Our Staff

Carissa Palmberg
Certified Eagala Counselor

Carissa Palmberg received her Bachelor of Science degree in psychology with a minor in counseling from Southwest Baptist University in Bolivar, Missouri and her Master of Science degree in community agency counseling from Missouri State University in Springfield, Missouri. After graduating with her undergraduate degree, Carissa worked at New Hope Wilderness Camp in Ava, Missouri. It was there that she was introduced to equine assisted psychotherapy. For her internship in graduate school, Carissa was able to continue pursuing equine assisted psychotherapy at Healing Reigns in Waddell, Arizona. Now Carissa is happy to be helping bring equine assisted psychotherapy to the greater Sioux Falls, South
Dakota area. Carissa is a licensed professional counselor and licensed addiction counselor. She is certified in equine assisted psychotherapy through the Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association (Eagala). Carissa‚Äôs husband serves in the South Dakota Air National Guard full-time and
together they farm in Iowa. They have four young children who share their love for adventure and the outdoors.

Marie LaRock
Co-Founder of Rock Ranch

Marie's vision for providing quality horsemanship training & life skills in a nature filled environment is the driving force behind Rock Ranch. Marie earned a Bachelor's Degree in Psychology and a Master's Degree in Speech- Language Pathology from Minnesota State University - Moorhead. Her lifelong love of horses and working with children was the spark igniting the formation of Rock Ranch. Marie is a member of PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship) and certified as an Equine Specialist under EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association). Marie has worked with children on horseback at Rock Ranch for 6 years, volunteered with HorsePower in Sioux Falls for over 10 years, and has provided speech therapy and instruction in school systems all over the region since 2001. All lessons at Rock Ranch are led by Marie.