Morgan Nichols has an extensive background in real estate and finance both in home sales as well as in the mortgage industry.  He is a Sales Manager at Diamond Pacific Lumber in Placerville helping homeowners and contractors with their building projects literally one board at a time.

In 2016 Morgan adopted his first mustang through the BLM Wild Horse and Burro Adoption Program. Gentling his 3 year old filly Mojo, himself was a life changing experience. He has witnessed first hand the power of making a connection with an equine has on your life, your heart and your overall health.

Morgan is an integral part of planning and building the infrustracture of Lucky Chance Ranch which will allow us to bring the programs of The Medicine Project to Northern California.



As our organization grows so does our need for enthusiastic, talented and skilled volunteers.  If you would like to get involved, please email 

Kristiana Mason - Secretary

Kristiana's love for these animals started at five years old, when she snuck out of her house to feed the horses next door.  By eleven, she was blessed enough to have a family that could provide her with her very first one. She was an older and amazingly gentle AQHA buckskin dun mare. Her love of horses only grew more from that point on in life. She got involved with the 4-H horse project and even volunteered as the secretary counting minutes and keeping notes at the meetings. Kristiana has continued her work to serve horses with many clocked volunteer ours for multiple organizations.

Currently a student continuing her education towards her degree in Communications with an emphasis on Equine Business.

Kristiana lives in Quincy with her two pooches.

The Medicine Horse Project

CHRIS NICHOLS - President, Executive Director

Chris Nichols lives at Lucky Chance Ranch in the beautiful El Dorado National Forest of Northern California with her husband, Morgan, amazing rescue cat Tink, and adopted dogs Barney and Moxie .  Chris is a Realtor with Century 21 Select Group Real Estate in El Dorado Hills.

Chris served on the board of Lifesavers, Inc. from 2006 to 2009, exiting as Vice President.  She was instrumental in the development of the curriculum for Happy Horse Academy, a natural horsemanship program developed for Lifesavers.   She also earned her EAGALA Horse Specialist Certification in 2008.

In 2009 Chris began Resilient Life Horsemanship, offering a mobile horse training and workshop service specializing in developing partnerships between horse and rider.

Chris credits wild horses for teaching her the meaning of resiliency and works to share that lesson with anyone interested in the experience through horsemanship and empowerment workshops.


The Board of directors

​​​​Jill Starr, Founder

The Founder  and Executive Director of Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue since 1997,Jill created The Medicine Horse Project for the purpose of implementing multiple equine assisted therapy and resiliency programs that may reach out and expand across the country employing rescued and rehabbed horses as a "pay it forward" concept.  

A Dreamer and a Visionary, Jill created Lifesavers from a grain of sand...almost literally... and built it into the largest horse rescue of its kind.  

Jill has similar dreams and visions for The Medicine Horse Project. With the corroboration and partnership of other ranches and rescues, the goals of MHP should be easily achieved.  

Michele Ferrito

Michele was born in Upstate New York and a horse lover since birth.  At seven years old she got her first pony to follow her home from the farm down the road.  Growing up you could almost always find Michele riding and by the age of 15 she had rescued her first two horses.  She has worked on farms and ranches from coast to coast in both management and field positions in the commercial and non-profit sector, and Michele has always continued to rescue and promote the adoption of rescued animals.

After meeting Jill Starr, their common mission and love for the horse was an instant connection for them, and when Jill started The Medicine Horse Project it was only natural for Michele to follow her and continue to support this mission.

Michele currently spends time traveling the country with her husband, Billy Smith, presenting horsemanship clinics focusing on a better understanding of the horse.  When they are at home in Texas, she works with Billy in his business doing everything from riding to shoveling.  Michele has one adult son, who she is very close to and incredibly proud of.


Lisa Blakeslee - Vice President

​​Lisa has had a love of horses for as long as she can remember, playing with her Breyer horse collection alongside her Barbie’s and riding rental horses through the orange groves around her home in Southern California.  She bought her first horse, Miss Muffin, a Flea-Bitten Gray, at the age of 40 when she was finally able to buy a home in an area suited for horses.  And, she was in love!

In the years that followed, she became aware of the plight of our American Mustangs and began searching for ways to become more familiar with these amazing horses.  She was then introduced to Lifesavers Wild Horse Rescue, where she began attending workshops and soon found The Medicine Horse Project and attended their first Women’s Empowerment Retreat.  Her experience with the horses at that retreat taught her a lot about herself and confirmed for her how truly healing horses can be. She plans to continue to bring awareness to the community of the benefits of being around horses and spread the word that, Horses Are Good Medicine!