Gisela with a horse

Gisela Heimsath-Rhodes

Gisela H. Rhodes has a Masters Degree in Education, is a Credentialed Therapeutic Riding Instructor, Interactive Vaulting and Advanced Therapeutic Riding Instructor. Currently she lives in Maine, USA. In addition to teaching her own curricula, she provides international workshops for The Federation of Horses in Education and Therapy International (HETI), and is faculty for Interactive Vaulting and Therapeutic Riding OSWCs for PATH Intl. Previously Executive Director for HETI, she serves now as President of HETI. She has authored and co-authored two books and presented at national and international professional equine conferences and congresses.

She is available for teaching workshops and presenting upon request.

Workshops and Presentations (National & International)

  • Lessons from a Herd of Horses
  • Interactive Vaulting and Interactive Vaulting Games
  • Interactive Vaulting, Centered RidingĀ® and Yoga
  • Lungeing Techniques
  • Interface between Equine Assisted Learning and Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (Co-faculty Dr. Marilyn Sokolof)
  • Fluent in German and English


  • Masters Degree in Education
  • HETI (Federation of Horses in Education and Therapy International A.I.S.B.L.) Lead Faculty
  • Credentialed Therapeutic Riding Instructor (CTRI)
  • PATHIntl. (formerly NARHA) Interactive Vaulting Instructor & Lead Evaluator
  • PATHIntl. (formerly NARHA) Advanced Instructor & Lead Evaluator
  • Former PACTH Qualified Instructor – Master Level
  • Former Centered RidingĀ® Level 1 Instructor
  • FN Longierabzeichen Kl. IV (German Lungeing Certificate)
  • FN Voltigierbetreuer (German Vaulting Instructor)


  • 2021- 2024 President of HETI (Federation of Horses in Education and Therapy International A.I.S.B.L.)
  • 2010- current Chair of the HETI Education committee
  • 1994- current Founder and Executive Director of Special Equestrians, Inc.
  • 2018- 2021 Vice President of HETI
  • 2009- 2018 Executive Director of HETI
  • 2006- 2009 Executive committee member of HETI Board
  • 2001- 2007 Board member of the Equine Facilitated Mental Health Association (EFMHA)
  • 1999- 2012 Chair, member and advisor of the NARHA (North American Riding for the Handicapped Association) Vaulting Committee
  • 1994- 2004 Co-Founder and Executive Director of White Oak Horse Farm, Inc..