EQUINE SPECIALIST – LEAD
The Founder and Executive Director of Forever Amber Acres, Michele became involved in horse rescue in 2006, when she opened up her heart to a thoroughbred mare in need named ForeverAmber. Michele ran Forever Amber Acres privately for 5 years, before becoming a nonprofit in 2013. In 1990, the Wars in Iraq affected Michele in a very personal and profound way. It became her vision to help military veterans heal by incorporating her life-long affinity for thrown-away horses. In 2017, Michele became certified as an Equine Specialist through the EAGALA intensive fundamentals model. Michele continues to broaden her education and went back to get re-certified in this intensive program again in late 2020. In 2022 Michele went through the Arenas for Change (ARCH) certification, so she can offer our clients a variety of modalities while facilitating our healing equine programs. As of 2021, Michele had a documented more than 14,000 hours of hands-on experience working with gentling and rehabilitating horses and understanding horse psychology, and each year those hours continue to grow! Because of her vision, FAA & the treatment team provides Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) and Learning (EAL) and mindfulness and meditation to NE Ohio’s Military veterans and civilians. Michele is also certified in Reiki Levels I and II, and is currently being certified in Pulsed Electromagnetic Field Therapy (PEMF) thru Magnawave and is proficient in Cold Laser Therapy.
Michele is connected to the earth and enjoys all things outdoors in her spare time! She believes that nature is the key to grounding ourselves.
*In addition to EAP clients, Michele is also accepting cash clients in a one-on-one setting and small groups for equine-assisted learning (eal) sessions, working on trust and leadership exercises with the horses through groundwork; as well as clients (both humans and pets) for reiki sessions, by appointment only.
Cindy is a lifelong Ohio native and has resided in Medina since 2009. She attended The University of Akron, receiving a BS in Management of Information Systems. She then pursued her MBA from The University of Akron, concentrating on the Management of Technology and Innovation.
Cindy is a wife, mother of 2 children, and a devoted dog mom. She is a project manager and manager of marketing systems for a large CPG company in the area.
Cindy has always had a passion for animals and supporting those who can’t advocate for themselves. Her dream is to own an animal sanctuary and rescue animals from abuse/neglect and slaughter. Cindy began volunteering as a barn buddy at FAA in late 2019, and in 2020 stepped into an equine specialist role to assist with corporate team building events and activities, equine-assisted learning, and equine-assisted psychotherapy sessions. Cindy is currently in the process of being certified with the Arenas for Change (ARCH) model of equine facilitation.
Kim is a clinical social worker and has been in the field for over 5 years. She comes to Forever Amber Acres with experience in adolescent trauma and addictions treatment, mental health crisis, intensive home-based treatment, and family therapy, all of which have helped her figure out how to do therapy just about anywhere. Kim strongly believes in meeting a client or families where they are and utilizing their strengths and mindset as essential parts of therapy.
At home, Kim has two very quirky and particular rescue dogs and is typically under her dogs’ command. Kim became certified in the EAGALA therapy model in September 2020 and was honored to be able to experience just how powerful horses are as teammates in therapy. Kim loves working with a team, with you, the client, at the helm of your story, and the horses as characters.
*Kim is currently facilitating equine assisted learning workshops for both veterans and cash clients; ages 14 years and up.
Rob Pliskin was teaching clients to gentle wild horses at Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue in California when he was inspired to become an EAGALA professional in 2003. He has worked in the field ever since in the USA, Australia, Israel, and New Zealand as both an Equine Specialist and a Mental Health Professional in a variety of private and public settings including those approved at the Ministerial level in NZ. In the U.S. Rob has served a variety of clients including Leadership Geauga County; Veterans Services of Volunteers of America, Cleveland; University Hospitals and Weatherhead School of Management at Case Western Reserve University; the LEAD Program of Lake County Educational Services Center; and the Osage Corral in Albany, OH. In 2019 Rob traveled to New Zealand and Australia to conduct two and three-day “Trauma to Transformation” retreats on posttraumatic growth at Dune Lakes Lodge, Auckland, NZ, and The Path of the Horse, Trentham, Victoria, AU. Veterans Day Weekend 2019 Rob volunteered with Checkpoint One of Doswell, VA, to help offer a gentling program to Veterans with four mustangs from the US Bureau of Land Management.
As a Masters’s level Licensed Social Worker in Ohio, Rob’s area of concentration was Alcohol and Other Drug Addiction. He has been trained in EMDR by E.C. Hurley, Ph.D. a distinguished Army Veteran. Rob also completed Dr. Herb Stevenson’s Gestalt Coaching Intensive to assist leaders and their teams in continuous improvement.
Rob founded and then taught the Lake Erie College Equine Studies course in Equine Assisted Learning and Psychotherapy. He has written chapters in Equine Assisted Mental Health Intervention and Equine Assisted Mental Health for Healing Trauma edited by Trotter and Baggerly, and has presented internationally at professional conferences.
*Rob is currently accepting individuals, families and groups of clients to work with through our scholarship programs and cash pay.