Our Staff

Executive Director

Claire Ann Johnson

Claire Ann Barr Johnson, LPCC, is the Executive Director of Horses For Healing, Inc. She founded Horses For Healing in 2012. Claire Ann received her BA from Purdue University and her Master’s in Counseling from Webster University.

 

Claire Ann has been in the mental health field for 25 years, is a licensed clinical counselor and certified equine therapist. Claire Ann has been providing equine therapy for 20 years, founding and running an equine program for a local non-profit for 12 years before founding Horses For Healing.  She has focused her career on PTSD, trauma, abuse and neglect work.

Holistic Medicine & Meditation

Brian Matzke

Brian Matzke is a clinical hypnotherapist, a yoga, meditation and breath work teacher, specializing in healing trauma, stress and anxiety. Brian is also a craniosacral therapist and a trauma release specialist  focusing on helping people heal trauma on a somatic level. 

 

He is a former First Responder and Veteran and has over 20 years experience in wellness and mental health.  Brian is a true master at facilitating healing on a deeper level.

Therapist

Caitlin Erickson

Caitlin Erickson, LCSW; full-time equine therapist. Caitlin started her work with Horses For Healing back in 2014 as an equine specialist and is now a full-time therapist.

 

Caitlin is a life-long horse woman who is extremely devoted to the world of horses in a variety of ways. She brings her passion and love of horses to every session. Caitlin received a BS in Psychology from UNM and a Master's in Social Work from NMSU. 

 

Caitlin has been in the mental health field for 6 years and is a licensed clinical therapist and certified equine therapist. She specializes in work with children, adolescents, and families, with a focus on Cognitive Behavioral Therapy and trauma-based work. 

Therapist

Bethany Garcia

Bethany Garcia is a clinical mental health counselor, or LMHC, and has been practicing since the beginning of 2019. She was born and raised in Albuquerque, New Mexico and attended the University of New Mexico for her undergraduate degree and continued my education there in the Master of Counseling program.

 

Bethany had the opportunity to shadow and volunteer at Horses For Healing in 2015 and has been here ever since. She was able to shadow and intern at Horses For Healing throughout my counseling program, as well as other agencies in town, but she always knew that equine therapy was where she would end up. The horses have taught her so much and offer so much healing for the clients she works with. She is very lucky to be a part of it.

Trainer and Barn Guy

Ryan Poole

Ryan was born in Germany as a military child. Growing up around horses and rodeo, Ryan has been around animals since he was a newborn due to his parents being involved in the European rodeo circuit.

 

About the time he was 4 years old, he started to ride horses and loved being around them.  Ryan started to venture out to other styles of riding he did vaulting (gymnastics on horseback) for about 2 years to work on his balance.

 

At the age of 6, he started to ride steers and did break away roping. He started to ride roughstock at the age of 15 doing bareback riding and also wild horse race. He loves competition and is very goal oriented.

 

At the age of 25, he had to quit riding rodeo due to injury and decided to just stick with roping and enjoying riding on the trails. About 6 years ago, Ryan's family and him decided to move to Rio Rancho  and start working with horses again.  He takes pride in what he does and does his best to give the animals the very best treatment they deserve because they take care of people mentaly and physically. His goal at Horses For Healing is to make sure it's a safe and clean environment for the clients and horses.

Yoga Instructor & Horse Trainer

Calle Poindexter

After ten years of developing and teaching several equine-assisted activity and therapy programs for children and adults of all ability levels, PATH Intl. Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor, Calle Poindexter decided to combine her two passions of horses and yoga and completed her 200 hours of Yoga Teacher Training through YogaZo in Albuquerque, NM.  While promoting independence through Horsemanship and empowerment through Yoga, her program curriculum, Ashva Yoga (“Ashva” meaning “horse” in Sanskrit), is focused on the client as an individual, their ability levels and personal goals both on and off the mat. 

 

Using the foundational principles of yoga in combination with horsemanship skills, Ashva Yoga helps to calm and strengthen the mind, body, and soul. Each individually tailored lesson begins with a yoga practice and transitions into working with the horse, implementing the yoga principles from the mat, to the arena, and into daily life.    

 

She is the founder and owner of High Point Nonprofit Services, a company that provides specialized services to nonprofit organizations to promote growth, development, sustainability and increase their impact on the community. 

Check out Calle's business

High Point Nonprofit Services.

Therapist

Celina Miera

Celina Miera, LMSW was born and raised in NM. She began her social services study
with undergraduate degrees in Child, Youth and Family Development and Art Studio.
She later graduated from New Mexico Highlands University with her Master’s in Social Work. Celina brings with her an abundance of life experiences including spending time as a veterinary technician. Her unique experiences help her to easily connect with clients from diverse backgrounds. Celina has experience working with children and youth of all ages, survivors of domestic abuse, and the first responder population, who hold a special place in her heart.

 

Ultimately, her love of animals and helping others realize their potential, brought her to Horses for Healing where beautiful connections between horses and humans are created and where she has been able to combine her passions in life to help others
facilitate change. Celina believes that with the right therapeutic support, people can
begin to heal, manage, and overcome their mental health challenges. She utilizes a
creative approach that combines scientific modalities with the unique needs of each
individual in order to create a safe space for all to grow, learn, and heal.

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