Megan studied biology and environmental history in college - thinking she would either become a small animal vet or work in the environmental field. After working as a vet tech for several years, she chose to pursue work in the environmental field. She has worked for a variety of nonprofits focused on fisheries and land protection. For the past 12 years Megan has worked for a philanthropic organization that supports a culture where the connections between people, planet, and animals are honored and supported: essentially working toward a world where all living beings are treated humanely. She has met the most amazing people - and especially amazing young people - making the world a better place. Some of the best days are when work brings her to see the amazing work of animal shelters supporting people in crisis to care for their beloved furry family members, the impact of therapeutic equine programs on veterans and kids struggling with physical and emotional challenges, and equine shelters partnering with prisons to develop job skills for people preparing to transition out of incarceration. Growing up, a horse lived across the street from Megan. His frequent escapes to the apple tree in her yard forged her love for horses. She took a train after school to get to a busy lesson barn where she worked through middle and high school and was able to do a little low-level eventing. There were plenty of fancy show barns in the area - hers was not and it was great. Hard work and new friends who remain friends to this day. A collection of 53 horses and a pack of the cutest and most mischievous little ponies. Although she hasn't ridden regularly in quite a while, Megan would love to get into some low-level dressage and groundwork. Megan has two daughters - one very involved in Dressage4Kids and horses, the other decidedly not. Both are amazing young adults forging their own paths. Megan also has two dogs - one of whom came out of a shelter in Florida while she was 'researching' animal welfare in Florida for work. Megan enjoys hiking in all seasons except mud season (that's Maine's 5th season). Thanks to D4K she did learn that hiking in Florida (with snakes!) is not so much her thing. She'll trade that out for cross country skis and river skating. She also really enjoys bringing people who don't know one another together around a meal or bonfire to build community.
Megan has been connected to Dressage4Kids for about 5 years and got more involved in 2020 when the Summer Intensive Program was offered in Maine, near her home. Megan and her daughter learned about D4K, WIT, and the Youth Dressage Festival at the first barn her daughter rode at. The idea of participating in YDF and WIT was an inspiration and Phoebe was fortunate enough to be supported to participate in TEAM clinics over the following few years. The Covid-19 pandemic brought a lot of hardship for everyone, but a bright light was the advent of the Summer Intensive Program, based twenty minutes from their home. It was a great learning opportunity for Phoebe, and Megan benefited from growing friendships and guidance in parenting while navigating the horse world. Megan has volunteered for D4K since then and joined the board in 2023.
Megan continues to take an active part in Dressage4Kids through serving on the board and helping out at the Youth Dressage Festival. She loves seeing the diversity of horses and ponies and the energy of the kids and their amazing coaches and supporters. And the costumes! The joy and simple love of horses is beautiful. This year, Megan served as a scribe at YDF which was a great way to learn more about what the judges are looking for at different levels.
When asked what motivates her most about Dressage4Kids, Megan writes, "The focus on creating access to training opportunities for those from different socio-economic backgrounds along with the clear message that dressage is for all horses really drew me in. There are many things in the horse world that seem very out of reach and Dressage4Kids opens doors for amazing training, fun, and incredible opportunities. The ethics of the program - with a focus on horsemanship, responsibility, and mentorship also appeal to me."
Megan also shares, "I hold a lot of gratitude for D4K and the people that have crossed our paths as a result. D4K builds community and that is something we all need."