Meet Our Team

At RDP, our team consists of our wonderful farm animals and our caring and highly skilled staff members. We value providing counseling and skills training services that are sensitive and responsive to the needs of each individual.

Our therapists are Arizona licensed professionals who use evidence-based counseling approaches in office-based and equine-assisted spaces. For equine-assisted counseling, we use the nationally recognized Equine-Assisted Growth and Learning Association (EAGALA) model with an EAGALA certified therapist and an Equine Specialist who work as a team.

Our activity specialists are trained and skilled in the areas of creative activities using music, art, yoga, animal care and gardening activities.

Our farm animals bring a unique experience to the counseling programs for individuals who choose to invite them into their sessions. Interactions with animals in a counseling session often lowers stress levels, helps facilitate healing, and builds connections. Sometimes in traditional counseling, individuals may forget some of the conversations shared, however, with equine-assisted counseling and other animal-assisted activities, individuals will not forget their experience with the animals.

Christi Stice

Christi is the Lead Therapist at Rancho Del Pacifico. As a licensed professional counselor, and a licensed substance abuse counselor, Christi has been serving communities for more than 25 years. After earning her certification in the Equine-Assisted Growth and Learning Association’s (EAGALA) model, Christi is eager to share her experiences with our community. Well-known as a compassionate, accepting, and remarkably insightful therapist, Christi is cherished here at RDP for her kind and generous spirit.

Christi has owned and loved horses since she was a small child. Now, as an adult, she gets to live her dream: combining horses and helping people. Christi also enjoys music, dancing, and spending time with her family and friends.

Jessica Mitchell

As a Licensed Professional Counselor, Jessica has been serving children, individuals and families since 2012. She received her Master’s Degree from Washington State University, and has attended several additional trainings including providing Trauma Informed Care, Play Therapy and Art Therapy.  Jessica is known for her welcoming, compassionate and insightful nature, which provide the caring environment for growth and healing to occur.

Jessica has worked on an Early Childhood Team providing play therapy services to children 2-8 years old and their families. She has worked with teens and adults in a Community Mental Health Center focusing on issues of anxiety, depression, trauma, family change/transition and relational issues. She has a special interest in working with issues around trauma and family disruption and utilizing experiential therapies including animal-assisted, equine-assisted, play, and art therapy.

Jessica is skilled at partnering with you to meet your specific needs and goals and welcomes all that you bring into the therapy experience. When she is not working, Jessica enjoys yoga, reading, and making art.

Ayla Perez

Ayla has a masters degree in women and gender studies. She is certified in compassionate bereavement care, registered trauma informed yoga and prenatal yoga instructor. She is currently working on her second masters degree in social work. Ayla has worked in the substance abuse, mental health, domestic violence and refugee resettlement field providing services for families and individuals.

She also volunteers her yoga services at substance abuse, mental health and domestic violence facilities.   She has a special interest in working with issues around grief, trauma, gender based violence/abuse and culture.
When she is not working, Ayla enjoys yoga and traveling.

Andy Riffle

Andy is the Director of Operations/Equine Specialist at Rancho Del Pacifico. He has a a gift to be able to communicate with all animals through his love and passion for them. Since he was a young boy he has always wanted to help and be around animals. In his spare time he is a volunteer manager at a local Wild Horse Rescue where he looks over 50+ horses to make sure all of their health needs are taken care of. Andy enjoys spending time with his horse “Breezy”, two dogs “Bailee and Jack”, two bunnies “Ravioli and Gnocchi” and his family and friends. We are happy to have him on the team to share his love and passion of animals with everyone.

Valentino (Val)

Val is a 16-year-old Arabian gelding who came to RDP from a wonderful animal rescue sanctuary in Gilbert, Arizona, where he lived for nine years. While Val is in charge of his horse herd, he is also a laid-back, sweet horse who loves to make people laugh with his funny personality. He also enjoys his treats, grooming sessions, and playing in the water trough.


Crystal is a 15-year-old Thoroughbred/Quarter Horse mare who came to RDP from a wonderful animal rescue sanctuary in Gilbert, Arizona, where she lived for eight years. Crystal is a spunky girl with lots of personality who enjoys living a life filled with carrots, apples, love, and a green pasture to roam. She also enjoys a good spa day!


Hersom is a 10-year-old pure Thoroughbred – and he has the legs to prove it! The tallest (and youngest) horse on the ranch, Hersom is also one of the most mild-mannered animals here. Like Crystal, Hersom is a big fan of treats. They can often be found nibbling at some grass in the pasture together. While Hersom loves his food, he also loves to run, which we love to watch!


Blaise is a handsome Palomino from a Wild Horse Rescue in Gilbert. Him and Hersom have become best buddies and love to play all day in the pasture together.


Belle is a 20 year old mare. She is a sweet and loveable soal. She loves her time to grazing in the pasture. Come out and meet her at our new location on Riggs and Val Vista.


Coco is a two-year-old Miniature Donkey that was saved from a pen in Louisiana by a rescue up in New River. We fell in love with Coco and had to bring him to our ranch. We are so lucky to have this sweet, kind and caring guy around. He just knows when people need him most and comes to snuggle up and give them love.

The Alpacas of RDP

These three silly bouncing bundles of joy will just make you smile. Alpacas are very gentle, curious and social animals. Come out and visit our boys and they might even hum for you. Buddy, Monsoon and Jaquine!


The most identifiable trait of Gus’ is his absolutely adorable voice. When he speaks, you can’t help but go “aww”, because he almost sounds like a cartoon! Gus is Gordon’s twin brother, and they only way you can tell them apart is by their eyes: Gus’ are a vivid, sky blue. When Gus isn’t sitting inside his hutch with his brother close at hand, he likes to explore the paddock, often getting into places he knows he isn’t allowed!


While Gus has his bright blue eyes, Gordon’s eyes are a hazelnut brown, matching his faun coat perfectly. Gordon is a bit more outgoing than his brother; he won’t hesitate to jump on an unsuspecting staff member’s back as they are filling up his food dish! Gordon enjoys hanging out with his brother, headbutting Chewy, and eating all of the sunflower seeds before anyone else can!


Chewy is one of two female Nigerian Dwarf Goats here at RDP, and like her name suggests, she really likes to nibble! Thankfully for her human friends, Chewy’s nibbling is just a way for her to explore the world around her – after all, she is just a baby! Chewy adores her playmates Kit-Kat, Crookshanks, Gordon, and Gus, and loves to compete with them over who can jump the highest.


Kit is a spry and rather chatty goat, the only other female Nigerian Dwarf Goat here at RDP. With her blue eyes and floppy ears, she wins everyone over with her personality! Kit is our resident acrobat; watching her leap for joy or playing “queen of the mountain” is sure to put a smile on anyone’s face.


S’mores only loves one thing in life more than his brother Oreo: food. Nothing makes S’mores happier than getting treats, although climbing our pile of hay comes pretty close! One of his funniest personality quirks is his predilection towards “the zoomies” – random moments where he runs as fast as humanly (ahem, goatly) possible, for no apparent reason. We think he just likes to make us laugh.


Oreo is a mischievous male Nigerian Dwarf Goat that thrives on attention and affection. Don’t be surprised when he pulls his signature move: Rubbing his face against the back of your legs! At a year old, Oreo still loves playing with his brother S’mores, and can often be found chasing him around the yard. When he isn’t asking for cuddles or grooming time, Oreo is usually climbing – and anything will do!


Crookshanks is a sweetheart. Bottle-fed as a baby, this little male Nigerian Dwarf goat loves love, and isn’t afraid to tell you all about it. He can often be found following our somewhat exasperated staff around the yard, pleading for attention and treats. With his pretty cinnamon coat and hazel eyes, Crookshanks never fails to win over our guests.


Our flock is always on the move! Did you know that chickens are incredibly curious about their environment? From coop to roost, and all the spaces in-between, RDP’s pack of poultry have free reign of the ranch during the day, and love exploring their territory.