Minnesota Programs for Riders with Disabilities

April 2022


This listing does not indicate approval or recommendation of any program by the Minnesota Horse Council.  These are self-reports from the programs.  Be sure you research a program that you are interested in.  The PATH Intl. programs are usually non-profit. 

PATH Intl. (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, formerly NARHA) has a national certification of programs & instructors for riders with physical disabilities & mental health/developmental issues.

EAGALA: (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association).  National certification of programs & instructors for riders who have mental health/developmental issues (ground work only). 

Unless it is stated that a program has an indoor arena, assume that it has only an outdoor arena.

PATH Intl. (Formerly NARHA) Affiliated Programs:


Contact:  Taylor McLean (651-241-3345).  taylor.mclean@allina.com  Affiliated with Courage Kenny Rehab Institute.  Lessons offered to children (age 5-21) who have physical and/or sensory integration disabilities.  Located at Washington County Fairgrounds.  Indoor arena.  Lessons offered May - September.  PATH Intl. certified instructor.  Non-profit.


Marsha Anderson, 13769 Pheasant Rd, Hutchinson, MN, 55350 (320-234-7895).  Email: info@equulaccess.org.  Web: www.equulaccess.org.  Equul Access offers equine-assisted services for individuals with all abilities in the McLeod County area.  Sessions offered year around.  Indoor arena.  PATH Intl. Premier Accredited center and PATH Intl. certified instructors.  Also offers mentoring and consultation on EAS.  Non-profit.


Susie Bjorklund, 11500 Ferman Ave. SW, Waverly, MN, 55390 (952-955-2505).  www.freedomfarmMn.org

Email: info@freedomfarmmn.org.  Hope and Healing Program focuses on clients dealing with trauma, PTSD, anxiety and depression.  Freedom Academy – accredited high school utilizing equine assistance.  Mount Up Walk On program for veterans.  Year-round. Heated Indoor arena.  PATH Intl. Premier Accredited center & accredited instructor.  Non-profit.

Friends, Therapy and Adaptive Riding:

Shari Mangas OTR, hippotherapy certified763-360-4117), sharim@truefriends.org, www.truestrides.org.  Friends, Therapy and Adaptive is located at the Camp Courage site in Maple Lake.  It offers hippotherapy & therapeutic horseback riding and horse activities to residential summer campers and individuals from the community, all ages.  Year-round. Indoor arena.  Instructor is PATH International certified.  Non-profit.  Initial Consult free.


Rhonda Mostrom, PO Box 335, Grandy, MN, 55029 (612-247-9582) www.healthdirectedriding.org email: rkmostrom@hotmail.com.  Program located in Cambridge, MN.  Therapeutic horseback riding opportunities are offered to children and adults who have disabilities, while promoting physical, mental and emotional well-being.   May-October.  PATH Intl. certified instructor.  Non-profit. 


Teri Gapinski, 23940 291st Avenue, Akeley, MN, 56433 (218-820-0662).  www.jackpinestables.comjackpinestables@gmail.com.  Program serves children and adults who have special needs including physical, emotional, developmental delay, and high risk.  Serves North Central Minnesota.  Special Olympics training site.  June – October.  Offers a Wounded Warrior Weekend each October.  PATH Intl. certified instructors.  Non-profit.


Kris Zieska, 24580 Dakota Ave., Lakeville, MN, 55044 (952-426-5688), kzieska@majestichillsranch.com  www.majestichillsranch.org. Serving children and adults with special needs, as well as Heroes on Horseback for active military and veterans in rehabilitation.  PATH Intl. certified instructors.  Year round, Indoor Arena.  Non-profit.


Lynn Fairbanks, P.O. Box 566, Nisswa, MN 56468, (218-828-9920, 218-454-3228), www.mountedeagles.org, info@mountedeagles.org.  Located at Spirit Horse Center in Brainerd, MN.  Lessons offered to children and adults with physical, emotional and/or mental disabilities. Focus on self-esteem.  Year-round.  Indoor arena.  Mechanical mounting lift and Equisizer available (Winter).  PATH Intl. Premier Accredited center and certified instructors.  Non-profit.


North Country R.I.D.E., Tamy Horyza, PO Box 312, Esko, MN, 55733, (218-879-7608), www.ncride.org, email: ncride@gmail.com.  Program serves Duluth and greater northeastern Minnesota and northwest Wisconsin area.  Riding sessions run from April through October in six-week segments.  R.I.D.E.’s goal is to provide safe, therapeutically sound, goal-oriented riding sessions through the cooperation of educators, instructors and volunteers.  All disabilities considered, with ages ranging from 4 to 82 years to date.  Indoor arena.  PATH Premier Accredited center and PATH Intl. certified instructors.  Non-profit.


Jeanie Michelizzi, P.O. Box 995, Pine Island, MN, 55963 (507-271-8908)  www.rideability.org, email: promisedmeadows@gmail.com.  Serves riders with physical, mental and emotional disabilities and their siblings.  Family centered approach.  Goal is to integrate the riders with able-bodied riders.  Apr-Oct.  PATH Intl. Certified instructors.  Indoor arena.  Non-profit.


8362 Tamarack Village, #119-440, Woodbury, MN, 55125 (651-439-2558)  Site:  Afton.  www.rivervalleyriders.org. Email:  info@rivervalleyriders.org.  Enriching the lives of children and adults with special needs by providing equine assisted activities and therapies.  Offering therapeutic horseback riding, hippotherapy and carriage driving lessons.    Apr through Oct.  PATH Intl. certified instructors.  Indoor Arena.  Non-profit.

St. Croix trail Blazers:

Karen Harjes, 6659 Jasmine Court North, Stillwater, MN  55082. 651-230-2581.  www.stcroixtrailblazers.org.  Providing therapeutic/adaptive riding lessons for people with special needs ages 8+.  Our veterans program provides therapeutic riding and activities for active duty veteran and military personnel.  Rider must be able to mount/dismount with minimal assistance from ramp or mounting block and support themselves independently on the horse.  Special Olympics Equestrian delegation.  Indoor/Outdoor arenas, open year around.  PATH and Eagala certified instructors.  Non-profit.


Mary Mitten, P.O. Box 463, Maple Plain, MN, 55359, (952-934-0057)  www.wecanride.org,  email: office@wecanride.org.  Provides equine-assisted activities to persons of all ages with physical, cognitive, and emotional/behavioral disabilities or special needs.  Lessons offered year-round; days, evenings, and weekends.  Site at: Medina (riding & hippotherapy).  Indoor arena.  PATH Intl. certified instructors & PATH Intl. Premier Accredited center.  Non-profit.

EAGALA Affiliated Programs:

Acres for Life Therapy & Wellness Center:

Lynn Moore, LADC, PO Box 32, Forest Lake, MN 55045 (651-353-2860)  www.acresforlife.org.  lmoore@acresforlife.org.  Instructor is licensed Chemical Dependency Counselor working with adults and children who have experienced chemical dependency, mental health issues, fetal alcohol syndrome, ADHD, trauma, abuse, grief & loss, military and first responders.  Various licensed mental health practioners involved. Services offered to school groups and summer camp.  Indoor arena.  Year around.  Non-profit.

Cross P Ranch:

Michele Pickel, 1225 W Rondeau Lk Dr, Forest Lake, MN 55025  (651-343-5016)  Web: www.horsepoweredreading.com  pickel@csp.edu  Site in Lino Lakes.  Instructor is a licensed teacher, reading specialist, college professor at Concordia University, St. Paul and is Advanced EAGALA-certified.  Cross-P Ranch is the home of Horse Powered Reading.  By combining EAGALA model Equine Assisted Learning activities with reading strategies, struggling readers engage their mind, body and emotions to learn reading skills.  Horse Powered Reading addresses emotional and behavioral issues along with reading skills, mentorship.  Summer reading camps and literacy field trips as well as limited tutoring opportunities are offered.  Online classes and workshops for people who are interested in learning to be Horse Powered Reading facilitators.  Introduction to experiential and horse powered reading instruction available online.

Eagle Vista Ranch and Wellness Center:

Liz Letson, MS, LPCC, Licensed Professional Clinical Counselor, 16150 Golden Eagle Court NW, Bemidji, MN 56601

(218-760-0656)   www.eaglevistaranch.com, eaglevistaranch@gmail.com.  Facilitator has Master’s degree in counseling and is certified by EAGALA and OK Corral series.  Population includes all ages, including individual, and family group sessions, addiction, depression and anxiety, veterans and military families, specializing in trauma.  Focused on strength-based activities.  Certified by E3A as a Strategic Intervention coach.  Indoor arena and round pen.


Kit Harries-Muellner, LICSW, 9145 8th Avenue SE, Chatfield, MN, 55923 (507-281-3033) www.hoperanchteam.com, kit@hoperanchteam.com .  Equine-assisted psychotherapy that addresses many mental health and human development needs through doing groundwork with horses.  Year round.  Facilitator is Licensed Independent Clinical Social Worker, EAGALA certified.


Dr. Leslie Russell-Martin (LMFT, PhD, LP), 16016 233rd St, Little Falls, MN, 56345, (320-632-5524) (218-831-1871, extension 102).  www.truebalancefarm.com  email: info@truebalancefarm.com.  Offers outpatient mental health services for children, individuals, couples, & families.  EAGALA advanced certified staff.  Indoor arena.  Year-round.

Other Programs:

Changing Strides

Stacy Gustafson, 218-821-5064, www.changingstridestherapy.com. Indoor arena year around. Focuses on mental health.


Sue Hancock or Kim Smith, 45109 Brunswick Rd, Harris, MN 55032 (763-689-5335), cloverdalefarmmn@gmail.com.  A training site for Special Olympics.  Also offers 4-H program for kids with disabilities.  All ages.  Indoor arena.


Lynn Richert, 28131 Clear Lake Rd, Richmond, MN, 56368 (320-597-3312), lynnrichert@msn.com.  Program provides very individualized riding & EAGALA-type experiences for people who have been bullied, have developmental delay, autism, seizure disorder.  All one-on-one.  Ages 7+. May-Oct.  Indoor arena.  Non-profit.  No cost.

Hillside HOPE Thru Hooves:

Angel Bateman, 763-238-7283, www.hillsidehopethruhooves.com.  info@hillsidehopethruhooves.com.  The heart of the program is to provide a faith-based equine ministry for individuals, families and groups to experience hope, healing and growth.  Activities are ground-based.  A secondary goal is to educate individuals in equine-assisted psychotherapy.  Children, teens and adults go there to find hope and healing.  Year-round.  EAGALA certified instructor.  Non-profit.


Janet Weisberg, OTR, 5265 Woodland Trail, Greenfield, MN  55357 (763-498-0007)  www.holdyourhorses.org, email: officemanager@holdyourhorses.org.  Moving lives forward from trauma and disability with the help of a horse.  Therapy practice provides individualized equine-assisted services to improve quality of life, specializing in OT, and mental health services.  Staff are board certified hippotherapy clinical specialists and trained in side-partnering with a horse.  For information about mental health services contact Molly DePrekel at 952-736-6478.  Daily.  Heated indoor arena, year-round.  Non-profit.


Vollie Heitkamp, P. O. Box 25, Mayer, MN, 55360 (612-310-6350)  www.hoperides.org, info@hoperides.org.  Lessons offered to at risk kids, kids in foster care & shelters, terminally ill kids & kids who need mentoring.  Interaction between horse and human to develop life skills and personal empowerment.  May - December. Indoor Arena.  Non-profit.

Making Strides, LLC:

Jill Beuch, 95 Country Trail West, Jordan, MN, 612-567-0802, makingstridesot@gmail.com, www.makingstridestherapy.com.  Offers hippotherapy.

Manes For Change

Jamie@manesforchange.com, 1884 Mahogany Street, Mora, MN 55051.  320-364-3256. The program uses an Eagala model and is primarily for mental health issues.  Ground work only.


Pat Jensen School of Horsemanship, located in Buffalo, MN (763-477-4764). PJS serves children and adults who have autism, developmental delay, physical disability, ADD, learning disabilities, visual and hearing impairments, as well as civic and recreational groups, day campers and other individuals and groups of all ages with varying disabilities and special problems. The PJS experience includes riding and music therapy designed to meet many different psychological and physical needs of riders. Primarily private lessons, but some group activities available. Vaulting is sometimes used as a therapeutic modality.  Indoor arena.


Damon Weinandt, 43341 480th Ave, Windom, MN 56101, 507-822-0526  www.ReinbowsInc.org,  reinbows@windomnet.com.  We offer horse-assisted programs in a safe and supportive environment in order to allow individuals to develop greater self-respect, confidence and hope.  Indoor arena.  Non-profit.


Marie LaRock, 355 40th Avenue, Hills, MN  56138.  605-929-9291, www.riderockranch.org.  Program serves most populations of people who have disabilities.  Indoor Arena, Year around.  Non-profit.

SpiritDance Coaching:

Lynn Baskfield, (612-616-3842)  lynn@equinecoaching.com.  Equine experiences geared toward mid-life women, retreats, workshops, and corporate clients.  Also offers a yearlong course and workshops teaching people to teach these concepts.  Various sites.


Patti Franz, PO. Box 436, Cedar, MN 55011 (952-222-8106) Email:  www.stablepathways.org, office@ stablepathways.org.  Site in Oak Grove.  Adaptive riding and horse assisted activities for children and adults living with physical and/or cognitive challenges.  Private & group lessons.  April-November.  Indoor arena.  Non-profit.

Sun Country and You:

Eleisha Owens, 23241 273rd Street SW, Crookston, MN  56716, 218-521-0056, Equine assisted group and one-on-one lessons for all disabilities.  Indoor arena.  Non-profit.


Shelly DeRosier, 21315 Territorial Rd, Rogers, MN, 55374  (612-805-6279)  web: www.victory-riders.org, victoryriders@hotmail.com.  Program offers lessons to people with physical and mental disabilities, as well as people with mental illness.  Uses PATH Intl. standards.  April - November.  Heated indoor arena.  Non-profit.

Windy Ridge Ranch:

Shelley Ellingson, 8526 Union Ridge Drive, Hokah, MN  55941, 507-894-2210, windyrr@goaccentek.net, www.touchmoments.org.  Riding offered to children who have physical or cognitive disabilities May to October.  Non-profit.



PATH International, Inc., PO Box 33150, Denver, CO 80233 (1-800-369-7433).  Website: www.pathintl.org

EAGALA (Equine Assisted Growth and Learning Association), P.O. Box 993, Santaquin, UT  84655  (877-858-4600).   www.eagala.org

Prepared by: Trina Joyce, Minnesota Horse Council, (612-729-7798), trinajoyce@MnHorseCouncil.org 

Please contact Trina if you have updated information or know of any additional programs.

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