Hope Ranch Foundation


The mission of the Foundation is to promote and fund the partnering with animals (including but not limited to: equine, dogs, and cats) for clients of all ages who could benefit from animal-assisted psychological services regardless of their ability to pay.


Fundraising efforts are needed to provide programming by EAGALA certified practitioners, client scholarships, and to care for animals.

Animal-assisted psychotherapy is provided, in a variety of settings, and may be group-based or individual in nature. The process is documented and evaluated, and the animal is an integral part of the treatment process.

Horse Powered Growth and Learning programs include programs related to students becoming more intrinsically motivated learners. Animal-assisted activities are delivered in a variety of environments by specially trained and certified professionals, working with animals that meet specific criteria.

Programming includes: social skills groups for youth; young women’s group; young men’s groups; family groups; groups for youths and adults with PTSD; parenting groups; and horse-powered learning (tutoring).

Funds raised will also support programs to raise, feed, and care for the animals utilized in the work, including veterinary, farrier, stable, pasture care, and other services necessary to provide for the wellbeing of the animals.

Join the Board Donate


EAGALA model psychotherapy is a relatively new treatment approach in which horses are used as tools for emotional growth and learning.

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy, or EAP, is a treatment modality where humans and horses partner together for optimal client outcomes. It is a collaborative effort between a licensed psychotherapist, a horse professional, and at least one horse.

EAP addresses a variety of mental health and human development needs including behavioral issues, attention deficit disorder, PTSD, substance abuse, eating disorders, depression, anxiety, relationship problems, and communication needs.

EAP is NOT Hippotherapy or therapeutic riding. The focus of EAP is not riding or horsemanship. The focus of EAP is providing mental health services.




Cheryl Kliewer – President of HOPE Ranch Foundation


Employed at Rochester Public Schools

Why I chose to join the board:

I am on the foundation because I am committed to improving life for individuals impacted by social disadvantages. I see how horses are a powerful path for people to heal from a variety of mental health issues. Horses have a strong emotional sense that mirrors and responds to human feelings. They help individuals identify their feelings. This allows clients to grow and work through issues and trauma. I see equine assisted therapy as a way to connect, reach and open up possibilities for some clients who are less responsive to traditional therapy.


Michelle Lee

Vice President of the HOPE Ranch Foundation

Why I chose to join the board:

I have seen first hand the healing powers of working with animals and I’m excited to be a part of helping people have access to non-traditional mental health services.


Sheryl Barlow

Credentials: CEO Owner of Barlow Business Services, LLC, Author, and Speaker
BS Degree in Business and Marketing, AA Degree in Retailing, Social Media Certification, Inbound Marketing

 Masters Course in Content Creation and Copywriting

Why I chose to join the board:

The work being done at HOPE Ranch is like no other and the individuals involved are incredibly committed to the mission, the clients, the animals, and the community. The entire organization has incredible heart and dedication. I am here to do whatever I can to help with this amazing organization.

Tamara DeMuth

Treasurer of the HOPE Ranch Foundation

Credentials: 20 years working in the Financial Banking industry.

Why I chose to join the board:

I am very passionate about volunteering and serving others and I feel that the HOPE Ranch Foundation’s mission ties into what I believe.

I am excited to see how the HOPE Ranch Foundation can help provide services for those with mental health concerns that may not have otherwise had this unique opportunity that HOPE Ranch provides.

There is an amazing connection that the horses and other animals at HOPE Ranch can make with each individual to help them improve their quality of life.

Serving as an advisor to the board at the request of the board

Kit Muellner

Credentials: CEO & Founder of H.O.P.E. Ranch, Clinical Director and Psychotherapist, LICSW – Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, EAGALA Certified Psychotherapist Horse Specialist

Education & Degrees: Bachelor of Arts in Social Work, Business, and Spanish from Luther College in Decorah, Iowa, Masters (MSSW) in Clinical Social Work from the University of Wisconsin, Madison

Interested in serving on the Hope Ranch Foundation Board? Call or email us today 507-281-3033, secretary@hoperanchteam.com