Free Spirit Therapeutic Riding Association

Giving our families the “Freedom to Ride” 


Our Programs

FSTRA is pleased to announce that our programs are expanding and growing. There are lots of ways to get involved. Check them out!

Therapeutic Riding Lessons

Traditional therapeutic riding lessons are available for all individuals and abilities in our indoor riding arena. Must be 3 years of age to register.

Equine Assisted Learning & Psychotherapy

Our Equine Assisted Learning and Psychotherapy programming options are growing quickly! Check out our many opportunities to work with our horses promoting overall wellness and connection

School Programs

Take a look at our programming during week days specifically tailored to help provide alternative programming to our local elementary and high schools

3 Day Summer Camp

Our Summer Camp runs in July. It is available for all ages and abilities. Spaces are limited! Registration is now open!

Freedom to Engage

This 12 week program is offered in both the Spring & Fall of 2019 in partnership with SchoolsPlus and Clannad Counselling & Consulting. Our Engage program is working with the whole family through various programming elements.

New Programs Coming

We are excited to be launching some new programs soon. Check back soon to see what's coming for 2020!

Learn more about how to join our community and programs!

Our Team

Meet our staff and certified coaches!

Brittany Aalders

Executive Director

Nicole Martin

Program Coordinator

Jessica van Nostrand

CanTRA Certified II Coach

Amy MacKay


Alissa Cue

Owner of RWS
CanTRA Certified II Coach

Brittany Aalders first joined the FSTRA team as a volunteer, before assuming the role of Executive Director in the fall of 2015. Brittany graduated from Acadia University with a Bachelor of Arts degree, with Honours in Sociology. Currently, Brittany is finishing her Master of Arts degree in Sociology at Acadia University. Brittany began riding at the age of eight and enjoys combining her horse hobby with her passion of working with people. Brittany’s innovation, visioning capacities and desire to reach her local community has been an asset to our organization. Under her direction and guidance our story and reach has been changing and expanding at a rapid rate identifying and meeting the needs of our families in our community. 

Nicole joined the FSTRA team in August 2019. A recent graduate of the Child and Youth Care Program, Nicole has taken on the role of Program Coordinator. An active 4H member since 2006, Nicole currently is the 4H NS Ambassador, and has a passion for working with people and horses. You may recognize Nicole from her time spent volunteering with FSTRA for her NSCC placement in 2018. Nicole is looking forward to building relationships with all of our riders, their support systems and volunteers.

Jessica is a graduate from the University of Guelph after obtaining her Bachelor of Bio-Resource Management in Equine Management. Jessica is a certified therapeutic riding instructor (CTRII) through FSTRA’s parenting body CanTRA (Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association). She has worked for RWS prior to attending post-secondary schooling and has since assumed a full time position with RWS as their Recreation Program Coordinator and coach. Jessica is an Equestrian Canada certified instructor (IOB) and a certified Young Horse Trainer. She has obtained her HB2 rating in the Canadian Pony Club and volunteers her time with Evangeline Pony Club helping to run the adult Horsemasters program. In addition to all of Jessica’s responsibilities and roles with RWS, she also coaches our therapeutic riding programs, develops programming and volunteers for our events. 

Amy recently joined the FSTRA staff team in the Spring of 2017 in a part time capacity to assist with our lessons on Mondays.   Amy completed a Bachelor of Kinesiology at Acadia University and went on to attain her Masters of Science in Physiotherapy degree through Dalhousie University, graduating in 2012. She has had an interest in horses since attending summer camps in high school, and is very excited about the opportunity through FSTRA to be marrying her career with her equine passions. She has previously worked in Halifax in both a private clinic and the public health care system, although has put most of her energy these past few years toward her husband and two children ages 4 and 2.

Alissa Cue, owner/operator of Rohan Wood Stables, is the head coach for the Free Spirit Therapeutic Riding Association. Alissa is a certified therapeutic riding instructor (CTRII) through FSTRA’s parenting body CanTRA (Canadian Therapeutic Riding Association). 
An Honours Graduate of the Equine Science Certificate Program at Guelph University, Alissa began her riding career at the age of seven in British Columbia.  After moving to Winnipeg Alissa joined pony club as a teenager and attained her B Rating.  She has maintained her affiliation with pony club by establishing Evangeline Pony Club at Rohan Wood Stables in the Fall of 2003.  As well, Alissa sits on the Regional Board as the current Nova Scotia PPG Chair and is a National Director. In 2005 Alissa achieved her Equine Canada Level 1 Coaching Certification.  Alissa was also the recipient of the Equine Canada/NCCP National Competition Coach/EC Level 1 Coach of the year.  Alissa can be found most weekends at a Pony Club function or coaching and competing at Hunter and Jumper shows around the Maritimes.

FALL 2019 Calendar

Click the month  below to see important dates each month!

August 19 & 20Intake Meetings 
August 29
Volunteer Training 5:30-7:00pm
September 3

Volunteer Training.  5:30-7:00pm at RWS

September 10

First Day of Fall 12 Week Program

September 15

Equine Assisted Psychotherapy Open House 2:00-4:00pm

September 18First day of Engage program
October 14

NO LESSONS- Thanksgiving

October 17

Cookie Dough Fundraiser Orders Due

October 28-31

Hallloween Week

November 11NO LESSONS- Remembrance Day
November 23

Christmas Party 2-4:00pm @ The New Beginnings Centre

November 26Last day for Tuesday Riders
November 27

Last day for Wednesday Riders​

November 28

Last day for Thursday Riders​

December 2Last day for Monday riders
August 3
Last day of Engage Program

Ready to Get Involved?

There are lots of ways to join our community!