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About Us

mission kids

Our Mission is to improve our community by:

  • healing with the help of the horse,
  • promoting independence for at-risk youth, special needs people, and disabled veterans,
  • educating through mentorship the next generation,
  • providing quality hands-on learning opportunities that facilitate community involvement through successful and meaningful volunteer experiences.

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Vision Statement: Helping people with special needs to reach their full potential by providing healing programs with the help of the horse.


Bit-By-Bit provides quality and professional equine assisted services to the special needs community within south Florida. We seek to offer diverse medical and recreational services to people of all ages and abilities! We proudly offer 100% free of charge our “Horses For Heroes” Program to the wounded heroes who have bravely served our great nation. We have recently launched a more “inclusive” volunteer opportunity program thanks to grants and community support that seeks to accomodate special needs teens that want to be program volunteers. We believe in lending a helping hand….or hoof!

We are a PATH Accredited Therapeutic Riding Center & an American Hippotherapy Association Registered Facility.

Meet the the Bit-By-Bit Family:

staff_kathleenKathleen Pegues, MS, OTR/L, Board of Directors 

Kathleen is originally from the Bronx, New York where she attended the Bronx High School of Science. She obtained a Bachelor’s of Science degree in Human Biology from the State University of New York at Albany. Her post-graduate degree from Florida International University was for a Master’s of Science in Occupational Therapy. Kathleen has specialized in pediatrics and equine assisted therapies since 1998. Kathleen is both a PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor and AHA registered therapist. In 2012, Kathleen won the Gail Hills, PhD, OTR, FAOTA Award for Scholarship in Occupational Therapy from the Department of Health Sciences at Florida International University. Kathleen had served for 14 years as our Executive Director and retired in 2016 to best lead by participating in our board of directors.



Susan March, RPT , Executive Director 

Susan is originally from Connecticut, where she graduated from Quinnipiac College in the 1970’s. She has been a Physical Therapist for over 40 years. Her tremendous experience in the areas of physical dysfunction, neurological impairments, and sensory processing disorders has traversed the lifespan from pediatrics to geriatrics. She has copious experience with various diagnoses such as autism, cerebral palsy, traumatic brain injuries, spinal cord injuries,  stroke, and many other developmental and neurological diseases.

Susan is a senior physical therapist, Centered Riding Instructor, PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor and AHA registered therapist.  Susan has mentored hundreds of allied health students during their Level 1 and Level 2 clinicals from colleges and universities. She is one of the founding members of Bit-By-Bit, and enjoys riding the horses daily, trail-riding, and competing in local horse shows.


Denise Panariello,  MS, OTR/L,  Program Director Denise and Hank (1)

Denise has been working with children and families since 1996 in the mental health field.  Denise received her Master of Science degree in Counseling Psychology 2003 and her second Master of Science degree in Occupational Therapy in 2011. She has extensive training in applied behavior analysis/behavior therapy. Denise is a Certified Infant & Toddler Developmental Specialist.  Denise is a also a PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor & American Hippotherapy Association Registered Therapist. Denise was promoted from senior therapist to Program Director for Bit-By-Bit in 2016.  Denise and her son, A.J., live in Davie, Florida and enjoy canine assisted therapies when they are not at the barn with the horses!


We would also like to recognize the other stellar members of our team!

We have a dedicated staff of 15-20 physical, occupational, and speech therapists,  PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructors, allied health student interns, and support staffers. Our Board of Directors consists of  highly qualified professionals that meet monthly in order to ensure the success of our charitable mission. We have the pleasure of working with hundreds of volunteers each year and are thankful for their service…we couldn’t have a program without our truly “dynamic” volunteers! We also value many of our community partners and sponsors. We could not do what we do–without their invaluable help!


Thank You to Our Sponsors...