MINI THERAPY HORSES

Hooved angels, healing hearts and minds

Calabasas, CA   |  www.minitherapyhorses.com

Mission

The mission at Mini Therapy Horses is to bring joy, comfort and hope to those who need it most. Our program pairs highly trained miniature horses with dedicated handlers to bring life-changing equine-assisted therapy (EAT) and equine-assisted activities (EAA) to children and adults who are suffering. We exist to serve a wide-range of individuals, including pediatric hospital patients, veterans, individuals in treatment for substance abuse, people without housing, children in foster care and many more. We also serve as first responders following crisis events like wildfires or mass shootings. Wherever there is a need for joy, comfort and hope, MTH can help.

Notes from the nonprofit

Mini Therapy Horses is constantly looking for opportunities to expand our outreach and find new places where we can be of help. With additional financial support, we will be able to create even more healing and bring joy, comfort and hope to those who need us most.

Ruling year info

2017

President and Executive Director

Ms. Victoria Nodiff-Netanel

Vice President

Mr. Steve Sullivan

Main address

26500 Agoura Road, Suite 102-460

Calabasas, CA 91302 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

47-1664974

NTEE code info

Human Services - Multipurpose and Other N.E.C. (P99)

Animal Related Activities N.E.C. (D99)

Health - General and Rehabilitative N.E.C. (E99)

IRS filing requirement

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

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Communication

Programs and results

What we aim to solve

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Studies have shown that equine assisted therapy/equine assisted activity (EAT/EAA) reduces stress levels, increases emotional stability and social connections and helps build trust and empathy. And because miniature horses are so unique, we find the patients tend to be more willing to participate in the visits. These kind, gentle creatures give the individuals a safe, non-judgemental space where they can let their guard down. A space in which they can relax, escape, share a little about their own animals, cry or just sit silently and bond with the horse...whatever it is they need in that moment. Doctors and advocates have shared with us that in a medical setting, our visits serve as "ice breakers” and enable them to more easily connect with the patients, giving them something to talk about. It’s as if the minis open a door that was previously closed. Our goal is to continue to foster these beautiful interactions that leave people feeling seen and loved.

Our programs

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Mini Therapy Horses

The mission at Mini Therapy Horses is to bring joy, comfort and hope to those who need it most. Our program pairs highly trained miniature horses with dedicated handlers to bring life-changing equine-assisted therapy (EAT) and equine-assisted activities (EAA) to children and adults who are suffering. We exist to serve a wide-range of individuals, including pediatric hospital patients, veterans, individuals in treatment for substance abuse, people without housing, children in foster care and many more. We also serve as first responders following crisis events like wildfires or mass shootings. Wherever there is a need for joy, comfort and hope, MTH can help.

Population(s) Served
Adults
Children and youth
Health
Social and economic status
Veterans

Where we work

Awards

Certified Member 2015

Los Angeles Mayor's Crisis Response Team

Guardian 2021

Equus Foundation

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

How does this organization measure their results? It's a hard question but an important one.

Total dollar amounts of donations

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Population(s) Served

Social and economic status, Children and youth, People with disabilities, People with diseases and illnesses, Veterans

Related Program

Mini Therapy Horses

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Our Sustainable Development Goals

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn more about Sustainable Development Goals.

Goals & Strategy

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Learn about the organization's key goals, strategies, capabilities, and progress.

Charting impact

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

Our goal is to bring joy, comfort and hope to those who need it most. Mini Therapy Horses was founded in 2008 by Victoria Nodiff-Netanel and is a recognized leader in equine therapy with miniature horses. Mini Therapy Horses conducts regular visits at Shriners for Children Medical Center in Pasadena, Ronald McDonald House in both Pasadena and Los Angeles, the Department of Children and Family Services Juvenile Court, UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center, UCLA Santa Monica Hospital, the Greater Los Angeles Veteran's Hospital and L.A. Family Housing, amongst others. Whether comforting children bedside after surgery as they come out of anesthesia or visiting with a veteran who just wants to sit quietly and share space with one of our horses, the MTH team is there to bring a sense of calm, comfort and happiness.

As members of the Los Angeles Mayor's Crisis Response Team, our highly trained teams offer resources and support to survivors of traumatic incidents city-wide. These little horse heroes have responded to tragedies like the mass shootings in San Bernardino, Las Vegas and Thousand Oaks and also served as first-responders during the Woolsey Fire. Additionally, we are proud to be a part of the Los Angeles County Sheriff's Department Community Outreach Program, helping to create bridges between law enforcement and the community.

Mini Therapy Horses has proudly participated in the Rose Parade in 2016, 2018, 2019, 2020 and 2022. Our award winning program has been featured in numerous publications and television shows, including The Kelly Clarkson Show, California Live, People Magazine and National Geographic's, This Book Is Cute: The Soft and Squishy Science and Culture of Awe.

Research has shown that experiences with miniature horses can help regulate blood pressure, decrease feelings of loneliness and depression, reduce stress and anxiety, and provide a positive motivating stimulus. Mini Therapy Horses engages the special bond between people and horses to help children and adults find comfort and gain confidence. Our horses have a truly unique way of connecting with people, even when people are initially resistant or afraid. One of the benefits of these relationships is that there is not a need for well-developed social and communication skills. Our horses have instant connections with people. Working in collaboration with the horse, we make ourselves emotionally available in every way to the person. It’s about opening our hearts and helping the person make a connection with the mini horse while staying completely nonjudgmental. We create a memorable interaction that is healing and comforting for the people who have experienced a tragedy. We foster positive relationships with the organizers of the various facilities we work with, create a fun and engaging experience for our volunteers, and most of all promote the positive benefits in the children and adults who meet the miniature horses. We help not only those who are suffering but also their families, as well as the medical staff, who are critical in their treatment.
At the Veterans Hospital, Victoria, our founder, partners with a rehabilitation specialist, works with patients in the lockdown psychiatric ward. The interaction with the horse promotes more social interaction which helps with depression, focus, and navigating group settings. These interactions are focused on having physical contact with the horse. It is very therapeutic for patients who are isolated and depressed. It brings them joy and a sense of relief. Patients open up and reflect on childhood memories about their own experiences of being close to an animal. The horse is the vehicle of the physical interaction and discussion. The doctors and advocates say that patient interactions with the horses provide a way to connect with patients. Discussing the miniature horses provides a window into patients who are reluctant to engage.
During a Ronald McDonald House visit, MTH teams help children who have had surgeries or those who have a new prosthesis. We utilize "double leash walking", where a horse-handler and the child jointly walk a horse. The child, with their walker or in their wheelchair, holds one of the leads and the handler has the other, ensuring safety and control with the horse. Children feel empowered, confident, and proud and have fun in a way that distracts them from their current situation. Families feel joy to see their child experience happiness and normalcy.
We tailor our interactions to the specific needs of each facility we visit.
MTH also provides Equine Assisted Therapy to survivors and families of traumatic events such as the 2018 Borderline and 2017 Las Vegas mass shootings.

Mini Therapy Horses has nine teams of highly trained miniature therapy horses and certified handlers. Every detail of our premier facility ensures comfort for our horses and ease of use for our volunteers and staff. We have a training and certification program for volunteers to ensure that everyone works with best practices. MTH has two Sprinter vans to transport our horses and volunteers to events and visits. We are supported by our sponsors, donations from foundations, and individual grants.

Ongoing Scheduled Programs:

~Greater Los Angeles Veterans’ Hospital
Weekly visits since 2009 with the oncology unit, the rehabilitation unit, and the lock- down psychiatric ward
~UCLA Ronald Reagan Medical Center
UCLA Health People-Animal Connection, visiting staff and students. Our horse Blue Moon is the first miniature horse with this program that includes 80 dog teams. We visit We visit patients, medical staff, and visitors.
~Shriners for Children Medical Center
Visit children in recovery, patients with anxiety before their appointments, iv patients, and medical staff.
~Department of Children and Family Services, Juvenile Court
Provide support and relief to children who have to testify against their abusers and to children removed from abusive homes who are being processed through the system.

~Ronald McDonald Houses in Pasadena and Los Angeles
Visit children going through medical procedures and staying at Ronald McDonald homes with their families.

~LA Family Housing for homeless families

~Los Angeles Mayor’s Crisis Response team
Victoria Netanel, Steve Sullivan, on call 24/7 to respond to critical events. This team works to comfort people during and after traumatic events.

~Private Therapy Sessions

~Cliffside Malibu
Drug and Rehabilitation Center

~A Place Called Home
At-risk youth center in South Central, Los Angeles

~We have been honored to participate in the Tournament of Roses Parade for five years. Including 2020, whose theme, “The Power of Hope,” crystallized our mission at Mini Therapy Horses.

~During the COVID-19 pandemic, Mini Therapy Horses has providing virtual sessions with hospitals and schools. After the pandemic has passed, we will continue to provide virtual visits to acute patients in hospitals.

We are always expanding our programming to reach more people in need. With more financial support, we will be able to vastly increase our number of visits and continue with our current programs.

How we listen

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

Seeking feedback from people served makes programs more responsive and effective. Here’s how this organization is listening.

done We demonstrated a willingness to learn more by reviewing resources about feedback practice.
done We shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization collecting feedback from the people you serve?

    Suggestion box/email,

  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve, To understand people's needs and how we can help them achieve their goals,

  • What significant change resulted from feedback?

    Mini Therapy Horses regularly receives feedback from medical staff and hospitals, teachers and schools, and facilitators about the effects and positive benefits of our program. After our initial visit with a facility or program, we are always asked back to become a regular in their integrated medicine programs. During the COVID pandemic our patients at the Greater Los Angeles Veterans’ Hospital were missing our program and staff encouraged our founder to develop a virtual program with the Miniature Horses that would be beneficial to the patients in the psychiatric and rehabilitation units. This program has now become an integral part of therapy in these units. Our virtual program is also used at the Ronald Reagan UCLA Medical Center and Shriners' for Children Medical Center.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our community partners,

  • How has asking for feedback from the people you serve changed your relationship?

    Constructively taking feedback has only strengthened our relationships with those we serve. Feedback helps us improve. As a result, the experience is improved and our organization is better than before.

  • Which of the following feedback practices does your organization routinely carry out?

    We take steps to ensure people feel comfortable being honest with us, We look for patterns in feedback based on people’s interactions with us (e.g., site, frequency of service, etc.), We engage the people who provide feedback in looking for ways we can improve in response, We act on the feedback we receive, We tell the people who gave us feedback how we acted on their feedback,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    We don't have any major challenges to collecting feedback,

Financials

MINI THERAPY HORSES
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Operations

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

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Connect with nonprofit leaders

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Build relationships with key people who manage and lead nonprofit organizations with GuideStar Pro. Try a low commitment monthly plan today.

  • Analyze a variety of pre-calculated financial metrics
  • Access beautifully interactive analysis and comparison tools
  • Compare nonprofit financials to similar organizations

Want to see how you can enhance your nonprofit research and unlock more insights? Learn More about GuideStar Pro.

MINI THERAPY HORSES

Board of directors
as of 02/22/2022
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Victoria Nodiff-Netanel

Steve Sullivan

Elizabeth Lorey

Kate Vadehra

Briana Cap

Danielle Palmieri

Cheryl Perry

Jamie Schneider

Sether M. Hills Johnson

Board leadership practices

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

GuideStar worked with BoardSource, the national leader in nonprofit board leadership and governance, to create this section.

  • Board orientation and education
    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? Yes
  • CEO oversight
    Has the board conducted a formal, written assessment of the chief executive within the past year ? Yes
  • Ethics and transparency
    Have the board and senior staff reviewed the conflict-of-interest policy and completed and signed disclosure statements in the past year? Yes
  • Board composition
    Does the board ensure an inclusive board member recruitment process that results in diversity of thought and leadership? Yes
  • Board performance
    Has the board conducted a formal, written self-assessment of its performance within the past three years? Yes

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 2/7/2022

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? GuideStar partnered on this section with CHANGE Philanthropy and Equity in the Center.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female

The organization's co-leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Male

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data

Equity strategies

Last updated: 01/15/2021

GuideStar partnered with Equity in the Center - an organization that works to shift mindsets, practices, and systems to increase racial equity - to create this section. Learn more

Data
  • We disaggregate data to adjust programming goals to keep pace with changing needs of the communities we support.
  • We employ non-traditional ways of gathering feedback on programs and trainings, which may include interviews, roundtables, and external reviews with/by community stakeholders.
  • We disaggregate data by demographics, including race, in every policy and program measured.
  • We have long-term strategic plans and measurable goals for creating a culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.
Policies and processes
  • We use a vetting process to identify vendors and partners that share our commitment to race equity.
  • We seek individuals from various race backgrounds for board and executive director/CEO positions within our organization.
  • We have community representation at the board level, either on the board itself or through a community advisory board.
  • We help senior leadership understand how to be inclusive leaders with learning approaches that emphasize reflection, iteration, and adaptability.
  • We engage everyone, from the board to staff levels of the organization, in race equity work and ensure that individuals understand their roles in creating culture such that one’s race identity has no influence on how they fare within the organization.