Sonrisas Trails logoSonrisas Trails logo

Providing therapy to persons with physical, emotional, and mental challenges through a carefully structured program of equine activities.

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 do not charge for our services to the school program and veteran program. We do have a small fee of $40 for community riders with disabilities.

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, TLC and Grapecreek ISD.

Who do we employ?

We employ three full time employees a Program Director, a Challenge Course Manager and a Donor Relations Coordinator and part time PATH certified riding instructors and a stock manager. We rely heavily on volunteers to help with all of our programs.

Who do we serve?

We serve riders each session with emotional, physical, and/or mental challenges. All of our riders are challenged in some capacity. We are the only local therapeutic riding center with this sole population. Our riders have a myriad of challenges including, but not limited to, 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, PTSD and intellectual disabilities.

How are we funded?

We are funded by private and corporate donations as well as fundraisers and grants. We receive no state or federal funding.

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

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Tommy Neal

Chairman
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Roy Robb

Vice Chairman
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Karen Crouch

Secretary
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Opal Smith

Board Member
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MD Shurley

Board Member

Executive Staff

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Jeremy Vincent

CEO
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Megan Kirkwood

Program Director
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Kim Meyer

Chief Riding Instructor
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Erin Inman

Donor Relation Coordinator
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Corinna Mendez

Challenge Course Manager

Our Programs

Therapeutic riding involves teaching the rider the necessary skills and techniques. 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 riding a horse also serves to promote the rider's self-esteem and positive body image.

Path Member

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.

Military Veteran’s Riding Program

To apply for the Military Veteran’s Riding Program, please click here to download information sheet.

Low & High Team Building Challenge Course

Sonrisas Trails has built a state-of-the-art high and low element challenge course adjacent to our covered therapeutic horseback riding center. This innovative concept and center will benefit the entire community. Everyone, young and old, those with disabilities and those without, have a place at Sonrisas Trails. Our course design allows those with disabilities to still participate in our course. The addition of this new course will not only benefit our current equine clients and everyone in the public, but will also be offered to our Military Veteran population who have been physically, mentally or emotionally injured in the line of duty.

Benefits of Therapeutic Horseback Riding

Physical:
Improved balance and muscle strength
Improved coordination and motor planning
Stretching of tight or spastic muscles
Decreased spasticity
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

Socio-emotional:
Improved self-confidence
Improved risk-taking abilities
Development of patience
Emotional control and self-discipline
Expansion of locus of control
Development of respect and care for animals

Psychological:
Improved self-confidence
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

Volunteer

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. 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!
Click here for Volunteer Packet.

Types of Volunteer Positions:

Leading horses
Sidewalking with our Riders
Challenge Course Facilitator
Help at events
Various Office Needs
We ride for 1 hour sessions.

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 Therapeutic Riding Inc.

Mailing address:
P.O. Box 1093
San Angelo TX, 76902

Physical address:
5185 S Bryant
San Angelo, TX 76904

Call: 325.949.4837

Megan Kirkwood
Program Director
Cell: 432.413.3656
Click to Email


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