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MEET OUR

TEAM

Meet Équi-Libre's team of dedicated instructors, therapists, and stable staff

Our Management Team

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Devon O'Farrell

Founder and Executive Director
Therapeutic Riding Instructor (CTRBI certified, CTRBII candidate, CanTRA)

Devon fell in love with horseback riding at just 8 years old and has long since believed in the power that horses have to inspire, motivate and engage us. She discovered therapeutic riding while pursuing her bachelor’s degree in Human Relations from Concordia and knew then that this was what she was meant to be doing. In 2016 she co-founded what was then Enfants en Équi-Libre with the dream of making therapeutic riding accessible to as many individuals as possible. 

Now the Executive Director of Équi-Libre Therapeutic Riding Centre, she continues to dedicate herself to the growth and success of the organization. Surrounded by an incredible team of staff and volunteers, Devon spends most of her time coordinating the various programs, fundraising, and building relationships in the community.

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Kendra Flynn Stronach

Head Instructor
CanTRA Coach and Examiner
Equestrian Canada Competition Coach

Kendra is a certified Equine Canada Competition Coach, CanTRA Coach and Examiner.  She coordinated and instructed in the therapeutic riding program at WindReach Farm for over ten years and has been coaching Para-Equestrian athletes at both national and international competitions since 2004; including the 2007 Hartpury World Championships, 2008 Paralympic Games in Hong Kong and the 2010 World Equestrian Games. In 2013 Kendra was awarded the NCCP National Coaching Award in Para-Equestrian and Therapeutic Riding.  She was an elected member of the Canadian Para Equestrian Committee and CanTRA Equine Facilitated Wellness Committee, as well as a contributor for the new Equine Canada Long-Term Equestrian Development (LTED) framework.

 

She has experience competing up to third level in dressage and has background in novice level hunter/jumpers.  She has also successfully obtained her Western Rider Levels 1-4 and is actively working towards her Parelli Natural Horsemanship levels.

 

Kendra is happy to tailoring her lessons to anything her riders are hoping to work on or towards including general riding skills, rider level preparation or competition preparation.

Katherine Cup

Stable Manager
Animal Health Technician
Therapeutic Riding Instructor (CTRII cadidate, CanTRA)

Kat's love for animals started very young. With over 20 years of horse experience, she feels very at home in the barn and in the arena. Using her veterinary technician knowledge and expertise, she keeps the horses at EquiLibre happy and healthy.

 

Since starting to work at EquiLibre and seeing the bright, smiling faces of children and adults alike in their therapeutic riding lessons, Kat felt compelled to pursue her own therapeutic riding instructor certification through CanTRA. With a small stature and easy going personality, the kids find her someone they can relate to and have fun in their lessons with.

Our Team of Instructors and Therapists

Julie Oelmann

Equine Assisted Learning Coach (EFW candidat, CanTRA)
Instructeur en équitation thérapeutique (CTRBI candidat, CanTRA)

Teacher of English Language Arts (High School and Grade 12) B.A., Dip. Ed., M.A.
Parelli Natural Horsemanship (Level 2 Online and Freestyle)

When Julie retired from teaching, she pursued her interest in horse therapy programs, beginning as a volunteer with EEE. She knew she wanted to combine her years of experience in education and love of teaching with her love of horses. Having worked at Lower Canada College and Centennial Academy, Julie has 26 years of experience teaching students with a variety of learning profiles and Individual Education Plans. In helping each student reach their potential, she was at the forefront of developing a Portfolio program in language arts, and was invited to present her work in schools, universities and school boards throughout Quebec, and also participated in local and international portfolio projects with the Ministry of Quebec. Now, she is a Candidate Instructor in Therapeutic Riding and Equine Facilitated Wellness with CanTRA.

 

Julie’s love of learning also led her to study Natural Horsemanship, attending clinics across Quebec. Learning how horses communicate with each other, and how we can better understand our communication with the horse, led her to explore opportunities in equine assisted education and wellness programs. Utilizing the horse as a partner in the learning process opens opportunities for students in realizing learning and wellness goals. Assessing the needs of each client, Julie has a passion for creating fun and insightful activities for the horse and student.

Andréia Ralickas Malisia

Occupational Therapist, MSc
Certified Lever 2, American Hippotherapy Association

Since her graduation in 2007, Andréia began her career by working with children. To her delight, she discovered hippotherapy a few months later, a job that brings together two great passions: horses and children! Over the years she began several trainings and attended many conferences to deepen her knowledge in these fields. In 2009 she was motived to begin her master’s degree, doing research to better understand the impact of hippotherapy on the activities of daily life in children. She was even invited to give several presentations and conferences at McGill and Concordia University, at the Salon de l’Autisme du Québec, as well as at the Québec Continuing Education Institute. 

Although she has worked in many different areas over the years (adult rehabilitation, mental health, school setting, daycare intervention and CPE, SRSOR, CRDI, as well as cycling groups), Andréia always comes back to working with children and horses. Therefore it is with great pleasure that she has now come to be a part of the team at Enfants en Équi-Libre.

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Sophie Thiverge

Therapeutic Riding Instructor (CTRBI2 candidate, CanTRA)
ELTRC Volunteer Ambassador

I started riding at the age of 8. From the beginning, I loved everything about it: the relationship between horse and rider, the beauty of the sport and even the smell of the stable. After a break of several years, I returned to riding and found that the love for the sport had not changed. During the pandemic, I found myself with time on my hands and a desire to get involved in a different way, trying to make horseback riding accessible to a wider audience.

The first time I walked through the doors of the Centre, I knew immediately that I had found a second home. So I got involved as a volunteer, but also as a volunteer-ambassador and now as an instructor. Watching the evolution of a rider and seeing the smile on his or her face, as well as on the parents' faces, is an infinite source of joy and constant motivation to offer the best of myself.

Nouchka Pélichowski

Therapeutic Riding Instructor (CTRBI, CanTRA)

Although her love of horses goes back to childhood, Nouchka really got the bug for riding in her late twenties. It's never too late to start riding! Over the years, she has had the privilege of caring for a dozen horses that have taught her much more than just the mechanics of riding. Listening to others and to the feelings within, managing emotions, and living in the present moment are some of the keys that horses have given her - and still give her - to open the doors that allow her to deepen her connection with this admirable being that is the horse. 

It is this desire to help others discover these keys through the beneficial contact of the horse that led Nouchka to train as a therapeutic riding instructor. Regardless of the age, condition or special needs of the students, they all benefit greatly from time spent with the horse. And as a yoga instructor, Nouchka gently leads her students to discover how breathing is an amazing way to connect more with the horse and feel better about life in general.  

Léa Pelletier

Therapeutic Riding Instructor (CTRBI2 candidate, CanTRA)

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DEDICATED

VOLUNTEERS

It's impossible to speak about our team without mentioning our incredible volunteers without whom we wouldn't be able to do what we do

 

Join our Team

Are you a certified instructor or therapist looking for a new opportunity? Do you enjoy working as part of an interdisciplinary team? Do you have experience with horses? See our employment opportunities below.

Therapeutic Riding Instructor

Stable Hand