My name is Jessica Pinto and I am a Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (LMFT) and a Certified Equine Interaction Professional in Mental Health (CEIP-MH). I am passionate about helping my clients recognize and amplify their strengths while making shifts in the patterns that are no longer serving their truest selves. As a lifelong horsewoman I have always been deeply inspired by the profound impact animals can have on our sense of self and our way of being in the world.
I have been working, learning and evolving, both personally and professionally, in the ever-expanding field of equine assisted therapy and learning since 2005. In 2014 I founded Equinicity Marin at the Golden Gate Dairy Stables in Muir Beach, CA where I partner with my equine co-therapists and the deeply healing effects of the natural world to facilitate growth and healing. Just as horses move towards whatever is most necessary I strive to meet each individual where they are in the present moment with an openness and respect that invites them to deeply experience whatever they are bringing to the ranch.
As a therapist, I have a background in group therapy, nature-based experiential education, expressive arts and Sandplay, and am trained in Cognitive Behavioral Therapy (CBT), including Exposure and Response Prevention (E/RP) and Acceptance and Commitment Therapy (ACT). More recently I have found deep resonance and inspiration training in somatic approaches including Accelerated Experiential Dynamic Psychotherapy (AEDP), an ever emerging model based in neurobiology and attachment theory that emphasizes the therapeutic process of “undoing aloneness”. I am currently training in Level Two of the EQUUSOMA model for horse-human trauma recovery, an integration of Somatic Experiencing®, polyvagal theory, trauma neuroscience, and mammalian sciences, among other principals.
I began my journey in the field of equine facilitation at DreamPower Horsemanship, a Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) Premier Accredited Center in Gilroy, CA where I taught therapeutic riding and horsemanship to at-risk children and teens living in group homes and became certified as a PATH Therapeutic Riding Instructor. In 2006, I had the great privilege of co-founding Trails to Success, a unique therapeutic program in Briones, CA that incorporated animals, art, and nature in experiential learning activities designed to promote positive social skills for children and teens. As the Clinical Director I facilitated individual and group equine therapy sessions throughout the year and directed a one-of-a-kind therapeutic summer camp for kids and teens with social and emotional struggles from 2008-2016. Years later, inspired by my experiences at Trails to Success, I founded and facilitated the HorseWise Girls Summer Camp at the Golden Gate Dairy Stables from 2019-2021. Through experiential learning with horses, nature and creative arts, this unique therapeutic camp supported connection, community and the development of a strong sense of self worth in middle school age girls at a time in their lives when they need it most.
To know them is to love them. Bear, Nugget, Pico and Persi are all very special beings with big "horsenalities" and they each have their own unique gifts to share. I ensure, to the best of my abilities, that my horses live a healthy, well-rounded and species-appropriate lifestyle and that they enjoy the following freedoms: the freedom to frolic and have fun, to experience empowerment, agency and choice, to have privacy and safety, and (possibly the most important of all)
the freedom to be themselves.