The Ridgebury Team
Co-Founder & Executive Director
Katy started in the finance world working at Bridgewater Associates and later on at the Blackstone Group. Her entrepreneurial spirit led her to create a personal assisting and concierge firm which she successfully ran and grew for over 8 years before selling. Following her heart she created and co-founded Ridgebury Farm and Stables leveraging her passion of helping children, horses, and her entrepreneurial background. Katy has also studied Equine Science at the University of Connecticut and enjoys her involvement in the Wilton Pony Club with her two daughters.
Katy Schermann
Ian Schermann
Ian Schermann
Director of Operations
Ian has worked in both entrepreneurial environments and corporate settings for over 15 years focusing on business operations and human resources.  Ian is responsible for the back-end operations of the farm and holds certifications in human resources, project management and operations management. Ian’s knowledge of best practices for systems and project management allows us to operate seamlessly, unlike any other barn.
Jill Salman
Jill Salman
Occupational Therapist
Jill received a Bachelor of Science from the University of Connecticut in Animal Science and Equine Science and a Master of Science in Occupational Therapy from Columbia University. She is a pediatric specialist and has worked in private practice, schools, and specializes in sensory integration. She is certified in Hippotherapy with the American Hippotherapy Association. In addition to bringing her 18 years of experience as an Occupational Therapist, Jill is also a lifelong equestrian including competing on the UCONN Equestrian Team. She has been involved in many facets of Equine Therapy, including volunteering with Pegasus Therapeutic Riding. For Jill, hippotherapy is truly where her two passions come together. Jill is a mother to 3 children and multiple pets including a 21-year-old off-the-track thoroughbred that she adopted 17 years ago and rehabbed and retrained. 
Speech-Language Pathologist

Gretchen Briggs is a Speech-Language Pathologist with decades of experience working with children in hospitals, clinics, and schools throughout Connecticut. She is a lifelong lover of horses. In fact, her first degree was in Animal Agriculture! She enjoys both riding and driving carriage horses. Gretchen has a husband, Brian, and two children, Kyra and Nolan. Her son has cerebral palsy and she reports that he gained many skills at the barn, both on and off horses and ponies. Gretchen used their pony to work with several other children who have “differ-abilities” as well, including autism, vision impairment and 

cerebral palsy. She is excited to join the team at Ridgebury.

Gretchen Briggs
Property Manager
Phil holds a Bachelor of Science Degree in Meteorology focusing on Atmospheric and Earth Sciences from the University of North Carolina at Charlotte. He has worked with farms in North Carolina and is meticulous in his work and care for both the landscape, barns and overall property. He oversees the safety of the staff, animals, and visitors by keeping the farm a beautiful and functional place for all to enjoy.
Phil Allen
Therapy Program Director & Trainer
Whitney holds a Bachelor of Arts from Sacred Heart University, and a Master of Arts in Special Education from Fairfield University. Whitney has worked as a therapist for children and young adults with a variety of special needs for nearly a decade and believes in the unique benefits that horses can bring to neurodiverse individuals. She is also a lifelong rider, and currently owns 2 horses. Whitney is passionate about making riding an accessible sport for everyone and has seen the transformation in her clients when she incorporates horses in her therapy. She has the distinct ability to combine her knowledge and experience of horses and best practices in therapy and we are thrilled to have her as a part of Ridgebury Farm.
Whitney Wildman
Michele pic (2).jpg
Physical Therapist
Michele received a Bachelor of Arts in both Rehabilitation and Psychology from West Virginia Wesleyan College and her Master of Physical Therapy from the University of Pittsburgh. Her first job at the Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh taught her the value of bringing fun and joy to her work with children. Michele has more than 2 decades of experience providing physical therapy services to young children of all abilities. She has worked in Birth to Three, in-patient, out-patient, home care, and schools. She believes children and families do their best with a team approach of collaboration and out-of-the-box thinking. Some of her favorite childhood memories come from being on her grandfather’s farm. Walking into the barn always brings Michele a sense of happiness and calm. 
Michele Farrelly
Jenna McDuffee
Occupational Therapist
Jenna is an Occupational Therapist specializing in pediatrics and has experience working in Early Intervention, Pediatric Outpatient Sensory Clinics, and a Skilled Nursing facility. She received her Bachelor of Science majoring in Allied Health Sciences and minoring in Therapeutic Horsemanship Education at the University of Connecticut and she earned her Masters degree in Occupational Therapy from Baypath University. Along with actively working towards earning her certification with the American Hippotherapy Certification Board, Jenna and her husband, Shawn, are finishing up their horse barn at their 25+ acre property. She and her husband spend their leisure time with their son, Logan, golden retriever, Scout, and cat, Otis. Jenna is ecstatic to combine her love for horses with her passion for occupational therapy. 
Occupational Therapist

Rachel is a graduate of New York University where she received her Master of Science in Occupational Therapy. She completed her undergraduate education at Union College where she majored in Anthropology and minored in Psychology. Rachel developed her clinical knowledge and creativity during her field experiences including Bellevue Hospital and Mount Sinai Beth Israel in New York City before moving to Connecticut where she continues to work in acute care rehabilitation in a hospital setting. Rachel is a lifelong equestrian and horse owner, having competed both individually and at the collegiate level. In her leisure time, when she is not riding, Rachel enjoys running and spending time outdoors with family. Rachel is thrilled to be a part of Ridgebury Farm where she can combine her passions for horses and Occupational Therapy.

Rachel McDermott