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Challenge Ranch, Inc.

Helping One Child at a Time

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"I had struggles. I had only one hope. If I could make it through another day of school, another night - I would be able to see the horses. It's different at the ranch. I am safe and quiet. I feel free here on the horse" 

- A Challenge Ranch Rider


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"Life is an echo - All comes back, the good, the false and the true. So give from your heart the BEST that you have - and the BEST will return to you" 

-Lillian Matthes


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Challenge Ranch, 

Helping One Child At A Time


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Don't let what you cannot do interfere with what you can do.

 - J. Wooden

Welcome to a Home Away from Home

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Nestled up to the beautiful mountains surrounding Dehesa Valley, Challenge Ranch brings a new kind of spirit to East County, San Diego. 

The 10 acre ranch is home to:

25 Challenge Ranch Horses

  Throughbreds, Arabs, Welsh, Tennessee Walkers, Mustangs, & Quarter Horse

Countless Memories

Challenge Ranch Riders (Aged 5 -17) 


Challenge Ranch, Inc., a 501 (c)(3) Nonprofit, is dedicated to providing support to disadvantaged

 and underprivileged children throughout the Greater San Diego Youth Community. 



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  • Horse Knowledge
  • Stable Management
  • Basic Groundwork
  • English Arena Lessons
  • Show Jumping
  • Endurance Riding
  • Ride-and-Tie Riding 
  • Mounted Games
  • Basic Groundwork
  • Western Arena Lessons
  • Cutting Horse Lessons

*Special weekily courses held throughout the year at Leon Harrel Training Center in Springtown, Texas.


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Unlike other children's activities, riding offers the added benefits of relationship, respect, and inter-

dependence with an  animal. 

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The impact of Equine Assisted Learning can be so profound and far reaching that people who have made little or no progress during countless therapy sessions in conventional therapy will experience life-changing breakthroughs after just one or two Equine Assisted Learning (EAL) sessions.

Since its founding in 2000, Challenge Ranch has had no paid employees. 


The Ranch is completely dependant upon the work of

volunteers. 


Volunteers help out the 2nd or 4th Sunday of each month between 9 a.m. and 1 p.m. working on basic Ranch maintainence and special projects. 


Projects range from light ranch work such as sorting ranch supplies, weeding, or painting to heavy duty projects such as digging large holes to put in posts, moving hay bales, or cutting down trees. 


No Horse Experience Required!

Horse People Are Stable People!

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