Heroes & Horses

Our Humans

While our human clients and our equine herd are the centerpiece of Heroes & Horses’ programs, there are a lot of important people who make this work possible. Our staff, board, volunteers and financial supporters are all essential in the delivery of our programs.

Meet The Humans

Meet the human herd

Our team of equine professionals pours their hearts into each and every Heroes & Horses program.

Ann Balowski

Founder, Recovery Life Coach, Equine Assisted Facilitator

Ann is a lover of horses, humans and trauma recovery. As the daughter of a combat veteran, she was raised traveling the world with her family while her father was in the service. She grew up to marry a combat veteran as well, and she is no stranger to the life-altering effects of PTSD and other painful repercussions of military service. Her own healing journey led her to pursue a passion-turned-career of helping veterans and their families heal after returning home from service.

Ann is a certified recovery life coach with a background in corporate training and she brings more than 38 years of recovery experience into each session. She is also a certified HeartMath® coach mentor and holds three levels of Equine Assisted Learning certificates through the OK Corral Series. She is a skilled facilitator of both psycho-educational recovery groups and corporate team building workshops. Ann is a strong supporter of the DAV and other veteran resources.

Andrea Walker

Certified Equine Specialist, Equine Assisted Facilitator

Since she was a young girl, Andrea has always loved horses. She enjoyed riding and training them long before she had ever even heard of Equine Assisted Therapy and Learning, which she first learned about as a client. Having been raised around horses in Southern California, and then having worked with them professionally in both Hawaii and Arizona, Andrea brings more than 25 years of equestrian experience to her work as an equine specialist.

From the moment she experienced equine-assisted therapy herself, Andrea believed wholeheartedly in the therapeutic power of horses working with humans. She is very grateful to be able to put something so intuitive into practice.

Andrea is an EAGALA [Pete: hyperlink: https://www.eagala.org/index] certified Equine Specialist and has also received training directly from the founder of EAGALA, through the OK Corral Series. She holds a B.A. in psychology & human development and is currently pursuing an M.A. in clinical mental health counseling.

Cherie MacKenzie Watson

Owner, The Big Horse Ranch and The Lucky Club Rescue of Prescott

As the owner and operator of The Big Horse Ranch, Cherie is the gracious host of the Heroes & Horses program. She has opened her ranch and her heart to our clients and our programs. Cherie holds two equine certifications through the OK Corral Series she is a certified Equine Assisted professional. Her ranch is home to the Lucky Club Rescue of Prescott where, in addition to the horse herd, there are a variety of wonderful creatures.

Walt Lynn

Executive Director, Veteran Facilitator

Walt was introduced to Heroes & Horses through other volunteer activities and his involvement with the organization has been a great benefit to our clients, our team and to Walt personally.

As a Navy veteran and a lifetime member of Disabled American Veterans, Walt sits on the DAV executive board, is the director of operations for Chapter 16 in Prescott and serves as the Veterans Court representative for Yavapai County. When the Veterans Court selected a group of veterans to attend a therapy program with Heroes & Horses, Walt was invited to participate with the group and he learned a lot about horses—and a lot more about himself.

Walt is passionate about helping fellow veterans overcome the obstacles that are preventing them from leading productive lives. This comes from having walked more than a couple of miles in their shoes. He is a recovering alcoholic and addict with 17 years of sobriety. By bringing his life experience to the program, Walt is able to relate to fellow veterans as someone who understands their specific needs and obstacles.

Paula Kocevar

Certified Equine Specialist, Life Skills Instructor

Paula has been working with horses in various capacities since she was very young. Her passion began with showing horses in various disciplines and she studied under various trainers across the United States. She helped demonstrate and promote the EAGALA model [Pete: hyperlink: https://www.eagala.org/index] in northern California and has worked with recovery groups, veterans, first responders and their families. She also has experience with teaching life skills at crisis units and mental health hospitals in the Prescott area.

In addition to her work as an equine specialist at Heroes & Horses, Paula serves as the director of operations for a veteran-serving nonprofit organization in northern Arizona. She studied business management at Scottsdale Community College and communications at University of Colorado, Colorado Springs. Paula leverages both her horsemanship skills and her communication skills to help others heal and restore their lives through Equine Assisted Therapy and Learning.

Amina Amid

Facilitator, Life Coach

Amina became enthralled with Equine Assisted Learning while attending one of Heroes & Horses’ team building workshops and personally experiencing the profound effects.

She is a master’s level counselor with a concentration in life coaching. Her passion of practice includes cognitive behavioral therapy, somatic awareness and energy psychology including studies in quantum physics and neuroscience. In addition to earning a master’s degree in human services counseling, Amina completed studies as a therapeutic massage therapist and bodyworker. She finds an integrative approach most effective in her work.

Meet the board of directors

Ann Balowski, board president

Founder, Heroes & Horses, Inc.
Certified life coach, For Clarity, LLC

Walt Lynn, executive director

Veteran, United States Navy
Director of operations, DAV, chapter 16

Andrea Walker, vice president

Certified equine specialist, Heroes & Horses, Inc.

Michael Balowski, board member

Veteran, United States Army
Owner, Double A Services

Sara Dolan, board member

 Public Relations, Community Member

Sara Dolan

Community volunteer

Sara is an active and integral supporter of Heroes & Horses, helping with raising funds and building community awareness, with a focus on the women’s veterans group program. She also writes articles for various publications on behalf of the organization.

Sara is a born adventurer and an animal lover. She was a flight attendant for 38 years and has always enjoyed being active, especially skiing, golfing and practicing yoga. She also has a passion for cooking, which led her to self-publish a cookbook—Tried and True, Just for You—whose proceeds go to help people in need. In fact, she hosted a book signing where proceeds went to Heroes & Horses.


Nate Fels

Community volunteer

My name is Nate Fels and I’m from northeast Kansas where I grew up working with horses and riding
English competitively. I had the opportunity to experience equine therapy as a client in treatment for
substance abuse and found that it reignited my passion for horses. In recovery, I have also found a new
passion for helping others and being of service. Heroes & Horses gives me an opportunity to practice
those things around the animals I love!

Thank you to our generous supporters

As a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization, Heroes & Horses depends on generous financial contributions from individuals, businesses and governmental agencies in order to deliver our impactful programs. We appreciate the support of these businesses, organizations and individuals:

  • Disabled American Veterans (DAV) Chapter 16
  • FANN Construction
  • The Club at Prescott Lakes
  • US Department of Veterans Affairs
  • Chipotle
  • Go Fund Me Campaigns
  • Sara Dolan
  • Wildflower
  • Sheri Stetman
  • Prescott Animal Corner
  • And many more

To bless our clients with a financial contribution to Heroes & Horses, click the donate button below: