Our Mission


The Montana Awareness Education and Equine Rehabilitation Association, INC


The Montana Awareness Education and Equine Rehabilitation Association (MAERA) is a 501(c)3 non-profit horse rehabilitation and education program, specializing teaching horsemanship, wilderness/primitive skills and providing educational experiences, adventure classes and healing opportunities to children and adults

MAERA is a sustainable 501c3 non-profit that incorporated March 1, 2011, though our Executive Director has been running in Montana for almost 7 years. Our organization committed to providing new and exciting opportunities and education to the community. Our goals are to help communities, people and horses through increasing and developing relationships and new learning experiences. We continue to make positive and significant changes in the State of Montana not only by helping horses in need, but also by helping children, families, individuals and the community grow, learn and heal through increasing connections with the world around us.  MAERA

We not only help horses in our program that eventually are available for new homes, we also offer educational and experiential learning opportunities for children, adults, families, businesses and those seeking adventure through those horses and the wilderness.  Through this we help people gain new experiences to not only increase a sense of self, family and community connections, but also to develop working as a team.  To do this we offer a mixture of camps, clinics, lessons and classes year round in the form of overnight excursions, in school programming, after school activities and day camps/classes.  Our goal is to offer as many classes in Montana for free through scholarships, grants and donations.  Starting this summer we currently have scheduled 5 MAERA overnight wilderness/skills camps, two skill and back country horse overnight camps, 2 day horse camps and 3 contracted camps through other non-profits as well as one large yearlong collaborative with Montana Roots for Root Down camp.  MAERA will also be offering a walk-about for adults this year.


Horse Program: M.A.E.R.A’s horse program is dedicated to the aid of helpless, abandoned, and homeless horses in need. Each horse comes into our program goes through a mandatory testing/training and evaluation period including nutritional evals, vets and farrier work.  Once the horses have passed this component, each horse gets placed into MAERA’s other programs to build on their strengths while they continue to get training to fill any holes.  From relationship building classes, education classes and camps, pack trips and trail rides, to equine therapy groups, each horse gets used.  Eventually, every horse in MAERA’s program will go up for sale so we can bring in new horses creating a circular program.  We specialize in finding these horses homes that fit the horse and human alike, that are free from neglect, abuse or ill treatment. We currently have space for 25 horses in our program.

Horse Related Classes: MAERA’s horse program prides itself in developing communication, relationships and connections.  This takes time and utilizing the horses that come into our rehabilitation program is an innovative and unique approach to increase life skills, awareness and a sense of self with the children and adults we work with.  With the horses in our program we teach natural horse communication, provide riding lessons based on assertive responses, assist with training and create a lasting relationship between people and horses using techniques developed by our Executive Director Sasha Squires.

Wilderness and Primitive Skills Classes: We specializes in our vast list of classes for both adults and children, that focus on bringing people into the beauty of Montana, exploring themselves, and developing a senses of community through teaching Primitive and Survival Skills. Working and learning with and through the wilderness and horses creates a long term balanced relationship for both people, the community and the environment. Horses are also utilized in some of our education and awareness programs such as: backcountry trips, trail rides, pack trips and animal education classes.

M.A.E.R.A specializes in increasing these connections and experiences by teaching Primitive Skills, while using Outdoor Education and Nature Exploration to promote self-healing and increasing awareness. Working and learning with the earth creates a long term balanced relationship for both people and the Earth.  Our focus not only is the process itself, it is the history, the science and the lost art of these unique skills that also creates a memorable learning experience.

Therapeutic and Mental Health Services: M.A.E.R.A is proud to say they are the only horse program in Montana that utilizes rehab horses and the wilderness in a therapeutic way to help heal individuals, create new learning, and a balanced sense of self.  MAERA is in the process of re-developing our equine/wilderness therapy component at our Paradise Valley Property and are pending grants and funding to make these dreams come to fruition.  MAERA horses have been used for Mental Health Services in both the Bozeman and Helena areas for youth in need.  Once our program in the valley is underway, M.A.E.R.A will offer therapy sessions that integrate both the horses and the wilderness to promote healing.

Using the horses who have suffered alongside families, individuals and children creates an immense healing environment.  We hope to offer these therapeutic groups to all populations from Medicaid, private pay, private insurance and through scholarships and grants.  We want this element along with all other aspects of our Association to be fully inclusive.

We also have plans in the future to have multiple larger projects using the rescue horses (when we increase our facility size) which includes but is not limited to: Healing after METH project, Domestic Abuse Survivor Workshops, Interpersonal Psychology Workshops and a full back country wilderness/horse therapy experience and a Victims of War project.  We are also pending contracts with youth probation to help struggling youth in Bozeman, Gardiner and Livingston.

CLASSES RUN ALL YEAR: please see our class schedule page for a detailed list of upcoming classes.
To sign up for riding lesson or any private classes please contact us at