Sonrise Equestrian Foundation

Rating: 4.96 stars   49 reviews


PO Box 3097 Danville CA 94526 USA


SonRise Equestrian Foundation is a free, non-profit organization making a positive difference for children living with social, emotional, or physical challenges including terminal illness.


In the saddle - a one-on-one horseback riding program that teams up one child, one mentor and one horse 100% of the time. This ensures no hurting child gets lost in a crowd and keeps our program extremely safe.

team equine - a working ranch program where children work in teams doing ranch chores and caring for horses in need of rehabilitation. The program builds self-worth by providing children with goals they can achieve and letting them easily see the product of their labor.

traveling tails - a miniature horse program which brings minis to children's hospice care homes and schools for children with special needs.

2016 Top-Rated Nonprofit
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Reviews for Sonrise Equestrian Foundation

Rating: 5 stars  

Sonrise has been a bright light in my daughter's life. This is a place where our differently abled children have the opportunity to learn and grow while refining their physical and emotional skills. The entire staff is so gifted and genuinely loves the children they serve. Even on days that have been difficult for my daughter process her world, somehow Sonrise and their beautiful horses have been able to break through and make strides with her. Therapies are soo costly and without Sonrise we would not be able to give my daughter this opportunity. Thank you Sonrise

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Rating: 5 stars  

The wait list is long, but worth it! SonRise has been such an amazing and supportive experience for my daughter. She was so nervous when she first stepped into the barn with all the big horses around her, but the staff was patient and really worked with her to get comfortable. And now she loves riding Blackie (the miniature horse), routinely requests to see him at home and looks forward to each upcoming lesson.

My daughter has Down Syndrome and the general low muscle tone and delayed speech that accompanies it. Riding Blackie was so fun and physical that it elicited a variety of new spontaneous speech for her. Their games and activities were very appropriate for her age level and the staff always provided much physical support, as my daughter was not strapped into a saddle which maximized working on her core strength and overall endurance. Pretty incredible when you consider they encouraged my daughter and Blackie to trot around the course.

I've always heard from therapists that Gross Motor and Speech can be complementary. And to some effect, I've seen this when my daughter is on a playground slide, swings or a trampoline. But when these therapies are combined with caring, riding and respecting a real live horse, this becomes an all-encompassing exercise with a natural emphasis on behavior. The dynamic is like no other therapy we've experienced. She is working on so many multi-planar elements, but just doesn't know it because she's outside and just having so much fun.

SonRise offers two summers worth of sessions per child (and then some), free of charge. We've looked into other horse riding therapy places and the prices are steep with no hope of even partial reimbursement from insurance. SonRise is so unique and special in this respect, allowing families to experience the benefits of hippotherapy who otherwise might not be able to.

We are grateful to be a recipient and SonRise is a GreatNonprofit !
Mimi Mack

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A lot

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How do you feel you were treated by this organization?

Very Well

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Rating: 5 stars  

I love Amigo and Treasure and Sarah.
I do my five special steps and wear my boots
I love riding my horse.
Thank you so much.
Leah - age 7

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Rating: 5 stars  

They have help my son so much it is amazing how riding horse help my child that is autistic and add just come out of his she'll better and be able to so such compassion to animals where he use to be a bit mean to them.

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Rating: 5 stars  

My son has been riding with Sonrise for a year now. This is a wonderful opportunity, where riders learn not only horseback riding but also how to care for and prepare a horse for a ride. Sonrise volunteers and the staff are gentle and kind, but have high standards that are appropriate to each child's level of function. Amazingly, Sonrise makes this opportunity available to children with special needs at no cost to the family. This level of generosity, and understanding of the financial demands that are placed on a family that includes a child with special needs, is very unusual. Thank you, Sonrise!

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Rating: 5 stars  

Sonrise Equestrian Therapy has really helped our almost non-verbal kid. Now, he loves Horses can call the Horses names and the command. Its like having Physical , Occupational and Speech Therapy in one place. Thanks to all the Teachers and the Volunteers for doing such an awesome Job.

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Rating: 5 stars  

Sonrise has helped our daughter in so many ways:
Her speech- she has to call out commands to the horses
Her motor skills- She has to have proper form and know how and when to work the reins. Also, latching and unlatching the horse.
Her ADHD- She has to pay attention & focus in the moment when on and around the horses.
Her Anxiety- She has to remain calm when she's around the horses.
Her Social Skills- She interacts with the volunteers & other kids. They have to work together.

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Rating: 5 stars  

My daughter Veronica was 10 years old when she started pulling out her hair, eyelashes, and even her eyebrows. Talk therapy helped a little with her trichotillomania, and then a friend suggested Sonrise Equestrian. After a little bit of shyness around the people (the horses were no problem!), Veronica fit right in. The gentleness of the horses and the loving commitment of the volunteers were exactly what she needed. From helping brush and exercise the horses to cleaning stalls, then riding lessons on to being a volunteer herself, my little girl has grown into a wonderful, loving young lady. She hasn't 'pulled' for quite a while, and the program and people at Sonrise are a huge part of that. Thank you, Sonrise, for all you do!

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Rating: 5 stars  

Sonrise Equestrian Therapy has helped my Twelve year old Autistic son feel awesome. Sonrise offers free riding lessons to my son. He loves the connection he has with the horses there. The volunteers treat everyone like family and are so caring. I never met such loving people like those at Sonrise.

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Rating: 5 stars  

I could see that riding at Sonrise gave my autistic son such a feeling of pride and
competence. The volunteers are patient, kind and encouraging. They are so
experienced, and calm and clear in their directions, that they achieved amazing
cooperation from my son....who can have really difficulties with maintaining attention.
I'm deeply grateful for their work

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