Freedom Hill Horse Rescue's
Board of Directors
President & Executive Director
Kristy Alvarez has loved horses ever since she can remember. She still feels like that horse crazy girl from years ago that always thought about horses, but now those thoughts come with a strong purpose. Her desire is to help rescued and unwanted horses in any way that she can and in return utilize those horses to help people find hope, strength and healing in their lives.
Kristy, along with her husband, Daniel, founded Desire Ministries in 2006, a non-profit charitable organization where people help horses and horses help people through various Equine Assisted Activities and Therapy programs. She is eager to combine the forces of these two wonderful organizations.
Kristy is certified by the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association to conduct Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Equine Assisted Learning. She is also certified by the Certified Horsemanship Association as a horseback riding instructor. Kristy is a former private school teacher, a mentor, a horse enthusiast, a member of the Maryland Horse Council and Parelli Natural Horsemanship, and has been a participant on the National Capital Adult Equestrian League.
Kristy is eager to use her passion, skills, determination and abilities to help horses that are in need and to help people that are in need through the educational and equine assisted programs. She wants to empower people through horsemaship and enrich the lives of others all through the wonderful world of horses. She is the proud owner of Occhi, who came from FHHR. She is honored to be a part of FHHR so that horses can be "free to live again"!
Vice President & Treasurer
Lori has been a Calvert County resident since 1986, originally from New York. She has over 30 years of experience as a bookkeeper for small businesses. Presently, she is an independent bookkeeper for two dental offices, a construction company, an auto shop and a small farm as well as volunteer accountant for Freedom Hill Horse Rescue.
Her previous experience includes 4 years in federal government in personnel department of the Agency of International Development (AID), State Department and 10 years as a production budget manager for a Washington DC based video production company.
She's served as Vice President and Treasurer on the Board of Directors for Freedom Hill Horse Rescue since 2004 and has gone to Capitol Hill and Annapolis, MD for anti-slaughter legislation support and Maryland Horse Industry Board meetings. She is married, has two grown children, two dogs, two cats and a 18 year old chestnut gelding, Talutah (Lu).
She enjoys trail riding, spending time with her children and animals, sewing, going to the beach and watching movies.
She is a former Girl Scout Leader (8 years), a Parelli Savvy Club Member and a member of the Unwanted Horse Project with the Maryland Horse Council.
Lori's passion, dedication and heart for Freedom Hill Horse Rescue drives her in all that she does. She eats, sleeps and breathes FHHR which makes her a vital part in why FHHR is all that it is today.
Volunteer Coordinator & Training Team Assistant
Aimee comes to Freedom Hill Horse Rescue with over 35 years of experience of working with horses in many different capacities. As a child, Aimee travelled and trained extensively with Quarter Horses in Horsemanship and Western Riding.Over time, the love of the movement and partnership that the rider develops with the horse translated into an interest in Dressage and eventually a love for Show Jumping.
With her entrepreneurial spirit, Aimee decided to start teaching lessons at the stable at which she trained to fund her riding costs. These lessons eventually translated into her training individual horse and rider teams.
That entrepreneurial spirit has driven her in her professional life as well. Aimee has acted in many various capacities in both non-profit, as well as, for profit organizations from administrative support to executive level leadership. Aimee brings not only solid horse sense but also intuitive business sense.
Aimee truly believes in taking every opportunity to give back to the horse community, which had a profoundly positive impact on her tumultuous childhood. She is thrilled to be able to work with Freedom Hill Horse Rescue in many capacities and believes there is nothing more satisfying than seeing a symbiotic partnership between the horse and rider. As our Volunteer Coordinator, she ensures that all of the feed shifts are covered, creates the feed shift schedule, meets with new volunteers and assists in the training of volunteers. Aimee's attention to detail and knowledge make her a tremendous asset to our team.
Barn Project Manager
Steve is the one that when something needs to be fixed, he comes and does the job right. Steve is in charge of making sure that our barns, fencing and facilities are in working order. He is a team player and is always willing to lend a helping hand and to go the extra mile to make sure the barns, pastures and facilities are safe for our equine friends. He is new to the world of horses, but he enjoys his time at the barns and feeding the horses on a regular basis. We are lucky to have Steve on our team!
Training Team Leader & Promotional Administrator
Terry Pennington has been involved with horses since high school where she was a member of a Boy Scout Explorer Post that ran a petting barn in upstate NY. The petting barn was used to educate the public about farm animals. The animals who resided at the petting barn were sometimes elderly or unwanted. She learned to ride while volunteering at the petting barn. Terry also rode on the equestrian team while in college at Oswego State University.
After moving to Maryland, she didn’t interact much with horses until 2004 when a coworker talked her into taking riding lessons at Merrymount. She then joined Merrymount’s National Capital Adult Equitation League team and competed with them for 5 seasons.
Terry was a big sister in the Big Brothers Big Sisters Program where she and her “little”, who is now grown up, participated in Dr. Molesworth’s Hooves4Hope program that taught disadvantaged youth to ride.
Shortly after she adopted her horse, Star, from Lori Harrington, Terry began volunteering for Freedom Hill Horse Rescue.
In her free time, Terry likes to trail ride, play ultimate Frisbee, hike, and camp. Terry's enthusiasm and eagerness to help the rescue horses become more suitable for adoption drive her to make our Training Team the best that it can be. She is always working on ways to better the team through education and exposure to many aspects of horsemanship development.
Secretary & Adoptions Coordinator
As a lifelong resident of Calvert County, Susan brings area knowledge to the rescue. Susan is employed with Calvert County schools and spends her spare time caring for her horse, Star, whom she adopted as a foal from Freedom Hill Horse Rescue in 2007. Susan enjoys trail riding and spending time with her grandchildren.
She not only records BOD meeting minutes as our organization's secretary, but she assists her husband, Ernie, with coordinating hay and feed delivery as well. Susan loves the rescue and the horses we help. She enjoys her time as Adoption's Coordinator calling references, setting up meetings with potential adopters, and ensuring that the horses we help are going to a home that is a great match for the horse and the adopter.
Susan is so pleased to be a part in helping the horses in our care find their forever home. The time, effort and dedication that Susan gives to the rescue time and time again makes her an essential part of our team.
A lifelong resident of Calvert County, Ernie takes care of daily chores at all our barn locations including the ordering and delivery of hay and grain and pasture maintenance. Ernie is such a team player, and he always goes above and beyond to make sure the horses are getting the best quality hay that they deserve. He loves the rescue and is always giving freely of his time to help the rescue in anyway that he can. Ernie enjoys hunting and spending time with his grandchildren. It is always nice to have someone that you can always count on and having Ernie on our team is such a blessing because we can always count on him to help us in any way that he can.
Tammy coordinates all of our fundraiser events for the rescue. She plays a major role in assisting the rescue in raising the much needed funds for our organization through these various events. Her organizational skills and planning skills make her a tremendous asset to the team, and she helps to keep the Fundraiser Committee on track with promoting, planning, executing and tracking of all of the events that we have each year to help support the rescue. Although she is new to the horse world, she is enjoying learning about horses and loves experiencing the joy that they bring just by being around them.
Grant Writer & Photographer
During junior high and high school, Jennifer was a volunteer trail guide and summer camp counselor at a riding stable in Florida. When she left for college, she assumed her time at the barn would be over, but she never stopped dreaming of one day working with horses again. Twenty three years later, including 6 years in New York City, Jennifer and her family moved to Calvert County and discovered Freedom Hill. As a former faculty member in higher education, Jennifer brings experience in grant writing and educational development. She works with our Vice President to prepare the FHHR grant applications and look for new funding opportunities. Jennifer also has a creative side and enjoys developing promotional materials and taking photos at all FHHR events. She works directly with the horses several times a week and fills in for feed shifts when needed. Jennifer says she is thrilled to be a part of the team and that she has learned (and re-learned) a tremendous amount about horsemanship since becoming involved.
Kelly has been a tremendous asset to FHHR for over 3 years now. She is the Barn Manager at our Grover’s Turn Barn and continually goes the extra mile to ensure that the horses are getting the best care that they deserve. Kelly said, “I have always loved animals, used to ride when I was younger and have followed several stories in the local paper about FHHR. I looked FHHR up on the web and contacted Mel. One day that Lori called and said we had 6 new rescues coming in from a farm in New Jersey and asked if I would be available to help. When I saw the horses, big beautiful Mickey Blue, Tika, Nesbitt, etc., reduced to nothing but skin and bones, it made me want to cry, and I was hooked. These horses were emaciated, they had been eating tree bark, no water and not a blade of grass at their former home. They were defeated. I wasn't sure Tika would make it. She looked so awful leaning against the fence to hold up her weight. Blue just stood quietly while I bathed him. He was just a gentle giant. It was a long tedious process to restore their health and spirit. Some have been adopted and to look at Mickey Blue today, it is hard to imagine how broken he was when he came to Freedom Hill...Since then there have been many others to come into our care and more sad stories that have been turned around into happy endings for our horses”.
“My favorite thing about volunteering with Freedom Hill is seeing the horses healthy, healed, and treated with the respect they so deserve. This is an organization of dedicated volunteers who work together to achieve a common goal, and there is no greater reward than to see how our efforts can change the lives of our horses- many of whom had faced a very bleak future.”
Heidi initially started coming to FHHR so that her daughter could be a part of our Training Team. It didn’t take long before Heidi started to jump into volunteer for the rescue too. She also adopted Princess, now known as Rainy, from FHHR! Heidi is a tremendous help to FHHR and cares deeply about the rescue. She is now our Barn Manager at the Hampton Barn. Heidi takes on regular feed shifts at the barns, and she willingly fills in for others when they need their feed shifts covered. She always participates in as many FHHR events and activities as possible, and she is always recruiting others to join our team. She is also a great voice for our horses and is always telling people about the wonderful horses we have for adoption. Heidi is eager to lend a helping hand whenever she is available. Her personality and dedication to FHHR makes it a joy to have her on our team. Heidi and her daughter are super volunteers, and we are so thankful that Heidi is willing to go the extra mile to help FHHR and our horses!
Eric is our Barn Manager at our Chaneyville Barn. Eric has been with the rescue for several years, and has been a huge help to us. Eric's dedication, work ethics, kind-hearted personality and eagerness to lend a helping hand in any way that he can makes him a tremendous asset to the FHHR team and family! Eric participates in weekly feed shifts and attends as many of our events as he can along with his loving family. Eric assists us in any way that he can, and he goes above and beyond to ensure that the horses are getting the best quality care and the barns are in tip top shape. We are so lucky to have Eric with us, and we can not thank him enough for all he does for FHHR and the horses in our care. He is a great example to his children by giving back to the community and striving to make a difference in the lives of horses in need!