Health—General & Rehabilitative

Therapeutic Riding Center of Huntington Beach, Inc.

The Spirit that Overcomes Disabilities


Huntington Beach, CA


To empower people with physical and developmental challenges to discover their greatest strengths and gain a sense of self-confidence and self-reliance through the special relationship with a horse.The Therapeutic Riding Center of Huntington Beach (TRC) was founded in 1990 by a group of community volunteers who wanted to provide services to individuals with disabilities in the form of Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies (EAAT).

Ruling Year


Principal Officer

Ms. Donna Brandt

Main Address

P.O. Box 2298

Huntington Beach, CA 92647 USA


Therapeutic Riding, EAAT, PATH, Derby Day, TRC





Cause Area (NTEE Code)

Rehabilitative Medical Services (E50)

Equestrian, Riding (N69)

Human Service Organizations (P20)

IRS Filing Requirement

This organization is required to file an IRS Form 990 or 990-EZ.

Sign in or create an account to view Form(s) 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016.
Register now

Social Media

Programs + Results

What we aim to solve

Add a problem overview to your profile.

Update now

Our programs

What are the organization's current programs, how do they measure success, and who do the programs serve?

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Therapeutic Riding Program

Where we work

Charting Impact

Five powerful questions that require reflection about what really matters - results.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

What is the organization aiming to accomplish?

What are the organization's key strategies for making this happen?

What are the organization's capabilities for doing this?

How will they know if they are making progress?

What have they accomplished so far and what's next?

As we work toward expanding our program to meet the growing demand for our services, we have set the following goals for 2016:
• 100% of our clients will have the opportunity to participate in therapeutic riding or equine assisted activities;
• 100% of our clients will have the opportunity to participate in mainstream extra curriculum horse related events including horse shows at the Huntington Central Park Equestrian Center, Orange County Fair, California State University, Fullerton, and other locations;
• 90% will be able to hold their own reins. While many of our students start riding with adaptive equipment, graduating to independent reins dramatically increases their self-confidence;
• 90% of our clients will meet at least one of their treatment goals;
• 90% of our clients will be able to “right" their balance. For many of our clients struggling with body awareness and control issues, sitting straight in a saddle can be difficult. We aim to help our students recognize when they are off balance and gain the core strength to re-balance themselves without assistance;
• 75% of our students will increase their social skills, develop friendships, interact with volunteers, and integrate skills into daily lives; and
• 60% of our students will improve their receptive & expressive language.

Depending on student need, TRCHB uses adaptive equipment such as surcingle handles and safety straps. Most lessons are taught in a group format to allow our clients to form friendships with similarly-abled peers. For many of our students, this interaction is critical because they struggle with social interactions, verbal and non-verbal cues, and communication.

Each lesson begins with an introduction during which students learn basic grooming and horse care, helping to build trust and a bond between the horse and the students. Following the introduction, each lesson includes the following components:

• Mounting: The type of mount is chosen based on each participant's needs and disabilities, with a focus on safety for the horse and the rider. While each mount may be different, we focus on helping riders understand the sequence of the steps involved and performing the steps in a safe and effective manner. Our instructors focus on fostering independence while ensuring appropriate technique and body mechanics.
• Warm-up: These exercises are related to each rider's larger goals, and students are encouraged to practice previously learned skills. In addition to stretches and strength exercises, this activity helps the rider get conformable in the saddle and gain their confidence.
• Rider skills: Each lesson begins with a review of the past week's activity, followed by a new skill or activity that builds on that. Activities vary depending on the skills and ages of each class and are designed to balance therapy, education, sport, and fun. The movement of the horse is very beneficial to the rider; therefore, our instructors use the movement of the horse whenever possible during the activities, exercises, and games. Although stretches and exercises may be demonstrated and initially tried by the riders at a halt, they provide the most benefit when performed while the horse is moving.
• Wrap-up: This provides an opportunity for review of the day's lesson.
• Dismount: As with the mount, the type of dismount used will be dependent upon the ability of each student. Regardless of the type of dismount, the rider should understand the steps involved and be able to perform those steps in the appropriate sequence, safely and effectively. The dismount is always done in the presence of the instructor or volunteer who has been trained in dismounting techniques.

In 2014, TRCHB Board has developed the following goals in our Ten Year Plan:
1. Continue to increase the number of grants submitted by 15% each year
2. Increased fund development activities to build one year worth of financial reserves to sustain the organization;
3. Purchase a lift to transfer wheelchair-bound clients to and from a horse. Estimated cost is $10,000 (in November 2015, TRCHB recently received a grant to cover the cost of this lift)

As part of this, we have also started planning to become a PATH international premier accredited center, which will demonstrate excellence by providing highly qualified equine therapy, recruiting and maintaining quality educators and leaders, advancing successful student outcomes in the areas of social, emotional, physical and verbal development, and operating a financially sustainable organization. To achieve this accreditation, TRCHB must complete the following:
1. Designate a center representative who must complete and pass the PATH Center Accreditation Training Course with a 90% or higher (estimated cost $500)
2. Complete the PATH Application for Center Accreditation (estimated cost $150)
3. Complete a site visit and meet all core standards

In addition to tracking treatment goals, TRCHB collects evaluation surveys with separate questions for the rider and their parent/caregiver. Through these surveys, we have seen the greatest proof our of success in the stories of our riders. (please refer to GuideStar reviews to read some of these stories)

In addition to rider surveys, TRCHB also conducts evaluation of our program structure, volunteer program, and other processes through volunteer surveys. Based on these evaluations, we have restructured our volunteer training and increased training frequency. We have also implemented advanced training opportunities and a program recognizing a Volunteer of the Month and Volunteer of the Year.

Therapeutic Riding Center of Huntington Beach (TRCHB) was founded in 1990 when our founder, David Allen, saw a need for equine-assisted therapy for several disabled residents of Orange County. Starting with one horse, a group of volunteers dedicated themselves to utilizing horses and riding to help people with disabilities. Our mission is empower people with physical and developmental challenges to discover their greatest strength and gain a sense of self-confidence and self-reliance through the special relationship with a horse.

In pursuit of this mission, we were certified through the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (now the Professional Association of therapeutic Horsemanship International) in 1991, a voluntary, peer-reviewed accreditation process confirming that TRCHB demonstrates excellence in therapeutic riding, incorporates best-practices and therapies, and maintains proper safety standards. In 1992, TRCHB officially became a 501(c)3 nonprofit organization and acquired our first horse, Lena. Since 1992, we have provided our services in a private arena at the Huntington Central Park Equestrian Center, serving children and adults from throughout Orange and Los Angeles County five days a week.

TRCHB currently serves 65 individuals with disabilities from Orange County and the greater Los Angeles area. Some of these individuals have been enrolled in the TRCHB program for over seven years. On average, our riders stay with our program for several years, a testament to the positive effect therapeutic riding has on their lives. Over half of TRCHB riders are residents of Huntington Beach, but others riders come from as far as Aliso Viejo, Corona, and Riverside.

External Reviews



Therapeutic Riding Center of Huntington Beach, Inc.

Need more info on this nonprofit?

Need more info on this nonprofit?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

See what's included


The people, governance practices, and partners that make the organization tick.

Need more info?

FREE: Gain immediate access to the following:

  • Address, phone, website and contact information
  • Forms 990 for 2018, 2017 and 2016
  • A Pro report is also available for this organization.

See what's included

Board Leadership Practices

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section, which enables organizations and donors to transparently share information about essential board leadership practices.

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization


Does the board conduct a formal orientation for new board members and require all board members to sign a written agreement regarding their roles, responsibilities, and expectations?



Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year?



Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year?



Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership?



Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years?