A day at Halleck Creek Ranch is much more than a riding session for our students – it is a healthy form of exercise and recreation that families can enjoy together. Many members feel that they belong to a very special “family” at Halleck Creek Ranch, and consider the ranch another place to call home.

We believe that equine-assisted activities and Adaptive horseback riding encourage each of our participants to live a life without barriers. For many, this means a healthier body and calmer mind, as well as a chance to access the “great outdoors”. For volunteers, their interactions with the riders teaches them that people with disabilities can do anything they want to, they just have to do it a little differently.

Riding horses stretches and strengthens core muscles leading to increased ability to sit or stand, it increases flexibility and balance leading to an increased ability to walk or run, and helps develop hand strength and coordination leading to an increased ability to eat independently or write legibly. Learning to control a large animal also increases self-esteem and promotes relaxation, improving a rider’s relationships with friends and family. In addition, riding a horse engages all of the senses. It is challenging, motivating and fun.

But not all of our programs necessarily require that one ride a horse – some involve working with a horse from the ground, where the student can develop a deeper relationship with their horse.

Our students have a wide range of developmental, physical and sensory disabilities including: autism, cerebral palsy, Down syndrome, multiple sclerosis, traumatic brain injury, vision/auditory impairments, and more. Our youngest rider is 4, and our oldest rider is 85-years old, but 80% of our riders are children between the ages of 4- and 21-years old. Riders and their families visit the ranch from seven Bay Area counties: Alameda, Contra Costa, Marin, Napa, San Francisco, Solano, and Sonoma.

Interested in participating in our programs?

The first step to joining our program is to complete the initial application below. HCR staff will reach out to you to learn more about your/your child’s abilities and needs, and work with you to schedule a weekly lesson time. Prior to the first lesson, an orientation will be scheduled, during which you will be given a tour of the ranch and an overview of our programs, as well as complete necessary enrollment paperwork while our trained staff assess the needs of the student to develop appropriate therapy goals. For more details about our program policies, download our Participant Handbook here.