CEIP Board of Directors

Alyssa Aubrey: CEIP-EIF; CEGE


Alyssa Aubrey, CEGE, is a certified equine-guided educator, workshop facilitator, writer, empowerment speaker, money coach, and equine education business consultant with over 30 years of experience as both an educator and entrepreneur.

Alyssa is the founder and executive director of Medicine Horse Ranch, located on a 1000-acre fifth generation working cattle and sheep ranch in Northern CA.

The mission of her work is to incorporate horses into human self-development for their mutual benefit – mental, physical, emotional and spiritual.  She is a seasoned facilitator who embodies broad experiences that arise from coaching over 6500 clients in the equine-guided learning processes. Alyssa considers her program horses as partners, healers, teachers and guides in this powerfully transformative, and often spiritually awakening experience.

Many of Alyssa’s students are intentionally preparing for eventual CBEIP certification through Medicine Horse Ranch field studies program. This group includes educators and clinicians, as well as a growing cadre of coaches qualified to sit for this international exam.

Alyssa holds the USA license for HorseDream®, and is a member of the EAHAE (International Association for Horse Assisted Education).  Her current focus is offering equine-guided leadership programs to corporations, business organization and teams.

Nina Ekholm Fry: MSSc.; CCTP



Nina Ekholm Fry, MSSc., CCTP, has specialized in equine-assisted therapy as a treatment strategy in psychotherapy and counseling for the past 10 years. She is the Director of Equine Programs at the Institute for Human-Animal Connection and Adjunct Professor at University of Denver where she leads the Equine-Assisted Mental Health Practitioner Certificate post-master program. Nina is the former Director of Equine-Assisted Mental Health at Prescott College and served as Associate Professor in the Department of Psychology and Counselor Education until 2014. She is an Executive Board member of the national Certification Board for Equine Interaction Professionals (CBEIP), a member of the Equine Research Network (EqRN) and has trained in a number of equine-assisted approaches in North America and Europe. She is a Certified Clinical Trauma Professional and has worked with populations diagnosed with trauma/PTSD, ASD, ADHD, anxiety and addiction, as well as with youth-at-risk, cancer survivors, and military service members and veterans, and consults on psychotherapy services with horses for several providers nationally. In addition to client work and teaching, Nina conducts facilitation workshops and is the editor of the Scientific and Educational Journal of Therapeutic Riding, published by the International Federation of Horses in Education and Therapy (HETI).


Nina holds a certificate in equine management (Vocational College of Ostrobothnia) and is a certified Riding Instructor (CHA level 4/4). Nina is a certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor and a certified Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning through PATH International and serves on their Equine Welfare Committee. Nina is also an Equestrian Special Olympics coach (AZ) and teaches Equine Behavior at Yavapai College in Arizona. As a practitioner member of the International Society of Equitation Science (ISES), she is dedicated to ethical equitation, correct application of learning theory, and the understanding of equine cognition, behavior, and mental states as part of equine management, assessment, handling, and training.  Nina has a particular interest in equine welfare issues, both in EAAT services and in human-horse interactions in general. Nina served as the Program Director for the Equine Initiative at the Yavapai Humane Society in Arizona 2015-2016, during which she started an adoption-focused equine rehabilitation and re-schooling program. She remains active in the equine welfare community in the U.S.

Shanti Hill-Gauer: CEIP-MH; LCSW; 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.

Joan Campbell


Joan Campbell has spent her career in the management of non-profit organizations, including trade and professional associations. For the last 12 years, she has served as executive director of a number of national and international certification boards. 


Joan previously worked for Professional Testing Corporation, where she had the pleasure of assisting the CBEIP in its formation.  She is currently semi-retired from association management, conducting project work for various certification boards.  She has also served on the board of directors of association executive organizations in Chicago and New York, and on the American Society of Association Executives Foundation Board.


Joan is active in her local community and serves on the library Board of Trustees and the Board of Directors of the STAR Foundation.

Gaby Fabian: CEIP-EIF


Gaby Fabian is a Certified Equine Interactive Professional 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 business 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.

Dr. Anne Barnfield: Ph.D.


Dr. Anne Barnfield represents the Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association (www.cantra.ca) on the CBEIP board. She 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. 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, and Co-ordinator, Department of Psychology, in the School of Behavioral and Social Sciences,

Brescia University College, Affiliated with Western University

Linda Kraft: CEIP-ED; BA; BEd

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 9 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 as well as being a classroom support teacher for students who require extra support. 


Linda was recently approved to start Prairie Rose School Division #8’s first ever ‘Equestrian Program’ as part of an option class for junior high students across the division. In addition to this, she started an ‘Equestrian Club’ that will commence again 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 10 and a son who is 6 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’, 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. 

Advisory Board


Nancy Waite-O'Brien: CEIP-MH; PhD.; Licensed Psychologist

Dr. Nancy Waite-O'Brien is a psychologist, educator and author with over 30 years of experience in addiction treatment both in the United States and in the Caribbean. In 2004, she was named one of the sixty most influential women in the field of addiction treatment by Counselor Magazine. She is a frequent lecturer on issues related to women's recovery. She has co-authored texts on adolescent treatment and on women's treatment, taught at Chapman University in Palm Desert, California and published research on shame and depression in early recovery. Dr. Waite-O'Brien was associated with the Betty Ford Center for 18 years and in that capacity oversaw clinical services and training for that organization.

Currently she has a private practice in Palm Desert, California; provides Equine Assisted Therapy to clients of Michael's House, a drug and alcohol treatment program in Palm Springs, California; is adjunct faculty in the Equine Assisted Mental Health concentration of the Counseling Psychology department at Prescott College in Prescott, Arizona; and consults with the Esketemc Native American Tribal community in British Columbia. In this capacity she provides Equine Assisted Education with a focus on recovery from trauma to adults and young people in that community.

Dr. Waite-O'Brien has a taken a broad approach to educating herself in this field. She is a graduate of the EPONA program and has also participated in workshops offered by EGALA, Adventures in Awareness and Horses of the Goddess and her training in Somatic Experiencing allows her to include this awareness in her work with horses and people.

She lives with five horses, a miniature donkey, four dogs and two cats. Two of her horses, Paxil and Zoloft, have been her antidepressants for over 10 years. Her hobby is riding horses in other parts of the world. She has ridden in Ireland, Estonia, Zimbabwe, Botswana and India and hopes to include Peru in her next riding adventure.



Molly DePrekel: MA; LP

Molly was a past Co-Chair and one of the founders of the Certified Board of Equine Interaction Professionals. She is a psychologist in private practice at the Midwest Center for Trauma and Hold Your Horses.


Molly received her MA in counseling and psychological services from St. Mary’s University, and  BS in Animal Husbandry from Michigan State University.  She holds a certificate in both EMDR and Sensorimotor psychotherapy, and has utilized the unique relationship people have with animals and nature to assist her in therapy for over twenty-five years.

An EPONA Equestrian Services approved instructor, Molly has taught and facilitated workshops and trainings around the world, and volunteered with numerous organizations in the field of nature based healing. She is past President of the Equine Facilitated Mental Health Association and is a contributing author to the book, “Harnessing the Power of Equine Assisted Counseling: Adding Animal Assisted Therapy to Your Practice”, and has co-authored six manuals on animal assisted interventions.


Tiffany MacNeil: CEIP-ED; MBA


Tiffany MacNeil serves as a bridge for people of all ages to experience a deeper relationship with horses, nature and themselves. Through facilitated programs incorporating horses, movement and music, she guides participants to combine the wisdom of body and mind for personal transformation and lasting change. Her music is inspired by horses to share positive messages of believing in yourself, the power of the present moment, and the interconnectedness of all things. 


For four years, she led the Help-A-Horse program at Sunrise Horse Rescue in Napa Valley, in addition to serving as a board member. She has presented elements of her original curriculum for the class Aligning with Horses: Body & Breath Awareness at the Healing with Horse conference in Colorado, and on an ongoing basis through Santa Rosa Junior College Community Education. Additionally, her inspiration has been shared with two original music videos at the Equus Film Festival NYC, both of which were created to open the annual EAHAE (International Association for Horse Assisted Education) conference. She has authored many articles for the Sonoma County Horse Journal, Counter Canter Culture, and HorseConscious.com.


Tiffany is a CEIP-ED (Certified Equine Interaction Professional – Education), Licensed HorseDream® Partner, certified yoga teacher, Sponsoring Artist for Horses Help Kids, and Founder of True Nature Horse Programs. She holds a BA in Psychology from the University of Texas at Austin, and an MBA from Pepperdine University.

Certification Board for Equine Interaction Professionals

Dr. Libby Smith

6499 Lumberjack Blvd.

Flagstaff, AZ 86004 (928) 310-8403