Children & Youth,
Mental Health Treatment,
Youth Development Programs
Mission: 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.
Target demographics: children facing social, emotional, and physical challenges
Geographic areas served: Alameda & Contra Costa counties
Programs: In the Saddle - a horseback riding program geared towards children facing physical and developmental challenges. Lessons partner one child, one mentor, and one horse for a 45 minute session, which includes some grooming and saddling if the child is able. Lessons are personally tailored to accommodate the special needs of each child.
Team Equine -a working ranch program geared towards children facing social and emotional challenges. Supervised by adult volunteers, the kids participate in chores, horse science, riding, and arts & crafts. The activities incorporate life skills like responsibility, work ethic, empathy, and manners. SonRise fosters an environment where the kids can build solid relationships with each other and with positive role models in a healthy community..
Traveling Tails - a program that brings miniature horses into children’s hospice and care homes to visit children who are near the end of life or facing serious medical issues. The minis also visit special needs schools and camps, working with children who have autism and other developmental delays.
My daughter has struggled with many issues, including dyslexia, a mood disorder, depression, a major family loss, social issues, and more. On her first day at Sonrise she met other kids with the same issues and finally felt that she could be around people who understood what she goes through. A 10 year old doesn't understand their diagnosis, they just feel terrible and misunderstood. The only time she felt happy was around animals, so Sonrise has given her not only the chance to care for animals, but to also be with peers who understand her, while the staff offer so much more. She often comes home with small awards, that boost her self confidence, for example, she was given a horse puzzle because she was the hardest worker that day.