Amber Bennett, LCMHC

Born and raised in St. Johnsbury, VT on a horse farm, Amber learned at a young age the power that horses have to positively influence human lives. With a bachelor’s degree in Psychology from UVM and a minor in animal science, Amber went on for a masters in Mental Health Counseling through Walden University. After completing her masters, Amber took specialized training through the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association to provide Equine Assisted Psychotherapy. In her free time, Amber continues to enjoy riding with a focus on reining.

Debbie Hill

Hello my name is Debbie Hill. I am a native Vermonter and spent my childhood exploring the beautiful hills, valleys, back roads and woods of East Montpelier.

Not traveling too far from home, I attended Champlain College in Burlington, studying business and earning a degree in Accounting.  After completing college, I spent over 30 years living in Montpelier raising two sons (whom I love to brag about!).

During the time I lived in Montpelier, I had the pleasure of managing and overseeing a small association business in Waterbury for 18 years, and then working in Montpelier for 13 years in Human Resources, assisting employees to better understand their benefits.

I recently married and live in Wolcott with my husband, Steve. I have enjoyed getting back to country living and having an opportunity to catch a glimpse of a variety of critters that happen to mosey-on-by our property. Whether it’s walking in the woods, snow shoeing, cross country or downhill skiing, having a picnic on a beach, canoeing, kayaking, or swimming at a lake, I am the happiest when I am outdoors, communing with nature and all the peace and beauty it has to offer.

There is one other thing I just have to mention…. as of March 2015, I became a grandmother! So now one of the times I’m happiest is when I’m holding my grandson Lucas.

I joined the Hope Grows Community Farm Program team as Office Manager in February 2014. You may not see me in the arena or mucking the stalls as I’m probably in the office answering the phone or updating a form. I am thrilled to be a part of such a worthwhile endeavor and look forward to working with the Hope Grows team in welcoming and introducing new participants and families to all we offer as we continue to develop and expand our programs. Be sure to stop by the office to say “Hi” on your next visit to the farm.

Hannah Ainsworth


Jayd Borgenson

Jayd Borgenson grew up in New Hampshire, and started riding and working with horses at the young age of 8. She grew up mucking stalls at local barns in exchange for lessons or free rides. Her love of training started at a very young age through many different horses; which have brought her to where she is today, including her Paint Arab gelding she started herself. Jayd attended the University of New Hampshire where she was an active member of the equine facility, and graduated with a Bachelors in Equine Industry and Management.

She has participated in many clinics with a John Lyons certified instructor in southern NH, where she was trained in round penning, starting young horses, and essential ground manners. She has spent many years training multiple horses, and continues to grow her education by working with an eventing trainer as often as she can. Jayd still remains in the saddle and focuses on putting her time into more training with her most recent training pony Oliver, whom she has high aspirations for.

Jayd is trained to teach beginners up to first level dressage, and is capable of teaching western disciplines as well. She focuses on riding the horse forward through the aids, creating suppleness, engagement, and rhythm. She is always working hard on improving her riding and teaching abilities by working with a trainer as often as she can.


Smokey is the assistant office manager and barn supervisor here at Hope Grows. His favorite duties include greeting visitors, napping inconveniently, chasing invisible objects, and sitting on all available vehicles. He is very glad spring is here, and is spending more time outside to work on his figure. He would like to ask all visitors to the barn to report to the office for a supervisory inspection!