Our Volunteers



As an all volunteer organization, we cannot exist without our wonderful, talented, dedicated volunteers! 

We could not do what we do without our volunteers!! We currently have 43 volunteers on our roster. They are the reason why horses are saved and kids are loved on our ranch. They are the ones that feed the hungry, give attention to the neglected, heal the broken, tame the wild, and teach trust to the wary. Our horses and kids are blessed to have this group of dedicated people who believe that each life is important.“—Tracy Cookman, CEO Charis Youth Ranch

Take a minute to check them out below. If you are interested in joining our ranks download our VOLUNTEER APPLICATION and email it to our Volunteer Coordination Team at charisyouthranch@gmail.com.

Once you have submitted your application, we will schedule an orientation. Our goal is to get you plugged in to the areas you are interested in serving to mutually benefit you and our organization. We look forward to meeting you!


Our Leadership

TracyOct2016Tracy Cookman, Founder || CEO

Tracy works tirelessly on all aspects of the ranch. She is our fearless leader, Queen of hay moving, horse expert, and wise advice giver. We love Tracy and we benefit from her vision and leadership. Tracy is the Founder of Charis Youth Ranch and has been the driving force since 2009 when it was started. Tracy can be reached at newlifehorses@gmail.com.

Favorite horse: Memo Queen


 LuciaCroppedLucia Ginten, Barn Manager, Junior Volunteer Program Director

We are so grateful for the talent and wisdom that Lucia brings to the team from years of experience managing 60 horses in Germany. As Barn Manager, Lucia is in charge of the overall well-being and training of all of our horses. In addition to being a professional trainer, Lucia is a licensed Dressage Instructor to the third level. Her knowledge and understanding of horses is irreplaceable to us. She is also dedicated to serving in our youth programs and training up volunteers in all things horse-related.

Favorite Horse: Sterling





Aurora Chaffee, Volunteer Coordinator, Junior Volunteer Director

An all around horsewoman, we are excited to have Aurora’s enthusiasm and talents to work with our horses and volunteers. She is wonderful with kids and embodies grace and good humor on the ranch. Additionally, Aurora leads the Junior Volunteer Program with Lucia Ginten at the ranch. She can be reached at charisyouthranch@gmail.com with questions about volunteering and Junior Volunteer programs with us.

Favorite Horse: Mosticolli Mort



Our Volunteers 


schneider, CindyCindy Schneider

Cindy is a super compassionate, wonderful person. She has such a tender heart and is much loved by every kid who meets her. She is also a wonderful photographer who captures some priceless moments for us. You can find some of our horses featured on her art page Angel Mountain Media.

 Favorite Horse: Romeo


Rachel Rademacher

Rachel has been a wonderful addition to our team, She helps our feeding team and with the kids programs. She has a lovely calm and friendly presence that the kids and volunteers alike easily get along with. She’s a western girl to the core and loves a good lope through the pastures.

Favorite Horse: Chevy


Jessica Ward

Although Jessica wouldn’t call herself a horse expert, she cannot get enough of the quiet peace that blankets the ranch. Her willingness to learn and reliability are all we could ever ask for from a volunteer.

Favorite Horse: Mariposa



Caroline Buck

Caroline  can never get enough of the ranch. Where there is a need, she will be there to fill it. Caroline is a wonderful asset to our summer kids programs as well as being dedicated to the horses. She has an awesome drive to serve, and no matter the task she is their to help. We are so fortunate that to have her as a volunteer to pour into our operation and horses.

Favorite Horse: TR




IMG952679Kaitlyn Parks

 Kaitlyn joined our team in the Spring of 2016, we love this hardworking gal! She has a special heart and love for our Roper Dawg, an older gelding who is nearly blind. Kaitlyn is an all-around amazing volunteer, fantastic with the kids, and she is always willing to serve no matter the task.

 Favorite Horse: Roper Dawg




Elise Fens

Elise joined our team in April 2017. She is pursuing a career as a vet tech and the ranch is the perfect place to gain hands on experience. She is a wonderfully hardworking girl. She’s shown much dedication and commitment volunteering as a feeder as well as for our summer kids programs. We are so grateful for how she gives up her time freely to serve both our horses and or community.

Favorite Horse: Chevy



Sarah Bohney

Sarah is a get it done kind of girl; give her a task and she will see it through to completion. We love that about her! She joined our team in summer of 2017 and what an amazing addition she has made! She is one of those volunteers that serves without expecting anything back and is always looking to go the extra mile for the ranch and for the horses. 

Favorite Horse: Mort


2302-1Cody Muse

For someone who doesn’t care for riding horses, Cody is an amazing gift to our ranch; he is hardworking, persistent and creative it when it comes to ranch operations and facility maintenance. If he sees a problem he fixes it. Cody has a humble, quiet way of going about his projects and before you know he’s completed it brilliantly! We cannot thank him enough for everything he puts into the ranch!



Ann Kowalski

Ann embodies good humor and a can-do attitude. She’s easily taken to training others and is willing to step in and serve wherever need-be; we love her volunteer spirit. Ann also has experience around horses and shares her compassion and care with herd excellently.

Favorite Horse: Dry Branch Dame (DBD)



Judy Bienick

Rich and Judy are a power-couple feeding team. They take such a great care of the horses, going the extra mile for the ranch every time they’re out.  Judy has a tender heart for all God’s creatures. She is compassionate and understanding, gentle and thoughtful. We love her influence at the ranch!

Favorite Horse: McCool



Rich Bienick

Rich and Judy are a power-couple feeding team. They take such a great care of the horses, going the extra mile for the ranch every time they’re out. Rich has a gift for seeing a need, and taking the initiative to brainstorm ways to solve it. We love this about him! We love that he wants to be a good steward of the horses and property and demonstrates that every time he’s out there.

Favorite Horse: Randy



Stephanie Schiavone

We love all Stephanie has to give at the ranch. She is consistent, honest, and reliable. Stephanie has soft spot for horses and the panoramic vista of the mountains… who could not! It’s a temple of peace and quiet for her outside the hustle and bustle of every day life. We appreciate her flexibility and adaptability to volunteering with us.

Favorite Horse: Rajah



Leslie Muse

Leslie is a super-volunteer mom. While her daughters participate in the summer programs we offer, she volunteers her time to benefit the ranch. Whether it’s grounds maintenance, mucking, or cleaning. She sets an amazing example to her daughters and the other volunteers of hard work and dedication. We love Leslie’s good humor and willing attitude. Her presence brightens everyone’s day.


Lindsay2016Lindsay Daley

Lindsay joined the ranch team in 2011. With horses being a part of her life from early childhood Lindsay has experience in many equine disciplines including endurance/competitive trail, western pleasure, halter showmanship, and hunter jumper.



Board of Directors

TracyOct2016Tracy Cookman, Founder/CEO || Board Chair

Tracy has been self employed, operating her own business since she began her real estate career as a single mom in 2001 in Washington state. Specializing in building relationships with her clients in order to reach their real estate goals, she has been awarded for  sales achievement in both Washington and Colorado. Tracy wears many hats as mother to her 5 children first,  Founder of this nonprofit and Real Estate Broker. In addition to writing the Manifesto for Charis Youth Ranch, she co-wrote the Youth Program Curriculum which is taught every summer to the kids who come to the ranch. Prior to her career in real estate she worked in Human Resources as an Employment Counselor helping people find and keep jobs.  Her strengths are communication, perseverence and faith.

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