Meet Our Staff!

Georgia Bay

Georgia riding her horse Elvis.

Executive Director and

Advanced Instructor

Georgia began volunteering with LiftMeUp! in 1995. Since then she has held many jobs including Volunteer Coordinator, Board President, Program Director, and currently Executive Director. In 2004, Georgia became a PATH-certified instructor and received her Advanced Instructor certification in 2005. Having done post-graduate work in education, Georgia enjoys combining a love of horses with teaching therapeutic riding.

Georgia has owned saddlebred horses for over 30 years. Growing up riding western, Georgia now focuses on eventing and trail riding. She loves to share the horse show experience with LiftMeUp! riders so they too can win ribbons.

Jackie Collins


PATH-Certified Instructor and

Volunteer Coordinator

Jackie’s love of horses began as a small child and her formal lessons began at the age of 10 on a Welsh Mountain pony named Candy. Riding for most of her life, Jackie eventually bought the horse of her dreams – Wisteria. Jackie and Wisteria trained with a well-respected FEI (Fédération Équestre Internationale) dressage rider in Maryland. Although Wisteria had the potential to become a competitive dressage horse, Jackie preferred to use dressage as a tool to foster and build a partnership with her beautiful mare.

Jackie began volunteering with LiftMeUp! in 2015 and became a PATH-certified instructor in 2016. Her dressage background and her additional training as a yoga instructor allow Jackie to teach with a holistic approach, providing her students with physical riding instruction, mindfulness, and relationship building skills.

Abigail Dawson


Barn Manager and

PATH-Certified Instructor

Abigail has been riding horses since she was seven years old. She currently owns her own horse, Magnolia (Maggie), who she enjoys trail riding and jumping. She mostly rides bareback for fun, but has also competed in hunters with her own horse and in equitation with the Earlham College IHSA Equestrian Team. In addition to horseback riding, Abigail also enjoys mountain biking and long-distance running.

After finishing graduate school at Georgetown University, Abigail decided to leave the academic world behind to follow her passion for horses, completing certification as a PATH Therapeutic Riding Instructor in November 2019 and volunteering in lessons at Lift Me Up! She has been working as Barn Manager at Lift Me Up since January 2020 and currently cares for all of Lift Me Up's equine residents.

Patti Jennings Dreyer


PATH-Certified Instructor

Patti started riding at the early age of 6 in Warwick, NY, where she participated in various Hunter jumper shows and worked as a stable hand.

After college, she worked at a local horse farm and found her "April," a Morab cross who later became a therapeutic horse for Winslow Therapeutic Center in Warwick, NY. 

In 2003 she decided to pursue the therapeutic riding instructor certification through PATH International. In 2004 she worked for Gallop NYC in the Bronx, helping Veterans and school children with disabilities.

In 2016 she moved to Virginia and joined the LiftMeUp! family where her love for horses and helping people became fulfilled.

Atalanta Grant-Suttie


PATH-Certified Instructor, CTRI


Atalanta started volunteering at LiftMeUp! Therapeutic Riding in 2012. She attained her certification as a PATH Therapeutic Riding Instructor in 2017 and since then she continues to teach therapeutic riding regularly.

Atalanta enjoys working with children, teenagers, and adults. The therapeutic riding field was a huge discovery for Atalanta as she could combine her teaching interests with her love of horses and riding.

Atalanta began riding as a child and rode consistently until her parents moved when she was ten. After that she rode horses whenever the opportunity came along.

Atalanta worked as a preservation librarian at several academic libraries and research institutions in the Washington Metropolitan Area until her retirement from the library field in August 2018.

Maya Grigorovich-Barsky


PATH-Certified Instructor, CTRI

Board Member, TRAV

Maya rediscovered her affinity for riding horses when she began volunteering at LiftMeUp! in 2012. Over the years, she became more interested in human-equine interactions. Both her love of horses and passion for helping people drew her to pursue the PATH Intl. Registered Instructor certification.

Maya loves using creativity in providing therapeutic horsemanship instruction to people who will benefit in multiple ways from being with horses. Having a M.A. in Special Education, Maya believes in the importance of creating a safe yet challenging environment to help riders overcome their perceived “barriers” in order to reach their goals. Her combined experience and knowledge of working with horses and individuals with special needs has proven to be very useful in helping to build deep and meaningful relationships with her riders.

Maya also sits on the Board of Directors for the Therapeutic Riding Association of Virginia (TRAV), and works full time for America’s Promise Alliance, the nation’s largest partnership organization devoted to helping to create the conditions for success for all of America's young people.

Audrey Izzo


PATH-Certified Instructor, CTRI

Audrey began riding at age 12, and spent all of her teenage years working with horses, including her own American Quarter Horse gelding. After taking a break for college, the corporate world and raising her kids, she came back to the horse world when her special-needs daughter began riding several years ago. Following many ‘proud Mom moments’ and much volunteering with a wide variety of students, she became a PATH-certified instructor in June 2019.

Audrey also holds the Masterson Method Equine Specialist certification for equine bodywork, completed in September 2019.

Combining knowledge gained over the years with her affection & admiration for these incredible equine partners, Audrey enjoys every day seeing how horses continue to change the lives of people of all ages and many differing abilities.

Elle & Mew


Pest-Control Engineers

When you say their names together quickly, it sounds like "LMU." These two sisters take their job very seriously and though at times it seems they do nothing but lie around the barn and ask for attention all day, they are quite accomplished at their jobs as the barn's pest-control engineers. Many mornings we will come in to find little "gifts" at the door - telling signs that they were on the job!

Mew is the domestic short-hair tabby, and Elle is the domestic long-hair tabby.