Become a Champion for one of our fabulous program horses!

The horses of Ocean Riders are the true champions of our outreach programs where they inspire joy, confidence and connection and teach skills to foster a future generation of compassionate leaders.  Your support allows them to continue providing the deeply valuable service of teaching, healing, and empowering humans to be their best selves.

How it Works:  When you Champion a horse your donation goes directly toward supporting our outreach programs for under-resourced communities.  All of our horses have independent owners who donate their time and their horse’s time to our programs and cover the costs of their horse’s daily life, but there are many operating expenses for our non-profit programs and we count on donations for everything from the art supplies to building the covered arena that we need to run programs year round.  

What you Get:  Your name will appear on our website next to the horse you’ve chosen to champion and you will receive a letter updating you on your horse’s work in our programs including pictures of them in action so you can see the smiles they bring to children’s faces.  And of course you are always welcome to visit your chosen Champion at the Golden Gate Dairy Stables!

Lucky Little Bear

Nickname: Bear

Horsenality: You can’t miss Bear’s flashy good looks with his golden Buckskin coat and he knows it!  Bold, playful, and highly intelligent, Bear loves to be the center of attention.  In a herd of other horses Bear is dominant so he can be bossy at times, but he will respect another horse if they set a firm boundary with him and he is also very playful so loves social time.  Even with people, Bear prefers to be in the leadership role so he holds his human partners accountable for communicating clearly with him and being assertive when necessary, but he is also extremely sensitive and responsive to gentle energy, making him an excellent partner to practice balancing kindness and firmness to achieve both trust and respect. 

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Championed by:

Mr. Levi Valentine, Diamond Horseshoe
Mr. Frank Shippey, Gold Horseshoe
Ms. Nancy Raulston, Gold Horseshoe


Horsenality: Apache is simply dreamy.  He is a dashingly handsome, well-mannered, athletic and highly intelligent Leopard Appaloosa gelding.  Ample “go” makes him a powerful, fun horse to ride and respectful “whoa” makes him kind and safe. He’s very engaging, a bit stubborn and not afraid to tell you what he thinks.  Loving, comical, colorful and mischievous this 25 year old horse has so much heart and energy that he leaves younger horses in the dust…then he likes to take a nap!  It is highly possible that Apache is a descendant of the Indian Appaloosa horses of the Nez Perce tribe who lived in the plains west of the Rocky Mountains and were renowned for their uniquely intelligent, hardy and spotted horses.  

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Championed by:

Ms. Nancy Moyle, Diamond Horseshoe


Nicknames:  Roo

Horsenality: Rooster, AKA Hershey’s Red Man, is a left-brain introvert energetically but known for his great love of people and need to be in the middle of anything going on.  If you are mending a fence he will be right there in your face as you work.  He is clever, can untie knots faster than Houdini and if you are not paying attention he will take the reins in his teeth and lead you!  Rooster has become the resident artist of the Golden Gate Dairy Stables and enjoys creating masterpiece works with paint on canvas.  He considers himself an Abstract Impressionist and his use of color and space has been described akin to the art of Rothko or Picasso.  He has recently evolved to painting pieces of furniture and sold a set of side tables at auction!

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Championed by:

Ms. Hannelore Barnes, Diamond Horseshoe


Nicknames: Pico Perfect

Horsenality: Pico is a Pinto gelding of unknown heritage as he was rescued from an auction on his way to slaughter. His body scars are proof of an unhappy beginning in life, but despite his traumatic past Pico is extremely friendly, animated, and playful often nodding his head at anyone walking by hoping to get a treat.  Although we don’t know the details of his past, it is clear that Pico’s story is one of true resilience, forgiveness and repair.  While he remains highly sensitive with humans, it is obvious that he has a deep desire to connect with people and he has had to overcome much in order to still be able to access this trust.  A very special horse, he has incredible wisdom in his eyes.   

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Championed by:

Ms. Jenna Young, Diamond Horseshoe
Mr. John Welisch, Diamond Horseshoe
Ms. Kristin MacDoougall, Gold Horseshoe


Horsenality: Flame is a bright and sweet (and handsome!) 27 year old Arabian who, like many Arabians sometimes “sees dragons.” Wanting to take excellent care of himself and his rider he has always been alert to everything around him.  By age 18, he’d seen enough of the world and relaxed some, becoming a wise trail horse who could show younger horses that it is ok to cross a bridge or pass through the sprinkler at Green Gulch farms.  He is a highly sensitive horse who can read human intentions closely.  He makes it really clear that if you treat him with respect for his natural dignity and emotional needs, all will be well, but he does not respond to force.  He’s very good at showing a person exactly how he feels about life at any given moment, from ears to tail tip he speaks clearly about what he’s feeling. And like all horses, Flame always lives in this moment. He is a very good teacher of the skill of being present.

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Championed by:

Ms. Patti Painter, Platinum Horseshoe
Ms. Nancy Raulston, Gold Horseshoe


Nickname: Piglet (because of his love for taking mud baths!) 

Horsenality:  Ace is is an Appaloosa Gelding who has been with us for almost 18 years.  Although we don’t know his exact age we believe he is in his 30s (which is like a human in their 90s!) but Ace is still bright-eyed, peppy, animated, and loves to go to pasture with his buddies. He has lost most of his teeth so we feed him ‘baby food’ – mashed up pellet soup which he loves.  Ace is one of the kindest horses ever and very wise.  Ace loves napping in the arena with his buddies, going to pasture (but only after a big meal of mash since he can’t graze out there like the other horses) and taking mud baths when our arena forms a pond in the winter. 

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Championed by:

Dr. Mary Schaeffer, Bronze Horseshoe



Nicknames: BoBo, Bolicious 

Horsenality: Not only is he devastatingly handsome, Bo is also a true sweetheart.  He was born in the mountains of Kentucky but rescued at the age of 8 because he wasn’t being fed enough to eat.  He was brought to California and to a better life where he would never go hungry again.  Bo is a gaited horse so he is a true “Cadillac ride”!  Bo loves music, especially Hawaiian ukulele played by Bruce Barlow!  He enjoys being groomed and having coconut oil combed into his mane and tail until it shines.  Bo also loves long trail rides, especially with his buddy and neighbor Rascal, the ex-racehorse because they are well-matched in terms of pace and endurance.  Bo is a skilled soccer player, kicking the rubber ball all over the arena and thinking of himself as the Spanish CR siete of the equine world!

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Championed by:

Mr. William Farmer, Diamond Horseshoe

Running Rascal

Nicknames: Rascal, Rasc, Honey Bunches of Oats

Horsenality: Rascal is a goofy, kind-hearted “gentle giant”.  The only Thoroughbred at the Golden Gate Dairy, he is easily the tallest horse at the ranch.  Standing at an impressive 17.2 hands tall (which means his back is almost 6 feet off the ground!) this former racehorse might tower over you, but he has nothing but love and affection to give.  His days of racing at Golden Gate Fields, Bay Meadows and Del Mar are a distant memory now but he his happy to have found his “forever home” in Muir Beach.  He is secure, confident and kind, making him an ideal companion on trail rides for his equine friends who can be a bit more skittish, lending them confidence in scary situations.

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Nicknames: Zigster, Pink Pony, Little Monster

Horsenality:   Ziggy is small but mighty!  He is so adorable it is sometimes uncomfortable to look at him and in the winter his fluffy coat makes him look like a horse crossed with a chinchilla.  He is very confident with humans and herd-mates alike.  He loves attention from visitors to the barn who are drawn to his cuteness. Because of his big, ground-covering trot, he was tried out as a Ride and Tie horse (a long distance endurance sport that involves two humans and a horse running and riding over back country terrain) but Ziggy’s opinion was that it took way too much effort and that was the end of his Ride and Tie career!  He is sweet, talented, intelligent and well trained, but he likes to make his own decisions and that decision often involves eating.

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