The Denim ‘n Dirt Team

Our team includes miniature horses as well as regular size horses and miniature (mostly) donkeys, a California licensed psychologist and a trained equine clinician. From time to time, we may have interns working with us as well.

At Denim ‘n Dirt, horses and donkeys are considered to be our co-therapists. We work together with our equines to help reduce suffering and improve our clients’ emotional health and personal well-being. Employing equines in our psychotherapy services and our Personal Emotional Growth (EAPEG) programs has proven to be very effective and life-giving to our clients.. Whether one is addressing depression, anxiety, trauma , loss, relationship difficulties, social skills needs etc., EAP/EAPEG experiences can be life changing.

Through this green eco-psychological modality we are able to begin to address the issues relating to nature deficit disorders which are concurrent and underlying other emotional challenges. With our current over saturated media/computer driven inside culture, nature deficit disorders are crying out to be addressed! Equine assisted activities are a good way to address both the nature deficit issues along with the life problems people face.

The longing to be in nature, in close contact with the earth and her abundance of life, is universal. EAP is a wonderful modality for most everyone unless they suffer from animal or equine allergies. In such cases, we encourage people to consult with their physicians regarding their ability to participate in this type of therapy or emotional growth experience.

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) is an effective and life changing therapeutic experience supported by the American Psychological Association. Essentially, this means that EAP is insurance reimbursable for psychotherapy services and is considered on par with any other reimbursable type of psychotherapy.

EAP/EAPG is a mindful, “here and now” experience for individuals, couples, families and groups whether it be in the psychotherapy realm, personal growth/mindfulness/spiritual domain or in staff development, which includes team building and leadership development programs for businesses.

Equines  give honest and authentic feedback to the client. Talk therapy is also part of the psychotherapy process at Denim ‘n Dirt Ranch. Denim ‘n Dirt Ranch psychotherapy does not endorse a solution oriented problem solving type of therapy. Rather, we recognize that human problems are complex; we facilitate emotional wellness and emotional growth through equine assisted activities and traditional talk therapy porch time. We believe that emotional IQ and emotional skills (essential for well-bing) can increase with our model of EAP which, in turn, will facilitate a healthier and happier life.

Dr. Wick uses her years of clinical experience and wisdom to help the client interpret and make sense of the equine feedback in the talk therapy portion of the work. EAPEG functions much the same way and is for people seeking personal emotional growth, health, creativity and life satisfaction.

Another area of “personal emotional growth” includes “self-care” for clinicians. Self-care for clinicians is essential if we are to keep the public safe! Keeping the public safe is an ethical principle which mental health clinicians must endorse. EAPEG groups are wonderful for  clinical burnout prevention.  The combination of AAT (Animal Assisted Therapy), Mindful experiential time with the equines, and contact with nature is great for clients and clinicians alike!


"Equine therapy has opened me up to feel and understand my emotions better. It's allowed me to debate and make decisions about choices that are more positive for my life. I've seen myself through horses who have shown me how I've acted in the past. Sometimes one has a certain perspective about a situation or feeling, but it is often "off-center" from what the horses reveal. It's mind-blowing what horses can do with humans on a therapeutic journey" —E, young adult

B. Jane Wick, Ph.D.

Dr. Wick, a graduate of California School of Professional Psychology (1987) has been in private practice in Pasadena, California since 1989. Her internship was at the Veterans' Administration in Los Angeles, California. After completing her Post Doctorate at Fuller Graduate School of Psychology in Pasadena, California, she continued to work with and trained students at the Fuller School of Psychology throughout the years in addition to seeing patients in private practice. Dr. Wick brings with her a great deal of clinical experience and has helped many people over the years with a variety of emotional dilemmas. Specializing in depression, anxiety and relationship difficulties, Dr. Wick has worked in individual, group, couples and family therapy in her "inside office". Dr. Wick has a lifetime of horse experience. She was trained and then certified by EAGALA in 2010. Dr. Wick has her "inside office" in Pasadena and her "outside/barn office" in Santa Clarita, CA.
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Steven P. Nelson

Steve, our Equine Clinician and Ranch Manager, brings a great deal of corporate business experience in addition to his life long love of people, nature and horses! In the corporate world, Steve worked in management with a special skill in conflict resolution as well as a host of other business related skills. His emotional insight along with his life experience in the business world are very helpful in the clinical work we do as well as our work with businesses who want to improve their staff relationships, leadership development etc. Steve also completed EAGALA TRAINING in 2010. We are delighted to have him on our team.

Our Horses

We usually work with three horses at a time. Each horse, having its own personality, brings something very unique and special to each session.

Our Donkeys

Our Mediterranean miniature donkeys are a wonderful addition to our therapy team! They have been proven to excel as "co-therapists" in our EAP program. We look forward to all our clients having a chance to work with them!

Our Interns and Trainees

From time to time, we have interns, trainees and volunteers who are learning how to practice EAP/EAGL. This varies depending on the graduate school year calendar and availability. We also have Denim 'n Dirt staff that help keep the horses and grounds in tip-top shape.