Therapeutic riding center unveils state-of-the-art arena

Courtesy photo – The inside of the new Lucky Hearts arena at Hearts and Horses Therapeutic Riding Center.

By Katie Harris

The Surveyor

A ribbon cutting and donor party took place on Aug. 24 to unveil the new 20,000 sq. ft. arena at Hearts and Horses Therapeutic Riding Center, located at 163 N. CR 29 in Loveland.

The arena, which includes a durable steel frame, high-tech sound system with smart technology, and 7,500 sq. ft. of additional space housing a large tack room and 50-seat classroom with one-way observation windows, replaced the ranch’s original arena which was all but destroyed in 2017.

“The arena that stood there before was a smaller, outdoor arena with a fabric cover,” said Hearts and Horses Development and Communications Manager Kathryn Yuma. “The board of directors and leadership had already been in discussion about building an indoor arena, but having a wind storm come through and destroy the fabric cover on the old arena really pushed the capital campaign forward.”

The campaign was announced in January 2018 and has so far raised $1.4 million toward the project, thanks to numerous donors, including over 50 in Berthoud alone.

The arena, which took just over a year to build, will allow the non-profit riding center to serve more riders across the region.

“We’ve seen a 26% increase in riders from the fall session in 2018 to the current 2019 fall session,” said Yuma. “This new, larger, and innovatively-designed arena is allowing Hearts and Horses to serve more riders in our community by doubling the available indoor arena space, allowing for multiple classes to happen simultaneously.”

With 200 riders per week, including clients with physical limitations, veterans, youth at risk, and other special-needs populations, Hearts and Horses has steadily grown since it opened its doors in 1997. It welcomes over 250 volunteers each week, making it one of the largest volunteer programs in the country. One hundred twenty-nine of those volunteers and 52 of the riders hail from Berthoud.

“For many of the riders at Hearts and Horses, this is the first and only place where teams of people believe in their abilities,” said Yuma. “It is not only a goal of the organization to make people better and happier; but it is also a core value that weaves a tapestry of commitment and energy throughout the ranch. From the board of directors to the staff and volunteers, Hearts and Horses encourages all their riders to reach their full potential.”

While the non-profit has no shortage of support in the local community, it’s still just shy of the fundraising goal for the new Lucky Hearts Arena.

“We still have just $200 left to raise,” said Yuma. “There are a few recognition opportunities still available, but time is running out to leave your mark on this special place that will support hope and healing for generations to come.”

Anyone interested in donating to the “Raise the Barn!” campaign, touring the new arena, or helping out with the myriad of ongoing needs at the facility can contact Yuma at kathryn@heartsandhorses.org or 970-663-4200, or visit www.HeartsAndHorses.org/RaiseTheBarn

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