by Lorie Lewis Ham
This week we are interviewing Guy Adams, the executive director of Heart of Horse Therapy Ranch just outside of Clovis, California where they use horses to provide therapy to people with all types of disabilities. He and his wife Carey started the Ranch. Video interview with Guy at the end of this post about their new program for Veterans.
KRL: How, when and why did the Ranch start?
Guy: We started it four years ago.
KRL: How did it come to be?
Guy: My wife Carey and I lost everything seven years ago and moved here five years ago to start training race horses to be trail horses. Then we had two kids with special needs come out and that’s when it started. I was able to see the difference the horses made in their lives. One was a boy who was autistic and the other was a little girl with CP.
KRL: What is the Ranch’s purpose?
Guy: To help people with all forms of disabilities find a new way to live by building them up Mind Body and Soul.
KRL: Where are you located?
Guy: Just outside of Clovis. We are by appointment only.
KRL: Who all can find help at the Ranch?
Guy: Any age person with a disability.
KRL: How do you feel therapy horses help people?
Guy: The movement has a lot to do with it. We are able to move their legs to build different parts of the body throughout the body’s core. Also, mentally a horse can change a person’s life. We use different gated horses, like Paso Fino’s, to stimulate the brain in kids and adults with brain trauma and mental issues.
KRL: How many horses do you have?
Guy: At this time we have 27 horses. We relieved a horse rescue of the horses a few years back and are retraining them for new lives as Therapy or good old trail horses. Some of our horses are at Reedley College to ensure they have great horses for their new equestrian team. We send horses to other ranches to work with kids with special needs that come to the Fresno area.
KRL: How are the right horses chosen or found?
Guy: We look for horses that have had professional carriers, such as cutting, reining and other types that have been there done that.
KRL: Is therapy provided just by riding the horses or do patients care for them as well?
Guy: Some are allowed to feed and clean the horses. We have to be very careful when allowing people around such large animals.
KRL: What is a typical day like at Heart of Horse?
Guy: We start our days about six a.m. with feeding and then getting horses ready for our riders. Starting at 8:30 and lasting 1/2 hour, we have 11 to 13 sessions a day.
KRL: What sort of events do you have?
Guy: We have a concert once a year and last year we had Wilbur Daniels & the Chordsmen along with The Sons of the San Joaquin. The Clovis Rodeo Acceptation Blessed us with a three-day event – Friday night dinner dance, Saturday roping, Sunday Cowboy Church and Barrel Racing.
KRL: Tell us about the current GoFundMe?
Guy: We are still in need of funds to start our new schools program. We are working on a program to teach high schoolers to work with kids with special needs.
KRL: Is everyone a volunteer?
Guy: We have one employee and the rest, including myself, are Volunteers.
KRL: How many volunteers do you have?
Guy: Twenty-eight at this time, but we can always use new help. We teach all new volunteers our program.
KRL: How can people help?
Guy: We have many needs, such as horse feed – Alfalfa and Grain – and monetary donations to pay the bills such as medical bills for the horses.
KRL: How does someone in need of the therapy the Ranch provides go about getting it?
Guy: Call 559 297-7100. Note that some will need a Doctor’s Release.
Heart of the Horse also has various fundraisers throughout the year including an annual concert featuring artists like The Sons Of The San Joaquin, The Chordsmen, The Sonny Coelho Band and Bill Throneberry. Learn more about how you can volunteer or donate, and any events they have coming up by checking their website and Facebook. You can donate to their GoFundMe Campaign here: www.gofundme.com/qmpsp8.
Video interview with Guy:
Check out more animal rescue stories in our Pet Perspective section.