About Us

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 and Rescue that offers 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, send us a message!


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.


Alison Body


Allison was born and raised in Seattle, WA and has always had a passion for horses and their welfare. She started her schooling and career focused on the physical health of others by obtaining her Bachelor's degree in Human Performance and Fitness Management. After working full time to get through college and finally graduating in 2018, Allison pursued a career in Health Coaching. Allison found her calling in helping others. Helping others has always been her passion in life and coaching gave her the tools to make a real impact on other's health and goals. This led her to becoming a Certified Health Coach through the NBHWC and a Certified Therapeutic Art Life Coach and opening her Art and Coaching business, BAM! Workshop LLC. While Allison loves helping people, she wanted to pursue her passion of helping horses as well. Allison moved to Rapid City, SD in September 2021 and started volunteering at Rafter M. Ranch Riding and Rescue in October 2021. She quickly became hooked on helping horses and our mission, by providing, not only her time, but her experience with horses and business to further the cause and support of Rafter M. Ranch Riding and Rescue. Allison has even partnered with Rafter M. Ranch Riding and Rescue by pledging at least 15% of all profits from her business to the rescue. Then in January, a spot on our Board opened up for her to join, which she was eager to fill and further support the rescue's mission.


Paula Longfox

Board Member

Bio- Coming Soon


Steffani Michalik 


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


Maranda Lockhart

Director of Operations
Riding Instructor

Hello, My name is Maranda and I am very excited to be able to introduce myself to you today. 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 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 with 4 children. My love for my family slowed my horse career down to a hobby. 

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. 


Mirrissa Hunter

Barn Manager

Hello Everyone! I'm Mirrissa, and since you're here you should take a minute to get to know me better. 

I have been working on the rescue for a short time, and when I'm not here I am volunteering as an assistant cheerleading coach. I love them both! When I'm not working I enjoy spending time with my rowdy three year old. He loves getting to come to work with me on occasion and helping when and where he can. His favorite part is riding! I definitely suggest starting your littles young. Its a good time for everyone involved!  

2022 had not necessarily been "my year", that is until I came to work on the Ranch. As it says in our logo, "Saving Horses & Healing Hearts", healing hearts, not just for the horses but everyone involved. Being able to be apart of this great organization has brought me so much joy and a sense of pride I didn't know I could have. When we bring in a rescue, they are not always in the best shape, but being able to be apart of their recovery is a great reward within its self. There is nothing better than seeing one of our rescues be adopted and go on to tell their story.