Who We Are
Get to know all about Rafter M Ranch Nonprofit Corporation - what we do, our mission and our history.
Rafter M Ranch Corp. is a year-round Horse Ranch that offers locals a variety of equine related activities as well as educational events. We focus our efforts on the rehabilitation of our Equine friends.
We also very much enjoy teaching children and adults more and more about our horse friends through our educational riding lesson program accompanied by our clinics.
At Rafter M Ranch Corp. we feel incredibly lucky that we get to do what we love. We’d love for you to take part in the Rafter M Ranch Riding and Rescue experience. For more information, get in touch!
Meet the Board
Dr. David Whittington
Chairman of the Board
We're excited to have Dr. David Whittington join our team providing nutritional management oversight. Dr. Whittington received his B.S. and M.S. from the University of Missouri, Columbia and his Ph.D. from Oregon State University. His career spans 40 plus years providing nutritional programs and product development across the Americas, Southeast Asia, and Africa. His expertise will provide a much needed asset, insuring each of our horses receives a diet tailored to their individual nutritional needs supporting the development of a strong immune system restoring their bodies to optimal health.
Secretary and Treasurer
Bio- Coming Soon
Bio- Coming Soon
Board members do not receive any compensation for their generous time and effort. Board members are here because they are in love with our mission.
Meet the Staff
Where the Passion Begins
Director of Operations
Hello, My name is Maranda and I am very excited to be able to introduce myself to you today. I truly believe that everything in my life, God has used to lead me to this Mission. I will highlight a few of my favorite things that have given me the experience to teach your children.
I would love to have the chance to chat and share my life story with you.
For the sake of space I will share what makes me qualified for my job.
First of all I started this program to save horses and teach families about the rescues.
I have been riding horses since I was three years old. I grew up in a Christian home and was homeschooled the majority of my school years. Having the chance to do my studies at home gave me a lot of time on horseback and in the barn. We traveled due to my Dads job when I was a kid, so I had the chance to take my horse all over the Country and ride and compete in so many different aspects. I did spend some time as a children's counselor at Rainbow Bible Ranch here in the Black hills and very much enjoyed the kids and the horses. I spent several of my adult years working and training horses until I was blessed by God with 4 children. My love for my family slowed my horse career down to a hobby.
God had other ideas for me!
I have always had a love for horses and I was called a few years ago into the rescue scene. After educating myself on the gruesome process of the slaughter of horses I was called to action. These horses need a voice and I wanted to help. I rescued a couple and decided that I wanted to dive in full time. I started to offer riding lessons as a way to fund my rescue efforts. The lessons and the impact they have had are something I could not have foreseen. I am so excited about the future of this program and all the amazing people who are on board as we push forward to the future.
I am currently enrolled in School to Acquire my National Certification to be a Barn Manager and Instructor. I have a lifetime of experience and I am always learning more. I feel beyond privileged to be able to share my passion with so many.
Thea started out as a dedicated volunteer here at the ranch. She was excited about the rescue process and working with horses. She has a soft touch with both horses and humans alike. We knew we could not do without her and asked her to be part of the team. She started volunteering two days a week and now she is our full time Barn Manager.
Thea brings her 10 plus years of riding experience and 3 years of riding instruction to the ranch team.
She grew up in the 4H horse program and showed at both the county and the state level in English and Western disciplines.
Her favorite horse related activities are trail riding and anything involving speed. Thea believes the best way to walk through life is with a horse at your side!
Growing up I didn't have the opportunity to learn how to ride horses, so in my younger years I gleamed as much knowledge as I could from books, documentaries, and really anywhere that I could get my hands on information.
Throughout my teen years I volunteered at a therapeutic riding center, and later started a job at a local equestrian center. After graduating high school, I went to work at a ranch in Wyoming where I learned in depth about horsemanship and developed my skills as a rider.
Once I returned home to Texas, I took up roles of an equine facility manager, a lesson instructor, and worked with misunderstood horses.
In 2019, God blessed me with an amazing husband and the opportunity to rescue, rehab, and retain an ex-racehorse. In 2020, my husbands job moved us to South Dakota where I found Rafter M Ranch. My favorite horse related activities are trail riding, ranching, and cross country.