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Holly Hopson
President and Equine Specialist
Holly Hopson is a life-long equestrian with over 20 years of horse experience riding and showing Paso Finos and was trained by the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA). She holds a Master of Arts in Experimental Psychology and a Bachelor of Science in Psychology from East Tennessee State University. Holly is doing research on child sexual abuse and the effectiveness of equine assisted psychotherapy on various populations. With the creation of Pinnacle Ranch, she is leading the way as a researcher and practitioner of equine assisted psychotherapy. 
You can contact Holly at

EllenStroudphoto.jpgEllen Stroud         
Vice-President and Equine Specialist
Ellen Stroud is the vice-president of Pinnacle Ranch and is EAGALA certified. She leads the mental health side of Pinnacle Ranch and can also serve as the equine specialist. Ellen holds a Master of Arts in Counseling from East Tennessee State University and Bachelor of Arts in Political Science from Roanoke College and has extensive management experience in private, public, and non-profit organizations. In addition, she is President of ESI Strategies and was one of the Tri-Cities Business Journal's 40 Under 40 award winners in 2008. Ellen has served as on the EAGALA Board of Directors as the Chairwoman of the Board and as Treasurer.
You can contact Ellen at
The Horses



Mini in Action photo by Ray Austin.

The horses of Pinnacle Ranch are vitally important to all of our programs. We currently have a number of Paso Fino horses that participate in activities with clients in addition to a wonderful miniature horse and miniature donkey. One mare is a retired show horse (two time Reserve National Champion) and two are amazing trail companions. These horses provide the facilitators and the clients a unique, mirrored view of important feelings, emotions, and reactions throughout each session. Each horse, complete with a uniqueness all her own, contributes vital information and facilitates learning that is truly experiential. 

The Therapists
Therapists are an integral part of the treatment team at Pinnacle Ranch. Pinnacle Ranch has partnered with a number of therapists that work with particular populations like veterans, at-risk youth, sexually abused children, autism,to name a few. By partnering with specialists we are able to pair the client with the therapist that can benefit the client the most.The interaction of the client with the horse or horses is key to equine assisted therapy. The addition of the mental health professional and the equine specialist insure that the client has a safe place (emotionally and physically). At Pinnacle Ranch we believe that people have it within themselves to help themselves and the treatment team is a facilitator in that process.