Halleck Creek Ranch

Life Without Barriers

aka Halleck Creek Institute   |   Nicasio, CA   |  www.halleckcreekranch.org

Mission

We believe that providing challenging experiences in a supportive environment will make a lasting, positive change in the attitudes and abilities of children and adults with disabilities, and in the people who care for them. Through the beneficial activity of therapeutic horseback riding, our participants learn new skills and expand their self-perception, enjoying a sense of freedom from their disabilities. We believe the families benefit from the relaxed atmosphere of the ranch and a valuable chance to network with other families and caregivers. We are committed to providing our program at low or no cost to our participants, so that the therapeutic benefits available through connections with people, animals, and nature are never denied a single individual in need.

Notes from the nonprofit

In response to the North Bay wild fires in 2017, we worked with supporting agencies such as Marin County Fire Department, the HALTER Project, FIRESafe Marin, and Ready Marin to develop an Emergency Operations Manual. This manual contains information and actions we should take both prior and during an emergency such as earthquake or wildfire. Because we are one of the first horse facilities in Marin County to create such a plan, we've created a version which can be shared and distributed to others in our community, as a template to help guide them in their development of their own plans. The names and phone numbers of our staff members and community members who might help us evacuate our horses has been intentionally omitted in this version due to confidentiality.

Ruling year info

1979

Executive Director

Molly Scannell

Main address

PO Box 159

Nicasio, CA 94946 USA

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Formerly known as

Halleck Creek Riding Club for Handicapped Children

Halleck Creek Institute

EIN

94-2581062

NTEE code info

Developmentally Disabled Services/Centers (P82)

Equestrian, Riding (N69)

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

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

At Halleck Creek we “open the door to the great outdoors" for children and adults with physical, psychological and developmental challenges by using the four strong legs of a horse. We pair gentle, carefully selected horses with special riders, experienced staff and dedicated volunteers to create a dynamic team that carries the riders out of the arena and into the beautiful Marin countryside. Our therapeutic riding programs and equine assisted activities offer complementary medical benefits for people facing significant health impacts as well as a unique and effective way for these special people to access nature and wilderness terrain.

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?

Equine Assisted Service & Therapeutic Riding

Halleck Creek Ranch (HCR) improves the lives of Bay Area youth and adults with disabilities by providing no-or low-cost individual and group therapeutic horseback riding programs and other equine assisted activities. These programs help to break down barriers to outdoor physical activity, improve mental health, foster independence and self-confidence, build strong family and peer relationships, and increase interaction between the disabled and non-disabled community. This form of horseback riding is a dynamic, exciting form of exercise that is often recommended by medical professionals as a complementary form of therapy for children and adults with disabilities. Through its unique physical movements, animal-human bonds, and adventurous nature, therapeutic horseback riding helps our participants to gain the strength, coordination, self-confidence, and sensory skills needed to live healthy, independent lives.

In addition, our Equine Facilitated Learning (EFL) and therapeutic horseback riding programs engage one’s senses through their contact with the horses, volunteers, experiences in nature, and continual need to respond to their environment and the movements of the horses. The participant’s strong bond with the horses often draws them out of their shells, encouraging language development as they enthusiastically talk with their families and friends about the horses they love and the riding experiences they look forward to each week.

Halleck Creek Ranch offers the following programs designed to meet the individual needs of our special riders: Group Trail Rides: Offered every Saturday, our 75-minute group riding sessions are designed to emphasize the therapeutic connections between people, animals, and nature. These lessons are held in groups of ten riders, and begin with stretching and warm-up exercises, followed by a trail ride through the beautiful hills of western Marin County. Our Saturday sessions also give the riders’ families the opportunity to socialize and support one another in a relaxed, welcoming environment. Halleck Creek Ranch currently holds three separate trail rides on Saturdays, serving 8-10 students each ride.

Individual/Small Group Riding Lessons: We also offer 45-minute individual or small group riding lessons, held Tuesdays through Fridays. These lessons are designed to give our participants the opportunity to work one-on-one with an instructor/volunteer team to build skills in the arena that are specifically tailored for the individual's goals and therapeutic needs. All lesson planning begins with staff selecting which horse, volunteers, tack and equipment will work best with each person. HCR currently offers individual and small group lessons on weekdays to over 85 youth and adults from throughout Marin County and the greater Bay Area.

In 2019, 55% of participants were youth aged 4-21 years. Our oldest rider was 86 year old. Eighty percent of our participants came from Marin County, while 20% traveled from Contra Costa, Sonoma, San Francisco, Napa, and Alameda counties. Seventy five percent of our participants identified as white, while 25% identified as Asian, African American, Hispanic or Latino. Thirty-eight percent are on the autism spectrum, 29% of our riders experience neuromuscular disorders or ataxia such as cerebral palsy or muscular dystrophy, 23% have developmental, intellectual, mental and/or emotional disorders, and 10% have a variety of disabilities such as traumatic brain injury, fetal alcohol syndrome and Down syndrome. Many are affected by more than one disability.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Families

The Vocational and Life Skills Program (VALS) is a vocational program for young adults with disabilities to help them develop skills they can take with them into the future. Facilitated by trained staff, the VALS program provides special needs youth with the opportunity to develop a set of useful life and job skills while also cultivating emotional intelligence.

The program is open to youth and young adults, ages 15-30 who are able to follow two step instructions, do well in a social environment and enjoy being outdoors and around animals (and who don’t mind getting dirty). Held at our 60-acre ranch, the program is offered in six, 2-hour meetings once a week.

The curriculum is intentionally crafted to meet the needs of the participants and builds upon itself allowing for deeper understanding and application of core concepts and offers repetition to increase development of new skills. Each week explores a special topic and highlights animals, plants or general ranch duties.

Some of the most significant outcomes we’ve seen from this program include improved ability to follow directions, the development of animal husbandry, gardening and facilities maintenance skills, improved communication skills, a deepened ability to interact with and relate to others, the ability to work as a team, and increased emotional intelligence.

We believe that physical work gives everyone, especially those with disabilities, purpose and dignity, and helps them achieve independence and self-sufficiency. To our knowledge, no other programs offered in a ranch setting currently exist, and it is clear to us that there is a great need for such a program within our community.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Young adults

Located on a beautiful 60-acre ranch in the rolling hills of Nicasio, Halleck Creek Ranch is the perfect setting for children and young adults of all ages and abilities to spend time each summer. Whether just learning to ride or an experienced rider, campers have the opportunity to learn new skills, meet new people, and have fun!

Each day we introduce a fun equine-related project, activity, or game designed to teach campers about their horse partners through hands-on education. Activities include: Catching and grooming, tacking and leading, horsemanship skills, arena and trail riding, vaulting, arts and crafts, horse care and stable management. To ensure the best support and learning opportunities for all, camps are limited to a total of 8 campers, and are divided into smaller groups for some activities.

Population(s) Served
People with disabilities
Families

As the cornerstone of our programs, our volunteers bring the gifts of service and support to our students and their families, as well as their unique expertise to our program, enabling us to serve a large number of people with a small paid staff.

We offer monthly volunteer orientations for new volunteers, providing them with a guided tour of our 60-acre ranch and a brief presentation on our mission, the history of our organization, and our various program offerings and volunteer opportunities.

Trainings are offered regularly, in which volunteers learn about how to care for our facility, horses and the people we serve. They gain valuable insight and education about the various disabilities our participants are diagnosed with, as well as horsemanship skills to prepare them to serve in our programs.

We also offer service-learning programs and corporate volunteerism days for schools, other non-profit organizations, and local businesses.

Population(s) Served
Adults

Where we work

Affiliations & memberships

United Way Member Agency 2000

Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, International Member Center 2019

EQUUS Foundation Guardian 2019

EQUUS Foundation Guardian 2020

EQUUS Foundation Guardian 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 youth who volunteer/participate in community service

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

People with disabilities

Related Program

Equine Assisted Service & Therapeutic Riding

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Please note: This number reflects the number of youth AND adults who volunteer their time in our programs.

Number of children served

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

People with disabilities

Related Program

Equine Assisted Service & Therapeutic Riding

Type of Metric

Output - describing our activities and reach

Direction of Success

Increasing

Context Notes

Please note: This number reflects the total number of participants (children and adults) served each year.

Percentage of participants whose tuition is globally-subsidized

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

People with disabilities

Related Program

Equine Assisted Service & Therapeutic Riding

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

Thanks to our Breaking Barriers Fund, all of our program participants pay a tuition that is globally-subsidized, totaling less than 20% of our total budget.

Percentage of program participants provided with additional scholarship support

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

People with disabilities

Related Program

Equine Assisted Service & Therapeutic Riding

Type of Metric

Input - describing resources we use

Direction of Success

Holding steady

Context Notes

We support those families who have the greatest financial needs by giving additional, sliding-fee scholarships. Some pay as little as $5 each week.

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.

Through equine activities and therapeutic riding we will help participants end their isolation, improve cognitive, physical and developmental domains and quiet anxious minds. Through our programs, participants will be able to access wild natural landscapes ordinarily not accessible to them, and face adventurous, physical and emotional challenges while learning horsemanship skills in the context of a warm supportive community that will have a lasting positive impact on their health and quality of life.

Employing the teaching standards of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH, Intl.) we provide high-quality equine assisted services designed to promote health, independence and freedom. We operate year-round, providing more than 4,000 hours of programs annually. We are dedicated to breaking barriers to inclusion of people with special needs in our communities. We direct a large and robust volunteer program that brings people from surrounding communities to help deliver our programs and foster a fuller understanding of people with special needs.

Building on over 40 years of experience at our historic 60-acre ranch, our certified instructors, dedicated board, donors, and more than 150 volunteers will deliver rigorous, fun and adventurous equine assisted activities throughout the year. As a member center of the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH, Intl.) we stay abreast of current research, methods, and best practices in helping people with special needs.

Our facilities include an 80' X 120' covered arena, an ADA-acceible wheelchair ramp for mounting horses, adaptive equipment, indoor ADA-accessible restrooms, picnic areas with ADA-accessible tables, and private 2-mile trail into a redwood grove. We are the only program in the area able to offer authentic trail rides into the wild and rugged landscape surrounding our property.

We offer 45-minute therapeutic riding lessons four days a week, as well as 75-minute lessons on Saturdays, which are reserved for authentic trail rides deep into Nicasio Valley. These exciting rides feature traverses up hillsides, creek crossings and opportunities for wildlife viewing.

Our highly trained and passionate staff, loving therapy horses and dedicated volunteers are a winning combination that help our students get outdoors, achieve their goals, and feel good about themselves.

Growing from just one day of riding a week, today we operate five days a week, offering 5 eight-week sessions throughout the year comprised of individual and group 45-minute and 75-minute lessons and/or trail rides. Our Saturday trail rides are designed to emphasize the therapeutic connections between people, animals, and nature. These lessons begin with stretching and warm-up exercises, followed by a trail ride through the beautiful hills of western Marin County, and give the riders’ families the opportunity to socialize and support one another in a relaxed, welcoming environment.

Our weekday lessons are designed to give our participants the opportunity to work one-on-one with an instructor/volunteer team to build skills in the arena that are specifically tailored for the individual's goals and therapeutic needs. All lesson planning begins with staff selecting which horse, volunteers, tack and equipment will work best with each person.

We also offer summer riding camps for youth and young adults under 25 and other special programs to help our community thrive. One such program is called the Vocational and Life Skills (VALS) program. In an effort to meet the needs of our community, we launched a formal vocational program for young adults with disabilities to help them develop skills they can take with them into the future. Facilitated by trained staff, VALS provides special needs youth with the opportunity to develop a set of useful life and job skills while also cultivating emotional intelligence.

Open to youth and young adults, the curriculum is intentionally crafted to meet the needs of the participants and builds upon itself allowing for deeper understanding and application of core concepts and offers repetition to increase development of new skills. Each week explores a special topic and highlights animals, plants or general ranch duties.

We believe that physical work gives everyone, especially those with disabilities, purpose and dignity, and helps them achieve independence and self-sufficiency. To our knowledge, no other programs offered in a ranch setting currently exist, and it is clear to us that there is a great need for such a program within our community.

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.
  • Who are the people you serve with your mission?

    We serve individuals with disabilities. They range in age from 4 years-old and up, and travel to our ranch from throughout seven San Francisco Bay Area counties.

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

    Electronic surveys (by email, tablet, etc.), Paper surveys, Focus groups or interviews (by phone or in person), Suggestion box/email,

  • 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 identify where we are less inclusive or equitable across demographic groups, 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?

    Recently, a local school for young adults with autism contacted us about the possibility of creating workplace learning opportunities for their students. We excitedly agreed, and weekly, the school would send a group of students to work alongside our volunteers, helping rake leaves, sweep stall mats, pick up manure, and clean water troughs, among other ranch duties. The volunteer-led program proved to be such a success that school administrators wanted more: More structured projects, more challenging tasks, and more interaction with the horses. In an effort to meet the needs of our community, we launched a formal, staff-led vocational program called VALS, for young adults with disabilities to help them develop skills they can take with them into the future.

  • With whom is the organization sharing feedback?

    Our staff, Our board, Our funders, Our volunteers,

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

    By asking for feedback, input and insight from the people and families we serve, our staff and board are better-able to understand their needs and how best we can meet them. Because the ages, abilities and backgrounds of the people we serve are so varied, we can't use a one-size-fits-all approach to serving them - each individual we work with is different, and so are their needs, desires, hopes and dreams. By empowering them to tell us what they're striving for and how best to help them, we're providing them confidence in themselves to continue to speak up in other situations about what their needs are and how best to serve them.

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

    We take steps to get feedback from marginalized or under-represented people, We aim to collect feedback from as many people we serve as possible, 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, We ask the people who gave us feedback how well they think we responded,

  • What challenges does the organization face when collecting feedback?

    It is difficult to get the people we serve to respond to requests for feedback, We don’t have the right technology to collect and aggregate feedback efficiently, Staff find it hard to prioritize feedback collection and review due to lack of time, It is difficult to get honest feedback from the people we serve, Many of the people we serve cannot provide direct feedback due to the nature of their disabilities,

Financials

Halleck Creek Ranch
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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

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Halleck Creek Ranch

Board of directors
as of 6/15/2021
SOURCE: Self-reported by organization
Board chair

Dan Steadman

Hennessy Advisors, Inc.

Term: 2014 -

Nancy Brookshire

Long-time volunteer

David Lambert

Pitney Bowes

Robert Reyff

State of California Attorney General's Office

Selina Wajnowski-Cheng

Rider Parent and Volunteer

Rick Lind

Rider Parent

Jean-Denis Ncho-Oguie

Deloitte & Touche LLP

A.J. Hennessy

Hennessy Funds, Novato

Shannon Manzoni

Renkert Oil, LLC

William Manheim

PG&E

Josie Plaister

Jim Grossi

Better GIS

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? No

Organizational demographics

SOURCE: Self-reported; last updated 04/30/2021

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, Not transgender (cisgender)
Sexual orientation
Heterosexual or Straight
Disability status
Person without a disability

Race & ethnicity

Gender identity

 

Sexual orientation

No data

Disability

We do not display disability information for organizations with fewer than 15 staff.

Equity strategies

Last updated: 04/30/2021

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 review compensation data across the organization (and by staff levels) to identify disparities by race.
  • 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.
Policies and processes
  • We have a promotion process that anticipates and mitigates implicit and explicit biases about people of color serving in leadership positions.
  • 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 measure and then disaggregate job satisfaction and retention data by race, function, level, and/or team.
  • 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.