volunteer stories



Emilie has been such a gift to Heartland! She joined us last summer and has been going full throttle ever since. Horses have always been a part of Emilie’s life. She started riding when she was 3, then began training and giving lessons to others as a young teen. She has 2 horses, Classy, a thoroughbred paint and Gypsy, a red roan quarter horse.

Emilie was drawn to HTR by her desire to help and knowing how animals can influence people’s lives. She has been a regular during the school year, coming to weekly classes and filling in where she can. Her help during camp has been indispensable. She spent entire weeks with our campers thrilling them with her braiding skills.

Emilie, we appreciate all of your hard work!



Michell came to Heartland and jumped in full throttle. Michell was born and raised in Dallas. Michell currently works for Target’s HR department and lives in Westwood with her husband, Eric.

She began taking riding lessons during a stressful point in her life and found joy in the time away from reality. She could take a break while learning a new skill that benefited her both mentally and physically. 

She joined HTR to give others this same feeling. Michell enjoys getting to know the riders and other volunteers. She comes each week to help in the barn and spend some extra time with the horses. She spent this summer with our campers. Helping them to learn horsemanship and riding skills.

We are very thankful for Michell’s time and devotion to HTR!

Marie and Jarrid


Marie and Jarrid Williams are a wonderful example of how a little love and caring can make the world better.

Marie has helped in therapeutic riding programs across the U.S. When she moved back to KS she knew it was a “therapy” that she would still need in her life. Upon finding HTR, her husband, Jarrid, decided this might be something that he would enjoy too. For many  years, Marie and Jarrid have volunteered each Tuesday to ensure a safe and enjoyable ride for Mo. They have also helped countless other riders and jump in to help at special events and activities at HTR. 

Marie and Jarrid love coming for the horses, the families, their friends and mostly the riders and we love them!



Gene Ronsick grew up horseback on a ranch in Chase County, KS. He met his wife, Linda while attending K-State. They have now been married 48 years!

Gene has been volunteering at HTR since 2014. He finds that the combination of working with children and horses to be just what he was looking for. Gene has devoted many hours to HTR helping in classes multiple days a week. When he’s not here, you can find him hunting, fishing or riding horses in the Flint Hills.

We are so blessed to have Gene as a volunteer at HTR!



Harper joined Heartland with the hope of helping in our classes. After an injury that prevented her from being able to walk in the sand, she found her true calling in our stalls!

Harper comes bright and early to clean stalls, wash buckets, sweep and generally prepare the barn for the day. Harper was drawn to HTR because she attended school to study education with an emphasis on children with special needs. 

Harper is a hard worker and always shows up and leaves with a smile on her face. 

We are very grateful to have her  with us!

HTR Volunteers


Heartland volunteers are the backbone of our program. We rely on them to support our riders, raise funds, and spread the word about HTR. Thank you to everyone over the many years you has devoted their time and energy to Heartland.