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
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.
|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.