Officers & Board of directors
Blue Horse Sanctuary is blessed to have the participation and generosity of its board members, all of whom share a connection to the natural world and the love of horses. Uniquely knowledgeable and talented, each member brings special gifts that provide an abundance of leadership and direction to the Board.
Painter, owner of Blue Horse Gallery, horse lover, and Founder of the Blue Horse Sanctuary, Melissa is proprietor of the WildWood Ranch near Glen Rose, Texas. Melissa is a graduate from the Meadows School of the Arts, SMU, and has lived and worked in New York, Los Angeles and Europe. Married to Frenchman, Frederic Auberty, and mother of two sons, she lives in Dallas, Telluride and her beloved WildWood Ranch.
Alec graduated from Le Cordon Bleu, Dallas, with a Degree in Culinary Arts. Afterwards, he received his Conseiller en Sommellerie Certification from CAFA Wine School in Bordeaux, France. After a stint in London, he returned to Dallas becoming Chef de Cuisine at Le Bilboquet, and later, Up on Knox. Alec resides in Telluride, CO, where he is an avid snowboarder and instructor. He spends his summers at WildWood Ranch, however, where he rides his horse, Belle, and helps facilitate Equine Therapy Programs.
Head of Security
Jennifer Britton Herring, LCSW
Jenny became a therapist after raising a family of three children and observing the challenge’s children and families face in today’s world. She received her Masters of Social Work at the University of Texas at Arlington, where she specialized in children and family therapy.
Working with individuals who experience or have been diagnosed with anxiety, depression, bi-polar and borderline personality disorders, Ms. Herring is also experienced in working with families with a variety of challenges, including trauma. She uses evidence based modalities that she feels best serve her clients, and encompasses psycho-dynamic, narrative, inner-child and strengths based approaches to empower them. Jenny knows that seeking help takes a great deal of courage and understands the privilege of being trusted with the role of therapist.
Jenny and Melissa share a belief in the healing power of nature. Together they dreamed of creating a space for troubled adolescents who could benefit from time spent in a therapeutic, natural environment. WildWood has evolved into that space - where young adults interact with horses, hike, and sit around a campfire at night in a safe and loving place. In creating this program, Blue Horse truly has become a sanctuary for all who come here.
Michael Battenfield is a certified Natural Horsemanship Trainer. He uses techniques that speak the horses language, bridging the barrier between man and horse. Michael works with owners throughout the US to ensure a partnership that lasts, and specializes in restarting problem horses. It is his belief that first impressions last a lifetime and that problem horses have been taught to react badly by uninformed owners and trainers. Through patience and diligence, any horse can be given the chance to learn from the beginning how to settle into a harmonious relationship with humans.
Michael has entered and won many competitions, including the Bluebonnet Challenge and he placed in the top 10 of the Mustang Challenge in 2014. His patience and step-by-step teaching style offers a lifetime of knowledge and a steady supportive approach to his many clients.
Learning Natural Horsemanship is a symbiotic experience for both the human and the horse. Patience is key to becoming attuned to what motivates both, them and us. In turn, one learns to go inward, relax, slow down and let one's instincts guide you. Michael is a born teacher and a wise guide into the mind and soul of a horse. With his expertise, he has become integral to the spirit of Blue Horse Sanctuary.
Chuck’s career as an Interior Designer has taken him from New York to Los Angeles and ultimately Dallas, where he has had an A list clientele for the past 25 years. Chuck’s portfolio includes large scale residential remodels, corporate space planning, construction
management and an endless variety of unique projects throughout the US. Expanding his creative output, Chuck adds successful artist to his resume, creating figurative collages and encaustic paintings that are featured in galleries in Dallas and Fort Worth
Chuck designed the modern art studio compound at WildWood and remodeled the Big Kid Hollow Cabin, located on the mesa in the Sanctuary. The cabin was originally the old train station in Hico, Texas, and had been moved to the property in the 1950’s. The thoroughly redesigned structure provides a vista from which to view
Chalk Mountain on the horizon, and more importantly, the rescues that graze in the adjoining fields.
Dear friend and loyal supporter, Chuck is integral to the function and spirit of WildWood Ranch. Hiking trails, meditation path, plantings, rock stacks, prayer flags - all on-going labors of love bestowed by him on the sanctuary. We are blessed to have his expertise and free-spirited involvement in all aspects of Blue Horse Sanctuary.
Founder of the award winning MDVC Creative Marketing Agency, Molly has had a thirty+ year career in brand building, design and public relations. Her clients have included a variety of the top firms in Dallas, as well as some of America’s Fortune 500 companies.
A passionate advocate for animal welfare, Molly has been involved with Dallas Animal Services for many years and has donated countless hours to caring for unwanted cats. She expanded that deep commitment to felines, obtaining several certifications, including Cat Training & Behavior Specialist, Cat Behavior Coach, Fear Free Professional and Reiki Master, in order to help people understand their cats’ behaviors, keep the animals and themselves safe, and, most importantly, keep their felines with them as lovable companions for life.
Molly began applying her Reiki skills to equines in 2017, concentrating on horses that are used in emotional support roles such as therapeutic riding, etc. She has donated her time and skills to Healing Through Horses and the New Mexico Center for Therapeutic Riding - both near Santa Fe where she now resides.
Blue Horse Sanctuary is proud to have Ms. DeVoss on their Board where her expertise in non-profits, as well as her genuine love and commitment to the health and welfare of horses, can be used to help continue to transform our foundation as we continue in our quest to help as many horses as we possibly can.