Meet Our Facilitators


Joanie Mankus

Program Director

Joanie Mankus is a professional Gestaltist who partners with horses to support individuals going through subtle or significant life transitions. Whether an individual is experiencing challenges related to family, relationships, career, or health issues, Joanie’s professional coaching leads clients to regain a clearer sense of their wholeness, purpose, and passion for living a fully expressed life. 

As an LCSW for nearly 10 years, Joanie counseled teens, families, and adults with a variety of life narratives including marital struggles and divorce, children of dysfunctional families, teen pregnancy, addiction, and trauma. She was a member of a first response crisis team at the Columbine high school tragedy. Throughout her professional career, Joanie has experienced firsthand how neglecting the inner human condition can manifest itself in tragic and negative ways. Deep introspection and self-study led her to examine the patterns, limiting beliefs, and behaviors that prevent people from moving forward in their lives with joy. Her extensive study in the field of Gestalt has offered both her and her clients’ solutions that break the cycle and allow change to happen organically. 

Joanie is proud to serve as the Program Director of Hope Held by a Horse. She continues to serve as Director and Secretary for Hope Through Horses, an organization dedicated to providing funding for organizations and individuals committed to and involved in improving the lives of individuals and horse partners through the Equine Gestalt Coaching Method. In addition, Joanie is a part-time instructor in the Touched by a Horse Equine Gestalt Coaching Certification Program based in Elizabeth, Colorado, and founded by EGCMethod® creator Melisa Pearce. Joanie also owns her own fulfilling private practice called Authentic Strides. She holds a Masters in Social Work from St. Louis University and is a Certified Equine Gestalt Coach.

Ida Ridgeway

Reiki 1

As an intuitive and ordained minister, I joined Hope Held by a Horse with my gift for energy healing. I have been in training for over two years in intuitive and energy healing development. I am passionate about horses and recognize a common bond in their ability to help people heal. I actively incorporate the three elements – energy, intuition and horses – into my work and the combination of these three fields allows me to connect on a number of different levels with those I work with.

I am also a Reiki 1 practitioner. During my undergraduate work, I rode on the Fresno State Equestrian Team, taking first place at the regional horse show. My love of nature has landed me at the base of Pikes Peak in beautiful Colorado Springs, which provides me opportunities to compete in adventure races, play volleyball and breathe fresh mountain air on trail rides.

Women and horse touching noses

Daelyn Marie Larché-Sigman

Equine Gestalt Coach

I have a passion for spreading positivity and inspiration to others I meet in my life every day. I was an elementary school teacher for 22 years but decided to leave the profession in 2019 in order to follow my dream of helping others heal. I became a certified Equine Gestalt Coach and started my coaching business called Joyful Spirit Coaching soon after leaving the field of teaching.

When my son, Austin, was diagnosed with cancer at age 14 in 2010, I knew I had to find something to do to care for myself so that I would be a good caretaker for my young son. I learned many forms of crafting and began a small business centered around sharing products that spread joy. I became a certified Reiki Master Teacher and completed Healing Touch training at Level 3. I know that the most important piece of my journey with my son was discovering my true purpose in life- helping others heal trauma and live life in joy.

I lost my son to cancer two weeks after he turned 17 in 2013, and felt it was important to learn everything I could about my life through the experience. I later went on to earn my 200 hr certification as a therapeutic yoga instructor in order to offer others another way to find healing, peace, and happiness in their daily lives. I also studied under Dr. Amit Sood, Professor of Medicine at the Mayo Clinic, to become a facilitator of his Stress Management and Resiliency Training program.

When I’m not coaching, I enjoy being with my husband and oldest son doing fun things like paddle boarding, four-wheeling in our cool Jeep, and hanging with my horses. I love animals and spend a lot of time hanging out with my dogs. I am a wanna-be mermaid and dream of one day living in a house near the beach with my horses.

Elisabeth Denizot

Equine Gestalt Coach

Elisabeth Denizot, Nurturing Strides, LLC

I am an Equine Gestalt Coach and I work in Boulder County, at my place in Lafayette, CO with my Equine Partners Spirit and Casper. I also partner with Rocky Mountain Riding Therapy and their amazing herd, in Boulder, CO

After 20 years of teaching with the Boulder Valley School District, I chose to fully dedicate myself to helping people heal.

For many years, starting in my early teens until I moved over to Colorado, I rode horses. I loved being in their presence. This eventually led me on a journey to explore the healing power of horses and how I could use them to make a difference in other people’s lives.

Each and every one of us has suffered some sort of trauma in the course of our lives. Because we move on with our lives, we often feel that what we experienced in the past is taken care of. However, traumatic experiences, no matter their intensity, stay imprinted in our cells. Most likely, they stay outside of our awareness. We get triggered and wonder why. And we unconsciously pass on to our children our own unresolved issues. I love working with parents and educators who seek to hone their truth so their children can find theirs.

I am honored to partner with Hope Held by a Horse to assist the courageous women who choose to participate in the program.

Kerry Culhane

Kerry Culhane

Equine Gestalt Coach

My name is Kerry Culhane, I am an equine gestalt coach and owner of Origin Horse Coaching in Elizabeth, Colorado. I am a heart coach and a deep work coach. My motto is “feel it and heal it”. 

Through the course of my own healing and transformation with gestalt and the healing work of our beautiful spiritual equine partners, I have come to the belief that willingness to heal oneself in this way is not only an act of courage but also a journey of self-compassion. EGC coaching is my life’s work and helping people heal is my life’s journey.

You were all so warm and compassionate and gently pushed me out of my comfort zone just enough, but not too much. It was a pleasure to spend the day with all of you and your equine friends.

Jen G.


Phone: (720) 316-6178
Email :

12035 N Piney Lake Rd
Parker, CO 80138
Program Location:
Happy Dog Ranch
7811 W Titan Rd
Littleton, CO 80125

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