediatrics and 15 year as an adjunct professor at Touro College, SUNY Stony Brook, NYIT and Suffolk Community College.

Rem was a member of the Muscle Tone Clinic at St. Charles Hospital which evaluated all children for spasticity management. Rem has specialized in Early Intervention home services (0 to 3 yrs), was staff therapist at a sensory integration clinic and has used adapted aquatics in his treatment approach.

Rem has been an Occupational Therapist utilizing hippotherapy at HorseAbility since 2010. Rem has observed many children make gains towards independence, improve social interaction and develop personal bonds with horses at HorseAbility. Rem is a member of the American Hippotherapy Association.


Therapists

We currently have four Occupational Therapists, two Physical Therapists, and one Speech Language Pathologist working with our program. Volunteers help to support our therapists with their sessions and act as part of the treatment team. HorseAbility requires that our therapists take the Hippotherapy treatment principles workshop, which is given by the American Hippotherapy Association. In addition HorseAbility requires our therapists to take continuing education coursework each year.