Project R.I.D.E.

"Harnessing the Magic of Horses to Change Lives Since 1979"
Project R.I.D.E. Inc. provides recreational therapeutic horseback riding instruction to people with special needs. Utilizing gentle equines and specially trained volunteers, we construct a safe and enjoyable experience that is therapeutic in its benefits, educational in its design and recreational at its heart.

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Address: 8840 Southside Ave.
Elk Grove, CA 95624
County or Parish: Sacramento
Executive Director: Tina Calanchini
Contact Email:
Primary Phone: 916-685-7433
Fax: 916-686-0500
Founded in 1979 as an offshoot of Jessie Baker School's Adaptive Physical Education program, Project R.I.D.E., Inc. is now an independent nonprofit serving the students of Jessie Baker School as well as individuals from the greater Sacramento area. From our humble beginnings serving a handful of students using horses borrowed for the day, we now serve over 600 individuals in our 34,000 square foot, fully enclosed riding arena with a nature trail and stabling for ten horses. In 2016 we provided 2,542 service hours to our clients, with the help of 835 dedicated volunteers.
2018 is a very exciting year for us. We have grown to a staff of 10 and anticipate great expansion this year. We plan to expand our operating hours and serve additional clients with our new riding space as well as branch into some new program areas. That brings a need for more tuition assistance and some facilities improvements.
Our top needs:
  1. Funding: Unrestricted - Construct a New Arena ($15,000): In 2017 we will build a second arena on our property to be able to offer simultaneous lessons and build capacity. The funding for the building is secured but lighting, restrooms, visitor seating and additional stabling will be needed.
  2. Funding: Program - Replenish Our Tuition Assistance Program. ($90,000): Our 'Jockey Club' program provides scholarships to families in need. Over half our families request tuition assistance each year and we would like to grant all of their requests. Many families struggle to afford their riding tuition and we would like to turn down zero clients because of inability to pay.
  3. Funding: Other - Endowment Fund ($30,000): We are making good progress toward our original goal of $1,000,000 in the Endowment Fund which helps ensure long-range fiscal security for Project R.I.D.E. Inc. Our goal for this year is to add $30,000 to that fund.
  4. Volunteers - Our program relies heavily on volunteer support. Without the 800+ individuals who came to volunteer last year, our program would not have operated at all. It takes the support of 3 people for every single rider. In addition, volunteers are needed ongoing for stable management, horse care, administrative work and special events and fundraisers. Anyone 14 and older is welcome to attend our volunteer orientation and training sessions, held monthly.
  5. Board Members - The lifeblood of any healthy nonprofit is its board. We are always open to applications from prospective board members. Experience volunteering directly in program is highly desirable. Board meetings are open to the public and are held the second Thursday of each month at our facility.
Project R.I.D.E. (Riding Instruction Designed for Education) is proud to celebrate 38 years of providing life-changing therapy to specially-challenged riders from our community. Project R.I.D.E. is the oldest accredited therapeutic horseback riding program in Northern California and proud to hold the Premiere level of accreditation by PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship) International. Over the past three decades, we have helped change the lives of nearly 6000 children and adults through our unique instruction. Students are given instruction, education and encouragement in a relaxed and safe setting. Many come to us with Downs' Syndrome, Autism Spectrum Disorders, Developmental Delays, Cerebral Palsy, Burn Victims, Blindness and Hearing Impairments, Fetal Alcohol Syndrome, and many other physical injuries, developmental disorders or delays and congenital disabilities. Because most children are naturally attracted to horses, they tend to thrive in our program, motivated by their relationship with the horse to do their personal best in a noncompetitive, individualized learning environment. A physically-challenged person mounted on a horse is given a new visual perspective, free from the physical limitations that may challenge him or her in daily life. A cognitively-challenged rider gains a trusted new friend and a unique path to social and developmental growth. Our instructors, staff, volunteers, and Board of Directors are all devoted and caring individuals who recognize the importance of the magical bond that occurs between horse and rider, especially when the rider is in any way limited. As a nonprofit organization, Project R.I.D.E. Inc. would not exist without the valuable support of the community and the tireless dedication of our volunteers. With annual operating expenses in excess of $500,000, we rely heavily on community grants and generous corporate and private donations to keep our program running. But we need your help. Although we are currently able to empower over 600 active riders, our client waitlist stands at approximately 150 riders and grows steadily. Sincerely, Christine Calanchini, Executive Director
-- Christine Calanchini, Executive Director