Proprietors of an expansive equestrian ranch in Pacifica are availing more than 100 acres of open space to nonprofit organizations interested in offering unique community enrichment programs.
Sweeney Ridge Equestrian, at 650 Cape Breton Drive, is a horse boarding facility adjacent to the Golden Gate National Recreation Area with access to a sweeping network of trails for riding horses, hiking or a variety of other outdoor activities.
An equestrian company previously occupying the stables has relocated, opening the opportunity for the ranch to broaden its horizons, said property manager Brenda Davis.
“We have the space, we have access to the trails as well as covered arenas … and we are hoping to draw in a couple of nonprofits to expand that part of the facility,” said Davis. “We want something that can give back in that manner.”
Ranch management recently began working with a burgeoning nonprofit interested in lending support services to military veterans by allowing them to ride horses as a means of rehabilitation, said Davis, which inspired an expanded vision for the site.
“We are close to getting them going and we have room for at least two more programs we feel would benefit from the facility,” she said.
Working with horses can offer a holistic fashion of building self-esteem and confidence, said Davis, who hopes other nonprofits express interest in accessing the wealth of resources available at the ranch.
Therapeutic riding programs, horseback riding as a rehabilitative treatment to strengthen coordination and balance, as well as equine-assisted learning programs are all examples of the services available, said Davis.
“Individuals of any age will find these programs beneficial, including but not limited to those who may have suffered trauma due to violence, [post-traumatic stress disorder], grief, mental health, depression, anxiety, stress and life issues,” she said in an email. “Individuals with physical, mental, emotional and/or learning disabilities would benefit as well.”
Money is also available from Sweeney Ridge Equestrian to help run nonprofits hosting activities at the ranch, said Davis.
For those looking to use the property without accessing the horses, opportunities exist as well, she said.
The ranch houses a large barn that is available for community programs looking to use it as a dance room, theater, artist studio or other creative endeavors. A portion of the land could be used for farming to raise goats or chickens. The property could also grant access to the trails along Sweeney Ridge for Boy or Girl Scout troops, hikers, bird watchers, mountain bikers or other educational groups, she said.
Davis noted equestrian enthusiasts have faced increasing pressure from critics who point to horse grazing and greenhouse gas emissions as tolls taken on the environment.
As a response, she said Sweeney Ridge Equestrian is hoping to make the wide variety of benefits available through interactions with horses more accessible to the local community.
“There is a real plus to these animals,” she said. “It’s not just a hobby. There is a real true connection. It is spiritual and holistic.”
Beyond the interest in offering the ranch up to nonprofits, Davis said there is also space free for to those who wish to take lessons or lean on the expertise from the trainers at Sweeney Ridge Equestrian.
But ultimately, Davis said she hoped nonprofits with creative visions for using the unique resources at the ranch would come forward with their own ideas.
“The goal is to create a large and varied community of users that are brought together by their love of the horses, the outdoors and nature,” she said in an email.
For more information send an email to Maxine@SweeneyRidgeEq.com or visit SweeneyRidgeEq.com/nonprofits.html and fill out a brief questionnaire to apply.
(650) 344-5200 ext. 105