Our facility, and all that it offers, is a dream come true for Giant Steps. It enables us to continue to fulfill our mission of offering affordable, effective therapy to as many very special children and adults as possible.
During our first 11 years, we were located in a facility with an open air arena, where classes needed to be cancelled in inclement weather. Due to county regulations, we were also limited to 50 riders per week, with a waiting list that far exceeded this number. Consequently, we searched for a new site that would enable us to expand our program to accommodate more riders and construct a covered arena to ensure continuity of therapy rain or shine. After an exhaustive search, we found an ideal location on 2.85 acres at Riverside Equestrian Center in Petaluma.
On April 21, 2009, Giant Steps moved into our new home. Riverside is the second largest equestrian facility in California and, in addition to affording an excellent location with easy access from the East Bay, San Francisco, Marin, Napa and Sonoma Counties, offers an ideal environment for our program.
We have a 100 x 200-foot covered arena, a 16 stall barn, 60-foot round pen, cross tie areas with wash racks, and a sensory integration course. This new facility and the corresponding lifting of occupancy restrictions will allow us to steadily increase the number of riders we serve from 100 per week to as many as 250 per week in the future. Our Sensory Integration Trail is one of the first of its kind in the Western United States. Designed to stimulate our riders' five senses, this state-of-the-art course creates a kinetic experience that integrates the senses of smell, touch, vision, hearing and taste through the inclusion of trees, flowers, and rolling hills. These courses have proven to be highly effective and fun forms of therapy for children with autism and other sensory processing disorders.