About Pegasus Riding School

I will only work with happy, healthy horses; they must like this job and be fit enough to enjoy this exercise and life style. The way I relate to my horses is to put their needs first. I utilize an equine massage therapist, an animal acupressure practitioner, equine dental specialist, as well as loads of good food, appropriate supplements and superior hoof care. As mentioned above, I never force a horse to perform this job (animal assisted therapy). If a horse no longer likes the job or does not handle gently with children, I’m committed to finding the animal the best retirement home I can.

I have a Masters degree in Research Psychology from SFSU and am published in Pscyh Reports on the Physiological effects of petting a companion animal. I also have 14 years experience working at the SF/SPCA running their education department. In all I’ve been working with children and animals for over 20 years, focusing in the past 10 years on special needs children and how appropriate interaction with animals can help them in a many ways. If you are interested in more on this topic I could recommend some resources.

The youth I work with often think they are learning to ride – I know they are learning compassion for animals and life. The kids come in 3 general categories; kids age 6-12 from a homeless shelter in Santa Rosa, Students from K – 12 from Pathways Charter School, and private pay kids who live at varying levels on the spectrum of special needs. I work very closely with the rider and horse. I like private lessons ( 1 student & 1 horse) the best and work with up to 3 students at a time. By keeping the ratio almost one on one, I can control the safety factor and have very few behavioral problems.

I have 30 plus years of horse riding and ownership. I have all the tack for the horses as well as helmets and boots for the kids. I have a high standard for safety and a low tolerance for disrespect of all: animals, people and the Earth. I am proficient at teaching beginners to ride in many styles, English, western, bare back, vaulting surcingle. I feel like I make horses and farm experience available to kids who would otherwise never have this experience.

Like most community organizations I depend on volunteers, currently these include, Sarah (12 yrs) who works directly with the homeless children weekly, Marisa who drives the kids one way from the shelter to the farm, Cynthia who helps with horse training and teaching techniques, Pam who helps with grant writing, David and Jo who help with farm maintenance, Scout, Debbie, Cheryl, and several others who feed the animals while I’m out of town. This is a community effort and it takes a village.

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