Janet Weisberg, Executive Director, Occupational Therapist
Janet began her work in equine assisted therapy 20 years ago but according to parental lore, her interest in horses developed shortly after birth (and since she is older than 20 you do the math). Some time later, she completed her masters degree in Occupational Therapy at Rush University in Chicago, IL. Discovering that her years of horse experience dovetailed smoothly into the practice of Occupational Therapy she began working with programs in New York, Illinois and Minnesota. Continuing to grow in her practice, Janet founded Hold Your Horses in August 2006 and in 2011, along with her staff team and board of directors, has guided HYH to a nonprofit entity. Janet is dedicated to supporting professionalism in the Equine Assisted Therapy field. She is a board member for the American Hippotherapy Association, editor of HIPPOTHERAPY magazine and serves on a certification task force for PATH International. She is also a member of the local and national Occupational Therapy associations. Janet lives in Golden Valley with her husband two sons and assorted house pets.
Molly DePrekel, Psychologist
Molly DePrekel currently practices at the Midwest Center for Trauma and Emotional Healing and Hold Your Horses. She specializes in adolescents, families and young women and uses the unique relationship people have with animals to assist her in therapy with clients for the past 20 years. She has practiced in hospitals, educational settings, mental health facilities, correctional sites, and outreach centers. She holds a certification in Sensorimotor Psychotherapy for the treatment of trauma and developmental wounds. Sensorimotor work involves the practice of somatic (body) work with clients. Molly is the past President of the Equine Facilitated Mental Health Association (EFMHA) and is an EPONA approved instructor and has taught and facilitated workshops and trainings around the world. Currently Molly serves on the Certification Board for Equine Interaction Professionals, which promotes the concept of voluntary certification by examination for those who incorporate equines into their mental health or education practice. Molly lives in Minneapolis with her dog, Mariah, who is her registered therapy dog and Pet Partner® through the Delta Society, and her Morgan horse Whisper.
Ruth Rovner, Office Manager and Horse Handler
Ruth joined Hold Your Horses when it opened in 2006, serving as a Horse Handler for client sessions. In the fall of 2016, Ruth added the role of Office Manager. She has worked with adaptive riding programs as both volunteer and staff since 1997 and loves working with horses and interacting with clients. As a Horse Handler, Ruth finds working with the varying personalities and quirks of the horses both fun and challenging. As Office Manager she enjoys interacting with the client families as well as supporting the HYH staff. Her carpentry talents can be spotted in all corners of the farm and are appreciated everyday by the HYH team.
Chris Meyers, Barn Manager
Chris Meyers started as a volunteer with HYH in 2014 helping with barn chores, then quickly moved into a position helping to care for the horses. She took over as HYH barn manager when we made the move to BEL Farm in 2015. Chris’s love of horses started as a pre-teen, which her parents tried to placate with Western riding lessons. Their plan backfired when she talked them into letting her buy her first horse. The love of animals and especially horses moved Chris to attend Purdue University for a Bachelors in Animal Science. Her experiences working on different farms and caring for her own horses, to keep the HYH horses healthy and happy to do their work helping others. She lives in Plymouth with her husband, three very busy children, and many pets.
Sheryl Butler, MA, OTR/L
Sheryl and her wonderful Saturday team have been seeing clients since October. Sheryl graduated from Georgetown University and got her Master’s in Occupational Therapy from Saint Catherine University. Sheryl currently works as an occupational therapist in Wayzata schools in K-12. Sheryl specializes in sensory processing disorder, autism spectrum disorder, and trauma. Prior to joining Wayzata schools, Sheryl worked at Saint David’s Family and Child Development Center in Minnetonka as an Occupational Therapist. There she worked in outpatient therapies, Autism Day Treatment and a community-based setting identifying and treating at risk preschoolers. “I am beyond thrilled to finally be able to bring together all of the things I am most passionate about in life; horses, occupational therapy and sensory processing disorder. Sheryl lives in Plymouth, Minnesota with her three children, Shadow, the wonder cat and Lacey, her emotional support dog in training. Sheryl’s horse obsession began at age 7 when her mother volunteered her to take riding lessons with a neighborhood friend – she has been in love ever since.
Sherri Oswald, Horse Handler
Sherri has a full plate working at Wayzata High School with students with special needs, volunteering with her registered therapy dog Itzy, showing her Western All-around horse Rosita at both the open shows and the breed shows, heading the Wayzata Equestrian Group (for high school students) after-school and working with the wonderful staff and clients at HYH part-time. She has been in the horse industry for over 30 years and has been showing horses for over 28 years. Sherri lives in Corcoran with her husband along with Itzy and Rosita.
Julie Tarshish, Communications Manager
Julie Tarshish started with HYH as a volunteer on the development committee before transitioning to her role as communications manager. She is also the proud mother of one of HYH’s clients. Julie graduated from Metropolitan State University with a BA in Social Sciences. A Minnesota native with twelve years’ experience working in the nonprofit sector, her background also includes working with children with special needs. In her free time she loves going on adventures with her husband, Ethan and twin boys Charlie and Oscar. She enjoys Krav Maga, cross stitch, and all things vintage.
Hold Your Horses Board Members
Steven Katkov, ESQ