Our programs serve children, adolescents, and adults of the central coast. We prioritize serving youth from our neighboring communities who face significant barriers and lack accessibility to horses and to equine-guided learning opportunities due to historic and systemic inequities. We strive to create transformational experiences for those in our community healing from chronic health conditions, grief, and physical or mental disabilities, as well as military veterans, first responders, and their families.
To inquire about participation in our programs or to partner with Sea Star Horse Sanctuary’s equine-guided learning program, please contact Sea Star Programs.



Learning-based activities with horses can encourage the development of skills and values that can be applied to all domains of life. Connecting with horses in this way fosters the development of empathy, confidence, self-esteem and self-awareness in addition to learning the presented concepts and skills at hand.
We successfully launched our pilot program offering small groups of local students equine-guided learning opportunities at the sanctuary in the summer of 2023. For our first program, we collaborated with the Community Partnership for Youth in Seaside as part of their six week summer camp. This program is now offered throughout the school year.
In this program, students focus on connecting to nature and to our herd through “disguised” educational lessons about horses including herd structure, horse communication and senses, and basic anatomy. We introduce them to the basics of horse care through grooming, nutrition, holistic care modalities such as zoopharmacognosy. Each session ends with a reflection and journaling or art component.
Equine-guided learning programs require a synergy of trained facilitators and can be adapted to meet the age range and needs of the group. Please reach out to our programs coordinator to learn more!

Mindfulness With Horses

Our community program, Mindfulness with Horses, creates an intimate space for members of the public to experience the spirit of the sanctuary and reconnect with self, nature and the horses through mindfulness, somatic awareness, and self-reflection exercises.

Gatherings will include:

  • Mindfulness meditations
  • Energy clearing exercises
  • Connection with the land
  • Horse wisdom teachings
  • Community connection
  • Gentle movement/ stretching
  • Time with or near horses     

The 2024 outdoor gatherings are held on select Saturday mornings: 

Dates: 6/22, 7/20, 8/17,9/28,10/26
11 am-12:30 pm
Suggested Donation: $40
Space is limited
Pre-registration is required
Contact:Tanya Tonneson 415-694-8242

 FEEL is Equine Assisted Learning

Equine Assisted Learning is a heart-centered connection that creates new and profound insights. If you love horses, dream of horses or are simply drawn to the spirit of the Horse, come and experience this special human-horse bond.

The FEEL (Facilitated Equine Experiential Learning)® Approach will facilitate the reconnection of your heart and soul-inspiring healing and growth. It is a leading-edge modality that involves the horses’ willing participation as partners in assisting humans to discover their potential. Interacting on the ground with a horse is a unique time of discovery and reflection which raises consciousness for both humans and horses.

Engaging with horses allows you to create a relationship with a being who offers unconditional support and love without judgment. These intimate ‘felt’ moments foster transformation and healing at a deep level, while connecting you to something greater.

With the specially designed FEEL activities you can deepen your awareness to overcome personal obstacles, core feelings and areas of bodily tension that inhibit your ability to reach your true potential. These horse interactions help you recognize and move beyond familiar coping strategies to accessing your own inner wisdom.


With the horse you can experience:
  • New awareness’
  • Personal growth, transformation and healing
  • Expansion of your heart
  • Empathic leadership skills
  • Increased intuitive abilities
  • Enhanced vitality, communication skills, creativity and problem solving
  • The value of setting boundaries
For inquiries or to schedule a session, contact Tanya Tonneson at (415)694-8242 or email
FEEL is Equine Assisted Learning

Lifetime Sanctuary Program

Seastar Horse Sanctuary takes into our permanent care, horses and ponies from guardians no longer able to care for them, horses suffering from neglect or abuse, and old and injured horses that are in danger of needless slaughter and have nowhere else to go. 

Each horse receives a comprehensive veterinary exam with diagnostics that includes bloodwork, parasite screening, and radiographs. Each horse then receives the necessary medications, vaccines, deworming, dental care, specialized diets, and supplements.  Geriatric horses are supplied with protective leg wraps, orthopedic boots and ongoing osteoarthritis care. All horses receive regular veterinary care throughout the remainder of their lives. A group of volunteers and one full-time staff member helps with daily grooming, exercise, training, holistic care, enrichment, feeding, and stall cleaning.  

Horses are accepted into this program as space becomes available.

Focused Visits

Focused visits are no-cost, private visits reserved for those who may especially benefit from one-on-one time with the herd due to extenuating circumstances in their life. We offer these special visits to those in the community who have health conditions such as autism, anxiety and PTSD or those who may need additional assistance due to physical movement limitations. These visits are also available to individuals and families who are grieving the loss of a loved one or are going through challenging transitions in their life. These visits can be specially designed to meet the needs of our guests.

Support for Military, First Responders and Health Care Professionals

We acknowledge the stressful environments and lifestyles lived by our military service members, first responders and health care professionals and their families. We are honored so many consider the sanctuary a place of peace and relaxation; a sanctuary from the busy world in which we live and work. We offer no-cost visits to these indiviudals and their families as a small token of gratitude for their service.

Hosted Learning Opportunities at the Sanctuary

We are proud to be a site for other organizations to host their programs or practice holistic care modalities. Our beautiful location and serene herd makes Sea Star Horse Sanctuary a memorable place to teach art, photography, Healing Touch, Reiki, nature education programs and more!
Healing Touch for Animals regularly holds their large animals class at Sea Star Horse Sanctuary. Please visit HTA’s website to register for their next course. Healing Touch practitioners from the local area visit the sanctuary every Thursday to offer treatments to our herd.