The Soul of Equine Therapy: Mision Rancho Lupita Equinoterapia


This slideshow requires JavaScript.

Written by Stacey DiTata Editor of Sown Seeds

Equine Therapy (or Equine Assisted Therapy EAT) is a discipline that uses horses to provide emotional, mental and physical healing to children and adults. It is used to relieve symptoms of ADHD, anxiety, autism, cerebral palsy, dementia, depression, PTSD and more.

An emerging psychotherapy and physiotherapy, it is gaining mainstream attention as an effective healing practice. It has even been nominated on CNN’s unsung heroes.

Mision Rancho Lupita Equinoterapia is a ranch in La Mision, Baja California just north of Ensenada, Mexico. I kicked up some dirt and visited Rancho Lupita to witness this healing practice called Equinoterapia.

1/ Soul is found not only in the surroundings.

When I entered, the first thing I feel is the freedom.  Rolling hills, roaming cattle, and the way the sun beams through the cactus brush creates a safe place. I felt I could let go and forget about everything.

Rafael Pulido Guiterrez, founder and President of Mision Rancho Lupita Equinoterapia, believes in the connection between people and horses with his whole heart and mind. There is a lot of scientific research to confirm this. Studies say that there are ways a horse connects to man. Temperature. Rhythm. Pulsation of the heart.

But it isn’t the biology that lights up Rafael. It is the soul of the work. Like the soul of the place. “I see miracles happen here. Those that were not strong find strength. I’ve seen it.”

I see it too.

2/ “You start to see design everywhere.”

Rafael is a Christian and lives life in service to God. He recalls when he was a child he was given a gift of two ring neck doves. This taught him early on that God’s love was in nature. His mother- of whom the ranch is named- never gave up on him. She gave him his first horse named Betty who lives at the ranch. In his early life he went on to study photography at the Art Center College of Design in California. He shares what he understands as the connection between art and nature. “You start to see design everywhere.”

Emily Pooja Palazzo sees it too. She is a young student who knew right away that helping children through horses was her purpose. She goes to the ranch everyday to help out Rafael. When she assists in therapy, she holds the children tightly in front of her and guides them through learning exercises. Some of these exercises are physical like putting a ring over a stick. Others are cognitive. The vowels A, E, I, O, U are formed on the ground with long pieces of lumber. As she and the child ride over them, they call out words that begin with A animal, Armando, Argentina. Words that begin with E Emily, exercicio, elefante, and so on…

3/ A brain that is awake is ready to learn and heal.

Just the touch of an animal to your skin sets off neurological receptors that activate brain function to bring about balance, happiness and healing. A brain that is awake is ready to learn and heal. This clicks for Emily. She will become certified as an Equine Therapist through a school program in her native Italy and return to Rancho Lupita to teach kids. She is ‘sure’ that this is what she wants to do. Her strong conviction is the power of this ranch. It makes you strong.

4/ “I will cure my child in 3 years.”

The power of equine therapy is profound to parents who look for healing without drugs.  Autism is a condition that finds healing through the connection with horses.  A father visits Rancho Lupita with his son. I spoke to him. He says“I will cure my child in 3 years.” He touches his heart.

Mision Rancho Lupita Equinoterapia is located on the free road to Ensenada on Highway 1. They would like to share this healing practice with you.

For directions go to Facebook Mision Rancho Lupita Equinaterapia:

Or contact Rafael at 646-135-3026 email

For more information about this powerful therapy, visit

Tags: , , , , , , , , , , , , , ,

Categories: Animal Welfare, Community, Healing Arts, People Planet


Subscribe to our RSS feed and social profiles to receive updates.

No comments yet.

Leave a Reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in: Logo

You are commenting using your account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

%d bloggers like this: