Back Bay Therapeutic Riding Club


Bernadette Olsen was only 14 when she learned how therapeutic riding transforms lives. Raised in Germany, she took a job with an instructor who worked with people with disabilities where she watched small miracles happen everyday. This inspired a life long dream to bring the same possibilities to Newport Beach, CA. 10 years ago, the BBTRC was born. Olsen, a veteran rider, instructor, coach, and horse lover created the non profit while her former roommate, Larry Lake, generously donated half of his estate for the stables.

Bernadette operated BBTRC with the amazing support of her husband Jeff and her sons Ebo and Jeffrey. In this family-run operation, the Olsen's have dedicated themselves to building a unique program, where they saw their wife and mother associated only with barn work for the first six years. Bernadette lived at the property since 1990 and turned the place into a sanctuary for rescued horses and other creatures. 

In 2007 BBTRC was official . With all volunteer instructors and support, the BBTRC has served a special niche, offering lessons to riders who may not have access to other programs, providing an intimate and unique environment for our beloved rescue animal family, and our riders and their families.

After 7 years of rigorous dedication to keep BBTRC alive while simultaneously raising children she found Alice Krezymon and Maggie Kehrer. They joined the team and today BBTRC has become an amazing place- not only for homeless animals and unwanted horses but also for the many special need clients, their families, and for plenty of volunteers to give back to the local community.

Bernadette, who has previously done all lessons, horse care, volunteer training as well as managing the funds while taking care of her family, can now focus on continuous education for her horses and staff.