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Program Manager

Farm Program Manager

Margaret Coulter is the Founder and Executive Director of Road To Independence (RTI). A native of Washington, DC, she came to NH to attend Colby Sawyer College in 1980 and has made her home in the area ever since. With her widely varied life interests, she has an eclectic work history including snowmaking, Lodging Bureau Manager and everything in between at Mt. Sunapee Ski Area; Shelter Manager and Volunteer Coordinator at Turning Points Network, photographer, customer service and darkroom printer at Sierra Photographic Services in Newport, co-manager of Young Horizon’s Children’s Shop in New London; as well as many waitressing stints throughout the area. Underlying all of these has been a lifelong connection to equines and a strong commitment to the interests and care of her younger brother with developmental disabilities.


Wanting to reconnect with horses, after the birth of her daughter, Stella, in 2003, led her to Penny de Peyer of Goshen. British by birth, Penny had relocated here in 2000 to breed Cleveland Bay Horses and donkeys. This friendship, mentorship and mutual love of donkeys led them to creating Road To Independence in 2011. Penny’s belief that “you don’t know until you try” carried them forward on many donkey adventures.


Margaret has overseen all the programs for RTI’s farm program; making connections with area schools, elder residences, funding sources and a wide range of community members.

With the passing of Penny de Peyer in June of 2021, Margaret has assumed the care and management of the RTI donkey herd of 5 as well as the overall direction of RTI.


Margaret strives every day to ensure that the joy and confidence that the donkeys have brought to all those with whom we interact, including program participants and their families, residents of senior living sites, customers at the Farmers Markets as well as the broader community, can continue through her thoughtful and sustainable direction for many years to come.


We are fortunate that Margaret has chosen to live in Newport, NH with her husband and daughter, her mom and brother, two dogs, and five donkeys.

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