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Giant Steps Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Inc.

1320 Commerce Street, Ste. A
Petaluma CA 94954

Tax ID/EIN: 68-0404917
Year Founded: 1998
Last Updated 2017-03-02

Public Charity

Equine Welfare Network Guardian
We are proud to be a *2017 Guardian and share our horse care & use practices with the public.

View our WEBSITE



Primary Focus involving horses (Horse Welfare, Public Service, Sport & Recreation):  Public Service

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 and shelter of horses.

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

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

Our Mission/How we are involved with horses:
To enrich and change the lives of children and adults with disabilities through the extraordinary benefits of therapeutic riding and related equine-assisted therapy.

Horse-related programs:
The majority of Giant Steps programming consists of mounted lessons in which clients develop physical, behavioral, and cognitive skills that will support them in becoming more independent.<br /><br />We have also added ground work programming which is suited for children and adults living with emotional disabilities.

Non-horse-related programs:

Volunteer Opportunities

Minimum Age: 14
• The primary responsibility of the leader is control of the horse
• Listen for your rider’s name during the lesson; the instructor is also talking to you
• If you need to stop for any reason during the lesson, come off the track towards the center of the arena, halt, and get the instructor’s attention
• Safe horse spacing – keep 2 horse widths and lengths between horses at all times
• Keep horse’s attention on you at all times
• Keep turns gentle, unless otherwise directed by instructor – sharp movements will throw the rider off balance
• Remember your sidewalker – don’t scrape them off into the rail

Minimum Age: 14
• Primary responsibility of the sidewalker is the student/rider
• Listen for your rider’s name – instructor will address the rider out of courtesy
• Use rider’s name
• Sidewalker should walk at the rider’s leg
• It is okay to talk with the rider before the lesson, once the lesson starts, keep student’s focus on instructor
• Always treat rider in age appropriate manner
• Conversation should be focused on the rider – not between volunteers
• Different holds include: arm over thigh, ankle hold, may hold under rider’s arm or on back
• Give rider time to process directions, cue after 5 or so seconds
• Only one person at a time should speak to the rider
• Volunteers who wish to work with our horses will be taught horsemanship skills. Our horses are handled by many different people, so we ask that all volunteers conform to our standards of horse care.

Grooming, Tacking Up And Preparing For Lessons
Minimum Age: 14
• Be reassuring, calm, and firm around the horse
• Talk to horse so it knows where you are around its body
• Use curry comb and brush on body of horse
• Comb out mane and tail
• Pick hooves
• Use tack and pads set out by instructor
• Bridle and lead horse to mounting area
• Stand at left hand side of horse
• Hold lead rope in right hand, 12” from snap; hold slack in left hand in a figure 8 (do not wrap rope around hand)
• Walk alongside at the horse’s neck or shoulder; look straight ahead to where you want to go
• If horse won’t move forward, push horse away from you so it crosses its legs – that will give horse momentum.
• If not assigned to lead a horse, please wait for riders in waiting area.
• Bring helmets designated by instructor to rider waiting area or help rider to get and put on helmet.

Wish List Items

There are no wish list items posted at this time

*Guardians 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. The Guardian Designation is awarded annually.