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Dustys Riders

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations, Children & Youth, Human Services, Youth Centers & Clubs, Youth Development Programs

Mission: We provide at-risk children interactions with horses, taking them out of their present environment, exposing them to opportunities for personal growth building self-esteem and self-awareness.

Results: We currently work with four Boys & Girls clubs (Burbank, Variety (in East LA), West San Gabriel Valley and Watts-Willowbrook) The Dream Center, Helpline Youth Counseling and Dubnoff Center Valley Group Home. We have up to 40 kids visit us per month.

Geographic areas served: Greater Los Angeles Area

Programs: Take at-risk children on horse outings

Community Stories

69 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

change it to dusty riders hehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehehe

Client Served

Rating: 5

We were very pleased with our Dusty's Riders field trip this Fall! Dusty's Riders invited a small group of our high school students from the "I Have a Dream" Foundation, Los Angeles to visit their ranch and then take an hour long horseback riding trip through Griffith. Throughout the trip the Dreamers were attentive, engaged, and inquisitive about every aspect of the trip. They were able to learn the proper anatomy of a horse and actually identify these parts in person. Then, they learned the importance of grooming a horse and were able to take part in the process. The best part of the trip for them, was the horseback riding, when they were able to put the skills they learned to the test. Not a nervous bone was present and they enthusiastically approached their assigned horse! To wrap up the day, the Dreamers shared their experiences with one another over pizza at Shakey's. We greatly appreciate Sarah and her group of volunteers for their efforts and making the experience enjoyable for our Dreamers who typically would not have the opportunity to ride a horse coming from a big city.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Going to Dusty Riders was an INCREADABLY AMAZING experience!!! Especially if you want to adventure new things! Grooming and learning how to walk the horses was amazing! It was like if we all made imidate connection with the horses! Everyone was really super friendly and they were all concerned for our safety. Thanks to the I Have A Dream Foundation I was able to experience this UNFORGETABLE experience!

Client Served

Rating: 5

This September 17, I Had a Dream and myself attended Dusty Riders. We went with a group of 11 to experience the feeling of riding a horse. My experience at Dusty Riders was unforgettable to say the least. It was my first time on an actually horse, and it was very satisfying. I felt protected which eased my freight during the ride. I would recommend anyone to attend and enjoy the experience I had the blessing to feel. The staff is remarkable and very attentive to the rider. Great visit overall!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Going to Dusty's Riders was my first time being around horses. My experience was incredible. Mrs. Sarah and her friendly team of volunteers made sure that my experience there was a comfortable and inner active one filled with getting to know the horses, fun, and learning about horses. While I was attending Dusty's Riders with the I Have a Dream Foundation of Los Angeles, I was given the opportunity to groom, feed, walk, and horseback ride. As a whole my experience was incredible and I recommend it for anyone interested in horses or horseback riding.

Catherine91

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dusty's Riders is an incredible non-profit working with at-risk youth, unparalleled in its dedication of providing otherwise unattainable experiences for a wide ranging group of youths. As a regular volunteer, I have first hand knowledge of how horses heal and nurture and how the kids learn to get past fears. Most common quote heard each outing: "This was one of the best days of my life." Just recently, a teen conveyed how she felt she had 'found herself again.' It's outcomes like these that make Dusty's Riders such an amazing organization. Cowboy/Cowgirl up! Hee-Haw!

Michelle386

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Lets help Sarah, Dusty and Luke continue to nurture the children from youth groups across the greater LA area. In a controlled and safe environment, the students learn and practice various skills, having hands on experience with beautiful horses. Confidence is built with knowledge, teamwork, positive reinforcement and lots of encouragement. It is a fun, adventures day filled with laughter and life changing experiences. Did I mention there is pizza at the end of the day? As a volunteer, I am so thankful to be part of this human/equine magic.

Thank you,
Michelle J.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had the best time in my life riding with dusty riders. They were extremely professional and taught us a lot about horses and how to ride properly. All of the kids riding with us had a blast and it was definitely an unforgettable trip for all of us!! I would do it again!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This nonprofit is amazing. I have been volunteering with them for years and I will definitely be continuing with them for many more. Sarah is fantastic and really great with the kids. I love when I go back and see some of the children again or hear about how much they love this program. Everyone that I have introduced to this program enjoy it as well.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I love volunteering with Dusty's Riders. It is such a great organization and Sarah is amazing. Her dedication to the children is inspirational. Spending time with the children and horses really make my Saturday mornings. Plus the pizza is delicious

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Donor

Rating: 5

I met Sarah several years ago and have gone to a fundraiser event. It was fun. I think Dusty's Riders is a great program and donate somewhat regularly. I also appreciate that my employer's charitable arm has Dusty's Riders recognized in their database so I could get my donations matched.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dusty's Riders has had nothing but positive outcomes when ever we have brought our at risk youth that get invited. Every youth that has been on this trip has left wanting to do it all over again and with new found courage to do something out of their comfort zone. I am so glad their are organizations like this one that take the time to help the next generation to Cowboy and Cowgirl up!
Thanks Dusty's Riders till next time.

Chris Arroyo
Helpline Youth Counseling.

3

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Dusty's Riders for 4 years now, and am now on the board of directors. DR is a wonderful organization with the kids at the center; everything we do is with them in mind. We are always looking for ways we can improve the program and activities to make it even better for them, but the truth is, almost every kid that comes says it was the best day of their lives and they want to come back. It is truly heartwarming to watch them arrive at the ranch, quiet and nervous, and by the end of the day, be smiling and loving all of their experiences. I love DR!

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I learned about Dusty's Riders a few years ago through a mutual friend of mine and Sarah's, and finally was able to start volunteering this summer. I was amazed by Sarah's energy and ability to involve every kid and make each one feel special. It is such fun to watch the kids evolve throughout the day, and see the glow in their faces after the ride. Horses have such power, and I truly believe that meeting Dusty changes the lives of these kids for the better.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Sarah does such a great job introducing inner-city children and teens to horses. She uses the opportunity to coach the kids in how to have courage and address fear. Over the past two years I have taken dozens of students to her Saturday programs and every one of them has loved it and talked about it long afterward. Sarah first does a mini-workshop with the kids, introducing them to Dusty (and now Luke too) and getting them used to being around such large animals. They give the horses carrots, brush them, walk them and take pictures with them. Then its off to the riding stables where the kids are paired up with trail horses and we all go on an hour long ride. Most of them have never experienced anything like this before, interacting with and trusting such a huge creature! They always come back with big smiles and lots of unique, personal stories. Then Sarah takes the kids to Shakey's pizza for a chance to write their experience and continue swapping stories over pizza and games. I can't thank Sarah and all the Dusty's Riders volunteers enough for what they've given, and continue to give our students!

1 Debra28

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have enjoyed all my experiences with Dusty's Riders. I started as an active volunteer for several years and then served in the board for a bit of time as well. I can' t express enough how this non profit has benefited not only the at risk children it serves but the people who volunteer and support it as well. In seeing the enthusiastic faces of the children and and the fearful ones as well, I found a sense of pride and happiness when seeing them walk away from the whole day and experience changed. And all for the better! They are more confident in their abilities to try new things after they cowboy or cowgirl up for the first time! And that new found courage and confidence surely sets them up to tackle other challenges that will arise throughout their lifetime when they arise!

Previous Stories

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I enjoy every minute of the hours I put in for Dusty's Riders. Just to see the looks of pure joy on the kids faces as they ride a horse for the fist or second time is priceless. Dusty is amazing with them and the kids just love him. Hats off to Sarah Williams and Dusty!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Every so months my school (Dream Center Academy) goes to Dusty's and its so much fun.
I would go here anytime.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dusty's riders was a very good experince especiallly for me I was scared cause it was my first time riding a horse. I was terrified but they talked me out of it saying it'll be okay so I got over it eventually and just rode the horse like a boss. Thank you very much Dusty riders for inviting us to ride and learn how to ride and groom the horse.

Dream Center Academy Student:Olivia Oduleye

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Every year at DC Academy my history teacher asks the student body if they would want to go on a field trip to dusty's riders, and a group of at least 12-15 students sign up. we just went visited this saturday that passed and let me tell you it was amazing. i feel that its a great experience for kids who have never ridden horses. this is my second time going and I've never left disappointed. the staff at the organization are amazing there humorous and loving. i can tell that they love what there doing. i hope what have written today reaches out to people so that they can receive the same experience i have.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dusty's Riders is an excellent charity helping at risk youth. I had the pleasure of attending a ride recently and the sheer joy these kids experience is so incredibly heartwarming. Sarah is one of the most committed non-profiter I've ever met and to see the way the kids take to her and vice versa, as well as to both Dusty and now Luke, is amazing. I highly recommend this charity.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Awesome Experience at Dusty's Riders! Sarah was an outstanding host and was able to give our students valuable lessons about horses. Our students, whom had never ridden a horse were able to get on a horse and enjoy the ride! Sarah goes out of her way to make events be extra special. Thank you Dusty's Riders!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Great experience with Sarah and her organization over the weekend. It was hot on our horseback ride, but Sarah's enthusiasm and spirit never flagged. She's uplifting and supportive. The trip itself was organized and moved along right on schedule, but we never felt rushed or assembly-lined. The I Have A Dream kids were made to feel special and they did. Thanks to Dusty's Riders.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dusty's Riders and Sarah have been AMAZING with you our students from the I Have a Dream Foundation. Our students get an opportunity of a life time as they get to learn about how to care for a horse, lead a horse and ride a horse. Every outing is a great experience and our kids learn something new. Sarah and her volunteers are great and have shown nothing but love to our students. It is a very fun experience I wish all students could be a part of.

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

It was thanks to Dusty's Riders that I was able to learn everything there is to know about horses. Learning how to feed a horse, knowing where the many different body parts, and even given the opportunity to ride. I have lost track of how many times I've gone to Dusty's Riders but I have to say it was a new and different experience EVERY time and I absolutely LOVE this organization. From doing a different activity because the weather is not in our favor, to taking a new trail, to even moving to a new location. Dusty's Riders give kids a chance to grow, learn, and explore. Sarah along with her volunteers dedicate and sacrifice their Saturdays to spend with the kids in hopes of giving them a new experience that they can remember forever.

Frank24

Client Served

Rating: 4

Dustys is a great program for kids. We really enjoy being with Sarah, Dusty and the great volunteers she recruits. The day is well worth it for the children and for the staff who supervise on the trip. The best part of the day is how we spend a few minutes reflecting about the ride and how each horse has its personality.

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

Sarah is Amazing! She is very patient and enjoys seeing our kids eyes and hearts open up to Dusty. It's a great trip that our kids never forget.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dusty's Riders Organization is a great therapeutic program for my high at risk kids. HYC has been working with Dusty's Riders for several years and we have witness a great positive changes in the youth behavior, with the population we work. Sarah is also great with the kids. Our counseling groups are always looking forward when it comes to visiting Dusty's Riders.

1 Katy B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've volunteered with Dusty's Riders a few times, and it has always been an absolute pleasure to spend the day doing so! Learning about the horses in the morning and then getting to ride in the afternoon is extremely valuable for the kids and I can't speak highly enough of the program.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dusty's Riders is an amazing organization that takes introduces at-risk kids to horses and takes them on horseback rides through Griffith Park. I always have a great time when I volunteer. It is fun hanging out with Dusty the horse and getting to know the kids and seeing them interact with horses, sometimes for the first time. Dusty's Riders opens up a whole new world to at-risk kids and teens and gives them a huge boost of confidence.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Sarah and Dusty have a great thing going! It is nearly ridiculous to call it volunteering when really you get the wonderful opportunity to hang out with a group of excited kids, go horseback riding and spend time out in the beautiful outdoors of Southern California. Dusty's Riders meets each child on their level (an apprehensive child who isn't quite sure about this whole horseback riding thing) and then gently nudges them to take a risk and believe in themselves. By the end of the day - the kids are all laughing and surprised that they ever even considered not getting up on the horse. It is just fantastic to see kids who often have very little control over their day to day circumstances take ahold of the reins and recognize that their confidence is important. This is really just a one in a million organization that I love to volunteer with as often as I can.

Previous Stories
4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Fantastic Organization. All children need to be exposed to horses - to understand what it is like to care for and treat an animal with the respect and reverence they deserve. At-risk children are no different. I am please to have have volunteered for such a wonderful program and look forward to participating again in the future.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dustys riders is a wonderful nonprofit organization. I very much enjoy volunteering for them. When the the kids first arrive the majority of them are scared, apprehensive and afraid to even get close to a horse. As the day goes on; you see their confidence build and you see them interacting, relaxing and just enjoying the experience. It is valuable life lessons that they learn and will take them through life on their journey.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Dusty's riders is a Fantastic program, which teaches kids and adults of all ages about the wonderful world of horses. Many of these kids may have never being able to be on horse, let alone being able to afford to ride a horse. FANTASTIC PROGRAM , SARAH and DUSTY!

Previous Stories
7

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Dusty's Riders program has been a great program for our members at the Boys and Girls Club of West San Gabriel Valley, our members enjoy every aspect of this program,from Dusty , horseback riding, sleepovers, Rancho Oso,etc. Our staff enjoy the outings

Client Served

Rating: 5

The youth we serve have the ability to engage in a new and rewarding experience though Dusty's Riders. We are greatly appreciative of what they have offered our youth.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My first experience was great!!! I had the opportunity to take my daughter along with other kids from our organization and she had a blast. It was all she could talk about for the rest of the day. She now wishes to be a professional rider and to become a teacher to help other children learn to love and get over their fear of riding a horse. Her Grandma is a real cowgirl and she was so excited to tell grandma that she rode a horse!! Sarah and the other guides were amazing, patient, caring and fun!!! This program really teaches you the meaning of patience. WE LOVE DUSTY!!!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

This is an amazing organization. I have had the privilege of taking 2 groups of kids to share the Dusty experience. I have observed the kids in a different light and get to be part of the excitement and learning process they go through. Thank you for giving kids this wonderful opportunity.

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dusty's Riders is a not for profit organization that get kids from the inner city and exposes them to horses. I have seen youth who participate improve their self esteem, boost moral and gain respect for others as well as themselves. I remember shy boy who rarely talked to anyone, his name was Julius. Julius was soft spoken, and lacked confidence. During one of our outings he gained the courage to feed and lead a horse. At the end of the day he eventually rode the horse, and that gave him such a boost. When he got back to our clubhouse he was a totally different young man. That summer he gained a lot of friends and joined our swim team, and eventually became team captain. The moral boost that he got really helped him out, and it transcended to other aspects in his life. This is truly a life changing program.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is an amazing organization. Sarah Williams, the founder of Dusty's Riders is selfless and is so passionate about changing the lives of youth in a positive way. What better way to do that for kids than with horses? I have such a blast volunteering with Dusty's Riders, and I have first hand seen kids face their fears and conquer them through riding horses, and this experience will crossover to the rest of their lives. Not only is this a great organization for the kids but for the volunteers too! It's so much much to be around Sarah, the kids, and the atmosphere of riding horses in Griffith Park is one of a kind. Thank you Dusty's Riders for an amazing opportunity for both youth and volunteers! :)

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

I had the privilege of visiting Dusty's Riders two times this summer. Each outing included 10 youth, ages 12-18, from the Boys & Girls Club of Venice. We had an amazing time! The youth learned about Dusty, fed him carrots, groomed his coat and walked him around the ring. It was an engaging experience for all ages! Then, we enjoyed horseback riding and lunch at Shakey's. Sarah was extremely organized, patient, supportive, encouraging and fun! The youth were very grateful and excited for the experience. And, the bandanas and buttons ("I cow girl'd up!"; "I cow boy'd up!") were creative mementos to remember the day. I would certainly recommend Dusty's Riders to others!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Dusty's Riders has been providing a fantastic service absolutely free of charge to our organization. Three times a year, the Riders engage our children for several hours. The kids learn about horses; how to groom them, how to be safe with them and best of all, how to ride them!
Our kids have a fantastic time. For many, this is the first time seeing a horse up close and personal. Some are a little shy or scared, but the staff at Dusty's works very hard to build confidence in the kids and at the same time, teaching kindness to other living creatures.
We are very happy to be on Dusty's list. We will rearrange our schedule if needed so that the children get a day with the horses.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I had a blast volunteering one Saturday afternoon for Dusty's Riders. It was obvious the kids really enjoyed learning about horses - they got to feed Dusty carrots, brush, and walk him. Even the kids who were nervous at first were able to face their fear when they pet Dusty and got up close to him. I was lucky enough to grow up around horses, and this experience reminded me how awe-inspiring and awesome it is to interact with an animal foreign to you for the first time. Sarah (and Dusty) could not have been sweeter or more patient!

As if the morning at the ranch wasn't fun enough, we then got to go on a trail ride together - it truly is life-changing for kids to get them out of their everyday environments, explore new surroundings and experiences, and ride a horse for the first time. I'm sure they will remember our awesome ride (well, slow walk) through Griffith Park for a long time.

Oh, and THEN, the kids get to go to Shakey's for a pizza lunch! Seriously, what a perfect day all around. Major kudos to Sarah for her organization, creativity, and passion for this initiative!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I was at the ranch one day when Sarah and her Volunteers brought out some kids. It was really amazing to see the looks on the faces of these kids who had probably never seen a horse in person before, and I would bet had never been to a ranch before. It really put things in perspective. Keep up the great works DUSTY'S RIDERS!!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This organization is one of the most powerful influncences I have seen on children. It shows them something that they might not have the opportunity to experience in their current situation. It is done with love, kindness and respect on many levels. I would recommend this group to anyone wanting to make a difference.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was fortunate to take several of my middle school students on a trip with Dusty' Riders last spring. It was such an AMAZING experience. My students, many of whom had never been near a horse, cherished their time learning to care for Dusty. The opportunity to ride a horse afterwards made the experience that much more. Thank you Sarah and the rest of the supporters of Dusty's Riders. You make a huge difference in the lives of kids.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This afternoon I saw a 8 year old girl go from asking me when the ride would be over because she was scared to not wanting to leave. It was a wonderful transformation to see and be a part of. I found out about Dusty's Riders at the Pomona horse expo and had been looking for a volunteer opportunity where I can share my love of horses with children. This program really fits the bill. The kids usually have never seen a horse let alone though of letting one eat out of their hand or getting on top of one of these great animals. The kids not only get to ride a horse but learn about them while learning about themselves. Sarah does a wonderful job running the program and gives it her all.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I am a sixth grade teacher at Vista Charter Middle School in Los Angeles. Dusty's Riders has given our students a life enriching opportunity that will forever stay in their hearts. Our students live in the inner city and have little or no access to enrichment activities outside of our school environment. Our Vista students were more than thrilled to brush Dusty, clean his hooves, and listen to his heartbeat. Dusty is one big giant loving horse and is wonderful with children. Our students went horseback riding in the Griffith Park trails with nothing but nature, time, and their thoughts to relish the entire experience. Listening to my students talk, laugh, share stories, and comment how "cool" the trip was; made me realize how lucky we were to be invited. We are forever grateful for the wonderful opportunity and hope to be so lucky to visit Dusty again. Thank you Dusty's Riders. You have made a powerful impact in our students. Mrs. Rochin

Client Served

Rating: 5

I was able to come along on a Dusty's Riders adventure with a few of my students last year with a fellow colleague. We were treated well and I think the students really got a lot out of it. Some of them had never seen a horse, let alone ride one before. Their lives were changed. What a great opportunity!

Kim E.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Sarah is an amazing woman and is always working so hard to help the children in her program! My daughter has volunteered at several of her events and I have donated to this charity also! We are so happy when the children come out with huge smiling faces & so excited! It's a great program & Sarah you are doing an awesome job! We are proud of you!

Ronda G.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It is a pleasure to be able to say I volunteered at Dustys. Sarah is a lovely woman who gives her all to the children who come to her. She has special gift and she shares it with each child she meets. She makes her volunteers feel like they haved helped even when they them selves are beginners with horses. As long as they are great with the kids and every one is having a great time she is happy. I wish Dustys many happy years to come because of all the smiles those years will bring to the children!Ronda Gurrea

Amber20

Board Member

Rating: 5

I started as a volunteer w/ Dusty's Riders in 2009, not fully knowing what I was getting myself into. I'm actually a little scared when it comes to horseback riding, but seeing the difference this organization is making in the lives of the kids that get to participate makes me "cowgirl up" as often as I can! The best is seeing kids come back again and again and hearing all about how their time w/ Dusty and Sarah has helped them make great choices and be brave in their everyday life.

Kathy K

Volunteer

Rating: 5

To partake in Dusty's program is heartwarming and touching in many ways. My most memorable experience is the day I watched a child so fearful of being near a horse for the fist time that he refused to walk inside the coral with his friends to greet Dusty. As his friends embraced the experience of feeding, brushing and leading Dusty themselves, his desire to experience the same fun and connection with Dusty slowly developed, enough that he trusted his friends who encouraged him to join them. Not one of them teased or pushed him to do so. These young children proved to have a level of maturity and understanding that one sees little of nowadays at such an age. Throughout the day his self confidence and trust grew. He cautiously walked in the coral with Sarah and experienced volunteer, T, by his side. That day we all shared in our hearts the hope that he would overcome his fear. With Sarah, T and Dusty's patience, the change unfolded gradually before our eyes. By the days end, he had fed, brushed and ridden on horseback for an hour on the trail and expressed that he wanted to return again for another outing. The transition in this young boy's level of self confidence was magical to witness and an enlightening experience that everyone shared. After every outing I have worked I am grateful for the expressions of appreciation and thanks from the children that are shared with Sarah and us all. Their gratitude is truly sincere. What ever troubles the children face in life are forgotten during their time with Dusty. The memory of the experience goes home in their hearts to cherish and lift their spirits. Thank you Sarah and Dusty, for the touching and confidence-building experiences you create for children. ...Happy Trails, and tales, indeed! - Kathy

Alberto R.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I'm the director of a middle school and Ms. Williams has been very generous with her time and resources and allowed many of our students an experience they will not soon forget.

Michelle85

Board Member

Rating: 5

As a member of the board of directors for Dusty's Riders, I can say that this organization's sole focus is the children we serve, and every resource is used toward furthering our mission to give children lasting memories and improve their self esteem. I also am a volunteer and have personally witnessed the smiles and changes that occur in these children. I find myself giving more and more time to Dusty's Riders, because it is a cause I really believe in.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

The best experience a kid (and adult) can have. Not only do they learn about confidence, but team work as well. It's a great program that send a positive message.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering with Dusty's Riders for over two years. The kids are wonderful to work with and Sarah's program is such a great hands-on learning experience for them. They learn about horse behavior, care and handling, but most of all, they learn about themselves. The experience helps kids-at-risk grow and come to understand that they can do so much more than they ever dreamed possible. It has been a difficult year for non-profits, but somehow, Sarah has managed to keep the program going. Unfortunately, two of our Rancho Oso outings in Santa Barbara were canceled this fall due to lack of funding. On these all-day trips, we pass by the ocean on our way to the ranch. Many of the children have never seen the ocean before and have never been outside of the LA area. Experiencing new things like this lifts the spirits of these children and gives hope where there was none. At the ranch, the kids learn to rope a cow, watch real working cowboys and a cattle dog herd cattle and watch how bulls are trained to perform in rodeos. They get to ride horses along a beautiful trail in the mountains, play games on horseback, eat at a chuck wagon and make Native American dream catchers. It's a day filled with learning, fun and confidence-building. Each new experience helps these children learn how to "cowboy up" when the going gets tough.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My husband and I met Sarah at a mutual friends play. We sat next to each other at the play and during the intermission she told me about Dusty's Riders. My husband and I had wanted to get involved with a great organization and volunteer for quite sometime. After hearing about Dusty's Riders we knew this was the right one for us. We volunteered for the first time in August and absolutely loved it! We had the best time hanging out with the kids and getting to see the smiles on their sweet faces when they fed Dusty for the first time. It just melted our hearts! Sarah has done a wonderful job with Dusty's Riders. She is so great with the kids and makes sure that every moment is memorable and special for each child. We are so blessed to have met such a kind and giving woman. My husband and I look forward to volunteering more for Dusty's Riders. :) We absolutely enjoy every minute of it!

7

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have known of Dusty's Riders for about 3 years as I met Sarah at a Equine Affair @ LA Fargrounds. I have been well aware of the great program provided to inner city kids through receiving the newsletter & speaking with Sarah on several occasions. I finally got to experience the program first hand this summer, when my daughter & I volunteered to work on one of the outings. Dusty's Riders provides an extremely positive program where children from challenging home lives & neighborhoods can come and experience the joys of horses through an educational program of grooming, feeding & trail riding in addition to other topics covered. The children learn a new skill while overcoming fears which can be carried into other aspects of their lives. I have worked with children in the horse industry for many years and know that much can be accomplished through a program of this nature. These children are in great need of positive role models, positive and encouraging experiences that the horses provide, as well as a outlet for them to just relax and be kids for awhile without the stresses of their everyday lives. Sarah does an awesome job providing this for the children whose lives she is able to touch and I would love to see her be able to provide these opportunities in a greater way, without the struggles she encounters due to lack of funds. I commend her wholeheartedly and nominate Dusty's Riders for this award. It couldn't go to a better organization. Sincerely, Laura Edwards

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My 17 year old daughter and her friend volunteered for Dusty's Riders last month. They had a great time and were very impressed by the way the program is run. The kids really seemed to get a lot out of the experience and for a volunteer, that makes the time spent worthwhile. They will definitely volunteer again and hopefully will be a part of the program for as long as it exists!

8

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I truly enjoyed my experience with Dusty's Riders. It was wonderful watching the children learn about the horses and being able to interact with Dusty. Not only does the program offer the kids a chance to ride horses, which is always a wonderful opportunity, but it also teaches them how to face adversity. It was wonderful to watch the kids face their fears going down the hill on a horse and remembering to "cowgirl up." I could clearly see how that phrase inspired them to face their fear and go down the hill, and realize that it wasn't that bad at all. I enjoyed the opportunity to talk with the kids while getting to ride a horse and remember how happy that made me as child as well. Dusty's Riders is an excellent organization that I hope to volunteer with in the future.

7

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It's hard to believe this is a non-profitable program because the great kicks that come with it! These children are completely and freely offered the chance to get a better grasp on the nature of horses, riding the horses, and learning to experience one another's company in a group. It's hand-on time for children to get out and try something new! I cannot believe so many individuals were able to ride on their own horse at the equestrian center. :) I really liked that everything followed up smoothly and there was No hassle with moving forward in the day. Good, relaxing organization, and a very good day at Dusty's Riders.

9

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteer with this organization and it is wonderful! The kids come from different ethnic and neighborhood backgrounds, and at first, they kind of circle around each other and jockey for position and check each other out. Then, they mount up, and all differences fade away -- they're just kids having fun. The huge smiles on their faces, even those who are scared of the horses at first, are marvelous!

9

Client Served

Rating: 5

The members at our Boys & Girls Club have used Dusty's Riders for years. The expereince is rewarding and unique. This organization brings our children opportunities they would never expereince otherwise.

9

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

One of the reasons I love Dustys Riders so much is because of their diversity. At risk youth come in all shapes sizes and colors and believe me Dustys has them all. To me, Dustys is what America is about. Some of everybody. Unless you have lived in the inner city and been catagorized as POOR you may not understand the importance of bringing such a simple program into the inner cities. But let me tell you. Some of these young people may never have gotten the oppertunity to touch a horse if it weren't for Dusty. Some may never of seen a ranch. Some of us take these things for granted every day dont we? I am a victem of poverty myself so I can not donate. I work 2 jobs and I am a community advocate. Like most of America I live paycheck to paycheck. But I do give of my time. Please, if you can. Support Dustys Riders / Support a Child

5

Donor

Rating: 5

Dustys Riders provides kids the opportunity to commune with horses and nature that they would otherwise never be able to do. The benefits to their self esteem is unquantifiable and expands their perspective of the world and the possibilities it holds for them.

5

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dusty's Riders is a great nonprofit group! Sarah Williams is so passionate about horses and has constructed a very fun, educational program to introduce city kids to horses and riding. I loved seeing the kids overcome their fear of horses and gain confidence, knowledge, and responsibility by working with Dusty, the sweetest Appaloosa ever!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Dusty's Riders provides an opportunity for at-risk children to not only learn about horses, but actually feed them, care for them, and ride them. A day with Dusty's Riders is split into three fun parts. The day begins with the children learning about horses and getting to feed and care for Dusty, the horse. The second part of the day is horseback trail riding via the LA Equestrian Center in Burbank. The day is then completed with lunch and fun at Shakey's. Being fortunate enough to volunteer this one July saturday, it was one of the best days of 2009 for me. Seeing the expressions on the children's faces who have never seen a live horse is priceless and witnessing the enjoyment that these children experienced while feeding Dusty and going horseback riding is equally as priceless.