Instruction in horseback riding for children and adultsat all levels of mind and thought and feeling.
We are a year round program with an indoor arena and an indoor round pen!
Program Director and Head Instructor: Dr. Kari Ann Owen, Ph.D.
Location of riding lessons: Las Trampas Stables, 18015 Bollinger Canyon Road, San Ramon, CA. 94583
Our EIN number: 06-1794198 State of
We are a non-profit 501C3 corporation recognized by the IRS as a public charity,
affiliated with NARHA, the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association,
and are a NARHA center.
a movement education program in cooperative and non-dominant horsemanship.
Client services began in November 2006.
Kari Ann has taught abled and disabled adults and children
Wildhorse! has been granted vendorization by the Regional Center of the East Bay,
which directly funds approved client services for developmentally disabled clients
(and we hope they will resume doing so as quickly as possible -- note March 2010).
WILDHORSE's teaching approach
is inspired by Centered Riding™
and yoga techniques and arena games for both abled and disabled riders.
Wildhorse!’s objective in
riding is to teach riding by using relaxed techniques which allow
human-equine communication at both the physical and emotional level.
Beginning and intermediate horsemanship using both English and Western saddles
is offered to all riders. Our only limit is that we cannot serve riders above two hundred pounds,
we at this time serve non-mobile students. We serve the abled and
We welcome any walking person with any sort of physical or emotional difficulty,
and have taught blind and deaf students, phobic and depressed youth and adults
and hope very much to serve combat veterans and cancer patients.
We refer anyone we cannot serve to programs and instructors that can serve them.
Mentorship for youth and adult volunteers is also offered,
and Kari Ann is allowed by NARHA to mentor prospective instructors.
Wildhorse! provides community service hours for non-delinquent and non-violent persons,
and offers mentorships in publicity and media contact and fundraising.
WILDHORSE! is people serving people!
Wildhorse!'s Board of Directors includes Belgian dressage rider Evelyne Hougard
and science teacher and expert equestrian Heidi Schnabel.
Our Senior Volunteer is Constance Anderson, RN.
Our Volunteer Consultant in Natural Hoof Care, Saddle Fitting and Horse Behavior is Nina Hassinger.
About WILDHORSE! founder Kari Ann Owen:
Kari Ann Owen was once 98% mobility impaired from crippling sciatica,
and still requires a service dog's assistance on steps and inclines.
Her disabilities have motivated Kari Ann to serve others.
Kari Ann is a Registered Instructor certified
by the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (NARHA) in June 2004.
Deepest gratitude is owed Kari Ann's many instructors for teaching her joyful and skilled horsemanship:
Natalie Rooney Pitts’, US Dressage Federation, assistant, Lisa (dressage)
Sarah Crary (English equitation)
Lynnette Belt (Western equitation)
Becky Hart (Centered Riding)
Michelle Motyl (dressage and equitation)
Patty Walters (Western equitation. CA State Horsemans Association Trail Trials and Horsemastership Director)
Chris Rossi,US Dressage Federation (dressage)
Lucille Bump (Centered Riding).
WILDHORSE! NEEDS YOU TO HELP US CONTINUE TO SERVE OUR RIDERS!
Updates occur every 1440 minutes.
Recommendation of Sophie L., Wildhorse! Volunteer and English riding student. Sophie volunteered and studied basic dressage and English equitation at Wildhorse in 2010, is resuming both her studies and volunteering in February 2011. Sophie studies at the University of CA, Berkeley.
What elements of riding did you study with Kari Ann?
Kari Ann very patiently and enthusiastically taught me the foundations of how to safely mount and ride a horse using minimal force, emphasizing body language and relaxation in the realm of equitation and English-style riding.
What were your specific riding goals with Kari Ann?
My specific goal involved learning how to effectively communicate to the horse while transitioning from walk to trots to canter. The rising trot was a primary concern, but Kari Ann was a patient and supportive teacher.
What kind of encouragement and help was Kari Ann able to offer?
Above all, riding a horse takes courage, patience, and empathy. Kari Ann provided all the necessary verbal praise and encouragement that kept me feeling confident in my (sometimes bumpy!) seat. She made me feel that I was capable and truly have potential.
What did you achieve by the time your lessons ceased?
By the time my lessons ceased, I knew the correct equitation form of simply sitting in the seat (sitting trot). I gained a deeper understanding of horse behavior and of how to communicate with them without resorting to physical force. I felt a deeper connection with horses and developed a finer sense of a horse's ability in relation to my abilities.
Do you want to study with Kari Ann again? If so, why?
Yes! I would love to study with Kari Ann again. She is patient, encouraging, and incredibly empathetic. She understands a person's needs clearly and uses her best judgment, teaching activities, and verbal praise to keep you feeling confident and capable. She is not elitist and never professes to "know-it-all". She is so warm, and she invites you to tell her how you feel throughout the lesson. She's constantly updating her teaching curriculum and methods based on what works best for you, what makes you feel most safe, and what will also push you to the next level.
What were your experiences like as a volunteer with
Wildhorse? Was Kari Ann helpful and informative? When she needed to correct
you, did she respect your dignity as a human being? Would you recommend her as a
I came to Wildhorse without much horse handling experience. Kari Ann gave me just enough instruction and freedom to allow me to "figure it out" on my own, but she was always there for me when I had questions. I developed my own intuition about how best to handle a horse based on her patient support, and I gladly accepted her advice and critique when I deserved it!
She always approached me with understanding and empathy, so I very happily soaked up all the information she had to teach me. I would definitely recommend her as a supervisor, and I hope all her ambitions come to
Why I am a Wildhorse! Volunteer
My love of both horses and the children who love them, and years of equestrian training and practice, enables me to be a senior volunteer at Wildhorse, a therapeutic horseback riding program in Livermore, CA, directed by Dr. Kari Ann Owen.I was a preschool teacher for 15 years of infants, toddlers and children up to 12 years of age.
I have been riding since age eight, and was initially trained by the foreman of a ranch in Redding , CA. I then learned the vaquero method of hackamore training (bitless face piece, http://www.horsechannel.com/western-horse-training/vaquero-way-17722.aspx) from a graduate student of Cal Poly San Luis Obispo Agricultural and Horsemanship Program while I attended California State University at Chico.
Further training has included more equestrian training and riding clinics while a member of the Walnut Creek 4-H. The most important clinic I attended was the famous Monte Foreman clinic in the 60’s, while a member of The Contra Costa County Horsemen’s Association, http://www.westernhorseman.com/index.php/featured-articles/article/338-monte-foreman.html. During this time, I was a trail guide at Buckeye Ranch, Lafeyette, California.
As an adult, I trained and rode 4 horses of my own in Brentwood , CA, teaching my 3 daughters at the same time. My preference is for the Arabian horse, for pleasure riding.
I currently own and ride my own Arabian mare that I keep pastured in Bethel Island , CA.
I have taken additional volunteer training at Wildhorse to specifically “task train” in order to assist the disabled riders mount and then proceed through arena and trail classes. Being a senior volunteer means being a Team Leader, making sure that the livelier of the two horses Wildhorse uses for lessons is groomed, tacked up and temperamentally ready for class.
I love Wildhorse, and hope to be present when Wildhorse finds a permanent home.
Please contact Dr. Owen for further information on my character and professionalism through the Wildhorse web site.
Updates occur every 1440 minutes.
--- On T