THOUSAND OAKS (   — Stepping Stones in Thousand Oaks is a place where people go to ride horses.

“It’s been horrible. We have had to cancel lessons for almost three solid months,” says president of Stepping Stones Sarah Day.

The mission of the riding program has always been to pair donated or rescued horses with underprivileged riders, many children and many of them with special needs,  in hopes to enrich the lives of both.

Day says she’s used to cleaning up after the horses but this winter the organization spent most of the time cleaning up after Mother Nature. Moving on from all the mess and destruction has been difficult.

Stepping Stones makes money giving riding lessons — since they haven’t been able to ride, co-founder Nancy McChesney says they had to start a GoFundMe oage to raise money just to feed the horses.

“Other big storm came along and the tarp just went flying off the top of the hay,” said McChesney.

The horses used to live in stalls here but during one of the storms a whole fence was blown over and the winds carried their stalls away setting all of the horses free.

“They really couldn’t move around the pasture,  hardly move it was not only muddy but slick,” said McChesney.

Aside from the physical and financial damage this winter has caused kids also miss coming out to ride.

“Their parents will say we’ve been dying to get back up here. We miss our horses. The kids miss the lesson,” said McChesney.

Parents like Amy Yandell say they hope everyone is back in the saddle soon.

“It would mean the world to my family I know, and many others here to not only see this program rebuild but hopefully thrive,” said Yandell.


Comments (4)
  1. James Thomas says:

    Despite the fact that individuals may not think “wellness” when they consider steering, horseback riding can be a genuine butt-kicking workout. It might resemble the steed is getting all the work out, however it takes adjust, solid legs, and a steady center to remain in the seat.

  2. Alex Bassi says:

    Here’s the link to the go fund page:

    We’ve been riding there for 3-years; it’s a fantastic program!

  3. This program has reached out to many different organizations with children who would never otherwise have the incredible experience of bonding with a horse, learning how to care for a horse, and riding a horse. The environment is beautiful and the experience is amazing. The program is almost entirely run by volunteers.

    1. Amy Yandell says:

      I agree! It makes such a positive impact on the community in more ways than people even realize!

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