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Maxine Freitas

Maxine Freitas founded Equi-Ed in 1993, and has since served as Executive Director and Head Instructor of Equi-Ed. 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, Ridgway 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 offered at a junior college in California. She has also taught a full range of Equine Science courses including Stable Management, Equine Business Management, Survey of Equine Science, Horse Handling, Basics of Dressage for Horse and Rider, Introduction to Therapeutic Riding, and Therapeutic Riding Procedures and Application.


Following her life long interest and involvement with horses and helping people, Maxine obtained her advanced level certification in riding instruction through PATH, Intl (Professional Association for Therapeutic Horsemanship International), CHA (Certified Horsemanship Association) in addition to Vaulting Instructor certification (CHA) and Centered Riding Instructor training. Furthermore, Maxine is a PATH, Intl Accreditation visitor evaluating PATH, Intl Premier Centers. Maxine has been recognized for her excellence and commitment, as the 2011 PATH Region 11 Instructor of the Year. She was also a recipient of the Sonoma County Horse Council's Equus Award in 2006.


A fourth generation Native California, altruism and horses run in Max's blood. Her grandfather drove a Red Cross ambulance cart during the 1906 San Francisco Earthquake and operated the first livery stable in Mission San Jose. Max is a two time breast cancer survivor and when she is not teaching, training, or helping others live life to the fullest, she enjoys relaxing at her small farm in Calistoga with Larry, her husband of 40+ years, her dog Lucy, cat Louie and horses Harley and Cali.

Kristen Fisher will be joining th Equi-Ed staff on Dec. 4 2023. Kristen's position will be Lead Horse Care Assistant and Barn Manager. Kristen went through our volunteer training recently and has been volunteering on Mondays. She had a childhood of experiences with horses, being in 4H, riding in English and Western disciplines and having had her own horse on her family's farm in Ohio. Welcome Kristen!

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