Equine Assisted


HOPE Ranch is a beautiful 8 acre ranch in the hills south west of Rochester, Minnesota, that specializes in:

  • Equine Facilitated Staff Development
  • Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP)
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Kit Muellner
Owner & Founder of H.O.P.E. Ranch
LICSW – Licensed Independent 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

Kit Muellner is well known as a stand out in her field. She specializes in working with children, adults and families. Before starting H.O.P.E. Ranch in 1999, Kit worked with facilities such as Olmsted County, Omnia Family Services, Gerard Treatment Facilities, Mendota Mental Health Institute and Mayo Clinic.

When she started H.O.P.E. Ranch, Kit was able to combine her passion for healing people with her love of horses and incorporating the EAGALA Model of Equine Assisted Development. This approach is highly powerful and combines in office, play and/or EGALA Model Equine assisted psychotherapy.

Additionally, Kit has developed Equine assisted programs for companies and organizations for their staff retreats and staff development sessions.

Her goal is to make people feel at home on The Ranch and create a unique oasis to experience wonderful growth and healing through psychotherapy with the help of animals.


Amanda Briggs
Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor (LPCC)
Trained in Trauma Focused – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT) and Parent Child
Interaction Therapy (PCIT)

Education & Degrees:
Bachelor of Science Degree in Child Psycology from University of Minnesota, Twin Cities
Master of Arts in Clinical and Counseling Psychology in 2009 from Saint Mary’s University

Amanda has gained experience working with children and their families at Gerard Academy and Mayo Clinic. She specializes in children as young as 3 years old through Parent/Child Interaction Therapy (PCIT). Additionally, Amanda has been trained in Trauma Focused – Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (TF-CBT), an approach utilized with children age 3 -18 years old that have experienced a traumatic event or complex trauma.
She is currently working towards becoming an EAGALA Certified Mental Health Professional and Horse Specialist. She grew up with horses and values their power and grace. Amanda looks forward to incorporating this model into her practice.


HOPE Ranch is currently accepting and processing applications for additional mental health staff. Click here to be taken to employment information and description.


HOPE Ranch is currently accepting and processing applications for mental health intern(s).


Jody Marshall
EAGALA Certified Equine Specialist with past experience in mental health and addictions.


Meet Mike – Our Intern

Name:   Mike Cheney
School: Liberty University
Major:   Master of Education
Hometown:   Rochester, MN
Pets:   Mugsy the dog, Oliver the Cat, and Maleficent the Ball Python
What do you do at HOPE Ranch: I am doing a 4-month practicum as a student of counseling.
Favorite thing about the Ranch:   I am fairly new to the Ranch, so I am looking forward to learning!
What do you plan to do after graduation:  I hope to work with students in the public school system as a school counselor
What do you do when you’re not at The Ranch:   I work at MN Adult & Teen Challenge, and I spend time with my wife and 2 daughters.



Tom is a retiree with thirty eight years in the computer industry as a software engineer and certified project manager, seven years as a K-12 licensed Business Education teacher, and EAGALA Certified specialist. Tom earned BA and MBA degrees from the University of St Thomas. In addition to teaching business and computer content, Tom has taught CPR and Driver Improvement courses, and has been Crisis Prevention Institute certified. Tom also has US Patents to his credit for his software work.

Tom assists at HOPE Ranch with co-facilitating Equine Assisted Development and course and program development.




H.O.P.E. Ranch does not offer riding lessons or activities requiring mounting of a horse. Experiential activities are utilized to facilitate teamwork, problem-solving, communication skills, and more without mounting a horse.

The EAGALA model, EAP and EAL focus on interaction with the horse as part of the facilitation team. 100% of activities are done on the ground – no riding is involved.

Experience with horses is not required to benefit from the healing power of horses.