Hands and Hoofs

Reviewed by the Sacramento Region Community Foundation

0% complete

$15,000 Goal

The Hands & Hoofs Experience is a day long program offered monthly from April through November. We anticipate serving over 144 young people and their guardians per year. We measure our success through solicitation of direct feedback at the close of each day’s program and written surveys distributed to participants.  Hands & Hoofs Experience offers opportunities for youth to connect with horses, explore nature, discover Miwok culture, and create art. Our leader led program, supported by local volunteers, is an outdoor experience on a local ranch in the El Dorado National Forest.

Our goal is to connect all youth, including those on the autism spectrum and those impacted by trauma, through interactive experiences. Our nature and equine based learning is a non-riding program that fosters social connections and cultivates life skills such as confidence, creativity, problem solving, and empathy. Our innovative program for healing provides an opportunity to increase self-awareness, improve communication skills, and build relationships. Donations through community support ensures participation by all interested youth, regardless of ability to pay.

Hands & Hoofs is an Equine Assisted Program from an equine leader led/coaching perspective. Equine-Assisted Programs (EAP) are an appropriate therapeutic approach for children and teens. Some conditions that respond well to EAP include:

  • Substance Use Disorders
  • Depression, Anxiety, PTSD, Stress
  • Trauma
  • Autism, Asperger’s


Hands & Hoofs Experience provides a safe place to support youth as they explore a new environment and merge with the spirit of the land and animals through equine facilitated learning and bonding with horses; engendering acceptance, trust, and self- esteem; focusing on respect for nature and the local El Dorado National Forest; and enhanced by artistic expression.


Grants, donations, or sponsors to sustain operating and program expenses to allow the program to continue to be offered at no cost to participants. The camps are highlighted with our herd of horses, a donkey, and a llama that all need good nutrition and care as well as farrier work and annual dentals along with health exams which is all part of our program costs. The program costs range from liability insurance to art supplies for our arts & crafts session, training of our volunteers, equipment for the horse arena and supplies that support the nature adventure! Additionally, volunteers are the driving force of our program on days the program is held as well as behind the scenes to support operations. We are always looking for new volunteers to join our team!

Equity Statement

Hands & Hoofs welcomes all youngsters ages 6 through 14 from any and all backgrounds. Many of our participants have been on the emotional spectrum or impacted by trauma. While working with level 1 and 2 autistic kids, we also realize that many of our youth are impacted from social and environmental changes and are also in need. Additionally, we have begun a mentor program for youth 14-18 allowing them to participate through volunteering.

The terrain has been modified to accommodate the hiking that brings youngsters into intimate contact with nature in a ranch setting. Participants hike the history-rich property under the guidance of trained volunteers. Pathways and hiking areas have been modified to accommodate the physical needs of most participants. Each participant is guided one on one, in the arena with the animals, by an experienced/trained horse handler. Adult supervision and support throughout the day are integral to the program.

Organization Data


Organization name

Hands and Hoofs

Year Established


Tax id (EIN)


Mission Category


Operating Budget


Organization Need

Funding: Program, In-Kind Donations, Volunteers, Board Members

Demographics Served

Animals, Individuals with disabilities, Youth & Children

Local Counties Served

El Dorado, Placer, Sacramento

Equity Statement

Equity Statement


1390 Broadway Suite B340
Placerville, CA 95667

Service areas

El Dorado County, CA, US

Sacramento County, CA, US

Placer County, CA, US

Calaveras County, CA, US



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