Our adult son with special needs has been taking riding lessons at Equi-Ed for many, many years. Although he has not progressed as fast as other riders have due to his significant challenges which are increasing, Equi-Ed continues to play an invaluable role in his life. He has to travel a long distance to get to Equi-Ed each week but we believe what Equi-Ed provides is worth it. The staff and volunteers are caring, patient, supportive, and well-trained. The horses are gentle and equally as patient. Every relationship in our son's life is a treasure and there is much to treasure in this stellar non-profit.
When I was a working farrier and Paso Fino trainer, I would always discount my services to Equi –Ed because I felt that they were doing so much good for their clients. Little did I know that my career would come to an end when in 2005, I lost my ability to walk and was diagnosed with MS and became an Equi-Ed client myself. When Max and her crew put me on an Equi-ed horse and lead me about the arena, I was amazed how it gave the sensation of walking. It was as if the horse’s legs were an extension of my own and my focus became one of maintaining balance. Straddling the saddle was in itself a therapeutic exercise. After dismount my legs would always feel stronger somehow. For me, just the touch of the horse, feeling the warmth of his breath and velvety softness of his muzzle gave me an exhilarating feeling that stayed with me for days.
Thank you Equi-Ed for the work that you do.
Equi-ed has been a place of learning and acceptance for our daughter who is intellectually disabled. For the past 10 years, Equi-Ed has provided a safe and fun environment where she can gain skills, not just in riding horses, but in following instructions, working on balance and core strength, and using communication skills with instructors as well as horses. Equi-Ed is a unique non-profit in that it benefits a range of students with a variety of abilities and allows all participants to gain self-confidence and skills in horsemanship. It is a special place, indeed!
Equi-Ed has been a part of our daughter's life for over 7 years now. In spite of cognitive disabilities, she is able to ride horses at Equi-Ed competently, demonstrate the ability to follow directions, and connect with these gentle animals in a way that empowers her on a weekly basis. The staff at Equi-Ed is knowledgeable, patient and accepting of differences. I would highly recommend this incredible program to children and adults alike! Equi-Ed is a place where amazing things happen...and lives are changed!
Equi-Ed is a life-saver! They give my daughter the opportunity to be challenged in a supportive environment. She has developed much more confidence in herself thanks to the work she's done with the horses and teachers. Equi-Ed has become an integral part of my daughter's therapy. We don't know what we'd do without them!
I am a parent of a child taking lessons at Equi-Ed right now. My daughter has gained a huge amount of confidence and is much better at dealing with her emotions. All of the therapies we have tried over the last three years have not even come close to the results we've seen with therapeutic horse back riding at Equi-Ed. Truly, they have helped our entire family. We will be forever indebted to Shelia, Max, Sade, and all of the volunteers who make Equi-Ed possible.
I found Equi-Ed through my Military support group which I had been attending as a physically disabled veteran. I have MS, (multiple sclerosis), which is an Acquired Brain Damage disease causing less ability in deductive reasoning and thinking; muscle spasms and lack of balance. As all of these things happened to me. I became more and more depressed.
I had ridden with an equestrian therapy program for a short while before I was as disabled as I am now, so I was a little afraid to try. I came out and met all the folks that work and volunteer out there, and they wholeheartedly convinced me to do it! I came back happier with a whole different outlook! They helped me! I got better! I gained confidence and strength! I really felt like a part of a team and not a burden to be led around on a horse; I was riding and in command of my horse. Equi-Ed is such a big part of what I do now, that I work out at the gym to be strong for my next ride. They give love, lessons and help from the heart!!!
My son with Asperger's (high functioning autism) has been riding with Equi-Ed for two sessions. He didn't really get into the usual team or individual sports, but loves horseback riding and is always happy about going to his lessons. The walking motion of the horse has a calming effect on him and he usually falls asleep in the car after his lesson. He really loves it when he gets to trot on the horse. It puts a big smile on his face. His goal is to be able to take the reins and direct the horse on his own while walking and trotting. The staff are patient with him and carefully instruct him in safety and communication with the horse and volunteers. They also offer many other ways to be involved as a client from holiday parades, to parties and barbeques, fund raising activities, and movie nights! It is fun to be a part of the Equi-Ed "family". Thank you Equi-Ed!!
Our son went from a timid boy to a confident boy through his participation in the Eqi-Ed therapeutic riding program. All the volunteers are kind and knowledgable. The staff build in opportunities for kids to work on IEP academic goals. Equi-Ed is the best!
Equi-Ed provides my autistic daughter with an activity that she loves, that builds her sense of independence and accomplishment. She has been riding with Equi-Ed for 14 years!! We love it!
Since being served by Equi-Ed my daughter has made huge gains with her speech, attention and posture. She lights up every time we pull up the barn. Thank you Equi-Ed!
I am the parent of one of the children who took lessons from Equi-Ed. My daughter also volunteered. THe program is terrific and my daughter finally found friends she could relate to as she was having a very difficult time at school. The horses, instructors, and volunteers gave her much needed confidence which helped her greatly in school. She loved the program. I am very grateful for programs like these.
My daughter is a special needs child and she started Equi-Ed a couple of years ago. I had heart about the organization at a Santa Rosa Junior College event. IT sounded perfect for my daughter and she had a wonderful time. The horses are terrific and the volunteers are more terrific. She was also with children like herself and could be herself. At regular school she was picked on quite a bit so this was a blessing for her. She is now in high school and doing sports, etc and I feel Equi-Ed gave her the ability to believe in herself.