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Hearts Therapeutic Equestrian Center is Relocating!

Hearts Therapeutic Equestrian Center is Relocating!

Hearts Therapeutic Equestrian Center is a non-profit corporation that employs equine assisted activities to inspire, strengthen, and motivate children and adults with special needs in Santa Barbara County. Since opening in 1985, thousands of individuals of all ages and disabilities have benefited from therapeutic riding. Today, the nonprofit has 18 horses and serves 95 participants per week!

The people of Hearts have some of the biggest hearts we know and strive to bring joy to all those involved. Check out what they do how it impacts the community:

Aside from providing therapeutic services for riders with disabilities, Hearts Therapeutic Equestrian Center is giving back to the County of Santa Barbara by relocating to provide land for the community's need for debris management. Santa Barbara has historically and recently faced many fires and mudslides; with that, comes debris that must be relocated in order to properly accommodate the people of the city. The Hearts Therapeutic Equestrian Center has existed at its current location in Santa Barbara County property for 23 years but has understood for years that the County may one day need the space for its debris management. After the debris flow in January 2018, there was an imminent need for the land, and the center declared to relocate to the adjacent County in 2021. But, it isn't that simple!


Santa Barbara is still recovering from the Thomas Fire and subsequent debris flows and has been fighting the recent challenging weather conditions in California yet again. Thus, Hearts Therapeutic Equestrian Center is committed to assisting the County to prepare for more impact from future rain events by providing their facility for the County's recovery operations at an earlier date, now in December of 2019. The rapid timeline for the relocation is requiring an all-hands-on-deck approach. Support from the Equestrian community, near and far, is urgently needed and appreciated! You can help by volunteering for lessons, camps, administration, facility, special events and much more. You can also donate directly to the organization; any amount can make a huge difference!


Hearts hosts incredible events throughout the year to help you get involved! On April 27th, there will be an Annual Student Horse Show called, Surf's Up, Heels Down!, which is when students proudly demonstrate their equitation skills before a cheering crowd of supporters, family, and friends. On May 11th, the organization will be hosting a Barn Dance Auction and Fundraiser, equipped with food, dancing, live music, and a silent and live auction. These are both great opportunities to see what the organization is all about and to meet the hearts behind Hearts!

For more information about the Hearts Therapeutic Equestrian Center, please contact Hearts Executive Director Pamme Mickelson at 805-364-5201,, or visit the website. For contributions, please contact Laurie Barene, at 805-364-6266,