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Begun in 1993, Equi-Ed was a part of the Special Education Department of Santa Rosa City Schools. Equi-Ed maintains an affiliation with the Adapted Physical Education and Equine Science departments of Santa Rosa Junior College and offers horsemanship instruction, competition opportunities, and specialized educational programs to children with and without disabilities.

Special thanks to Santa Rosa Junior College for their donation of this video.

Santa Rosa Junior College Equine Science department offers courses for training in therapeutic riding which are taught by Equi-Ed's director, Maxine Freitas.


Lessons are held year-round at our facility in Santa Rosa.


Equi-Ed is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization. All donations are tax deductible.



All instructors have completed specialized training in therapeutic riding and hold registered or advanced level certification.


To best meet the individual needs of clients, consultation or assessment with Occupational, Physical, and Speech therapists, as well as Adapted Physical Education specialists and Special Education teachers is arranged.


Equi-Ed actively works to promote public awareness of therapeutic riding through student riding demonstrations, and public speaking engagements to organizations and corporations.






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Enhance each student's educational plan through coordination with school staff and parents through the implementation of activities which support achievement in basic subjects and pre-vocational skills.

Improve the students physical, medical, social, and emotional well being through interaction with specially selected horses, in a positive environment which encourages involvement and caring between disabled and non-disabled individuals.

Stimulate awareness and understanding of the efficacy of therapeutic riding.

Provide professional development and training for individuals in the therapeutic riding industry.





Founder and Director Maxine Freitas received the 2011 Instructor of the Year Award for Region 11. She was also the recipient of the Sonoma County Horse Council's Equus Award for her life's work with the program.


Three of our students competed in the Cal-NET Horse Show for Riders with Disabilities; one student even carried home the High Point award!

In 2009, our program horse, Little Bit, garnered the PATH International Equine of the Year for Region 11.

EQUI-ED has also received the City of Santa Rosa Merit award.



Maxine Freitas founded Equi-Ed in 1993, and has since served as Executive Director and Head Instructor of the Therapeutic Equestrian Program. Maxine received her Bachelor of Science in Therapeutic Recreation, with a minor in Gerontology and Psychology, and then completed a double Masters in Counseling Psychology and Educational Administration at Santa Clara University. Since 1988, Maxine has been a counselor to at-risk students at Santa Rosa City Schools at Nueva Vista High School Teen parent program, Ridgeway Continuation High School, Santa Rosa High School and Santa Rosa Middle School. As an Equine Science Instructor in the Agriculture department of Santa Rosa Junior College since 1989, Maxine has created the only curriculum for Therapeutic Riding. Read more.


Tatiana works as Lead Horse Care Assistant and Instructor in Training and has been a part of Equi-Ed since 2013. She is a CHA certified riding instructor and is currently studying Equine Science at Santa Rosa Junior College. She plans to pursue an education in the teaching field. One of her goals is to become a PATH Certified Riding Instructor, as she thoroughly enjoys assisting in lessons and helping students reach their full potential as horseback riders. 

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