The Story of EQUI-KIDS

EQUI-KIDS was founded in 1989 with one horse and four riders at a local stable. As the program grew, the organization relocated to two shared facilities where a handful of children were served during the fair weather months. For almost two decades the program and capacity needs grew and EQUI-KIDS was in need of its forever home.

In 2009, following the generous donation of 92 acres of land by a local developer and a $5.5 million capital campaign, a state-of-the-art facility was built and EQUI-KIDS moved to its current location.

Our facility was built specifically for equine-assisted activities and the individuals we serve, with every nook and cranny deliberately considered. From the calming, soothing color scheme to the interactive classroom with handicapped access to a teaching stall, no detail was overlooked. The entire facility is ADA compliant, offering handicapped parking, six handicap accessible restrooms, zero transition flooring, and decor lighting and paint colors designed by a regional specialist. Every detail incorporates sensory considerations, ensuring that those we serve have the greatest opportunity for reduced environmental distractions. 

This environment has allowed the program to expand beyond our child-focused origin to offer a broader spectrum of services across a larger population base. In 2010, the newly expanded capabilities and increased capacity allowed EQUI-KIDS to add the EQUI-VETS program. Designed to serve veterans, EQUI-VETS is dedicated to serving those who have been impacted by their time serving our nation’s armed services. Due to the unique challenges faced by those leaving their military careers and readjusting to civilian life, serving transitioning veterans has been a priority of the EQUI-VETS program since its inception.

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EQUI-KIDS is a Premier Accredited Center through the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.), which differentiates us as a center that provides the highest level of equine-specialized professionals and program services delivery. PATH Intl. is the largest nonprofit professional organization for equine-assisted activities and therapies and its accreditation process is a voluntary evaluation recognizing that a center has met established industry standards. A center that meets the accreditation requirements, based on the administrative, facility, program and applicable special interest standards, becomes a Premier Accredited Center for a period of five years.

PATH Intl. provides industry standards in the areas of center administration, facility safety, equine welfare and activities. Accredited centers and PATH Intl. Certified Professionals sign an annual statement of compliance that they will follow and abide by PATH Intl. standards.

Sponsor a Horse

Thank you for your generous contribution.

    (The sponsor name listed above will be used for the stall plaque and custom halter plate)

    (Please note that horse sponsorship requests will be honored in the order donations are received and are subject to change due to the retirement of a horse or other circumstances, which we will do our best to communicate to you in real time)

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    If you have opted to pay by check, please mail it to:

    EQUI-KIDS Horse Sponsorship Program

    Attention: Victoria Arboneaux


    2626 Heritage Park Drive

    Virginia Beach, VA 23456

    We will be in touch soon to confirm your payment method and other sponsorship details.

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    • >> Sponsor A Horse
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