About Your Team

What is integral to each of our programs is our team approach: the licensed and credentialed Mental Health Professional, the qualified Equine Specialist, and of course, the horse, all working together with our clients!

Julie Ponder

LCSW, CADC, EAGALA®-certified Mental Health Professional, President of Psychiatric Associates of Central Illinois, Founder of Pastures of Hope 


I've been involvedin providing mental health care since 1991, and have been in private practice at Psychiatric Associates since 2000.  I work with individuals living with various addictions, dual diagnoses, eating disorders, depression, anxiety and other life challenges as a mental health coach and licensed counselor. 


A life-long love of horses and my passion for helping individuals find emotional healing are combined to provide a unique and life-improving experience for the clients at Pastures of Hope.


We are excited to be able to create opportunities for other mental health professionals to utilize equine assisted therapies as a tool in their own professional 'tool box' for their clients as well! (Contact me for information about integrating this into your practice.



Will Dean

Executive Director of Sanctuary Hill, and EAGALA®-certified Equine Specialist


Will  has a significant background in horse training and is an incredibly accomplished rider, horse trainer,  instructor, builder, mechanic, manager, business developer and  all-around great leader. Will works with Sanctuary Hill to help guide equine-assisted therapy programs for people with all types of abilities learn from and with horses. He is certified by EAGALA as an Equine  Specialist for equine-assisted psychotherapy.


Sanctuary Hill offers programs for people with disabilities, individuals living with severe emotional trauma, and helps people overcome challenges using the power of the horse!