Throughout her life, Maria always worked for the animals: donating, volunteering and taking in those who were homeless. Maria rescued her first puppy when she was 10 with the help of a teenage neighbor. From there, she continued to be a voice for the voiceless. In 2006, Maria decided that she wanted to dedicate her life to her true passion. While she would always help any creature in need, the plight of horses captured her heart.
After leaving a successful career in broadcasting and telecommunications, Maria immersed herself in her passion. She has volunteered with several horse rescues, filling various roles from hands on care and rehabilitation to day to day management. She was an active member of the Board of Directors of an organization that took abused and neglected mustangs from horrible circumstances, worked to rehabilitate them and then secured lifetime sanctuary for each, where they will never be faced with abuse or neglect again. Maria personally rehabilitated and cared for 7 out of the dozens of mustangs saved.
Since 2010, Maria has been a full time volunteer employee with Project Horse Empowerment Center, serving as their Director of Equine Wellness. She not only serves animals in need, but humans as well. Maria is a Certified Equine Specialist under the EAGALA model, which is the primary non-riding therapeutic model employed by Project Horse. She is also currently pursuing certification in Natural Lifesmanship, an equine-assisted therapy model focusing on trauma.
Maria is a Certified Equine Sports Massage Therapist and regularly donates her services to equine rescues and sanctuaries. Maria continues to rescue animals, large and small, and has fostered several interesting beings. She shares her life with her incredibly supportive husband Jeff and several animal companions, to include Killian, their handsome gelding who is actively engaged as Maria’s “co-worker”, helping humans through the magic and power of the equine spirit.