About

Who We Are

New Hope was founded in 2012 by Sharla and Dave Kershen in order to foster a program encouraging the horse and human connection for the benefit of both horse and rider but specifically for those with disabilities. At New Hope Equine Assisted Therapy, we provide therapeutic horseback riding services for people with a variety of disabilities, special needs, and challenges. We strive to bring hope, healing and happiness to all those who participate in our programs, including the newly launched program for veterans and first responders, Horses Helping Heroes.

Our Team - New Hope Executive Board

Sharla Kershen

Founder & Program Director

Board and Executive Staff

Sharla Kershen

Sharla Kershen

Founder & Program Director

Board and Executive Staff

Sharla, the founder, is a Certified PATH riding instructor. Previously, she spent 25 years in Information Technology and IT management. She discovered her love of horses at a young age and animals have always brought her joy. Her faith helped her find her passion to give back to others, and her business background gives her the necessary skills to guide a business. What she loves most about New Hope Equine Assisted Therapy is the interaction with riders and their families, helping them find their joy and hope through connecting with their horse. She is also committed to improving her own riding, training, and teaching skills, and to helping New Hope horses succeed.

Dave Kershen

Director of Operations

Board

Dave Kershen

Dave Kershen

Director of Operations

Board

Dave is a 33 year IT professional currently employed as a Senior Product Manager by Oracle Corporation. He is an avid outdoorsman, and has the heart of a teacher. Dave coached all three of his children over a 14 year period in different sports, and spent eight years as a board member and tournament director for the Colleyville Girls Softball Association. Dave’s ability to troubleshoot problems and provide cost effective solutions is critical to New Hope operations. He enjoys getting to know the New Hope volunteers and getting his hands dirty while he takes care of the New Hope facilities and infrastructure.
Kathleen Beisly

Kathleen Beisly

Marketing Communications Chair and Board Secretary

Board

Kathleen Beisly
Kathleen Beisly

Kathleen Beisly

Marketing Communications Chair and Board Secretary

Board

Kathleen retired from IBM where she led the North America Industries Digital Marketing Team. She is drawn to help those with special needs because of her family connections as well as her experience volunteering for years with the National Multiple Sclerosis Society. She lends her business expertise to assist with web site management, communications and digital promotions. In her spare time, Kathleen enjoys gardening, yoga, playing golf and spending time with family. Kathleen also serves as the Board Secretary and loves doing all she can to help New Hope succeed in our mission to help those with disabilities.
Neal Bondy

Neal Bondy

Chairperson

Board

Neal Bondy
Neal Bondy

Neal Bondy

Chairperson

Board

Mr. Neal Bondy is the President of the Optima Training and Consulting Group in Dallas, Texas. He began his career in Human Resource Management in 1964 while serving as a Captain in the United States Air Force. His undergraduate degree is in Latin American History with a minor in Spanish from Texas Christian University. He received his MBA in Organizational Behavior from Southern Methodist University. He spent twenty-five years working in Human Resource Management with Atlantic Richfield Company (ARCO). His last four years with ARCO were in Anchorage Alaska as a loaned executive to the Trans Alaska Pipeline Company known as Aleyeska. Mr. Bondy served for seven years on the faculty of the Graduate School of Management at the University of Dallas teaching in the MBA Program. In 1997, Neal was elected National Chairman of the Board for the world’s largest Human Resource Society (S.H.R.M.). Neal retired as a Regional Director of the Johnson and Johnson Consulting Group after serving in that capacity for fifteen years. Neal has consulted with Company Boards, Presidents and Executive Teams in many for profit and nonprofit organizations. He is an expert in Leadership and Executive Team Development. Neal was elected to the Board of New Hope equine Therapy in 2022. He is excited to serve as Chairman and help lead the board in their work to serve the North Texas community.
Aaron Sturman

Aaron Sturman

Finance Chairperson/Treasurer

Board

Aaron Sturman
Aaron Sturman

Aaron Sturman

Finance Chairperson/Treasurer

Board

Aaron is a Senior Director with Greystar Real Estate Partners in Dallas, Texas, where his responsibilities include all revenue and financial reporting for Greystar’s Advantage Solutions group, as well as management of property billbacks and national contracts. Prior to joining Greystar in 2010, Mr. Sturman spent two years with Goldman Sachs Specialty Lending Group, managing a portfolio of asset-backed lending facilities, and 15 years with Wells Fargo, where he held various management positions. Aaron attended the University of Texas at Austin, where he earned his BBA with a double major in Finance and Marketing. Aaron’s passion for volunteer work and love of animals, as well as the opportunity to help others, drew him to this position.
Jennifer Kiedrowski

Jennifer Kiedrowski

At Large

Board

Jennifer Kiedrowski
Jennifer Kiedrowski

Jennifer Kiedrowski

At Large

Board

Jennifer Kiedrowski currently works in the Dallas area and owned a transportation company for more than 13 years in Dallas. She holds a degree in Business Accounting and has spent her time volunteering in various capacities for WBENC and WBCSouthwest as a committee member and mentor to women starting and growing their own businesses. Her passions include animal rescue and volunteering as a foster family to dogs waiting to be adopted, caring for her grandson and spending time with her family. She has a grown son and a bonus son and daughter with her husband. With Jennifer’s love of animals and her passion for helping others, she looks forward to utilizing her 25-year operational background at New Hope to achieve growth in funding, support event planning and assist with the overall success of New Hope.
Jason Hodson

Jason Hodson

Fundraising and Events Chair

Board

Jason Hodson
Jason Hodson

Jason Hodson

Fundraising and Events Chair

Board

As a digital marketing and E-commerce consultant, he’s had the privilege of working with global brands in the corporate sector and has advised 20+ charities on marketing, fundraising and events best practices. Jason’s true passion is delivering impactful fundraising events and campaigns and discovering creative ways to help local businesses and nonprofits to elevate and succeed… TOGETHER!
Chistine Cioffe

Christine Cioffe

Board Member

Board

Christine Cioffe
Chistine Cioffe

Christine Cioffe

Board Member

Board

Christine Cioffe currently advises and consults for a variety of companies in Sustainability, Specialty Industrials, Agriculture and Bio-Pharmaceutical industries. She also is a board member on several privately held companies in the industrials and agriculture/nutrition space as well as for several non-profits in the sustainability and education areas. Her prior experience includes leading large R&D organizations at PepsiCo (food and beverage) and Merck & Co (pharmaceuticals) with focus on R&D innovation, productivity, disruptive technologies as well as execution of enterprise-wide business processes and governance. Chris is a passionate advocate for life-long learning and exploring (and breaking down) boundaries as well as mentoring and coaching people at all stages of their career.

Our Team - New Hope Staff

Emily Rogers

Volunteer Coordinator

Kimberly Mescha

Riding Instructor

Kimberly Martin

Equine Care Manager

Jennifer Morris

Development Director

Susan Altshuler

Certified PATH Riding Instructor

Beau

A multi-talented guy, Beau is fluent in both English and Western and likes to help everyone from the newest beginner on up to highly skilled riders. For riders who ‘speak horse’ well, Beau is always game for a barrel race and his competitive nature comes out for those who ask properly. His big, bouncy trot is a gift to riders who are learning to post, or rise and fall with the movement of the horse’s legs.

Breed: Appendix

Born: 1998

Color:  Palomino

Gender: Gelding

Height: 16 Hands

Previous Experience: Hunter, Jumper

Joined NH: Summer 2015

Cyclops

Cyclops is a Paint/Quarter horse mix who joined New Hope when his owner could not take him to college.  Back when Cy was a jumper he lost his eye to an infection, but it has never slowed him down. He adapted to his new normal, continued jumping, became a barrel racing instructor, and now is a careful therapy horse! He loves showing off his skills to adventurous riders and is a pro at going slow and steady, giving less adventurous riders confidence. Cy is frequently found grooming his best friend, Olivia.

Breed: Quarter Horse Paint Mix

Birth: 2005

Color: Tobiano

Gender: Gelding

Height: 14.3h

Previous Experience: Western school horse, Jumper

Joined NH: 2019

Daisy Mae

Daisy Mae can be easily recognized by her long, expressive ears or her loud hee-haw at turn out time. Trotting with a very side to side movement, Daisy Mae’s riders almost feel like they’re doing a hula dance. Daisy Mae loves working with everyone, from those who depend on a wheelchair to those who are accomplished riders. 

Daisy Mae suffers from a condition called Uveitis which can lead to blindness.  She wears a fly mask most of the time to protect her eyes from UV light and gets regular eye drops and ointments to make sure she is comfortable and avoids flare ups.  

Daisy Mae

Breed: Mule (Horse and Donkey Mix)

Born: 2002

Color: Bay

Gender: Mare Mule (or Molly)

Height: 15h

Previous Experience: Trail work

Joined NH: 2021

Duke

Duke was bred to be a western pleasure horse but was unable to continue in the competition arena due to an injury.  His injury is completely healed and thankfully his young owner recognized that though his western pleasure competition days were over, he was far from done and had many gifts to offer riders.  Duke loves people and is a little like a big puppy!  Riders have picked up on his personality and he is quickly becoming a favorite.  Because of his skill at the western pleasure jog (a very slow, relatively smooth trot), Duke excels at introducing riders to the trot.  

Breed: American Quarter Horse

Born: 2009

Color: Bay

Gender: Gelding

Height: 16h

Previous Experience: Western Pleasure

Joined NH: 2023

Flash

We don’t know much about Flash before he was rescued by his previous owner, but we do know that he had issues that made him uncomfortable and nervous. Wave Jaw, Fecal Water Syndrome and Hind Gut Ulcers suggested that he may not have had an easy early life. During his assessment period at NH his physical issues were addressed, and he received love, desensitization and comfort. Now, he carefully and safely carries riders as old as 93, and as young as 4. He likes the slow pace of lead-line lessons and New Hope is his happy place. When clean, he is a stunning boy, but he loves to roll in the red clay and turn himself into a red-headed Chestnut!

Breed:  Grade Quarter Horse

Born:  2004

Color:  Flea-bitten Gray

Gender:  Gelding

Height:  15h

Previous Experience:  Ranch Horse?

Joined NH:  2020

Gabby

Gabby is estimated to be an early 2000’s model Grade horse, which is a fancy way to say her birthdate and actual breed is unknown.  Gabby came to New Hope via a former New Hope rider, and is now part of the NH herd.   Riders enjoy Gabby’s smooth gaits and willingness to go slow.  The more advanced riders enjoy her love of barrels. 

Gabby gets treatment for Cushing’s disease, an endocrine disorder, and has fully recovered from EPM, a disease which affects the nervous system.  

Breed: Model Grade (breed unknown)

Born:  Early 2000’s

Color: Chestnut

Gender:  Very Mare

Height:  14.3h

Previous Experience: Western, barrels and poles

Joined NH:  2018

Libby

Libby came to the USA from Germany at the age of 8 and joined the New Hope herd in 2020 when her former career as a dressage schoolmaster was winding down.  This mare is proper English through and through and her sensitive back would revolt at the thought of being ridden Western! While she can do lead-line lessons, Libby prefers working with the more independent riders and teaching them to refine their body positions and fine tune their rein usage.  She is a willing partner who works hard to do whatever she is asked.

Breed: Model Grade (breed unknown)

Born:  Early 2000’s

Color: Chestnut

Gender:  Very Mare

Height:  14.3h

Previous Experience: Western, barrels and poles

Joined NH:  2018

Missy

Affectionately known as Grandma or Princess, Missy joined the herd when her owner started riding at New Hope. Prior to her career change, Missy enjoyed trail riding all over North Texas with and participated in a few endurance competitions.  Missy is a kind, patient teacher and leader for both horses and humans. New therapy horses gravitate to her and she helps them assimilate and shows them the ropes.  

With her smooth as glass trot and canter, Missy is the go-to for introducing those gaits to riders. She carefully keeps her riders centered and balanced while building their confidence.  Not much fazes Missy and she shows no signs of slowing down!

Breed:  Arabian

Born:  1997

Color:  Gray

Gender:  Mare

Height:  14.3h

Previous Experience:  Endurance Trail Horse

Joined NH:  2017

Olivia

Olivia is a lovely Gypsy Vanner.  At various times throughout the year, she sports a black and white curly mustache! This girl will stand untied for hours to be brushed and braided! She is solid enough to carry larger riders, but gentle enough to take care of our smaller riders, too.  

Olivia’s mantra used to be “talk to the hoof” when it came to other horses, but since bonding with Cy she now happily shares her paddock with him.  They can frequently be found grooming each other and are a very content pair.  Since moving in with her BFF, Olivia has decided that the rest of the herd is actually okay and now enjoys peaceful turnout time with them all. 

Breed:  Gypsy Vanner

Born:  2004

Color:  Piebald

Gender:  Mare

Height:  15h

Previous Experience:  Lesson horse, therapy horse

Joined NH:

Rain

Rain was rescued from a kill pen to be a companion for a lonely horse.  Once this lucky lady was rescued, she was gently trained to be a riding horse and began working at New Hope in 2019 where she quickly became a favorite with the youngest riders.  

Rain has vision issues with one eye and does not enjoy hands around her face.  This trait could make her unappealing to unsupervised children, but with supervision or young riders with self-control she is virtually bombproof.  A lot of our riders can empathize with Rain when it comes to quick, unexpected movements! 

Breed:  Paint Pony

Born:  est. 2014

Color:  Brown and white

Gender: Mare

Height:  12.3h

Previous Experience: Riding Horse

Joined NH:  2019

Tommy

Tommy came to New Hope via a kill pen.  Unfortunately, some people feel that a horse who can no longer work in the capacity required is worthless and do not make responsible arrangements for a career change or a proper retirement.  We believe this was Tommy’s fate and suspect that he was a plow horse before finding his place in our hearts. For such a giant, he is surprisingly in tune to his riders’ needs and does his best to keep them safe.  He has even been known to alert staff to an impending medical issue being experienced by a rider! Teaching riders to focus and steer confidently is his forte, as they must keep Tommy focused and directed or risk knocking over every cone in sight! Tommy gives the gift of confidence and pride to his riders.

Breed:  Belgian Draft Horse

Born: 2003

Color:  Blonde

Gender:  Gelding

Height: 18hh

Previous Experience:  Plow horse

Joined NH: 2015

Chito

Panchito, better known as Chito came to New Hope 200 pounds overweight. We worked to get the weight off so he would not founder and he started working in our THBR program. 

We did not know his breed until recently. Galicenos are small but hardy, with courage and stamina and can carry an adult for a full day’s ride and still be less spent than many other horses.

Chito has jumped, run barrels and poles, and likes to go on trail rides. His size makes him versatile for lead-line classes and independent riders.

Breed:  Galicenos Pony

Born:  2010

Color:  Roan

Gender:  Gelding

Height: 13hh

Previous Experience: Lesson pony

Joined NH: 2018

We love all of our Partners!

Annual Report

Against the odds New Hope weathered the Covid storm and came out stronger!

Volunteers

Staff

Community Support

New Hope participants and staff would not be able to function without our wonderful volunteers. We are deeply grateful to the men, women, and students who gave over 8,500 hours to bless our riders. You are very special to us.

Key Goals as we Look Forward:

We continue to be thankful for the people who walk alongside us on this journey. You who have donated time, talents, and treasure. Sometimes we lead, sometimes we follow, and sometimes we are carried. We love each and every one of you. Without you New Hope doesn't happen.

Contact Us

Interested in our services? Click here 
Interested in volunteering? Click here
Something else? Drop us a line below!