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Deborah Garland



All roads lead back to horses. That’s what Deborah has come to know regardless of where she calls home. From a young age growing up in Connecticut, her connection with horses was both obvious and welcome. Horses demonstrated their profound ability to help her feel grounded. Moving from the East Coast to California, to New Mexico and back during her life solidified her desire for the stability a horse provides.


Her educational pursuits originated in political science and later pivoted toward securing her BS degree in animal science. She focused on the business aspect of the industry, which gave her the knowhow to eventually build a family ranch from the ground up in New Mexico. Her goal was to help horses and help people through this venture. 


When a once-in-500-hundred-years flood destroyed her ranch within weeks of opening, she faced adversity that challenged her resilience. It was partially through this journey that she found inspiration to become a therapist. Additionally, it was the loss of her beloved horse of 18 years, Oreanna that helped her realize that working with horses wasn’t just a desire — it was a necessity.


Her acceptance to and eventual graduation from Pacifica Graduate Institute in Carpentaria, CA with a degree in Counseling Psychology set her on her path. She completed internships in youth outreach programs, schools, and a private practice while working toward her MFT license. Once licensed, she made the final turn toward practicing Equine Assisted Therapy at Rise Canyon Ranch, and we’re happy she’s here. 


According to Deborah, “Horses are a constant in my life. There’s nothing better than realizing my dream of working in natural surroundings with horses helping others create a new narrative for their lives. Watching people connect with horses and develop the strengths to overcome traumas and form a more authentic version of themselves is extremely satisfying.”

Master of Arts, Counseling Psychology

B.S. Animal Science


B.A. Political Science


Licensed Marriage and Family Therapist (133641)


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