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Hearts & Horses

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Children & Youth, Developmentally Disabled Centers, Disabilities, Equestrian, Health, Human Services, Rehabilitative Care, Sports, Youth Development

Mission: Our mission at Hearts & Horses is to promote the physical, cognitive, emotional, and social well-being of individuals with special needs through equine assisted activities and therapies. We are committed to excellence the goal of providing our community with equine facilitated programs that are therapy-based and outcome-oriented.

Target demographics: promote the physical, cognitive, emotional and social well-being of people with special needs through equine assisted activities and therapies

Direct beneficiaries per year: 250 riders experience the benefits of therapeutic riding here at Hearts & Horses

Geographic areas served: Northern Colorado

Programs: Therapeutic Riding Hippotherapy Changing Leads Interactive Vaulting Hearts and Horses for Heroes Blue Mountain Riding Academy

Community Stories

24 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

5 Emily166

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I grew up in the area with horses and always heard about Hearts & Horses. The timing was never right for me to volunteer until recently. Now I wish I would have gotten involved earlier. I feel like I have a second home. The staff and volunteers are so welcoming. It is truly amazing to see the progression their students make physically, mentally, socially and emotionally after working with the horses. They have so many programs to fit every person's needs. I look forward to more years there!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I became involved with hearts and horses because of my love for horses. After volunteering in a few classes I fell in love with the riders. It was a great opportunity to help those riders accomplish greatness with their horse companions. I especially enjoyed working with at risk youth, seeing them pair up with their horse partner and achieve their goal

3

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Hearts & Horses has dramatically changed the life of a dear friend and her family. She has gained confidence, self awareness, social and motor skills through several years of equine therapy. The staff at Hearts & Horses is amazing and attentative to her needs including playing her favorite song while she's riding to make her feel more comfortable. They are always ready to answer any questions with a selfless smile.

4

Client Served

Rating: 5

My 3 grandkids are out there at Hearts and horses. It has given them the confidence in themselves that nobody else could have. They look so forward to going every week to get on the horse, love on their horses, learn, and see the gang of adults that are with them. It is their place where they go and learn and no one judges them if they can't do it. I love the positive atmosphere. It has made a difference in my grandkids.

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I walked into the Larimer County Fairgrounds building in 1996. I met Peggy Stewart at the booth for Hearts and Horses. We talked for awhile. I signed up as a volunteer.

To my absolute joy, I became a horse leader, became part of the board, totally enjoyed manning the booth at events, organized events, and had my own horse in the program for a time.

One of my favorite memories:
One young boy came into the program. He couldn't look up at anyone and definitely couldn't talk to anyone. He clung to his family and it was difficult to go to anyone. But he came every time and participated in class the best he could. However by the end the session he was talking to everyone, looking them in the eye and laughing during his class!! Then I saw him hugging the staff on his way out of the barn.

This organization has grown to help so many different groups of people. I truly have enjoyed watching it grow.

The calm and love I feel when I drive onto the ranch is so palpable in my own heart it sometimes brings tears to my eyes.

This world is a better place because of Hearts and Horses.

Traci Stewart  (Flatt)
Founding Member

4 Bianca11

Volunteer

Rating: 5

One of the best decisions I've ever made is volunteering at hearts and horses. My love for horses brought me here. It is heaven for me and I could spend all day every day over there. The people are great. Sometimes we Volunteers don't know each other but we certainly have one thing in common. The love for horses and for people. So, we become friends in a unique way. The staff is wonderful. Very professional, extremely skilled and so dedicated. It is just fun and a pleasure to work with all of them. It is very rewarding to help at hearts and horses and when you see and feel the change in the riders face turning into a big smile, joy and happiness - well, that is just priceless. I surly intend to help there for a long time.

4 Tim_93

Client Served

Rating: 5

I participated in the Veterans Program with Alley the mule. I had a awesome experience. Whenever I as with Alley I was focused on her more then myself. What a Great Place

4 Shelley J.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I've been a volunteer at Hearts & Horses for about a year. I'm so impressed with the professionalism and sincerity of all of the staff and volunteers. Watching the riders overcome their challenges and seeing their smiling faces is one of the main reasons why Hearts & Horses is my happy place. If I had it my way, I would be there every day. The instructors are thoughtful and caring and the safety of the riders is always their priority. I plan to to a volunteer and a part of this organization for a very long time.

4 Tina117

Client Served

Rating: 5

Hi, my name is Tina. Hearts and Horses have been part of my life for over 17 years. I'm a Mom of three boys. My oldest son took riding lessons at H&H's. They taught him how to take care of the horse, not only riding. My twins started riding at the age of two. They were premature, over three months early. They weighed .two pounds each. Riding really brought out Matthew's speech. Andrew has Cerebral Palsy. He has rode throughout his life, 16 years. He had to stop for surgeries and recovery. He has developed core strength and balance. He is able to let go of his walker for a few seconds and actually stand on his own. I credit it to surgery, physical therapy and hippo therapy at Hearts and Horses. He works with a wonderful occupational therapist. The bond between the horses and the riders is heartwarming. I can't thank H&H's enough. The staff and volunteers are wonderfully...
God Bless..

4 Rob_64

Client Served

Rating: 5

Our daughter Hannah had significant trouble with balance and her confidence level with activities related to balance and coordination. Because of Hearts and Horses not only had she learned to ride horses but had also been able to conquer her extreme fear of riding bikes. Her confidence in other activities has also soared and enabled her to do things she would not have chosen to participate in such as volleyball and acting! We are so very grateful for Hearts and Horses and their awesome staff and volunteers!

4 Debra105

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at Hearts and Horses since 2011 and it has been the most rewarding thing I've ever done. I have helped in a wide range of their classes, but my passion has been the Changing Leads Program for At Risk Youth. The staff is so dedicated to providing the best experience for these kids and works hard to address their individual needs. The ways that these horses reach out to our kiddos is just miraculous and the changes we see in the kids throughout their time there is amazing. The kids themselves share with us how much they gain in all aspects ... confidence building, team building, having someone to care for and to take care of. Oftentimes, they come to class in a bad mood and their horse brings them back to a good place. There have been many incidences over the years that the horses and kids have us in tears from just being able to observe their interactions and progress together. Hearts and Horses is a blessing to all the riders, the volunteers and our community. My husband and I do whatever we can to support them.

6

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering about a year ago. I have gained great friends and experiences in life from Hearts and Horses. I am truly excited to go every day and help different riders with different things. I have learned so much from Hearts and Horses and I hope to continue for a very long time!!

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The transformations that occur at Hearts and Horses on a daily basis are undeniable. There is such majesty happening here because of the perfect combination of people we serve, our volunteers, our equines and our staff. This is a place where people come to heal and feel good and never does a day pass where the positivity of this environment isn't infectious in the most beautiful way. The care for every person and equine is handled in a most professional manner and without bounds and is, I believe, the core of our success.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I began my time with Hearts and Horses as an intern, and was quickly made to feel at home by the staff, volunteers, riders and horses. I now go to work every day truly excited by what I do and the people that I get to share my day with. The staff is not only highly qualified and professional, but also deeply passionate about their work, spending hours outside of their time at the ranch trying to figure out what is best for their riders and horses. The volunteers are so dedicated to the horses and riders that sometimes I have to stop and remind myself that they don't need to be out here cleaning stalls - they make the choice to help each and every day and for that I am so grateful. I work with brand new volunteers, jumping in even though they still aren't quite sure where they'll find their role, and volunteers who have been with the same riders for over 5 years, and all of them bring joy, energy and love to the property. Watching my riders progress both in the riding skills and towards their personal goals is incredible, and I feel very lucky to have the horses, volunteers and other supports that I need to set them up for success. Something very special can happen when you put a person on a horse - suddenly some of the obstacles in the real world don't matter quite as much - and, at Hearts and Horses, I have the privilege of seeing this magic every day.

3

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

The program weaves compassion with genuine love of helping and healing. I am blessed to be able to witness and assist with some of this growth - of individuals improving their physical and emotional functions. Not only have I seen and heard how much using the therapeutic tool of the horse enhances each riders life, almost every volunteer receives their own 'therapeutic' victory when they give their time and receive the tangible joy that is felt at Hearts & Horses on a daily basis. This is truly a 5 star organization.

3 Donna216

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I came to volunteer for a class 5 years ago and never left because this program is so magical. Oh, the touching stories I could tell from the at-risk youth program, Changing Leads. The benefits my 6 year old grandson gets from his lessons. The thrill I have working with the new horses in my riding lessons. The fun and silliness the miniature horse and I share working with Alzheimer's patients or greeting school kids. The amazing people I meet through running the tack shoppe. It's not just the clients who benefit from Hearts and Horses, but the volunteers reap benefits they never would expect. It's my favorite part of the week!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering in 2012 and it has been the most inspirational and motivating thing I have ever done! I have encouraged others to come out and bring their kids to learn about giving back to their community, working with the wonderful equines, and just be a part of something bigger than themselves! A truly magical place

3 Ivy_

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am not only a volunteer with Hearts and Horses, I and my whole family are also recipients of H&H services. We love H&H. It is a very professional organization that treats all of the people and animals involved in a respectful, professional, fun, caring way. Every horse is beloved. Every rider is encouraged, challenged, and yet still kept safe. I have yet to meet a less-than-enthusiastic volunteer and every staff member is a dedicated, highly experienced expert in their field. Our family has been riding and volunteering with H&H for over 3 years now and we look forward to our time at the barn, in the arena, and on the trail. I particularly have appreciated the ways in which H&H has encouraged every member of our family to ride, even creating special all-ages all-abilities classes for us with a great, PATH-certified therapist/instructor so that our whole family can enjoy horseback riding together.

3 executivedirector

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Hearts & Horses is a well established, accredited and highly respected equine therapeutic facility. They follow standards set forth by PATH Inc. )Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship International) which sets the safety standards in this industry. As a certified therapeutic riding instructor also certified by PATH int. I highly recommend this organization.

2 Jreardo2231

Volunteer

Rating: 5

A veteran said it in a review of the program at H & H to address their physical and mental challenges and socialization difficulties after returning from service, "When I saw the staff it was like they were saying alright we are family and there is no judgment here, we all know what can be the physical and mental challenges carried by an individuals and what it is like to not be able to enjoy who you are and we work to remove those challenges and to build independence and a freedom and enjoyment of life that comes from that in small steps "...and there is not only support from the staff and volunteers but others involved and around you. In the Vets case it was other vets who understood as it is with young people, teens at risk and even elders with limited capacity to remember and move about with ease.
The strength of this organization is not only the people but the use of horses which do not judge either but give unconditional respect and support and bonding.
This is why the program has so many life-long supporters and friends as extended family and a place where you hear laughter and enjoyment from those they serve and those who give the care who get to enjoy the successes right along with them.
Hearts and Horses brings unbelievable outcomes, laughter, fun and life friendships.