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The Doves Guidance Program

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Centers to Support the Independence of Specific Populations, Human Services

Target demographics: at risk and special needs children and rescue horses

Direct beneficiaries per year: 75 children

Geographic areas served: San Joaquin Co.

Programs: The children come from all areas of the county and neighboring counties. They come to our ranch in hope of becoming part of the DOVES Guidance Program. They were told that they are going to a place where they can ride a horse! They are children of all ages, sizes and backgrounds, all with one common thread, the love of and desire to be close to a horse. They are children who have lost their way, children who have been abused, some in very horrific ways, children, for many different reasons with self-esteem issue. Children that have been rejected bullied or ignored. Many of these children come to us with labels; labels that society has put on them; ADD, ADHD, Autism, Asperger’s, Down’s Syndrome, Oppositional Defiance Disorder and so on. They come from all manner of families; single parent, foster, adopted, broken, dysfunctional and those being raised by grandparents or relatives.

Community Stories

6 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Rating: 5

I am very proud to be a donor to this organization. 100% of donations go to supporting the facility and animals so that no family is charged for participating in the program. They teach more than just how to ride and care for horses. They teach compassion and understanding through demonstrating these values every day. The facility is also clean and well-run. Further, their compassion extends to occasionally taking in rescue animals, as well. With this economy, so many horses are neglected, that it is a great gift when someone steps up and helps. This is further demonstration of the worth of this organization, which is passed on to the participants by demonstrating worthwhile values.

Christy O.


Rating: 5

I am a volunteer at the Doves program along with my daughter and son. It is amazing to watch the older mentor children come along side the children enrolled and really show them compassion and give them encouragement when needed. They have built relationships with the children and some have really bonded with them. Such an amazing thing to witness!


Client Served

Rating: 5

Daughter was introduced to the Program through her School Administrator. She took riding lessons but it was much more than that. They taught her confidence in herself, compassion for others including the animals, faith in God, herself, and others. They taught her the importance of ethics, self-esteem, hard work, responsibility, team work, and much, much, more. I highly recommend this program if you are looking for good role models for your young kids. They have older children helping to mentor the younger ones. I had the opportunity to sit with the group and work along side them on special projects. Ms. Oxford and her family have my high praise and support. We will be back in the Spring 2012!

Review from Guidestar

1 Grace P.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son has been enrolled in The DOVES this past year. Gayle and her husband have turned Oxford Ranch into a wonderful place where children experience life on a ranch; learning to ride horses, to groom them, clean up after them as well as other chores around the ranch while teaching respect and Christian values. This is an invaluable experience for those who are not lucky enough to live on a ranch. Gayle gives freely of her time, knowledge and love to all the children she comes into contact with. Gail and her team of volunteers have been a blessing for my son and for so many other children. She truly deserves to be recognized for all she has done for these children who would otherwise not know the joy of riding a horse and learning what life on a ranch is like. We have watched our son's confidence grow and we are just thrilled that we are blessed to have found this program.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My granddaughter has been involved in Doves this year and it has been a wonderful experience for her. She has developed a new appreciation for horses and their care and chores associated with them. She is more confident and respectful in her attitude with other riders and staff at Doves. The staff is very patient with the students and I especially like the Christian values they encourage all to abide by at the ranch. The chores help to develop their love of these wonderful animals and to respect them. I highly recommend this program for any parent to give their child a very important experience with animals. I hope they can continue this wonderful program. We look forward to another session at Doves.


General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My daughter has autism and has been riding at Doves for about a year now. She thoroughly enjoys her weekly rides, as well as completing her weekly chores and giving snacks to the horses. On her first visit, she was afraid of the animals and would not attempt to go near them. Throughout the year, she has gained in confidence and balance as she sits on the saddle with ease. We look forward to seeing her being able to ride and gallop by herself.

The facilities and staff are friendly, knowledgeable and (most of all) patient with all of the children. They really enjoy what they do and it translates to the children's experience each week. We are so grateful to have found them and thankful for the patience and support that they have for our daughter.

Thanks again,

Sean M. Broderick

Review from Guidestar