Halleck Creek Ranch

Spring-Summer 2015
Project Type
Fast track
Project Focus
Strategic Planning
Organization Type
Human Services


Halleck Creek Ranch (HCR) was founded in 1977 to provide therapeutic horsemanship for children with disabilities. Through the work of the founders and with the help of the Marin Community Foundation, HCR now owns a sixty-acre ranch deep in the heart of Nicasio Valley in western Marin County. It also holds an easement on portions of an adjacent 258 acres, enabling HCR to offer volunteer-supported trail rides into the land surrounding the ranch. Starting with just one trail ride a week for twelve children in 1977, HCR has grown to offer riding four days a week to an average of eighty youth and adults for forty-five weeks per year as well as five weeks of summer horsemanship camps for youth with special needs. All of HCR’s instructors are certified by the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship (PATH) to teach horsemanship to people with special needs. HCR also manages an average of 150 volunteers per year who assist with the operation of the ranch and HCR’s programs.


HCR’s financial situation has improved in the past few years and is now stable to improving. HCR adopted a tuition-based program model several years ago, with need-based scholarships. However, even with HCR’s expanded programs, its facility remains underutilized; they are currently at approximately 50% of their practical serving capacity.

Project Overview

The ACT team, which consisted of two alumni volunteers and two HCR board members, worked on the following areas:

  • assessed the feasibility of expanding HCR’s program participation and structure,
  • identified any “untapped” funding models for existing riders,
  • investigated the feasibility of providing respite services,
  • investigated the potential for new programs for clients who have “aged out” of youth programs,
  • and identified new self-funding models for populations new to HCR.

Key Recommendations

Near term (within the next year):

  • Start process to become a PATH premier accredited center
  • Create a hippotherapy pilot program
  • Build relationships with select schools and social service organizations
  • Develop a robust public relations program
  • Develop a veteran’s program framework focused on veterans with physical disabilities
  • Develop relationships with select local colleges and universities, in order to identify candidates for HCR internships, volunteers, and soon to be licensed physical, occupational, and speech therapists for a hippotherapy program

Longer term (one to three years from now):

  • Launch a pilot “physically disabled” veterans program
  • Expand the hippotherapy program (assuming a successful pilot)
  • Develop programs for seniors and “aged out” youth clients