Hearts & Horses campaigns for new riding arena

LOVELAND — Hearts & Horses, the Loveland-based nonprofit that provides therapeutic riding services to people with disabilities, has launched a capital campaign to build an insulated steel building to be used for year-around riding.

Hearts & Horses, which has grown to 180 riders per week, currently uses a fabric-covered arena. Jan Pollema, executive director of the nonprofit, said the new arena will improve operations. “This new arena will maximize our rider’s safety, decrease class cancellations due to inclement weather and winds, enhance rider health and comfort, and increase the number of riders in the Hearts & Horses programs,” she said.

The project has drawn the support of mule-trainer Meredith Hodges, owner of Lucky Three Ranch and a 20-year supporter of Hearts and Horses. “It wasn’t difficult for me to decide whether to help build this new arena,” she said in a prepared statement.  “They simply need more usable space for more classes to move people off the waitlist and into action. I have carefully watched how my money was spent, the success of the initial program, the competence of the administrators, therapists and volunteers and was duly impressed by their dedication and experience.  I am honored to be part of an extraordinary legacy.”

Anticipated costs for “Raising the Barn” is $1.5 million.  The organization is seeking contributions and interested businesses or individuals may contact Tamara Merritt, associate executive director, at 970-663-4200 or at www.HeartsandHorses.org

A groundbreaking for the project will be May 31 from 4:45 to 5:30 at Hearts & Horses ranch located at 163 N. County Road 29, Loveland.  Short tours of the existing facility will be given after the ceremony.