How the R I D E Foundation began
The R I D E Foundation was formed to help people and horses. A family friend, Russel, was the first person Sarah helped who had been diagnosed with PTSD. Through the healing power of working with horses, Russell was able to learn to control his emotions in order to gain the horses trust. Once Sarah realized she could help people with emotional trauma by working through it with wild horses, she set out to find work with someone who was doing this exact thing. To her surprise, there wasn't anyone in the area doing this at the time. She knew she wanted to work with horses and help those affected by emotional challenges, with her daughter by her side, and something they could be proud of. So, she started the paperwork for a non-profit in 2015. We were incorporated in 2017, and the R I D E Foundation was born.
In the beginning, there was one horse, Hobby, and in July 2016, Sarah went to a holding facility in Ridgecrest, CA and brought home the first Bureau of Land Management Sales Authority mustang, Monroe. At that time, participants were also volunteering. We worked with a firefighter, a veteran who had returned from Afghanistan and his girlfriend, as well as a woman who was in an abusive relationship for more than five years. Today, we care for 14 horses along with many other animals at the ranch. We are at capacity for the property we are on at this time. We have about a dozen volunteers we can call on to help us out, besides our team members.
The plan for R I D E in the coming years is to prove our concept and horsemanship curriculum to obtain the funding to buy our own ranch to grow and help more people and horses.
Sarah grew up around horses and was always able to get along with them well. She started her first horse when she was 12, and then began working with any horse that she could get her hands on. Soon, she was helping people with “problem” horses and having success. She has trained many horses that were very scared and completely untouchable. Once she realized how horses can help people who are dealing with PTSD and emotional trauma, she decided to start a nonprofit aimed at helping horses and healing hearts. In 2017, the R I D E Foundation was formed and with the help of family and friends, it has become what it is today. Sarah studies the teachings of Tom Dorrance, Ray Hunt, and Buck Brannaman. She has a lot of success with these methods and continues to use them today.
Riley, Sarah's daughter, is one of the people behind the reason the ride foundation was formed. Sarah wanted to create something for her and her daughter to have together. Riley loves being at the ranch around horses. She went on her first pack trip when she was five years old and continues to go on trail rides and trips to this day. She rode in her first clinic with Buck Brannaman when she was just seven years old. Riley enjoys studying horsemanship and going to the clinics and training with Sarah. She loves all animals and is truly at home on the ranch. Riley can often be seen working a horse, leading classes, or helping out. She is a great help on the ranch, always willing to lend a hand. Riley is currently working with a mustang, and is really excited to share her knowledge about horses with anyone who will listen. She is a great asset to the team.
Cari and her partner, Bryon, recently moved back to the area after their previous home in Shaver Lake barely escaped the Creek Fire. She met Sarah through a mutual friend and immediately knew she wanted to help in anyway she could. She has a background in agriculture and volunteered in non-profit dog rescues for almost 15 years. Currently, she manages social sites and websites for the R I D E Foundation and a few local businesses. She loves all animals and recently got a horse to call her own that Sarah restarted and worked with Bryon & Cari on horsemanship.