Stars and Strides 

Stars and Strides was founded in September 2014. The main facility is located in Bridgeport, West Virginia. 

Our mission is to help individuals overcome challenges through integration and use of horses in a therapeutic environment. 


Stars and Strides is a 501(C)3 founded, incorporated and chartered by a Board of Directors. In addition to the Board of Directors, the organization falls under the council of a wide field of experts who serve as advisory board members. These include: therapists, special education educators,certified equine assisted learning facilitators, attorneys, medical personnel, certified public accountants, and horse trainers.

Stars and Strides is a nonprofit founded to provide a therapeutic environment in which persons dealing with emotional, physical, cognitive and social struggles, can find hope and healing through an equine partnership.

   Rebecca Flanagan   President  Rebecca has been a horse lover all her life. After graduating from WVU with a degree in Agriculture and starting her career, she was able to purchase her first horse. Following through with her love of all things equine, Rebecca has done extensive study of horse behavior and became certified as a Horse Specialist in Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies. She spent time volunteering at a therapeutic riding center before deciding to open a place in her own community. She says that helping others through the use of horses is the best life she could ever imagine. 

Rebecca Flanagan
President

Rebecca has been a horse lover all her life. After graduating from WVU with a degree in Agriculture and starting her career, she was able to purchase her first horse. Following through with her love of all things equine, Rebecca has done extensive study of horse behavior and became certified as a Horse Specialist in Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies. She spent time volunteering at a therapeutic riding center before deciding to open a place in her own community. She says that helping others through the use of horses is the best life she could ever imagine. 
   Amanda Stewart   Equine Operations Director   Dr. Stewart, is arguably one of the most highly qualified equine specialist in the state of West Virginia. She has served as the Director of Equine Studies at Bethany College and holds two degrees from West Virginia University and one from The University of Tennessee. Her entire career has been focused on horsemanship and training.  She has served as the Equine Studies and Facility manager at Oglebay Resort and has published articles in Endurance News Magazine. Dr. Stewart is a Level II ARIA certified instructor in both recreational and endurance categories. She also holds an AERC master certification.  She has a lifelong passion for helping and teaching others about the magic of horses.    

Amanda Stewart
Equine Operations Director

Dr. Stewart, is arguably one of the most highly qualified equine specialist in the state of West Virginia. She has served as the Director of Equine Studies at Bethany College and holds two degrees from West Virginia University and one from The University of Tennessee. Her entire career has been focused on horsemanship and training.  She has served as the Equine Studies and Facility manager at Oglebay Resort and has published articles in Endurance News Magazine. Dr. Stewart is a Level II ARIA certified instructor in both recreational and endurance categories. She also holds an AERC master certification.  She has a lifelong passion for helping and teaching others about the magic of horses.
 
   Rebecca Wentz   Board of Directors  Rebecca Wentz is a civilian employee with the West Virginia State Police where she serves as Troop 1 Clerk and administrative support for the Captain. Rebecca has served as a member of the Barbour  County Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Directors for the City of Bridgeport and the Barbour County Horseman’s Association. Rebecca is a member of the Diamond Council of America and has numerous accreditations in the hospitality industry from over a decade of management experience. Rebecca currently volunteers with Stars and Strides Therapeutic Equine Center and serves on their board of directors. Rebecca holds an Associate of Arts Degree in General Studies from Alderson-Broaddus University with a curriculum encompassed in the areas of Sociology and Biology.

Rebecca Wentz
Board of Directors

Rebecca Wentz is a civilian employee with the West Virginia State Police where she serves as Troop 1 Clerk and administrative support for the Captain. Rebecca has served as a member of the Barbour  County Chamber of Commerce, the Board of Directors for the City of Bridgeport and the Barbour County Horseman’s Association. Rebecca is a member of the Diamond Council of America and has numerous accreditations in the hospitality industry from over a decade of management experience. Rebecca currently volunteers with Stars and Strides Therapeutic Equine Center and serves on their board of directors. Rebecca holds an Associate of Arts Degree in General Studies from Alderson-Broaddus University with a curriculum encompassed in the areas of Sociology and Biology.
   Steve Swiger    Steve Swiger is a 22 year vetern with the West Virginia State Police stationed at the Bridgeport Department. Steve is a member of the Harison County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) as well as the Tast Force to Stop Domestic Violence. Steve was deputized as a member of a speical tastk force for North Central West Virginia.   Steve volunteers with Stars and Strides Equine Therapy and serves on the board of directors.   Steve is a graduate of Doddridge County High school and the West Virgina Police Acadamy.

Steve Swiger

Steve Swiger is a 22 year vetern with the West Virginia State Police stationed at the Bridgeport Department. Steve is a member of the Harison County Sexual Assault Response Team (SART) as well as the Tast Force to Stop Domestic Violence. Steve was deputized as a member of a speical tastk force for North Central West Virginia. 
Steve volunteers with Stars and Strides Equine Therapy and serves on the board of directors. 
Steve is a graduate of Doddridge County High school and the West Virgina Police Acadamy.
   Alicia Ziman   Vice President  Alicia Ziman is proud to serve as Vice President of the board, Therapeutic Riding instructor, Equine activities facilitator, and to wear whatever hat Stars and Strides needs her to wear. A native of WV, Alicia loves providing a service that she knows can benefit every member of community in both  riding or volunteering.  Alicia is 2006 graduate of WVU with a bachelors degree in MDS and a Masters in Elementary Education with a specialization in Early Childhood Education. She has been a PreK teacher in Harrison County for 12 years and remains passionate about early childhood education, children with special needs, and the importance of mental health. Alicia is a dedicated life long learner who is loves the challenge of discovering more about Equine therapy, horse training and care, and how to better serve our clients and the challenges we all face.

Alicia Ziman
Vice President

Alicia Ziman is proud to serve as Vice President of the board, Therapeutic Riding instructor, Equine activities facilitator, and to wear whatever hat Stars and Strides needs her to wear. A native of WV, Alicia loves providing a service that she knows can benefit every member of community in both  riding or volunteering.  Alicia is 2006 graduate of WVU with a bachelors degree in MDS and a Masters in Elementary Education with a specialization in Early Childhood Education. She has been a PreK teacher in Harrison County for 12 years and remains passionate about early childhood education, children with special needs, and the importance of mental health. Alicia is a dedicated life long learner who is loves the challenge of discovering more about Equine therapy, horse training and care, and how to better serve our clients and the challenges we all face.
    Teena Farnsworth   Board of Directors


Teena Farnsworth
Board of Directors

 Teena Farnsworth was born in Clarksburg, WV. She grew up on a farm in rural Marshville, WV where she raised several horses of her own. She has been married to her husband Brian for 29 years and they reside in Grafton, WV. She attended WV Business College and has a degree in Business Management and Accounting. Teena worked for a law firm for several years as their bookkeeper and then for an accounting firm as an administrative assistant/tax return processor. She paused in life to start her family and now has 2 children, Jesse and Brianna. She currently works as an administrative assistant/finance officer for a local furniture store. Teena has volunteered for Stars & Strides for 2 years and has been on the Board of Directors for 1 year. She has furthered her education in this field by taking courses in Greg Kersten’s O.K. Corral Series for Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine Assisted Learning.
   Dawn Light   Treasurer  Dawn grew up with a childhood dream of owning a horse, and when the stars were perfectly aligned she was able to make that dream come true.  She now owns a farm in rural Harrison County and not only does she now have horses but she has a working farm with multiple breeds of livestock.  She considers herself a farmHER living her dream.  Dawn is a 2006 graduate of West Virginia University with a bachelors degree in nursing.  Dawn has done extensive study of horse and animal behavior. She also holds a certification in equine assisted activities and therapies.  Most recently Dawn has began to study Reiki, which she is hoping to incorporate into equine activities for even greater benefits.

Dawn Light
Treasurer

Dawn grew up with a childhood dream of owning a horse, and when the stars were perfectly aligned she was able to make that dream come true.  She now owns a farm in rural Harrison County and not only does she now have horses but she has a working farm with multiple breeds of livestock.  She considers herself a farmHER living her dream.  Dawn is a 2006 graduate of West Virginia University with a bachelors degree in nursing.  Dawn has done extensive study of horse and animal behavior. She also holds a certification in equine assisted activities and therapies.  Most recently Dawn has began to study Reiki, which she is hoping to incorporate into equine activities for even greater benefits.