ROCK (Ride On Center for Kids), a 501 (c)(3) nonprofit organization, provides equine-assisted activities and therapies to children, adults, and veterans with physical, cognitive and emotional challenges.
ROCK participants range from 2 – 92 years old and see improvement in most aspects of their life; from muscle tone, strength, flexibility, and balance to cognitive, behavioral and emotional improvements.
Serving Central Texas since 1998, ROCK’s mission is to improve independence and life skills in partnership with the horse. Our center is located on 60+ acres in beautiful Georgetown, Texas.
ROCK’s organizational vision is to be the trusted leader in equine-assisted activities through service, research, and education. Serving an average of over 350 participants and their families every year, ROCK is recognized as a leader in hippotherapy and therapeutic riding research.
ROCK is a PATH Intl. premiere accredited equine-assisted activities and therapies center. Our programs include hippotherapy, therapeutic riding, ROCK On Veterans, and equine facilitated learning programs for schools, juvenile programs, residential homes, and individuals.
If you haven’t been out to visit ROCK, call 512-930-7625 to schedule a tour to see ‘Healing Thru Horses’ in person.
Nancy O’Meara Krenek
Founder and Chief Executive Officer
Director of Therapy & Research / Doctor of Physical Therapy/ Physical Therapist / Hippotherapy Clinical Specialist
AHA, Inc. Member Therapist
PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor
Dr. Nancy Krenek has been a physical therapist for over 32 years and in the past twenty years specialized in equine-assisted activities and therapy serving children, adults and veterans.
She is the CEO and Founder of ROCK (R.O.C.K., Ride On Center for Kids) in Central Texas (rockride.org) and also the Executive Director of the TAMUS Courtney Grimshaw Fowler Equine Therapeutic Program on campus in College Station, which has recently been sponsored by the ONE Health Initiative under the Texas A&M Biomedical Department of Vet/Med (courtneycares.org) Nancy is one of 85 board certified Hippotherapy Clinical Specialists in the nation.
Besides serving participants through connection with the horse, she has been instrumental in over 20 research projects, with three being published in peer reviewed journals. Her passions are her husband Frank and their blended family of 7 children and 5 grandchildren. She enjoys biking, kayaking and airstreaming.
Susan brings over 35 years of professional experience in both corporate and nonprofit environments to ROCK Ride on Center for Kids. After graduating from the University of Texas at Dallas, she became a CPA.
Prior to joining ROCK, Susan was Vice President of Finance at the Austin Community Foundation where her responsibilities included management of the financial, accounting, HR and IT functions. Before that, she was a plant controller at The Pillsbury Company.
Susan enjoys spending time with her three grandchildren, reading, traveling, hiking, playing card games, and volunteering.
Jen first came to ROCK in 2008 as the mother of a rider and as a volunteer sidewalker. She joined the ROCK Physical Therapy team as a Physical Therapist Assistant in 2009. Jen returned to school in 2017, receiving her Doctorate of Physical Therapy in 2019.
Jen has completed both Level I and Level II training from the American Hippotherapy Association. In addition to her AHA and PATH Intl. memberships, she is a member of the Texas Physical Therapy Association and the American Physical Therapy Association, including the APTA Pediatric and Neurology Sections. She works with both children and adults, treating individuals who face physical challenges from a wide variety of diagnoses, including Cerebral Palsy, Angelman Syndrome, Down Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Agenesis of the Corpus Callosum, Spinal Muscular Atrophy, Spina Bifida, spinal cord injury, stroke and traumatic brain injury.
Safety and Education Director / Licensed Speech-Language Pathologist / Hipppotherapy Clinical Specialist / AHA, Inc. Member Therapist / PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor / Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning
Shannon joined the staff as an SLP in 2006 after volunteering at ROCK for 2 years. She has an undergraduate degree in Education with a specialty in Speech Therapy and a Master’s degree in Communication Disorders.
She has over 20 years of experience including working with individuals with Cerebral Palsy, Autism Spectrum Disorder, Down Syndrome, language disorder/delay, articulation/phonological disorder, cognitive impairment, stroke and head injury.
Priscilla Lightsey is a Physical Therapist who worked at “classic ROCK” before moving to Beijing, China in 2007. She is the director of the equine-assisted therapy program she founded in Beijing, China: HOPE (Horses Offering People Enrichment) (www.hopebeijing.org).
Her credentials include a Doctor of Physical Therapy, a Master of Arts in Special Education, Hippotherapy Clinical Specialist and PATH Intl. Certified Instructor.
Lesley has over 35 years experience riding, raising and training horses.
She has horse show experience in English riding, western pleasure, hunter pleasure, and working cow horse.
Lesley has managed her own boarding and training facility for 20 years and has been providing riding instruction since 1993.
Kristin started volunteering as a sidewalker/horse handler at ROCK in 2007.
She became a PATH Intl. Therapeutic Riding Instructor in 2008.
After being away from therapeutic riding for 4 years, Kristin has returned to ROCK.
Heidi is a PATH Intl. Registered Instructor and Recreational Therapist (TX Certified) who has had the great opportunity to be with ROCK since 1999. Over the years, she has worked as the center’s volunteer coordinator and as a full-time therapeutic riding instructor. She is passionate about and coordinates the Veterans program.
Heidi wasn’t born in Texas but got here as soon as she could in the 2nd grade! (Originally from Seattle) She has been married for 29 years to her ROCK supportive husband, Brett, and three grown children (Allyson, Kevin & Julia), son-in-law Brennan, three crazy dogs and one tough cat.
Dorothy has been associated with ROCK since 2006 as the parent of a current client. In 2009, she became a volunteer and in 2010 Dorothy became a PATH Intl. Registered Instructor. She has a degree in Special Education from the University of West Florida.
She taught children with Behavior Disabilities and Cognitive Delays while living in Florida and was a resource teacher in the Round Rock School District prior to having children. Dorothy and her husband, Ron, have lived in the Austin/Round Rock area since 1996.
Devon started at ROCK in August of 2014 as a Certified PATH International Registered Instructor. In addition to teaching Devon now acts as the Co-Coordinator for the STAR program and the Program Coordinator.
Devon graduated with an associate’s degree in equine science from Colby Community College and a bachelor’s degree in animal science from Kansas State University. Devon has been riding horses for 25 years and has 3 horses of her own.
Devon grew up showing hunter/jumpers all over the United States and still tries to show when she can. When Devon is not at ROCK she spends time with her family, horses, dogs, and cats.
Rebecca joined ROCK in 2016 at the recommendation of a friend who volunteered at ROCK. She’s a native Central Texan who has over 20 years of accounting/bookkeeping and payroll experience from her work in several companies and state government.
When Rebecca is not at ROCK, she enjoys spending time with her husband and two children, reading, traveling, and working on a variety of puzzles.
Kevin is a former Regional Environmental Operations Manager for Cleveland Environmental of San Francisco, California, a Division of Cleveland Wrecking, The World’s largest General Engineering Company specializing in Fortune 500 Demolition and Environmental Engineering Remediation Projects around the world.
He has studied Environmental Remediation at UC Berkeley, Berkeley, CA; studied Psychology at the University Of Texas, Austin, TX; and studied Psychology at The University Of Nebraska, Lincoln, NE. Kevin had a 150 acre Ranch in Northern California where he bred and trained Domestic as well as Mustang Horses.
He also developed Kind and Wilde Ranch in Northern California, where inner city Youth from Oakland and San Francisco California could escape the dangers of the inner city and find the Peace and Tranquility afforded one by getting their feet in the dirt and working with Horses in a Beautiful and natural setting.
After moving back to Texas, he found his true calling while volunteering at ROCK Ride on Center for Kids. He went through ROCK’s STAR program, became a PATH certified instructor, and was hired to work at ROCK. He currently teaches therapeutic riding at ROCK and is the co-coordinator of the ROCK On Veterans program where veterans work with the healing powers of the horse.
Donelle grew up riding, training, and competing in both Walker County 4-H Horse Club and High School Rodeo. She started as a volunteer at “Classic ROCK” in 2000. Two years later she earned her Therapeutic Riding Instructor certification from NARHA and began working as an instructor. Following a long break from ROCK, while she followed her husband through three moves, she returned to the ROCK staff in 2012 to assist in starting the Texas A&M University Courtney Grimshaw Equine Therapeutic Program, where she currently serves as Program Director. Donelle earned a BS in Education from Baylor University and taught high school geometry and computer science in Round Rock ISD. Donelle is now a Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor through PATH as well as a Certified Horsemanship Association instructor in both western and English. When she’s not in the arena, she is busy homeschooing her two daughters or riding her own horses.
Olivia moved down to Texas in July 2016 and joined the ROCK staff as a certified PATH Registered Level Instructor in August 2016. She had been working as an instructor for the last two years after graduating with a Bachelors in Psychology from Colgate University.
Olivia has been riding and working with horses for the last 15 years and is lucky enough to own her own pony named Rain. She spent some time after graduation working at a high end show barn as a groom. When Olivia is not working at ROCK, she is usually out with her horse or relaxing with family.
Karah has lived in Round Rock since 1996. Her three daughters are proud graduates of RRHS. Jackie is a manager at Dell, Rachel is an ICU nurse at Baylor Scott & White, and Samantha is case manager at Integral Care.
Karah is most proud of her 5 wonderful grandchildren (Tati, Elijah, Ronnie, Jaina, and Landon and her GREAT grandchild Tamir), who attend schools in the Round Rock and Leander ISD and College! Karah uses her spare time to ring handbells in the First United Methodist Church of Round Rock, Jubilation, where she loves ringing the big base bells for over 24 years.
Karah has served on several committees in the community and enjoys spending time getting to know those around her. Karah is an active member of the Round Rock Kiwanis Club and the American Legion Post 174 in Georgetown and serves with them at their events. Karah also is a founding member of drops of grace, a Williamson County nonprofit dedicated to disaster recovery, rebuilding communities in the United States, and serving humanitarian needs in Africa and Nicaragua. Karah volunteers in Williamson County, TX through the VOAD and LTRC when disasters happen in WilCo.
Karah came to Central Texas in 1983 and was stationed at Bergstrom Air Force Base as a Morale Welfare and Recreation Specialist. It didn’t take much for her to stay put in Central Texas once her military duty was over in the Air Force.
Karah holds a Certificate in Nonprofit Leadership and Management, Volunteer Management, Grant Writing, Communication and Marketing as well as Effective Fundraising from the Center for Nonprofit Studies at ACC.
Amanda began riding horses at the age of 8, and has over 20 years of experience riding and working with horses.
She attended California State University, Fresno where she rode on their equestrian team, and received her Bachelor of Science degree in Equine Science in 2007.
Upon graduation, she began teaching riding lessons and quickly realized that it was her passion in life. In 2015 she relocated to Texas from California with her husband and son.
Amanda came to ROCK in 2016 as a volunteer and a participant in the STAR Instructor in Training Program, and received her PATH Intl instructor certification in 2017.
Callee has a strong background in horseback riding. She began riding at a young age and has competed extensively in both English and Western events, including hunters, equitation, dressage, barrel racing, and pole bending.
Callee graduated magna cum laude from Texas A&M University with a B.S. in Psychology in December of 2016. Callee became a PATH Intl. Registered Therapeutic Riding Instructor in November of 2016 and has been on staff at ROCK since January 2017.
Callee is also a Registered Yoga Teacher and in her spare time she enjoys practicing yoga, riding horses, spending time with her family, reading, and hiking. She currently resides in Georgetown, Texas with her husband, Daryl, their dog, Binx, and her horse, Roanie.
Amy’s life at ROCK started when she began volunteering here 2 years ago. She thoroughly enjoyed being around the clients, other volunteers, and horses so much that she decided to apply for the STAR program in 2016.
After a year of training and perseverance, Amy passed her examinations in August 2017 and happily accepted a position at ROCK in September.
Her desire as an instructor is to impart a lifelong love of riding and improved independence for her clients. She wants each individual to feel loved and accepted every time they walk into the House that is ROCK.
A native of Cleveland, OH, Betsy moved to Austin in 2016 and began spending time at ROCK as a volunteer. Betsy joined ROCK as a staff member in the summer of 2017. A PATH Intl. Certified Advanced Instructor since 2006, Betsy has taught lessons in New Hampshire, Ohio, and Texas.
Betsy completed her undergraduate work at the University of Notre Dame and earned her Masters of Social Work at Cleveland State University. A Licensed Clinical Social Worker, Betsy has studied and practiced Animal Assisted Therapy, and has been able to partner with horses, dogs, turtles, snakes, and skunks to connect with others and facilitate change.
When not at ROCK, Betsy enjoys playing with her two dogs, Bo and Lizzie, and learning new things with her horse, Stuart.
Christina Clary, better known as Tina, joined the ROCK team in 2020. Tina is also the Vice President of Lakeline Toastmasters and active within the Central Texas Toastmasters community. She has over seven years of Marketing experience and brings a passion for storytelling and connecting communities.
A Coloradoan by birth, Tina grew up in the Northeast before she moved to Texas in 2007. In 2013, she graduated from Texas A&M with a Bachelor’s in History and eventually relocated to the Austin-area in 2015. In her free time, Tina enjoys spending time with her husband and two cats, reading, drawing, and playing video games.
Louisa joined the Volunteer Department at ROCK in January 2020 after 2 years of volunteering in the arena. She is a native Texan who attended Tyler Junior College before earning a BS in Communications from Mary Baldwin University in Virginia. She met her husband, Brad, while in school in Virginia. After getting married in Austin, they spent 8 years in the Air Force and then moved back to Austin where they raised their 3 children. Louisa served on the Board of Directors of several different non-for-profits in the Austin area where she managed membership and communications/social media.
Her lifetime love of animals led her to work in the veterinary field as a surgical technician before she and Brad moved to Georgetown in 2016. She’s been involved with 2 dog rescue groups in the Austin area for over 15 years – it is not unusual for there to be more 4 legged beings than 2 legged beings in her house at any given time.
When she’s not having fun in the dirt at ROCK, she can be found enjoying time with her family and pets, cooking, reading, gardening, and spending time at the family’s property in Weir. The beach is also a favorite place.
Phoebe is from a small coal town in Southeastern Montana. She grew up around cattle and horses and graduated from Rocky Mountain College in Billings, MT with a Bachelor of Science degree in Equine Science- Therapeutic Riding and a minor in psychology. Phoebe received her PATH certification in 2018.
Stephane is a native Texan and graduate of University of North Texas with a B.S. in Business. Stephane and her husband resided in Virginia before he retired from the Navy in 2014. As a Navy spouse, she began several programs for children of military families for 10 years.
Looking to get involved in something here in Texas, a friend introduced Stephane to the ROCK On Veteran’s program here at ROCK where she started out as volunteer. After experiencing the power of horse therapy, she knew this was the vocation for her. As a volunteer, Stephane and the Women Veterans entered the Chisholm Trail Community Foundation Fast Pitch event and earned $10,000 for the Women’s program here at ROCK. Stephane was eventually accepted into ROCK’s STAR program to prepare for certification as a PATH Intl. therapeutic riding instructor and began working here in 2019.
In her free time, Stephane cares for her two horses, a mustang named Comanche and a quarter horse named Whiskey as well as her four dogs. Stephane and her husband enjoy cowboy action shooting and are members of SASS (Single Action Shooting Society).
Our Board of Directors
2020-2021 Board of Directors
Patrick Breen, DVM, President
Chris Miller, Vice President
Steve Shook, Treasurer
George Brightwell, Secretary
Lindsey Roberts, Past President
Rebecca Hays Barho
Victor J. Bero
Dan M. Gattis
Jim Geracci, MD
2020-2021 Board of Advisors
Patti Colbert, Chair
Charles W. Graham, DVM
Wayne Hurst, DPM, FACFAS
Hon. Betsy Lambeth
Email a board member at email@example.com