I am very excited to be able to bring some attention today to a really great organization.  Heart and Hooves Therapy in Ramona is an amazing nonprofit organization that honestly does a great service for people in Ramona with disabilities.  It is something that happens silently, with no big fanfare and not a lot of publicity. This organization is a huge asset to our community and most people don’t even know that it is here and available to them if they need it.  I would like to introduce you to Melissa Sargent who is the President and Founder of Heart and Hooves Therapy to tell you a little more about this awesome organization that she started and runs here in town.  Melissa take it away:


Hi friends!  I am Melissa Sargent and as Deb said, I am the President and Founder of Heart and Hooves Therapy.  We are a nonprofit based here in Ramona, CA that offers AAA( animal assisted activities) and AAT (animal assisted therapy) sessions to children and adults, any age and ability with the use of mini horses and other animals. Some of our clients that we work with have cognitive, physical or emotional challenges. We also offer services to military veterans suffering from post-traumatic stress disorder, and  love on the folks at our local senior centers and home bound children and adults.  Many of our clients that benefit from this therapy include those who have disorders and injuries ranging from autism, attention deficit hyperactivity disorder, mood disorders, down syndrome and head injuries. I also love teaching horse crazy children about horses on a safe and less intimating level. Heart and Hooves therapy is able to cater and serve any age and ability throughout San Diego County.



Animal therapy can strengthen human resilience through times of crisis, persistent adversity, and disruptive transitions, such as relocation, divorce, widowhood, and adoption. Animals can provide, especially in troubled times, great comfort and joy. Studies have shown the value of the human-animal bond in child development, elderly care, mental illness, physical impairment, dementia, abuse and trauma recovery, and the rehabilitation of incarcerated youth and adults. Heart and Hooves Therapy's ultimate goal is to enhance the lives of children and adults with a different kind of therapy, a hands-on experience by bringing mini horses and other animals to them. Regardless of where they are located or what they are going through. The interaction with the animals creates a special bond and provides an opportunity to communicate and connect in a way that is more challenging to do with humans. The lack of judgement provides a safe place for them to develop both cognitively and physically.

Heart and Hooves offers pony playtime in 30- or 60-minute one-on-one sessions at my home with a miniature horse and instructor.  I teach basic safety and offer instruction about equine body parts, grooming and foot care. Off-site sessions are available upon request as well. Each session is a little different based on the individual participants’ age and special needs. Games are also used to help with the education aspect and teach the children confidence, courage and respect. Some of the games, which include "red light, green light” and "Simon says,” show children how to properly lead, stop and back up the horses.

Heart and Hooves is a 501(c)3 non-profit public charity and we truly appreciate all the help and support from the community and look forward to serving many adults and children with your help! If you'd like to meet our furry staff members Nacho, Chips and Tori, or hear what our clients think, or to get more information about how to support Heart and Hooves Therapy or to schedule a session please visit www.heartsandhoovestherapy.org or call 619-633-5105.  Also please take a moment to "Like" us on Facebook to stay informed about what we are doing.

I would like to add that we are having a fundraiser for Heart and Hooves on September 12th from 9am to 3pm at Cactus County Park in Lakeside.  This event is called the Heart and Hooves Hitting for Hooves Hit-o-Thon.  This will be a fun family friendly event that we would love to see everyone at.  There will be 10 teams playing ball, with vendors, food from Devil Dogs BBQ, jumpy and face painting.  We hope to see you there! Click on the picture for more information!

Working within our community and helping people is truly a labor of love and I am so happy that I am able to provide the people of our community with this method of therapy.  It really makes a huge difference in the lives of our clients!  And I just want to say thank you to Deb Espinoza for letting me take over her website today to give you all this information! Thank you for supporting our local businesses!



Oh Melissa, the pleasure is all mine.  I think you are doing great work here in Ramona and it is honestly something that more people need to know about.


Please take some time to check out Heart and Hooves Therapy.  And please, if you know someone who could benefit from this type of therapy please get them in contact with Melissa!

Thanks again! - Deb