The Hoofbeat: November 2019
Volunteers are the Heart of Hearts
With Thanksgiving only a few days away, the staff at Hearts is reflecting upon our many blessings. We are grateful for our herd of 18 specially trained horses, for our enthusiastic participants and our kindhearted donors. It seems an impossible endeavor, but we must also try to express the extent of our gratitude for our invaluable volunteers. Without our 110 dedicated volunteers, Hearts lessons would not be possible. Our volunteers come from diverse backgrounds but they share a common thread, their devotion to the participants and horses at Hearts.

Each volunteer dedicates a minimum of four hours per week to a specific group of students or equine care. They prepare horses for lessons and offer physical support as riders develop their stabilizing muscles. Along with their equine partners, teams of riders and volunteers work together to play games and navigate through complex obstacle courses. In all the fun, it's easy to forget that riders are developing fine and gross motor skills, coordination, balance and strength. Participants who struggle to develop social relationships look forward to being greeted by the same smiling faces every week.

Our volunteers help to make a Hearts a safe and welcoming haven for participants of all abilities, and for that we are truly thankful!

Building Community Through Giving
Anita Patton

Anita grew up riding in Whitefish, Montana. She moved to Santa Barbara in 1989 and raised her two boys here. While her children were attending Monte Vista Elementary, Anita served as an aide for students in special education. She also taught tennis at Dos Pueblos High School.

Initially, Anita was drawn to Hearts because of her love for horses. She reports that what keeps her coming back are the relationships she's developed with the participants and other volunteers. What Anita enjoys most is being a part of the small successes the riders experience during their lessons. She remarks that students can be hesitant to attempt a new skill and often need encouragement. When they succeed, you can see them beaming with confidence.

In Anita's words, "The world waits while I'm at Hearts. I can take a time out, catch my breath and simply enjoy the positive environment and community."
Thank you Anita for two years of service!

Volunteers Change Lives

Interested in joining our volunteer team? Contact our volunteer program manager, Sarah for more information. No equestrian experience is required to join the Hearts team.

We are currently looking for volunteers for upcoming winter sessions. This is a great opportunity to spend time outdoors with Hearts horses and community members. Volunteers assist participants in mounted and unmounted lessons on the picturesque Hearts Ranch in Santa Barbara. Horsemanship and safety training is provided.

Contact Sarah to schedule a training session.
Join us for a tour of Hearts
Experience the heart and soul of our organization!

Come out to the Hearts ranch to learn more about our expanded programs, recent news, and the amazing individuals we serve. There are many opportunities to bring friends and family throughout the year to see our mission in action!

Join us on:

Tuesday, December 3rd at 9:50 am
Tuesday, December 17th at 9:50 am

Please RSVP using the link below
If you are unable to attend a scheduled tour but would like to learn more about Hearts programs, contact Lily to schedule a private tour.
Sponsor a Hearts Horse
Pippa and Vinnie visiting our friends at The ALPHA Resource Center
Interested in sponsoring a Hearts horse? Contact Morgan to a schedule a visit with one or all of our 6 horses currently available for sponsorship. Perks of sponsorship include your name or business name on the horse's stall, recognition online and at events, and visits to Hearts to spend time with your horse. Contributions are 100% tax deductible.
Pippa & Vinnie

DOB: Pippa 2016, Vinnie 2003
Color: Paint
Breed: Miniature Horse
Height: Pippa 8 hands, Vinnie 9 hands
Weight: Pippa 211 lbs, Vinnie 310 lbs

Pippa and Vinnie serve as equestrian ambassadors in Hearts' Minis on the Move program. Together they deliver smiles and therapeutic services to those unable to visit the Hearts Ranch. Most recently, Pippa and Vinnie enjoyed visiting the residents of Sarah House, one of Santa Barbara's hospice homes. Participants of the ALPHA Day Program were overjoyed to host the minis at their local ALPHA Resource Center.

For students of Hearts' Therapeutic Riding or Equine Facilitated Learning Programs who are fearful of horses, our minis serve as non-intimidating starter equines. Using our miniature horses, students can learn all of the grooming, leading and horsemanship skills necessary to be successful with their future full-size equine partners.


DOB: 2003
Color: Red Roan
Breed: Quarter Horse
Height: 15 hands
Weight: 1000lbs.

Kodi worked as a solid trail horse for Los Padres Outfitters in his former career. Because of his strength, he provides safe and secure lessons to our larger riders who aren’t appropriate for our taller horses.

Pictured here is rider Oscar and Kodi. Oscar is visually impaired and relies on Kodi greatly during lessons. Kodi is incredibly dependable and is often referred to as our trusty 4x4 truck. He’s solid, confident, and comfortable to ride. One of our instructors says Kodi is a true democrat – he wants to have his vote! This quality certainly comes in handy when working with riders like Oscar, who depend on Kodi’s knowledge and skill to have a safe and fun ride.


DOB: 2009
Color: Palomino
Breed: Quarter Horse
Height: 15 hands
Weight: 1050lbs.

If you looked up “mare” in the dictionary, there would be a photo of Lucy! She is expressive and great at giving feedback to our EFL (Equine Facilitated Learning) clients. She is the youngest of all of our horses, and she has the energy to prove it! She is very bright and responsive to the aids of her riders.

Pictured above is rider Julian and Lucy, his favorite horse. Julian lovingly refers to Lucy as “Goldie” – an appropriate nickname given her gorgeous gold coloring! Julian loves to ride Lucy and has progressed immensely as a young rider with her help. Lucy is gentle and responsive to Julian and her other riders, and has shown a great interest in our unmounted classes. Lucy is a gifted horse and reminds everyone around her that blondes indeed have more fun!

Hearts Therapeutic Equestrian Center | (805) 964-1519 | |