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 last summer 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!
Harper joined Heartland last summer 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 Tuesday-Thursday 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. She has experienced the therapeutic effect of horses and knows how beneficial that relationship can be for a person and wanted to help share it with others. 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!
Lori grew up riding in the Kansas City area taking riding lessons at Allendale along with her sisters. She attended University of Arizona and K-State before returning to Kansas City and working for the family business. She feels fortunate to have married her soul mate, Steve. They have two children, Katie and Andy. Lori loves spending time with friends and family, especially her granddaughter, Olive. Lori continued to fuel her passion for horses by joining HTR over 7 years ago. She started as a sidewalker then worked as a volunteer coordinator for a couple of years and has returned to us as a very involved volunteer! Lori currently helps out 3 days a week and is an integral part of our new Interactive Vaulting program. We are so grateful for Lori and her time and talents that she has shared with HTR.
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 over 3 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. We are so grateful to them (and to Marie’s mom for her standing, weekly babysitting appointment)! The 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! At K-State he commissioned in AFROTC and then went to pilot training. He was a C-130 pilot for the Air Force for 29 years. After two wars and many contingencies he retire in 1998. He joined the civilian workforce for the next 10 years at Honeywell. He now enjoys retirement with his wife and the families of his two daughters and six grandchildren. 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!