At Spirit Horse Vineyards it is our goal to create a world where good wine and doing good go hand in hand.
We pride ourselves on creating beautiful, one-of-a-kind wines while empowering the community through education. We are committed to introducing exclusive wines from the best vineyards around the world, from the finest Malbecs of Argentina to the boldest Cabernet Sauvignons of Napa and Calistoga, and tying our philanthropic efforts to the vineyards and communities where these grapes are sourced.
We currently work with a local Bay Area charity that helps a variety of children. For every bottle you purchase, 10% of that profit will go towards:
“Empowering Lives Through Horses”
SpiritHorse San Francisco Bay Area, a designated 501(c)(3) organization established in 2011, provides equine therapeutic services to the communities of Solano and Napa County and surrounding San Francisco Bay Area. Therapeutic riding uses equine-assisted activities for the purpose of contributing positively to cognitive, physical, emotional and social well-being of individuals with social, behavioral, or physical challenges.
SpiritHorse SFBA is run by its founder, Charlotte Dougherty. She also serves as the organizations lead instructor with 35 years’ experience and holds the highest regarded certifications in the field of equine-therapy - PATH Certified Therapeutic Riding Instructor; SpiritHorse International Certified Healthcare Instructor; and EAGALA, 1st Certification Equine Assisted Learning. Ms. Dougherty has also served as an instructor at Giant Steps Therapeutic Riding Center in Petaluma and is highly recommended by them.
At SpiritHorse SFBA riding is taught, but the principal goal is therapy, not recreation. For instance, social and behavioral challenged youth develop pride and confidence and learn to be more trusting, cooperative and appreciative. Autistic children build more and stronger neuropathways to counteract the lack of connectivity and show significant decreases in the Childhood Autism Rating Scale (CARS). Physically disabled children improve strength, balance and self-esteem.
Many people wonder what equine-assisted therapy looks like. We match each new student with a horse that can adequately serve the student’s needs. Before each lesson, students participate to their own ability in leading, grooming, and saddling the horse. Then they spend the remainder of the hour on the horse with their certified riding instructor guiding and their parent or ‘walkers’ at their side. Time on the horse is not like recreational riding, as students are at different levels of physical ability or emotional comfort. Riding may consist of simple walking, stopping and turning and may progress to activities such as trotting and maneuvering within the pen, cantering and even jumping.
Each rider is taught in carefully crafted steps designed for the maximum intervention in their particular challenge or disability. The riding may appear very slow and limited to a new observer, but the minute gains in self-control and insight that students achieve have profound and immediate effects in their daily lives. After the riding lesson, the students assist in the same grooming activities in reverse order. Over the course of an average of four weeks the student and horse develop a relationship of trust, inspiration and affection – the love that so many of our students have had difficulty expressing or receiving until now.
Our horses are very happy to see their riders. We believe horses have the most accessible spirit of almost any creature. They have an advantage over humans in that they do not have an ego to get in the way of their relationships. We also believe that children with behavioral or physical challenges have very accessible and beautiful spirits. This spiritual connection is what helps makes this intervention work.
Disadvantaged children need compassionate people in their lives. They need special opportunities for growth and improvement and experiences that bring them joy. SpiritHorse provides highly trained instruction, compassionate staff, amazing nonjudgmental horses, proven therapeutic methodology and fun exercise outdoors.
If you are interested in partnering with SpiritHorse to provide children the opportunity of equine therapy, please contact Charlotte Dougherty at 707-720-6360.