The Mission of the Certification Board for Equine Interaction Professionals (CBEIP) is to promote voluntary, independent certification by examination and verification of professional experience for those who incorporate equines into their mental health or education/coaching practice. The CBEIP provided its first examinations in 2007.

The CBEIP is based in the U.S. with Canadian representation on the board. Examination is internationally accessible and applicants from all over the world are welcome.

Certified practitioners abide by the CBEIP Code of Ethics.

Board of Directors

The CBEIP Board of Directors actualize the mission of the Board:


Alyssa Aubrey, CEIP-ED

Alyssa Aubrey is the Founder and Executive Director of Medicine Horse Ranch, an educational experiential learning center incorporating horses in leadership development.  She is the HorseDream® USA license holder. 

Alyssa and her team of certified facilitators offer HorseDream® (The Art of Leadership and Team-Building) programs designed specifically for teams, businesses and corporations. Alyssa is a bestselling author, horse assisted educator, empowerment speaker and business coach with over thirty years of experience as both educator and entrepreneur, serving 6500 + clients to date. She has developed nationally recognized curriculum that includes best practices and core principles, providing hands on training, horsemanship, course work and experiential learning through coaching and internship participation at Medicine Horse Ranch. Alyssa is the 2019- 2020 President of the Novato Horsemen Inc, part of the Marin County community since 1942.  The club is currently one of the largest horsemen associations in California. Alyssa is the co-author of the bestselling book,”The Road to Success” with Jack Canfield.  The book is currently available on Amazon.com, BN.com (Barnes and Noble) as well as many other online bookstores. Download a free chapter here:  http://alyssaaubrey.theroadtosuccessbook.com. For more information about Alyssa visit www.horsedream.us

Vice Chair

Shanti Hill-Gauer, LCSW; CEIP-MH; AASW

Shanti Hill-Gauer has extensive experience working with children, youth, families, and groups in both community and residential mental health settings.

Shanti has a lifetime of experience training and developing profound human-animal bonds. As an Animal-Assisted Social Worker (AASW), Shanti’s passion and vision is to offer this transformational experiential healing modality to communities in need. Through heartfelt and intuitive leadership, Shanti safely and effectively guides clients through a process of self-exploration, self-growth, and self-discovery. Her philosophy is that the animals work as equal partners in the therapeutic process and in doing so offer feedback on our physical, emotional, and mental states. This mutual relationship allows for deep, core learning, assisting us in living fuller and more balanced lives. Shanti is eager and delighted to support others explore their path of discovery and transformation through the power of the animal-human connection.


Gaby Fabian, CEIP-ED

​Gaby Fabian is a Certified Equine Interactive Professional – ED with over a decade of experience facilitating horse/human experiential workshops.

In 2009, Gaby Fabian coined the term Equine Guided Recovery™, referring to a coaching practice for clients in treatment for addiction, trauma, co-dependency and relational issues.  She facilitates weekly equine recovery sessions at Medicine Horse Ranch on behalf of adult treatment centers, as adjunct staff and support for their clients. Gaby has now developed “The Equine Guide to The Four Agreements” based on the work of Don Miguel Ruiz.  These life affirming principles from the Toltec tradition (Be impeccable with your word, Don’t take anything personally, Don’t make assumptions, and Always do your best), provide a unique focus for both personal and professional development. In 2016, Gaby presented this groundbreaking work at the 12th Annual International Association for Horse Assisted Education (EAHAE), which hosted colleagues and participants from 13 countries. Gaby is the licensed HorseDream partner for the state of California, and offers Horse Assisted Education to businesses and organizations through “Train the Trainer” and “The Art of Leadership” seminars. In her spare time, Gaby enjoys spending time with her equine partners Shannon and Billy and enjoys serving as a multidisciplinary respite service provider at the Marin Humane Society where she is reminded of the many benefits of humble empathic connections with all kinds of other species.


Linda Kraft, BA; BEd, CEIP-ED

Linda graduated from the University of Lethbridge, Alberta Canada in 2002 with a combined degree of Bachelor of Education and a Bachelor of Arts in Kinesiology with a Minor in Community Health Focus.

For the past 10 years, she has been teaching at a rural school in Irvine, Alberta Canada in addition to being the school’s Athletic Director. She teaches Physical Education and Health Studies to junior high students in addition to facilitating the schools Equestrian riding program and recently an Equine Interaction program for Junior High Students. In addition to this, she started an ‘Equestrian Club’ that will commence again for it’s 3rd year in the spring. The Equine Club takes place after school where kids ranging from grades 3-9 get to come out and be mentored by professional rodeo athletes, equine professionals and trainers. Linda lives on a ranch near Irvine, AB Canada with her husband, a daughter who is 11 and a son who is 7 years old. Linda serves as a board member on Irvine Minor Hockey Association as a tournament coordinator. She is also recently a new board member of the Irvine Agriculture Society where her vision is to see an indoor riding facility built next to the school, allowing for greater accessibility for students to be able to participate in equine assisted learning throughout the school day. Linda is the owner/operator of ‘Avalon Equine’, and her main area of expertise is in supporting pre-teens’ and teens’ self esteem by focusing on confidence building, resiliency, self concept, self awareness and how to express and manage emotions effectively. Another area of focus is in corporate and group programs focusing on team building, relationship development, self-awareness, conflict resolution and group collaboration problem solving techniques. She is also passionate about the elderly community and the benefits that equine interaction has to offer our senior citizens.

Anne Barnfield, Ph.D.

Dr. Anne Barnfield has been a full-time faculty member at Brescia University College since 1995, teaching various psychology courses including introductory, child development, psychology applied to sport, and ethics in psychology. Dr. Barnfield is co-author, with Robert Kail, of the textbook Children and Their Development: Canadian edition, published by Pearson Education Canada.

Before coming to Canada in 1992, Dr. Barnfield worked as a researcher in the Neurochemistry Department of the National Hospital, London, England. Her recent research interests are in the field of behavioral and cognitive effects of sport participation. Currently Dr. Barnfield is involved in research on the benefits of sport participation for children, particularly those with special needs, and applications of Equine Assisted Therapy, with a focus on anxiety disorders, particularly PTSD in Military Veterans and first Responders. This recent research has been run with the aid of SARI Therapeutic Riding (SARI TR), near London, Ontario. Dr. Barnfield holds a B.Sc. from the University of London, Great Britain, and a Ph.D. in Experimental Psychology from the University of Sussex, Great Britain. She is an Associate Professor, Psychology, in the School of Behavioral and Social Sciences, Brescia University College, Affiliated with Western University

Nikki Nickolson

Nikki Nickolson is co-facilitator of Avalon Equine. In addition to holding a diploma in Child and Youth Care Counselling where she has served as an asset to both school and community settings in the forms of mental health facilitation and behavior management, Nikki has spent the majority of her life dedicating it to horses.

She holds a strong knowledge for horsemanship and enjoys teaching it and it’s benefits to others. She lives by the rule of being a “lifetime student”, knowing that horses and humans alike are always teaching and encouraging us to become better versions of ourselves.

Nikki lives on a small place outside of Medicine Hat with her two young boys, multiple
horses, a couple dogs and a couple of cats. She strongly believes in raising children within a
society that enhances the childhood by living in harmony, helping one another and building
strong relationships. She also believes this happens when there is a strong individual
foundation and that our equine friends are equally incredibly great and humble about helping build those strong foundations.

Stephanie Holdenried is a 6th generation partner in a Californian family ranching business. Her primary work, however, is as an equine-facilitator. She creates and facilitates programs drawing from life on the land, being in business with family, and a multitude of lessons learned from the horse.  Stephanie contributes to inspiring the next generation of land stewards and leaders through innovative programs like Marin Ranch School, a learning program for 8-13 year olds, combining horse-ranch management and on-the-ground horse skills with equine therapy. She regularly facilitates teens in recovery programs and teaches leadership with horses to kids from underserved communities through Ocean Riders of Marin where she also serves on the Board of Directors. She continues to expand her work with business leaders, mastermind groups, and ranchers through networking events, private retreats, and one-to-one mentoring.  Stephanie graduated from Cal Poly, San Luis Obispo. 

Eleni Argy is a certified Equine Interaction Professional in Education (CBEIP-ED), and the Founder of Sheez Like the Wind Equine Experiences and Equine Experience International, based in Sydney, Australia. With an Honours degree in Humanities from Harvard University, further graduate studies in Social Sciences, and a Diploma in Gestalt Therapy, Eleni specialises in working with youth and families through a successful career in community services, mental health support, and education. 

Eleni is a certified Practitioner in Integrative Wellness and Professional Life Coach, as well as a Master Practitioner in Usui Reiki, and incorporates holistic health and wellbeing practises, as well as HeartMath and Post Traumatic Growth principles, into her work with horses and people. Eleni has devised and facilitated alternative learning programs through countless educational institutions and community organisations worldwide, and has been a lecturer and facilitator in various colleges and universities across the globe. Eleni’s innovative experiential learning programs in Equine Assisted Education, Therapy and Wellbeing support an ever-evolving international community, through a global network of humans connecting in a meaningful way with horses. 

Past CBEIP Board Chairs

Nina Ekholm Fry
Libby Smith
Priscilla Marden
Nancy Waite-O’Brien
Molly DePrekle 
Don Zimmerman

If you are interested in becoming a board member or serving on a CBEIP committee, please send a letter of inquiry along with your CV to info@cbeip.org