Meet the Staff
Our staff is made up of professional therapists, trained equine specialists and creative thinkers.
Shannon Knapp, M.A., is founder and president of both Horse Sense of the Carolinas, Inc., an internationally-recognized leader in the field of Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Learning, and Horse Sense Business Sense, dedicated to supporting professionals in the field. Shannon has worked with and taught horses and people for over 30 years. After 10 years teaching in college, she left academia and began working with abused & neglected horses. She began pairing "rescued" horses with people in 2001, and Horse Sense was formed soon after. She and her husband Richard continue to work with horses through horse rescue organizations and local humane societies and law enforcement.
Shannon is a horse professional/equine specialist in EAGALA-Model EAP and Trauma-Focused EAP, and is a Natural Lifemanship Trauma-Focused Equine Assisted Psychotherapy trainer, a Parelli Level 2 graduate, EAGALA Advanced Certified, and has published many books and curriculums in the field of EAP/EAL, including More Than a Mirror: Horses, Humans and Therapeutic Practices, specifically addressing the role of the horse in EAP/EAL practices, and the role(s) of the Horse Professional. She is also the author of the book, Horse Sense Business Sense, Volume 1, an introduction to starting and running your own Horse Therapy & Learning practice. Shannon is Adjunct Faculty for Prescott College's Equine Assisted Learning Masters Concentration program, guest teaches at Prescott College for the EAMH and EAL Intensives and related courses, & offers consulting services to those interested in starting their own Horse Therapy & Learning business.
Shannon Knapp is an EAGALA Advanced Certified Professional, the highest individual professional credential offered by EAGALA. With 4,500 members in 50 nations, EAGALA Advanced Certified Professionals help people change their lives by practicing The EAGALA Model: The Global Standard for Equine Assisted Psychotherapy and Personal Development. EAGALA Advanced Certified Professionals complete an advanced rigorous training program, commit to evidence-based client solutions, utilize an exclusive team approach and operate with a strong code of ethics.
Richard Knapp is an EAGALA-certified practitioner, a Parelli Level 3 graduate, and a Parelli 1 Star Junior Trainee. A Northern Ohio native, Richard graduated from the USAF Academy in Colorado Springs with a BS in Space Physics. After graduating from Pilot Training at Reese AFB in Lubbock, TX, he served as a flight instructor, air traffic controller, and FAA liaison, completing his military career in 1993. He worked as a contract software designer in Dallas, TX, &. now manages Meadows Town, LLC, a business for horse rehabilitation and development, instruction, and sales of Advanced Biological Concepts feed and supplements, Flint River Ranch organic dog & cat food, and organically grown hay.
Talia Aguayo is a fully Bilingual (Spanish and English) Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist. Talia moved to Asheville in the summer of 2012. Prior to relocating to Asheville she was living and working in Florida for 8 years. Talia has provided services to Individuals and Families of all ages, struggling with all sorts of challenges such as; adjusting to life’s stressors or changes, depression, anxiety, grief, behavioral issues, low self-esteem, poor decision making skills,and poor communication skills. Talia combines different models such as Solution Focused, Motivational Interviewing, Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), and Narrative Therapy to provide the best services for her Clients. Talia believes that at times we must think outside the box in order to overcome life’s challenges. Her motto is; “It’s not a problem, it’s a challenge.”