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National Center For Equine Assisted Therapy (NCEFT)



National Center For Equine Assisted Therapy (NCEFT)
880 Runnymede Rd
Woodside CA 94062
650-851-2271

Tax ID/EIN: 94-2378104
Year Founded: 1971
Last Updated 2017-01-24

Public Charity


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Why are we a Messenger?

The EQUUS Foundation has designated our organization as a Messenger. Click here to learn more about our horse care and use practices.

Messengers are organizations on the Equine Welfare Network that demonstrate a commitment to public transparency and accountability by their willingness to publish and share extensive data about their operations.

Equine Welfare Network Messenger

Our organization operates programs involved with providing equine assisted activities and therapies (EAAT) using certified instructors for individuals with special needs.

Our organization is directly responsible for the care of horses to provide its services.

100% of our total programs and services are horse-related.

Our organization conducts its horse-related programs at one facility.

Our organization operates programs involved with horses and other animals.


Our Mission/How we are involved with horses:
Our strong commitment to the concept of Horses, Hope and Healing is personified in our Mission Statement: NCEFT is dedicated to helping people with special needs reach beyond their boundaries through equine-assisted therapies, education and research.

Horse-related programs:
We provide hippotherapy (physical, occupational or speech therapy done on/with horses), adaptive riding and other equine-assisted therapy programs to children, adults and military veterans with a variety of physical and cognitive disabilities. NCEFT is the only Northern California facility member of the American Hippotherapy Association, and differentiates itself from other equine-facilitated therapy centers by specializing in hippotherapy and offering the most extensive hippotherapy program in the San Francisco Bay Area. <br /><br />NCEFT's programs fall into five major categories: Hippotherapy, Adaptive Riding, Veterans Programs, Equine-Assisted Mental Health and Learning Programs and School Programs. <br /><br />Hippotherapy is specialized physical, occupational and speech therapy in which board-certified therapists use horses as dynamic platforms to deliver therapy. Patients receive medically prescribed PT, OT and SLP; they are simply on a horse instead of a cold, sterile piece of clinical equipment. The movement of the horse creates sensory input that helps the patient improve balance, core strength, sensory integration and self-esteem.<br /><br />Adaptive Riding teaches horsemanship and riding, but instruction is adapted to meet the needs of someone with a mental or physical disability or injury. The unique combination of recreation and education facilitates cognitive, physical and behavioral rehabilitation. <br /><br />Veterans programs, coordinated with local Veterans Administrations, make a profound difference for military Veterans and active-duty personnel suffering from post-traumatic stress or other mental or physical impairments. Our equine-assisted activities enable recovery, offer healing and the mastery of new skills, and restore strength, confidence and independence. NCEFT never charges Veterans for services, and we receive no governmental funding. Instead we rely 100% on donations to fund our Veterans Programs. <br /><br />Equine-assisted psychotherapy and other mental-health exercises bring together teams of certified mental health professionals, qualified equine specialists and horses to benefit individuals emotionally, mentally and behaviorally. <br /><br />School programs provide field-study learning for children in special education classes. We serve several local school districts as well as independent schools that specialize in educating children with disabilities.

Non-horse-related programs:
In addition to our horses and donkeys, we occasionally use dogs and chickens in programs such as our summer camp.


Volunteer Opportunities


Facility/General Grounds Volunteer
Minimum Age: 12
We always need assistance keeping our grounds and facilities looking sharp. If you have handyperson skills, or just enjoy being outdoors around people and animals, we welcome you to contact us for volunteering opportunities. Hours are flexible and year round.

Junior Volunteering Ages 12-15
Minimum Age: 12
Individuals ages 12 -15 are welcome to volunteer per arrangements with our volunteer coordinator. After a small orientation, they should be able to perform tasks with minimal supervision. Documentation is available for school credit. Anyone under the age of 12 must be accompanied by and adult while volunteering.

Lesson Volunteers
Minimum Age: 16
Session volunteering does not require any previous experience. Volunteers are integral members of the hippotherapy and adaptive riding teams during sessions running an average of 30 minutes long. Volunteers support the patient by walking on either side of the horse and following instructions given by the therapist and horse handler. Session volunteers should be able to commit to coming the same day and time each week (usually two hours per week). We operate Monday through Friday, from 9:00am to 5:00pm.

To become an NCEFT Session volunteer, you should:

Be age 16 or older
Be able to walk continually for 30 minutes, bend, twist, raise arms up and jog for short distances on uneven ground
Be willing to learn and follow NCEFT's procedures
Attend a volunteer orientation session prior to beginning service with NCEFT
Be able to perform tasks with minimal supervision after training
Work in collaboration with NCEFT staff and fellow volunteers to create a positive atmosphere
Be flexible and have a sense of humor
Possess a desire to have fun while helping others
Love people, kids and horses

Wish List Items


Funding For Compensation Packages
Our most pressing need is for adequate funding to create compensation packages competitive enough to help recruit and retain the highly educated and skilled therapeutic practitioners necessary for expanding our patient and client services.

Facility Improvements: Painting And Roofing
NCEFT is actively seeking funding for facility improvements, such as the exterior painting of our 350,000+ square foot office and barn complex and re-roofing a steeply pitched gambrel roof with dormers that covers a portion of our barn structure.

Facility Improvements: Better Access For Patients
NCEFT is actively seeking funding for creating improved access (e.g. ramps and pathways) and an all-weather overhang structure to provide protection for those participating in our special education class school programs, social skills groups, and equine-assisted mental health programs.

Office Donations
• Copy paper (regular and 28lb)
• NEOPlex 24" x 42" Black Powder Coated Steel Sidewalk Sandwich Board A-frame Sign
• Cosco Products Centerfold Folding Table, 6-Feet,White
• Stanley TR150HL SharpShooter Heavy Duty Staple Gun
• Heavy Duty Packing Tape Dispenser - Tape Gun