PLATINUM2023

Giant Steps Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Inc.

Enriching lives through horses and community

aka Giant Steps   |   Petaluma, CA   |  http://www.giantstepsriding.org

Mission

Giant Steps is dedicated to enriching lives through the power of horses, team and community. Through the excellence of our equine assisted programs, people of all ages, means, and challenges experience the extraordinary benefits of therapeutic riding and activities.

Ruling year info

1998

Executive Director

Beth Porter

Main address

1390 N. McDowell Blvd., Suite G #331

Petaluma, CA 94954 USA

Show more contact info

EIN

68-0404917

NTEE code info

Education N.E.C. (B99)

Diseases, Disorders, Medical Disciplines N.E.C. (G99)

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

Our primary program, mounted lessons, is proven to benefit disabled individuals in ways impossible to recreate in other settings. The physical benefits of riding are enormous; being on a horse builds critical core strength, balance, coordination, and stamina, and a horse's gait is the closest match to a human's; riding begins to imprint the process of walking in the their brain and muscles. For other riders, the lessons are more cognitive: maintaining concentration, staying calm for the benefit of the horse, making eye contact with instructors and volunteers, following directions on the first request. Riding also provides a sense of freedom and mobility seldom experienced elsewhere in many of our clients' lives. We also provide programming for veterans, victims of military sexual trauma, "at-risk" youth, and other specific populations.

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?

EquineTherapy

Giant Steps opened in 1998 with 19 volunteers offering 100 lessons annually. We now offer more than 125 lessons per week with the support of roughly 175 volunteers per week. We also offer programming to veterans, families of the deployed, families experiencing homelessness, children of incarcerated parents and others.

Each year, we serve riders with over 60 distinct disabilities, including cerebral palsy, Down Syndrome, autism, stroke, spinal and head injuries, as well as mental and emotional challenges. Our riders are almost exclusively children and have come from all ethnic and socio-economic groups. Our current riders are ages 5 to 85 years, with an ethnicity that is reflective of our community.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
People with intellectual disabilities
Chronically ill people

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International 2021

Our results

SOURCE: Self-reported by organization

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

Number of service hours offered

This metric is no longer tracked.
Totals By Year
Related Program

EquineTherapy

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Reduced because of COVID

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.

Giant Steps goals are to have meaningful impact on the lives of our participants, and of the families. The goals might be physical, behavioral, and/or cognitive, but at the heart the focus is the same - increased independence.

For one rider with weak core muscles, the act of starting and stopping on a horse might build sufficient strength that the rider can sit upright in his wheelchair. For a rider with poor hand strength, the act of holding reins might translate to the ability to hold a spoon and feed herself. For a rider with verbal outbursts, the calm that comes with riding and controlling a horse might translate to improved self-control in the classroom.

We have seen riders take their first steps when their families were told they would never walk. We have heard riders speak their first words when the arrived to us non-verbal. Throughout, we have seen growth, joy, and teamwork.

When a rider starts, program staff carefully evaluate the rider's abilities and areas of growth, and carefully selects the right class, horse (size, temperament), tack, and volunteers. At least three goals are set for each rider for each session. The instructors then translate these goals to weekly steps. While not every goal is achieved by every rider in every session, we always see progress. We also track each client’s horsemanship and supporting skills. Horsemanship skills include the ability to mount/dismount, to sit upright, to use hand/voice commands, etc. These gross and fine motor skills build physical control for our riders and translate to life skills such as moving from a wheelchair unaided, holding a comb or spoon, and voicing needs. Supporting skills include attention to task, listening skills, confidence, etc. These behavioral and cognitive skills have broad impacts in our riders' lives, leading to improved attention in a classroom, increased comfort and ability in social situations, and general increased independence. In a recent tally of the summer results, we saw typical increases of 13% in both horsemanship skills and supporting skills.

Giant Steps is accredited by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH), an international center with more than 866 member centers. In fact, Giant Steps hold Premier Accreditation Status which indicates that we meet or exceed all program, safety and administrative standards.

In addition, all of our instructors are certified by PATH meaning that they have completed coursework, exams, and on-site evaluation on all aspects of safety, understanding of disabilities, horse care, volunteer management.

We are pleased with the level of growth our program has experienced. Our current challenge is that we have reached capacity within our current setting. To continue to expand our impact, we have piloted a groundwork program in which participants are not mounted on the horse, making it an easier program for the horse physically. In this program, which puts the individual and the horse on the same level, the participant is a more equal partner with the horse. Participants learn to guide horses through voice and body commands, and translate these lessons to their own lives in areas of confidence, leadership, trust, and respect. In the coming year, we also hope to add a hippotherapy program in which riders are paired, one-on-one, with a physical, occupational or speech therapist.

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 shared information about our current feedback practices.
  • How is your organization using feedback from the people you serve?

    To identify and remedy poor client service experiences, To identify bright spots and enhance positive service experiences, To make fundamental changes to our programs and/or operations, To inform the development of new programs/projects, To strengthen relationships with the people we serve

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

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, The people who respond tend to be the most supportive.

Financials

Giant Steps Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Inc.
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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

Subscribe

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.

Giant Steps Therapeutic Equestrian Center, Inc.

Board of directors
as of 03/21/2023
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Toni Forsberg

Medtronic

Term: 2018 - 2024

Abra Annes

Generosity Auctions

Toni Forsberg

Senior Director of Human Resources, Medtronic

Trevor Gilmore

The Menke Group

Dean McCauley

Merger & Acquisition Expert

Debra Beresini

CEO, invencor, inc.

Julie Atwood

Director, HALTER Project

Ben Karpilow

Attorney, Meechan, Rosenthal & Karpilow, PC

Ze Figueirinhas

Managing Director, JLL

Cindi Perez

Chief Operating Officer, Stifel investment Services

Christina Wang, MD

Doctor of Occupational Medicine, The Permanente Medical Group

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 ? No
  • 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? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 3/31/2020

Who works and leads organizations that serve our diverse communities? Candid partnered with CHANGE Philanthropy on this demographic section.

Leadership

The organization's leader identifies as:

Race & ethnicity
White/Caucasian/European
Gender identity
Female, Not transgender
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

No data

Gender identity

No data

Transgender Identity

No data

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

No data