Inspiring Kindness and Compassion towards Animals, Our Planet, and Each Other
Inspiring Kindness and Compassion towards Animals, Our Planet, and Each Other

Our Programs

The Gentle Barn is both a sanctuary for animals and humans alike, and we offer many programs to help support the community for children and adults who suffer from abuse, addiction, depression, loneliness, and physical and emotional issues. Once our animals have been rehabilitated, have chosen to forgive, have learned to trust, and have been given sanctuary with us for the rest of their lives, we partner with them to help children and adults recover from the same stories of the trauma that the animals have endured. Every animal has so much to teach us and offers something unique to benefit people in need.

The Gentle Barn offers many different programs including our world-renowned Cow Hug Therapy, along with Horse (and other animal) Therapy, Peace Enhancement Program, Literacy Program, Art Programs, and a Special Needs Program that runs year-round, in addition to Summer Camp and After School Programs.

The Gentle Barn can offer financial aid to agencies and individuals who qualify. Please contact us if support is needed or if you want to support a group to visit. We do our best to never turn anyone away due to financial need.

 
 

The Gentle Barn's staff or volunteers are there to facilitate the connection and provide safety between you and the animals but they are NOT therapists, and in no way offer medical or mental health advice themselves. In the event that additional mental health support is needed, The Gentle Barn recommends reaching out to a licensed mental health clinician.

Peace Enhancement

The Peace Enhancement Program is a multiple-time experience for the same group of attendees. The Group can come once a week or once a month for six months [1]. Each session is for two hours and takes place in different settings to bring a unique healing experience each time. You and your group will meet our animals, hear their stories of resilience, heal with cows, learn confidence with horses, practice empathy with smaller animals, connect with nature, and so much more. This program is designed to cultivate self-awareness, responsibility, and hope for the future through the unconditional love of animals. Our Peace Enhancement Program is the perfect complement to working in tandem with or outside of traditional therapy.

Children naturally identify with animals, and at The Gentle Barn, we use interactions with animals to teach children how to behave towards people. When children are abused, they tend to turn their hurt around to abuse others. By teaching kindness and empathy by uniting kids with animals, our Peace Enhancement Program helps turn these kids into protectors instead of abusers.

We work with these children by connecting them to the animals who all have histories of abuse, neglect, abandonment, or worse. Often the children share similar pasts as the animals, and when the children hear the stories of the animals, it helps them see that positive change is possible. As the children see that the animals are safe here with us, they begin to open up, as they also feel safe. With their unconditional love and non-judgmental attitude, we believe that animals can often reach kids more deeply and effectively than people can. As the children learn to love the animals, they simultaneously learn to love themselves. As they learn to understand the animals, they learn to understand themselves.

Identifying with the animals at The Gentle Barn helps the children feel safe. When we explore how our abused animals have learned to forgive and overcome their pasts, the animals become role models helping the children reach their goals of surpassing their pain and reaching for their bright futures.

CONTACT US FOR MORE INFO

[1] The Gentle Barn's Peace Enhancement program is versatile and can be tailored to any time configuration that your group may need. Please contact us for more information so we can put together the ideal plan for your group.

"Children trained to extend justice, kindness, and mercy to animals, become more kind, just, and considerate in their relations to each other. Character training along these lines will result in men and women of broader sympathies; more humane, more law-abiding, in every aspect, more valuable citizens." - National PTA Congress
"The instant connection with the animals that is made each and every time we have brought our boys there is almost impossible to describe without using words like "extraordinary," and "uplifting." There is more to the connection than just curiosity on both the boy's and animals' parts. There is an understanding of what it means to have a second chance. Whether you happen to walk on 2 feet, 4 hooves, or merely just enjoy the sensation of watching as two completely different creatures, human and animal, learn something that books can't teach." - Pacific Lodge Boys' Home

 

The Gentle Barn's staff or volunteers are there to facilitate the connection and provide safety between you and the animals but they are NOT therapists, and in no way offer medical or mental health advice themselves. In the event that additional mental health support is needed, The Gentle Barn recommends reaching out to a licensed mental health clinician.

People with Disabilities

Animals provide unconditional love, and kindness, and are non-judgmental. The animals at The Gentle Barn have so much to give back because of the trauma they have been healed from and are perfect for people with all types of Disabilities.

The Gentle Barn environment is safe and quiet, giving your special needs group the freedom to be themselves, and the room to explore at their own pace. The animals teach forgiveness, love, trust, and a sense of responsibility, which means a lot to many special needs children.

No matter what kind of group you have, we would love to accommodate you!

CONTACT US FOR MORE INFO

People with Disabilities Visit The Gentle Barn
"I teach a class of eleven students, eight of which are autistic and three of which have general developmental delays." - Special Education Teacher for Los Angeles Unified School District in a low-income neighborhood in Chinatown.
"The Gentle Barn gave my students the opportunity to let go of what usually keeps them locked up inside. You gave them the opportunity to show kindness to another living being. You gave them the opportunity to pet, brush, feed, and take care of another living being. For most of them, this was the first time they could do any of these things."

 

The Gentle Barn's staff or volunteers are there to facilitate the connection and provide safety between you and the animals but they are NOT therapists, and in no way offer medical or mental health advice themselves. In the event that additional mental health support is needed, The Gentle Barn recommends reaching out to a licensed mental health clinician.

Cow Hug Therapy

Cow hug therapy offers a chance to heal and find hope in the embrace of one of our gentle giants. While resting your face against the cow’s warm frame, your mind is cleared of worry, you are centered and grounded in the present time, your heart slows down to the beat of the cow’s heart, and your body gently rises and falls with their breathing, and you feel vulnerable, humble, open, and full of infinite possibilities. Cow hug therapy is a rare opportunity to feel like a newborn against a large, protective, and loving frame. It is where healing starts. Each Cow hug therapy session is an hour long, is perfect for anyone suffering from depression, anxiety, loneliness, grief, or who simply needs a good hug, and can be used either in tandem with or outside of traditional talk therapy.

  • Donation: $200
  • 2 people max (Age 14+ allowed)
  • 1hr session held on Tue, Wed, Thu, & Sat
  • Time slots: 12p-1p or 1p-2p
  • DOES NOT include time with any other animals.
 

The Gentle Barn's staff or volunteers are there to facilitate the connection and provide safety between you and the animals but they are NOT therapists, and in no way offer medical or mental health advice themselves. In the event that additional mental health support is needed, The Gentle Barn recommends reaching out to a licensed mental health clinician.

Equine Therapy

Equine therapy allows us to practice confidence and leadership skills. Through a specific Gentle Barn technique of grooming horses, you will become aware of your own body language and that of the horse and connect deeply. Afterward, you will take your horse on a walk and immediately get feedback from the horse as she or he trusts and follows you. In the horse world, no two horses are the same; one is the leader, and one is the follower. The same is true when we are in the company of a horse. In this program, you will learn how to hold your body, transmit your intention, and convey your energy to become a gentle leader. Each equine therapy session is an hour long, is perfect for anyone looking to expand their inner strength, courage, leadership, and voice, and can be used either in tandem with or outside of traditional talk therapy.

  • Donation: $200
  • 2 people max (Age 14+ allowed)
  • 1hr session held on Tue, Wed, Thu, & Sat
  • Time slots: 12p-1p or 1p-2p
  • DOES NOT include time with any other animals.
 

The Gentle Barn's staff or volunteers are there to facilitate the connection and provide safety between you and the animals but they are NOT therapists, and in no way offer medical or mental health advice themselves. In the event that additional mental health support is needed, The Gentle Barn recommends reaching out to a licensed mental health clinician.

Barnyard Therapy

Barnyard therapy is a safe place to check your life at the door, interact with small and delightful animals, and realize that no matter what you have gone through, you can move forward and find joy. Many of us have had to grow up way too soon and carry the weight of the world on our shoulders. In this program, you will cradle chickens in your arms, cuddle turkeys, give pigs belly rubs, pet goats and sheep, flirt with emus, kiss llamas, and surround yourself with rescued animals who have gone through trauma and have recovered to find love, create families, and find their happily ever afters. They will bring out your inner child and remind you to laugh, smile, and keep moving forward toward joy. Each barnyard therapy session is an hour long, is perfect for any individual looking for hope, joy, fun, and connection, and who wants to feel lighter, and can be used either in tandem with or outside of traditional talk therapy.

  • Donation: $200
  • 2 people max (Age 14+ allowed)
  • 1hr session held on Tue, Wed, Thu, & Sat
  • Time slots: 12p-1p or 1p-2p
  • DOES NOT include time with any other animals.
 

The Gentle Barn's staff or volunteers are there to facilitate the connection and provide safety between you and the animals but they are NOT therapists, and in no way offer medical or mental health advice themselves. In the event that additional mental health support is needed, The Gentle Barn recommends reaching out to a licensed mental health clinician.

 


School & Education

The Gentle Barn teaches children about animals in a way that will change their perspective about themselves and the world around them. We want to show children that even though we all look different, we are all the same inside. Every living being has language and needs food, water, shelter, and love. Our programs follow the Next Generation Science Standards (NGSS) to make sure that we support teachers' curricula.

We teach the children a wide variety of things including what animals eat, where they sleep, how they have families, why roosters crow, why pigs love mud, why goats chew, and how each species communicates through body language. Here at The Gentle Barn, kids gain an understanding of animals, see how much we all have in common, and get to expand their empathy for all living beings.

After a presentation that is geared to age and grade level, the children get to brush the horses, hug the cows, give the pigs tummy rubs, talk to the turkeys, play with the goats and the sheep, and so much more. It is an educational, hands-on experience that they will never forget. Our school program is appropriate for kids K-12.

  • Donation: $400 (min. of 20 kids & adults)
  • $20/person over intial 20 people
  • Maximum of 30 kids (1 classroom)
  • Maximum of 5 adults
  • All guests 2yrs+ count toward total.
  • 2-hour sessions held on Tue, Wed, Thu, & Sat
  • Time slots: 10a-12p or 2p-4p
"The hours we spent at The Gentle Barn were some of the most "teachable moments" I've come across in my 17 years as an educator. The children learned about the animals, of course, but they also learned a great deal about themselves, and were challenged to think in a new and different light than before." - Sierra Canyon Middle School
"As an educator, I strongly believe in what The Gentle Barn is doing. They are providing our community with a hands-on experience that is not only thought-provoking but stimulates social and emotional growth as well. It teaches them firsthand how to be empathetic and compassionate. The Gentle Barn is as valuable a place for the children who visit as it is for the animals who receive the attention there." - Westmark School
 

The Gentle Barn's staff or volunteers are there to facilitate the connection and provide safety between you and the animals but they are NOT therapists, and in no way offer medical or mental health advice themselves. In the event that additional mental health support is needed, The Gentle Barn recommends reaching out to a licensed mental health clinician.

Literacy Program

Our Literacy Program is the perfect way to help a child or adult practice reading in a non-threatening and safe environment. Reading out loud to our rescued animals has always been part of the animal's rehabilitation, acclimating them to the sounds of our voices and learning to trust us. While reading out loud, children or adults feel the joy and responsibility of supporting the healing of our animals, while, at the same time, practicing reading to a safe and non-judgmental audience who will never make them feel self-conscious. Because they will be reading to adorable turkeys, chickens, goats, sheep, pigs, peacocks, llamas, dogs, donkeys, horses, and cows, they will be motivated to show up and participate. This program is available for anyone of any age who needs to practice reading out loud. Each literacy session is an hour long and can be for an individual or a group of children from the same class or family.

The Gentle Barn's staff or volunteers are there to facilitate the connection and provide safety between you and the animals but they are NOT therapists, and in no way offer medical or mental health advice themselves. In the event that additional mental health support is needed, The Gentle Barn recommends reaching out to a licensed mental health clinician.