MEET THE TEAM

horse therapy

Courtney Sumpter, M.S., OTR/l

Courtney is an Occupational Therapist and the founder of Northern Michigan Equine Therapy. Courtney began her career with horses, teaching therapeutic horseback riding lessons at the nationally recognized Cheff Center, one of the founding centers for equine assisted activities and hippotherapy.  During this time, she focused on her riding and teaching skills, while finishing her Masters in Occupational Therapy at Western Michigan University. 

After completing her masters, she immediately started utilizing hippotherapy as a treatment tool for her patients with Stable Possibilities, LLC of Southeast Michigan. She continued to gain horse and treatment experience with a wide variety of disabilities and ages, such as: Cerebral Palsy, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Traumatic Brain Injuries, Spinal Cord Injuries, CVA/Stroke, Neurodevelopmental disabilities, SI (sensory integration) and many others.
Courtney is a level one therapist with the American Hippotherapy Association and a certified equine specialist with EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association).   

Courtney is a passionate therapist who truly believes the horse is the best therapeutic tool for most disabilities.  In her spare time Courtney loves to spend time on her farm at Winnie Acres.received

horse therapy

J L Sumpter, M.S.

JL is a retired 20-year detective/sergeant with the Emmet County Sheriff's Office. JL received his bachelors degree from Adrian College then his masters degree from Michigan State University (Go Spartans!).  After meeting Courtney, he quickly found the capabilities a horse has to heal humans.  JL is currently the at-risk youth and Veterans program coordinator. The goal is to provide a horse outlet for children, young adults, and Veterans searching for their way in life. 

pamela Bell
Speech-Language Pathologist, M.A., CCC-slp


Pamela is a highly qualified speech-language pathologist licensed in Michigan. She has a nationally certified certificate of clinical competence from the American Speech-Language Hearing Association. 

Pamela has enjoyed seventeen years of experience helping children with various speech, language, and hearing disorders including:

Apraxia, Articulation, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Attention Deficit, Auditory Processing, Augmentative Communication, Cognitive and Learning Developmental Delays and Sensory, Social and Behavioral Deficiencies.

Pamela has worked with the Early On population (0-5 years olds) for three years and fourteen years in a school setting serving the K-12 population. 

Elise Freed

Elise Freed joins NMET as an Equine Specialist for Advanced Horse Sense. Elise's equestrian background has roots in the local 4-H and Pony Club, and evolved to become a love of classical dressage and natural horsemanship. She holds upper level certifications through the United States Pony Clubs and has extensive training in classical dressage both in the U.S. and Vienna, Austria.

She enjoys sharing her experience to build strong foundations for students both on and off the horse through the Advanced Horse Sense program.

Carolyne Stolzenfels

Carolyne Stolzenfels has a passion for working with horses and people of all ages. She has been an educator for the last 22 years. Carolyne has a Master's Degree in Education and founded a Montessori school in Maryland, where she was the Executive Director for 13 years. She has been an avid equestrian since she was a child. Carolyne has ran numerous programs, including an at-risk program for high school students and an empowerment program using horses in the British Virgin Islands. Drawing on her extensive education background, Carolyne is very experienced in grant writing.

Upon moving back to Michigan, she wanted to combine her love of horses and desire to help others into one place: NMET is that place. In her spare time, she loves reading, writing, and spending time with her family, which includes three horses and one very spoiled Miniature Horse.

Board of Directors

Courtney Angell Sumpter
Boyne City, MI 49712

David Dewey
Petoskey, MI 49770

Annie Lesky
Harbor Springs, MI 49740

Alesia Dobbins
Grosse Pointe Shores, MI 48236

Lindsey Walenga
Grosse Pointe Park, MI 48230

Erika West
Boyne City, MI 49712

Ruth Skop
Boyne City, MI 49712