About Miracles in Motion
over 30 years serving our community
Miracles in Motion has served hundreds of students over the years with a work force of over 300 volunteers and a herd of 10-15 horses and 3 minature horses. Our students come from Linn, Johnson, and other eastern Iowa counties, and consists of children and adults with physical, emotional, and cognitive challenges.
As Iowa's first Premier Accredited Center, Miracles in Motion meets the highest standards for safety and therapy set forth by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH, formerly NARHA). PATH provides continuing education for staff and instructors.
There's something magical about the transformation that occurs when we bring together the energy and spirit of horses with people in need. Confidence, comfort, strength, and community grow exponentially.
Our programs impact not only the student, but the entire family. The changes started at Miracles develop into new opportunities and hope.
We provide a safe zone for learning, trying new things, building—and sometimes even re-building—relationships and attitudes.
Board, Staff, & Instructors
Deb Leichsenring, is the Director of Operations which includes everything from laundry to chores to helping with workdays to learning about the volunteer roles – all so she can oversee all the “moving parts” of Miracles! Growing up in Chicago, Deb’s love of horses began by spending time with the Palominos her cousin raised. Deb later moved to Amana and lived on a farm very close to the Miracles…
Nick is the property manager at Miracles doing mowing, routine maintenance, and chore detail. Born in Florida, he grew up on a farm near Hedrick, Iowa, an indispensable background for helping take care of our 76-acre farm and older farmhouse. He headed to Iowa City to attend the University of Iowa. He and his brother have now bought a house in Cedar Rapids that they are currently remodeling in the…
Tess Bracher-Dorrington is the Director of Income Development, seeking out funding so Miracles can continue serving students, caring for horses, and growing in impact and reach. Tess believes in the mission and the good Miracles provides to the community wholeheartedly. She grew up riding (a family tradition) and got her first horse at fourteen when her family moved to a farm in Virginia. She work…
Megan Conrad is the Volunteer Coordinator who recruits volunteers to ensure support for all our programs. She has volunteered at Miracles since 2021, helping with classes, chores, and special events. She is excited to get to know the volunteers more and help support an organization that has a significant impact on the community. Megan grew up in Cedar Falls, IA, and loved spending time with her un…
Carrie started volunteering in 2016 helping in classes and caring for the horses. Her next step was to complete the education and training to become a certified therapeutic riding instructor at Miracles in Motion. Carrie grew up with horses. Her current horse Bonnie was raised by her parents and is with her in Iowa City now. She moved to Iowa CIty for nursing school and met her husband, Josh. The…
Diana began volunteering at Miracles in Motion in 2016. Since then she has served on the board of directors, been a horse lead, side walker, team leader, web site manager, and part of the afternoon feeding crew. After a year as an instructor in training, Diana is now a CTRI PATH-certified therapeutic riding instructor. Before she retired and thus could spend many hours volunteering at Miracles, Di…
Eric is the parent representative on the board. He has been associated with Miracles in Motion since 2004 when his son Ben started taking hippotherapy at three years old. Ben has ridden nearly every year since then. Eric, his wife Cynthia, and daughter Katherine have all volunteered as sidewalkers, giving him the opportunity to see how the program makes a big difference for riders and volunteers. …
Kristin started at Miracles as a side walker for classes and has also been a horse lead and instructor aide. She enjoys working with the riders and spending time with the herd doing groundwork. Before volunteering at Miracles, she taught middle school band for 40 years. She grew up in Iowa City and lives near North Liberty with her husband, Cary, two dogs, and a cat. In her spare time, she enjoys …
Lauren is the president of the Board of Directors, as well as the volunteer representative. She grew up in Creston, Iowa, where she showed quarter horses in Western pleasure, barrel racing, and pole bending. She received her Masters in Art at the University of Iowa, where she met her husband, Joe, who is a dentist in Cedar Rapids. They have three children-- Kylie, Landon, Connor-- and a dog Maya. …
Tracy Kolosik is the treasurer of the Board of Directors. She volunteers as a side walker, horse leader, barn assistant, and assists with chores and special events. She has been a health care administrator for 36 years, serving 24 years on active duty in the U.S. Navy (serving 4 years as a hospital corpsman, 20 years as a Medical Service Corps Officer), and 12 years at the VA Hospital in Iowa City…
Noreen O’Connor-Abel joined the Miracles in Motion board as the parent representative. She and her husband, Ted Abel, were happy to find such a welcoming place where their son, Seamus, could continue adapted riding lessons, which he started in middle school when they lived in Pennsylvania. Seamus has been riding at Miracles since 2021. Noreen is a managing editor at the University of Pennsylvania …
Susan is the volunteer representative to the Board. She volunteers for chores, and as a horse lead and side walker for classes, as well as serving on the horse committee. She grew up riding horses on a hobby farm in southeast Iowa, attended Iowa State University, worked as a veterinarian, and raised three children. She is retired and lives on a small acreage north of Iowa City with her husband, Ma…
Mission, Vision, Core Values
Mission: We foster personal achievement for persons facing challenges by providing diverse equestrian activities with therapeutic, educational, and recreational benefits.
Vision: We empower those facing challenges by creating opportunities to connect with the energy and spirit of the horse.
• Compassion. We provide safe and ethical services for our students and horses. We are compassionate partners in our students’ journey.
• Inclusion. We accept the dignity of our students regardless of their background and respective needs. We value each of them.
• Respect. We respect the individual needs of our students to empower their personal goals.
• Achievement. We help students achieve their full potential and increase confidence, skills, and a sense of pride.