Our Licensed Horse Specialists

Click on the instructor photos to learn more about what they are working on!

Shannon Birkelbach is a graduate of Texas A&M with a degree in accounting but is truly an entrepreneur at heart.  Her love of horses has led her to find a way of living her dream of having a successful business that includes her passion for horses.  She is excited that her horses can help teach others some of the many things they have taught her.

Certifications:
Parelli Official Level 2 graduate
EAGALA and OK Corral horse specialist
Hands That Heal Certified

Email  shannon@fivehorses.com

Phone   713-203-6115

Instructor/Equine Specialist

Jeanie Gardner came into the world of horses in a very traditional manner.  Always wanting to be the Indian and ride her horses bareback and bridleless, Natural Horsemanship actually came quite naturally to her.  Once she came to learn the programs and methods that Natural Horsemanship offered, she took her then 26 year old “crazy” barrel horse and formed a real partnership with a more loving relationship.  Many horses later, she continued with her gift of teaching at SIRE as a Therapeutic Horseback Riding Instructor, and later became the Head Instructor.  While teaching those with disabilities, she acquired more knowledge and continues to discover more and more each day. Jeanie says that, “coming back to teaching at Five Horses is a dream come true!”

Certification:
PATH International Instructor
Hands That Heal Certified

Email  Jeanie@fivehorses.com

Instructor/Equine Specialist

Tara Chatterson was introduced to the horse world later in her life, but has spent as much time as possible making up for it since then. She discovered a great passion for Natural Horsemanship and EAL/EAP when she started at Five Horses, LLC in 2013.  She is now the proud owner of two wonderful horses that are boarded on-site and can be frequently be found riding or playing with them.

Tara earned her Bachelor’s degree from the University of Houston, and her Master’s degree in Human Resources Development from Texas A&M University. She works part-time at Five Horses, LLC as an Administrative Assistant and Equine Specialist.

Certification:  OK Corral.

Email  tara@fivehorses.com

Instructor/Equine Specialist

Marissa Watkins has loved horses since the day she was born. Her dad bought her first horse at age ten and she’s owned horses ever since. While earning her Bachelors in Music at University of Houston, she read Kim Meeder’s book “Hope Rising” about a ranch in Oregon that provides equine assisted psychotherapy services. From that moment Marissa knew God was leading her to pursue this work. After graduating she met Shannon through a mutual friend and she has helped Marissa work towards gaining her certification and more knowledge in EAL/EAP and Natural Horsemanship.

Certification:  OK Corral (EAP/EAL)
Hands That Heal Certified

Email  Marissa@fivehorses.com

Equine Specialist

Lisa Patke has a passion for serving, giving, and learning as well as a long-time love of horses.  That combination has guided her to EAP, EAL, and Natural Horsemanship.  She has volunteered with Self-Improvement Through Riding Education (SIRE) , a therapeutic equestrian center, and the Houston Livestock Show and Rodeo.   Lisa hopes to share her passions in the arena and make a difference in the lives of others—physically, emotionally, mentally, and spiritually.

Certification:  OK Corral (EAP/EAL)

Email  lisa@fivehorses.com

Equine Specialist

Jeni Fleck has been a teacher for 16 years, preschool through 5th grade. She is currently teaching first grade in the Cy- Fair School District. She has 3 boys, ages 14-19.

Jeni grew up in Colorado where she rode on a drill team for 5 years as a teenager.  She was away from horses for many years due to school and raising her family. In the past 9 years she has returned to riding, attending seminars on Natural Horsemanship and Equine Assisted Therapy/Learning.  She also bought her own horse in 2011!

Certification:  OK Corral (EAP/EAL)

Email  jeni@fivehorses.com

Equine Specialist

Margaret Bear has been teaching students with special needs for 11 years. She currently teaches sixth grade thru eighth grade in Klein ISD. She has three children ages 21, 12, and 9.

 Margaret’s passion for horses started at the age of 10 after starting riding lessons in Spain. She moved to United States when she was 12 and continued riding friend’s horses for pleasure whenever the chance appeared. After many years away from horses, when her daughters were old enough, she introduced her daughters to horse therapy.  During this process she fell in love with a black and white paint and had her dream of horse ownership come true in 2010!  Margaret also spent several summers volunteering at SIRE to assist others and to be in the presence of horses.

Her passion is with helping others, being around horses, and life time learning. With the encouragement of Shannon, Margaret became certified in EAP and EAL. She continues to acquire more learning in Natural Horsemanship to further her knowledge of horses and communication.

Certifications:  Ok Corral

Email  margaret@fivehorses.com

Equine Specialist

Kathryn Vernon is a horse specialist that loves teaching kids.  She has experience as a nanny as well as coaching in the area of swim lessons.   She is currently studying to receive her license as a professional counselor at Texas A&M University.

Certification:  OK Corral (EAP/EAL)

Email  kathryn@fivehorses.com

Equine Specialist