OUR EXECUTIVE BOARD
Greg was born and raised in the Pacific Northwest, lived around horses most of his life, and continues to enjoy riding with his family who continue to own several horses in the area.
Greg has worked as a mason and in related skilled trades for over 30 years, but in his free time, became a certified riding instructor in 2004 for a “for” profit horseback riding program in Alaska, later using those skills to benefit a different therapeutic riding program in Florida where he volunteered for a year before moving to Whidbey Island. Greg continues to enjoy riding, as well as fishing, boating and camping. He says he always feels better when he’s actively participating in a program he values. And Greg has certainly done that with Equestrian Crossings. He started as a rider/student, and then moved into a volunteer where he helped students with grooming, helped as a side-walker for adaptive lessons, and now he is both a Member and on the EqX Board of Directors as the “Student & Family Liaison”. Greg’s experience and love of horses are a great value to EqX and its students.
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Greg continues to enjoy riding, as well as fishing, boating and camping. He says he always feels better when he’s actively participating in a program he values. And Greg has certainly done that with Equestrian Crossings. He started as a rider/student, and then moved into a volunteer where he helped students with grooming, helped as a side-walker for adaptive lessons, and now he is both a Member and on the EqX Board of Directors as the “Student & Family Liaison”. Greg’s experience and love of horses are a great value to EqX and its students.
Kristen Fisk became a part of Equestrian Crossings in 2017 as she brought her own daughter Jessica there to learn adaptive horse riding lessons. She was amazed how the experience opened a whole new world to her daughter Jessica bringing both happiness and more confidence to her. Kristen then wished to be more than just a parent of an Equestrian Crossings student rider and became a Board Member and volunteer.
Kristen also works full time as a Supervisor at Payless Food Store and has lived on and off of Whidbey Island for the past 14 years. She is a certified Veterinary Assistant and has always had a passion for animals and the great outdoors.
In her free time, she enjoys hiking, discovering new Lighthouses and waterfalls in the Northwest, and spending quality time with her Daughter and Son.
OUR AT-LARGE BOARD
Board Member – Volunteer Coordinator
Gail is a homemaker and a retired RN and midwife who grew up in England and moved to the USA in 1990 when she married her husband Glen who is a retired USAF veteran and fighter pilot. They retired to Whidbey Island in 2006 with their son Max, who currently attends WSU, “Go Cougs”.
Gail enjoys volunteering with several non-profit organizations; she loves the great outdoors, gardening, cooking, horses and big dogs. As a teenager, she rode English style and did a little jumping.
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She hopes to help start a new program within EqX in the future called “Horses, Hearts and Heroes” which will serve returning military personnel and their families in their recovery from physical and psychological injuries.
Gail is passionate about what EqX offers it’s students and volunteers and loves being part of the EqX “herd” because it is just so incredibly rewarding! Even the horses love it.
I started riding at an early age but with no real formal training. This continued through my teen years when I had my own horse. Any show experience I have is minimal and took place mostly during my pre-adolescent and teen years. Periodically throughout my adult years I would ride the horses of folks who did not have time to ride and keep them in shape.
In 2010 I began a two year equine studies program at Feather River College in Quincy, California. The focus of this program is to learn about and train young ranch horses. The college has its own herd consisting of brood mares and breeding stallions. It is quite a comprehensive program where we learned not only the ins and outs of breeding, birthing, and raising foals but equine nutrition, horse anatomy, rudimentary veterinary medicine including being able to recognize and treat various illnesses and injuries, starting young horses including working cattle, and general ranch management.
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In addition to the training program, the college also offers a pack skills course where we learned to pack into the back country using horses and mules. This course consisted of learning the different types of pack saddles and the appropriate hitches depending upon the load. We also learned and had experience developing, preparing, and serving meals that were cooked over a campfire. Most of this was done in Dutch ovens!!
Upon successful completion, I received certificates both in training young horses and pack skills. Following my time at FRC, I spent three summers working for Craig London at one of his two pack stations in the Eastern Sierra. It was during these times that I was able to put my pack skills education to work. As you well know, taking courses and actually working in the field are not the same and I am grateful I had the opportunity to put my skills to work.
To finish up, I will put in a plug for the equine program at Feather River College which is a standard 2-year community college. It has four tracks: training young horses, ranch management, the rodeo team, and pack skills. Russell Reid, the director, has done a stellar enough job developing this program that this year FRC is offering a 4-year bachelor’s degree in Equine Studies. Any person looking for a strong college program in equine studies would be wise to check into FRC.
Frankie Wernecke has had a horse or horses most of her life. She’s lived on Whidbey Island for 27 years and is the mother of 5 boys – 3 of her own and 2 stepsons. She works with the Oak Harbor School District as a ‘lunch lady’.
“I have been with EqX since 2010. I was hooked with my first lesson as a sidewalker. I love horses and I love people so putting them together and having fun makes my heart sing,” she says.
Certification: CHA Certification June 2014, Western Level I