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Our Story

HorseSpeak is a true labor of love born of a passion to help people find themselves. Founder and Executive Director, Marybeth Wiefels, has spent a life time in service. Having experienced the trauma of crime both as a police officer and as a victim, she is acutely aware of the subtle and not-so-subtle side effects of having been victimized. She personally understands how life can throw some curve balls and you can find yourself in a situation where you have lost your sense of self. Horses and animals have been a lifelong source of strength for Marybeth and their healing nature has proven itself time and time again. People have been coming to Cowgirl Up Ranch for years enjoying the gentle healing spirits of our many animal mentors.


Dr. Wendy Smith, psychologist and clinical director, has been practicing in Calaveras county for over 15 years. Her easygoing nature puts people at ease. A therapy session spent working with the horses is amazingly different from sitting in an office.


The staff of HorseSpeak all share personally in the mission of helping people be the best they can be, embracing who they are. Each teacher here, whether two or four-legged, has a personal story that brings them here, sharing the journey towards hope and happiness.


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Offers a unique emotional support counseling service with the help of trained therapy horses and other animals.

Unique Emotional Support

Horsespeak offers a unique emotional support counseling with the help of trained therapy horses, people and other animals.

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Counseling Services To Everyone

Counseling services to individuals, families, and children via one-on-one, workshops, retreats and camps

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Nestled In The Gold Country

Nestled in the rolling Sierra foothills of California’s Gold Country on the Cowgirl Up Ranch in Burson, CA.

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Consider making a gift of money, charitable gift annuities, endowment from life insurance, stock certificates, real estate, or tangible personal property.   Click Here To Donate
Help us share what we do. Our community partnerships help keep the programs we offer afloat. Click Here for More Info  
Learn about what we do. Our programs offer unique emotional support to individuals, families and children via one-on-one, workshops, retreats and camps.   Click Here For More Info
Marybeth Wiefels
Founder & Executive Director

Certified life and empowerment coach. Certified by EAGALA in equine assisted growth and learning. Certified crisis counselor.

Dr. Wendy Smith
Clinical Director

Licensed  psychologist with more than 20 years of training and experience (certified by EAGALA).

Sherri Edwards
Public Relations Director

18 years in title and escrow marketing-Real estate license-Event planner extraordinaire.

Esther Pecora
Chief Financial Officer

Certified life and empowerment coach. Certified EAGALA facilitator. 20 years managing own business.

Yolie McDonald
Board President & Volunteer Coordinator

EAGALA certified. Lifetime horse experience.  Somehow always manages to wrangle enough volunteers to make each event a success!

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