Sonrisas means smiles in Spanish…
it reflects the joy that is seen on the faces of our riders when they have accomplished something new, and the excitement of rider and staff alike when important goals are met.
Providing therapy to persons with physical, emotional, and mental challenges through a carefully structured program of equine activities.
Therapeutic Riding Services
Sonrisas offers therapeutic horseback riding to those with physical, mental, and emotional challenges.
All of our riders are challenged; we are the only local therapeutic riding center with this sole population. We serve over 95 riders each semester with emotional, physical, and/or mental challenges. Our riders have a myriad of challenges, including sight and/or hearing impairments, ADD, ADHD, Spina bifida, speech-language delay, MS, Lou Gherig's Disease, MD, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, emotional and behavioral disorders, and intellectual disabilities.
Who are we?
Sonrisas is a secular, non-profit 501c(3) organization. We were created in 1983 as a project of the Junior League and became incorporated in 1987.
What do we do?
Sonrisas offers therapeutic horseback riding to those with physical, mental, and emotional challenges through a carefully structured program of equine activities.
What do we charge?
We charge nothing for our services to the school program. We do have a small fee of $20/ride for Mosaic Clients and $40/ride for non-Mosaic clients.
Where do we get our riders?
Most of our riders come from SAISD schools, including the PPCD (preschool program for children with disabilities) programs. We also receive riders from the Small Schools Cooperative.
Starting in the Fall of 2015 we now accept riders over age 12 to senior citizens. Most of them come to us through Mosaic. We can accept any rider that fits our criteria as long as we have an open spot. We have added 1 additional day and 5 additional riding sessions.
Who do we serve?
We serve over 95 riders each session with emotional, physical, and/or mental challenges. All of our riders are challenged; we are the only local therapeutic riding center with this sole population. Our riders have a myriad of challenges, including sight and/or hearing impairments, ADD, ADHD, Spina bifida, speech-language delay, MS, Lou Gherig's Disease, MD, Cerebral Palsy, Down Syndrome, emotional and behavioral disorders, and intellectual disabilities.
Who do we employ?
We employ one full time employee a Public Relations Director, and 3 part-time employees a stock manager and two PATH-certified riding instructors.. In addition to our paid staff, volunteers are the core of our program.
How are we funded?
We are funded by private and corporate donations as well as fundraisers and grants. See below for donation information.
How can you make a donation?
If you would like to make a donation please contact us for additional details or click the "Donate to Sonrisas" button below.
Board of Directors
Chief Riding Instructor
Therapeutic riding involves teaching the rider the necessary skills and techniques required to ride a horse as independently as possible. The emphasis is not only on the physical benefits of riding, but also on the development of the relationship between the rider and the horse. The self-discipline required to understand and control the horse instills a sense of responsibility and enhances task concentration in the rider. The autonomy associated with independently riding a horse also serves to promote the rider's self-esteem and positive body image.
The Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International (PATH Intl.) is the primary organization that supports and promotes therapeutic riding in the U.S. and Canada. PATH provides program accreditation to ensure that standards are established and maintained, so that riding centers can provide a safe therapeutic riding environment. PATH also issues instructor certification in therapeutic riding. All of the instructors at Sonrisas are PATH certified, and we strive to maintain the highest safety standards.
Benefits of Therapeutic Horseback Riding
Improved balance and muscle strength
Improved coordination and motor planning
Stretching of tight or spastic muscles
Increased range of motion of joints
Improved respiration and circulation
Improved appetite and digestion
Stimulates sensory integration
Improved visual spatial perception
Improved eye-hand coordination
Improved risk-taking abilities
Development of patience
Emotional control and self-discipline
Expansion of locus of control
Development of respect and care for animals
Increased interest in the outside world
Increased interest in one's own life
Development of patience
Emotional control and self-discipline
Sense of normality
Expansion of the focus of control
Each school year, Sonrisas serves between 80 and 100 riders through our School Program. We offer therapeutic horseback riding to those with physical, emotional, and mental challenges. Riding horses offers a myriad of benefits, including improved balance, coordination, and self-esteem. Riders also have improved appetite, better night's sleep, and less-labored breathing. What makes Sonrisas a unique riding center is that we offer our program FREE OF CHARGE to the riders coming through the school district!!. The Concho Valley offers no other service like ours with no charge to our clients or their families. We are now welcoming adult riders that were previously with Mosaic Trails. We will keep the program basically the same and charge $20/ride for Mosaic Clients and $40/ride for non-Mosaic Clients. We do have a waiting list for these riders. The results are priceless; unfortunately, feeding the horses and the upkeep of our facility is not. We welcome any contributions and donations, which are all tax-deductible because of our 501(c)(3) status as a non-profit organization. We also rely heavily on our volunteers. Without them, we are unable to lead our horses or sidewalk our riders. Volunteers are truly the heart and soul of our organization. Join us today!
Types of Volunteer Positions:
Help at events
Sidewalking with our Riders
Various Office Needs
Hours to Volunteer
We ride the following days/times for 1 hour sessions:
Monday: 9,10, 11, 1
Tuesday: 9, 10, 11, 1
Wednesday : 9, 10, 11, 1, 2:30, 5 & 6
Thursday: 9, 10, 11, 1
Volunteer for Sonrisas
You must be 16 or older to volunteer at Sonrisas Trails Therapeutic Riding, Inc.
Depending on your age & physical strength, we may ask that you help us in areas other than our arena.
Volunteer Training will be provided for those interested in assisting with riding classes.
Give us a call and we'll be able to train you individually. We would love to have you.
Sonrisas Events Calendar
Check out Sidewinder.
Please take a minute to read and subscribe to our
E-Newsletter. Click Here.
September 6th Volunteer Training at the Mosaic Arena 10 am
September 10th Horse Leader Training at the Mosaic Arena 10 am
September 17, 2016 - Claybird Shoot
Claybird Shoot Registration Form. Click Here
Sonrisas Therapeutic Riding Inc.
P.O. Box 1093
San Angelo TX, 76902
5185 S Bryant
San Angelo, TX 76904
Public Relations DirectorCell 325-234-5835
Tuesday: 9, 10, 11, 1 & 2:30
Wednesday: 9, 10, 11, 1, 2:30 & 5
Thursday: 9, 10, 11, 1 & 2:30
Contact us to donate or click the "Donate to Sonrisas" button below.