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Gillian Hernandez



Why is it you don’t truly realize just how special something is until it’s gone? As an early teen Gillian discovered her love of horses once she volunteered at a therapeutic riding stable in Texas. Seeing the positive impact they made in the lives of children seems to have laid a foundation of connection that stays with her today.


Unfortunately, moving often as a child took her away from her equine soulmates from the age of 14 to 19 until she came to know and volunteer for Theresa and Dale Dubois at Rise Canyon Ranch. This coupled with a decision to attend UC Davis for its well-respected psychology program, and its Equestrian Center ensured that horses would once again become part of her daily life. She realized how special her connection with horses was and did something about it. The horses she loved were available to her while she was away at school in Northern California or home for summer and holidays in Orange County.


Finding a career that interconnected her interest in psychology and her love of horses has been her goal since the age of thirteen. She knew at this early age horses possessed a tremendous presence and ability to connect with humans. Watching people’s lives change even after one session was a regular occurrence.


Graduating with a bachelor’s degree in Psychology in 2018, attaining her Harper Horsemanship Certificate and becoming an Eagala Certified Equine Specialist brings her closer to achieving her goal. Pursuing her master’s degree in either counseling or marriage and family therapy is a top priority for her.

Her belief in the healing capacity of horses is something she’s experienced herself. Horses have taught her so much about life, helped her learn to be a more effective communicator, and in so doing granted her confidence in herself and her abilities. Marah has been particularly helpful to Gillian with enhancing her ability to connect with people around her, which she considers the greatest blessing of all.


Gillian says, “Marah has so much heart. He truly just wants to please you and connect with you. I treasure every day I get to spend with him. Horses have changed my life in miraculous ways. I owe them so much. They continuously remind me how precious and wonderful life can be.”


Gillian looks forward to sharing these same gifts with children and adolescents at Rise Canyon Ranch as they discover healing through their love of horses too.

B.A. Psychology


  • Eagala Certified Equine Specialist

  • Horse Powered Reading Instruction

  • Harper Horsemanship Certification


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