The children we serve need your help

About Us

For twenty years we have been successfully organizing and creating summer horse camps for at risk children, working with other local agencies to provide a uniquely healing and transformational experience for hundreds of these children.

We are a non profit organization that since 1998 has been dedicated to combining the healing power of horses and the kindness of strangers to help our most vulnerable children. More recently, we have added after school EFL (Equine Facilitated Learning) programs for these same children.

Santa Barbara Youth Project is a tax-exempt, non-profit organization under section 5019c)(3), that since 1998 has been dedicated to combining the healing power of horses and the kindness of strangers to help our most vulnerable children. More recently, we have added after school EFL (Equine Facilitated Learning) programs for these same children.

We have always known, based on our own observations  and feedback from the children’s counselors, that a relationship with horses is incredibly therapeutic. Recent scientific studies have confirmed this ,revealing how horses reduce stress and anxiety and give a sense of connection, control and wellbeing to children and adults. (see research studies summarized later)

As the founders of the organization, Peter Claydon, PhD, and Susan Miller, RN have extensive qualifications and experience as both healing professionals and equestrians.

Peter has been a licensed, practicing Clinical Psychologist in Santa Barbara County for over 33 years following careers in the British Merchant Navy and Personnel Management in British Industry. He has extensive experience as a rider in Eventing, Competitive Trail and Endurance. (He has completed the 100 mile Tevis cup four times)

He is also qualified as an Equine Specialist with both EAGALA and PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship) International and was previously qualified as a therapeutic riding instructor with NARHA, now PATH International.

Susan is a retired Critical Care, Hospice and Visiting nurse with over 40 years professional service. She also has over 45 years equestrian experience in multiple disciplines including dressage, jumping and endurance riding as well as teaching and training horses and their human partners. (In her earlier years she trained as a British Horse Society Assistant Instructor.)

She is a certified “Equine Specialist” with both EAGALA (Equine Facilitated Growth and Learning) and PATH International

Together they combine their experience and love of horses with their sympathy and compassion for children in need, under the umbrella of the Santa Barbara Youth Project.

The children we serve need your help. They are part of our community, but their hurt is often not seen. The kindness of strangers and the connection with a horse, help heal the hurt.