With a passion for horses and a desire to help people, equine assisted activities are the perfect fit for Katie. She has been blessed to have horses be an important part of her life and she understands their amazing ability to offer authentic partnership. Whether you are looking to establish a business action plan, need to get something off your chest or just need an embrace, the horses are always there for you. The serenity of the farm when coupled with the balance created by the horses is close to Heaven in Katie's eyes!

Katie studied early childhood, special education as well as deaf communication in college. She was introduced to Equine-Assisted Personal Development in 2009 and is now Advanced Eagala certified and a mentor for Eagala. Katie is a certified Leadership Coach as well as master practitioner for the Energy Leadership Index, which is on the Forbes Top 10 Coaching Tools. She also works to align client's spiritual & financial success using the Sacred Money Archetypes. Katie's unique skill sets combined with the power of the horses, drives clients across the finish line in life and business!


Phone: 704.237.0644


Horses have been a part of Mary's life since the age of six. Growing up, she enjoyed dressage and combined training. At age 22, Mary sold her horse to study at Duke Divinity School and pursue ordination in the United Methodist Church.

In 2004, Mary completed a Doctorate of Ministry in Pastoral Psychotherapy. She is a North Carolina Certified Pastoral Counselor. Her work includes psycho dynamic therapy with individuals, couples, families and groups. Mary has a private practice in Huntersville and accepts private pay, BCBS-NC and AHO. She is an adjunct faculty member of Davidson Centre of the Professions. She holds degrees from Centre College, Duke Divinity School and Graduate Theological Foundation.

Mary found the Eagala model to be a perfect integration of blending her love for both horses and the art of psychotherapy. Keeping her boots in her car for any horse or barn related opportunity; Mary enjoys staying active with her husband, two daughters and two dogs!


Maria has always had a passion for helping children, teens, individuals, couples and families cope with difficulties in their lives. Her desire to help clients experience healing and life change through faith-centered therapy.

Maria is a Licensed Professional Counselor. She received her BA in Psychology from the University of North Carolina at Chapel Hill, and a MA in Christian Counseling from Gordon-Conwell Theological Seminary. She has attended the Advanced Eagala training as well.

Maria has experience in working with a wide range of struggles to include depression, anxiety, stress, communication, martial affairs, divorce, childhood trauma and teen issues. Maria is Level II Certified through Eagala, EMDR trained, DBT trained and Prepare/Enrich Certified Facilitator.  Maria is a part of Living Well Counseling Associates, and her office in Kannapolis, NC. She accepts private pay and BCBS-NC.


Ashton is a Licensed Professional Counselor, National Board Certified Counselor, and certified EAGALA mental health specialist. She holds a Master’s Degree in Clinical Mental Health Counseling from the University of Alabama at Birmingham and a Bachelor’s Degree in Psychology from the UNC-Asheville. She has extensive training in Dialectical Behavior Therapy (DBT) and Multi-Systemic Therapy (MST). Ashton has experience with a variety of populations including adult and adolescent Borderline Personality disorder and borderline traits, in-home therapy with teens at risk for out of home placement due to behavioral issues, substance use and dual diagnosis, teens in residential placement for sexual acting out behaviors, grief and palliative care counseling, and children and teens with autism spectrum diagnoses.

Ashton believes in the calming and uplifting effects animals can have in increasing mindfulness and tolerance of stress and painful emotions. She feels the EAGALA model offers the perfect blend of nature and evidence based practices. Ashton is part of Grimes Effective Counseling in Huntersville, NC and she accepts private pay, BCBS-NC, and Cigna.


Jennifer specialize in working with women to heal wounds from trauma, and teach tools to empower self and build relationships. She is experienced in partnering with individuals to restore strained relationships and overcome difficulties resulting from Separation/Divorce, Emotional, Verbal, Physical, Spiritual, Sexual Abuse. Jennifer's expertise is in using experiential activities in order to go deeper than "talk therapy". She is passionate about teaching you how to establish healthy boundaries in relationships, how to value and love yourself, and how to connect with your spirituality.

In addition to her private practice, Jennifer is a Contract Therapist at Onsite Workshops near Nashville, TN where she leads Experiential Intensives for individuals and couples. It is her desire to provide a safe, judgment FREE place for you. Jennifer owns Freedom Counseling and offers daytime, evening and Saturday morning appointments. She accepts private pay at this time.


Phone: 704.883.6969

Phone: 704.560.0525

Phone: 828.387.5735

Eagala is an international non-profit established in 1999, with over 2500 member in 40 countries. It has set the standards for professional excellence, in how horses and humans work together, to improve the quality of life and mental health of individuals, families and groups worldwide. Watch a Vimeo on Eagala. 

Eagala has a distinctive, experiential framework, designed to allow clients the latitude to discover, learn and grow from the horse-human relationship. WE abide by Eagala's Standards:

1.) Activities are Ground Based (No riding or horsemanship needed)
This is the safest and most respectful approach to working with horses; they are able to make their own choices as are our clients.

2.) Team Approach
Horses, a Licensed Mental Health Professionals & an Equine Specialist are in EVERY session

3.) Solution-Oriented
Sessions are future-focused and seek solutions rather than focusing on problems. Watch a Vimeo on Solution Oriented Sessions

4.) Adhere to a Stick Code of Ethics

Katie Stankiewicz, CPC

Ashton Burdick, LPC

Phone: 704.796.1918


Samantha has over 10 years of counseling practice experience in school and alternative settings. She received her BA in Psychology from University of Southern Maine and her Master in School Counseling from Gardner-Webb University. Samantha was a mental health professional in a crisis stabilization unit and a mobile outreach program before moving to North Carolina to work as a line-in wilderness counselor for an alternative adventure based at-risk youth program.

Samantha has received intensive training in clinical trauma, Gestalt Therapy and Reality Therapy / Choice Theory. She also incorporates play therapy, motivational interviewing, functional behavior assessments / Positive Behavior and EMDR. She also has her clinical trauma and military counselor certification. This variety of modalities and technique is used on your journey in designing and achieving your personal holistic wellness.

Samantha's private practice is Experience Wellness and her office location is in Davidson, NC. She accepts private pay, BCBS-NC, CBHA, Magellan, Medcost and Aetna.


Morgan believes that horse play an integral part of personal development. She enjoys providing the opportunity to cultivate personal growth, integrity, trust and responsibility in an equestrian environment of love and respect. Morgan enjoys and appreciates all aspects of horses but her heart lies in the relationship with them.

Morgan grew up handling, riding, showing and breeding horses. She graduated from Virginia Intermont College with a B.A. in Equestrian Studies. Morgan owns Kindred Equestrian, based in Mooresville, offering riding lessons and retirement board. She is a certified American Riding Instructor (ARIA) and has traveled to A and C rated Equestrian Events. Morgan became Eagala certified in 2018.

She also completes in agility with her two Parson Russell Terriers! Eddie is Nationally ranked as the #1 PRT for 2017 and has 5 Master Agility Championships. Lux is just starting her agility adventure!

Read her Blog - Savvy Sippin' Mom - Lifting up and inspiring other women and mothers while having a sense of humor and compassion!


Maria Russell, LPC

Equine Specialist
Riding Instructor

Samantha King, LPC

Phone: 704.641.3739

Morgan Rhodes

Mary Kinken, D.Min


Animal assisted therapy has been a passion of Julia's since getting her Masters from the University of North Carolina. Julia has been working professionally with horses for since 2014. She enjoys working with animals to help people understand and cope with their trauma or situations, because she has seen what it has done not only for others, but herself. Sharing this type of experience of healing with others are not only considered exciting to Julia, but an honor.

Julia works with adolescents, young adults and adult clients with a range of mental health and other life problems. She has background in working with severe and persistent mental illnesses, domestic violence, relationships and more. Julia is a true believer of the Eagala model and incorporates her Gestalt and other therapeutic ideologies into her sessions. She is part of Davidson Family Therapy and her office is in Davidson, NC. She accepts private pay, BCBS-NC and Aetna. 

Read her Blog


Julia Rose, LPCA

Phone: 704.912.4095

Jen Roach, LPC