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2012 Top-Rated Nonprofit

Giant Steps Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal-Related, Animals, Education, Equestrian, Health, Sports, Voluntary Health Associations & Medical Disciplines

Mission: Giant Steps Therapeutic Equestrian Center is dedicated to enriching the lives of individuals with physical, behavioral and developmental challenges through the extraordinary benefits of therapeutic riding and related equine assisted therapy.

Results: From a program that started by serving 100 riders each year, we have grown to become a program that serves more than 100 riders each week. Over 90% of our riders achieve their stated goals in each session. We also maintain an active volunteer corp of 175. Without them, we could not do our work.

Target demographics: Any child or adult with a disability who can be helped by therapeutic riding!

Geographic areas served: Greater San Francisco Bay Area - riders come to us from 7 counties

Community Stories

4 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Giant Steps provides an amazing service for members of the community. It attracts students with many different disabilities some of whom drive for over an hour to participate in therapeutic riding lessons. It has a dedicated staff who give many hours beyond those expected of them and has created a community among its volunteers. Giant Steps is a gem of an organization that deserves recognition.

Previous Stories

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have the privilege of spending my work days with children with autism, "at risk" teenagers, veterans, young people with visual and hearing impairments and wonderful groups of dedicated volunteers. Most weeks I feel like I learn more from my students than they do from me. Seeing the compassion they have for the horse they ride, watching them overcome fears and canter for the first time, and seeing them laugh when they feel a bouncy trot. It is a wonderful privilege to witness the growth that happens in just one week spent with the people and horses at Giant Steps. Just this week I saw the joy that one of my students gets from just being able to put her hands on a horse. You can positively feel the excitement coming off her when she waits to mount her horse. In just three classes she has started to halt her horse with some measure of independence. The truly amazing thing is this young rider has both visual and hearing impairments, but what you notice when she is on a horse is that she has a smile that could light a room.


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I had the pleasure of visiting Giant Steps earlier this year and was so impressed by the level of care provided to a very fragile child with multiple disorders and challenges. The folks at Giant Steps believe in what they are doing; they've seen the small miracles that change lives and bring hope to families. Dedicated staff and volunteers and wonderfully gentle horses make it posssible for children with severe disabilities to learn to walk, to speak their first words, and maybe most importantly, to smile and laugh.


Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

As a physician, I cannot recommend this facility highly enough. Children and adults alike experience healing and recovery that is unparalleled in medicine. The referral process is straight-forward and efficient. The leadership and staff are trained professionals, and horses absolutely magical. I wish I had more tools like this in primary care.