Horses for Healing

Reviewed by the Sacramento Region Community Foundation

28 donors

30% complete

$10,000 Goal

Horses for Healing began in 1997 when two friends, Norma Harris and Judy Gerhard, got together to try and help Norma's sister, who had multiple sclerosis (MS).  Judy was a teacher and horsewoman who trained and taught both horses and riders.  Norma had read an article about the benefits of horseback riding for people with MS.  Their simple experiment to help Norma's sister was so effective that word got around and soon other people with MS and other disabilities wanted to benefit from this wonderful new therapy too.  That was the birth of Horses for Healing Therapeutic Riding Program.  At the time, it was the only such program that was open to adults.

Now Horses for Healing serves both children and adults with special needs including physical disabilities, cognitive impairments, and emotional challenges arising from a variety of causes.

We are located in Newcastle, California and draw riders from Placer, Nevada and Sacramento counties.


Our mission at Horses for Healing is to provide horses as therapy for children and adults to help facilitate growth, learning, and healing. Horses for Healing is dedicated to enhancing the physical and spiritual well-being of individuals with special needs, along with their loved ones, through involvement with horses.


Horse feed and board

Program equipment

Funding for horse vet care

Program insurance

Program volunteers

Equity Statement

At Horses for Healing, a diverse, inclusive, and equitable workplace is one where all volunteers, whatever their gender, race, ethnicity, national origin, age, sexual orientation or identity, education or disability, feels valued and respected. We respect and value diverse life experiences and heritages and ensure that all voices are valued and heard.

We’re committed to maintaining an inclusive environment at our therapeutic riding program with equitable treatment for all.

To provide informed leadership for cultural equity, Horses for Healing strives to:

• See diversity, inclusion, and equity as connected to our mission and critical to ensure the well-being of our volunteers and the special needs community we serve.

• Advocate for and support board-level thinking about how systemic inequities impact our organization’s work, and how best to address that in a way that is consistent with our mission.

• Help to challenge assumptions about what it takes to be a strong leader at our organization, and who is well-positioned to provide leadership.

• Practice and encourage transparent communication in all interactions.

• Lead with respect and tolerance. We expect all board members, instructors, and volunteers to embrace this notion and to express it in program interactions.

Organization Data


Organization name

Horses for Healing

Year Established


Tax id (EIN)


Mission Category

Human Services

Operating Budget


Organization Need

Funding: Unrestricted, Volunteers

Demographics Served

Individuals with disabilities

Local Counties Served


Equity Statement

Equity Statement


1255 Monument Place
Newcastle, CA 95658

Service areas

Placer, CA, US

Newcastle, CA, US, 95658

Auburn, CA, US

Roseville, CA, US

Nevada, CA, US



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