Taking the Reins Core Programming

Taking the Reins was created by two horsewomen in 1998 for under-served, teenage girls in Los Angeles with the intent on helping to foster empowerment that is gained through relationships with horses.

Today, TTR has developed their initial vision into a comprehensive Equestrian, Animal Husbandry and Seed-to-Skillet Gardening program.

Students participating in the weekend program at TTR experience a portion of each of these aspects during their day, while the After School program focuses on one portion at a time.


The moment girls step into the TTR barn they are responsible for the care of the animals and facilities. Beginning with an ‘Introduction to TTR’ course (every girl begins here to learn our program, rules and guidelines, regardless of their previous experiences elsewhere), students learn how and why to groom, individual nutritional needs of the herd, well-checks, tacking and the importance of bonding.

As the student shows proficiency, they are invited to more in-depth programming such as; Riding (TTR begins with basic western lessons using proper hand, seat, and leg commands, and students can progress into participating on our Show Team); Hippology (the study of the horse,; introduces students to the science of horses including horse behavior, anatomy, nutrition, fitness and reproduction) and Judging (the Judging Team travels to horse shows and learns different breed standards. Exemplary performance in Judging has lead TTR alumni to scholarships for college!)

Seed-to-Skillet Gardening Program

 Outside and immersed in the natural environment directly adjacent to the L.A. River is our garden and ‘kitchen’.

Students plant seeds and seedlings, nurture their growth, defend them from pests and weeds, harvest their fruits and learn some basic cooking skills in our outdoor ‘kitchen’.

TTR’s Seed-to-Skillet program utilizes a S.T.E.A.M. based curriculum. For instance, girls learn what the trajectory of the sun has to do with egg production and create plans that will best utilize the sun’s power most efficiently in the garden space. 


Animal Husbandry

Students interact and learn to care for goats, rabbits, chickens, ducks, horses, ponies, dogs and cats who live and work on our property.

Girls experience our farm animals as vulnerable beings in need of care and feeding as vulnerable beings in need of care and feeding, as well as providers of agricultural products and helpers who provide services.