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The Team

Who We Are


Sarah Muzquiz

Founder & CEO

Sarah grew up around horses and was always able to get along with them well. She started her first horse when she was 12, and then began working with any horse that she could get her hands on. Soon, she was helping people with “problem” horses and having success. She has trained many horses that were very scared and completely untouchable. Once she realized how horses can help people who are dealing with PTSD and emotional trauma, she decided to start a nonprofit aimed at helping horses and healing hearts. In 2017, The RIDE Foundation was formed and with the help of family, friends, volunteers, donors, and sponsors, it has become what it is today. Sarah studies the teachings of Tom Dorrance, Ray Hunt, and Buck Brannaman. She has a lot of success with these methods and continues to use them today.



Riley, Sarah's daughter, is one of the people behind the reason the ride foundation was formed. Sarah wanted to create something for her and her daughter to have together. Riley loves being at the ranch around horses. She went on her first pack trip when she was five years old and continues to go on trail rides and trips to this day. She rode in her first clinic with Buck Brannaman when she was just seven years old. Riley enjoys studying horsemanship and going to the clinics and training with Sarah. She loves all animals and is truly at home on the ranch.


Riley can often be seen working a horse and helping with classes. At events, she sets up and helps run the petting zoo. You can also find her at most offsite events we attend with the mini donkeys and working the booth.  She loves to meet new people and is an immense asset to the organization.


Cari Salwasser

Social Media Marketing Director

Cari met Sarah and Riley in January 2020 and immediately knew she wanted to help.


Cari has been around horses and other livestock since she was a newborn and has always been involved in ag.  She has an instinctual love for animals and has always gravitated towards working with them. She has volunteered at various nonprofits, mostly animal related, for over 20 years.


She manages all of our social media accounts and our website. She can be found at events helping in the booth, taking photos and meeting people.  Her husband, Bryon, can also be found at events helping with parking and greeting visitors.

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Chief Financial Officer

Paco Villarreal

As a United States Marine Corps veteran and Vice President of Advertising for McClatchy in the Sate of California, Paco Villarreal, a board member/consultant for The Ride Foundation, brings a wealth of business experience and expertise to the organization. With a deep understanding of the challenges faced by those suffering from post-traumatic stress, Paco assists on the business and marketing strategies of the organization.

Paco's commitment to serving others and a passion for helping those in need make him an asset to The Ride Foundation. 

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Heather Irwin


Heather is a mother of three and has workled as an educator for Fresno Unified since 2012.  She has known Sarah for over 15 years.  She has seen the passion Sarah has for helping people achieve their greatest potential and believes in the mission behind RIDE. The work done with veterans is especially close to her heart. So, in 2019, Heather came onto the board as our secretary.  

Heather can often be found running the RIDE booth at events and her daughter often helps Riley with the petting zoo.

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