Therapeutic Horseback Riding Brings Healing

After a particularly challenging time in her life, Heather Miner took a year off to get “back to basics.” That’s when she discovered therapeutic horseback riding through Ride For Joy. Now she is helping others find healing as a therapist there and says it “feels like home.”

Video Transcript

Heather Miner lost several loved ones over a short span of months.

Heather Miner: I lost several family members, and I consequently lost my job because I went to too many funerals, and I was just kind of a mess.

She knew she needed to find joy again.

Heather: I knew I couldn’t function as a counselor because I needed to take time for myself to heal. I took a year or so, and I called it “getting back to basics.” If it was going to stress me out, I didn’t do it.

That’s when she discovered Ride for Joy.

Heather: I heard about Ride for Joy. I had never heard of therapeutic horseback riding before. I was like perfect, I will just go ride some horses. It’s all I had to do.

Ride for Joy is a nonprofit equine therapy program. Heather works with riders of various needs and abilities to aid in their healing.

Heather: So I got out here, and I realized my very first day out here, it was going to be more than just a job. It was definitely going to be a home for me.

Heather could share her lifelong love of riding with others.

Heather: I was working with a veteran, and he wanted to learn how to do something called lunging, which is making the horse go in a circle around the person.

In the process, she found healing for herself.

Heather: Teaching this veteran how to utilize his energy with the horse’s energy and talk to the horse across a distance, he was really in the moment, and I was really in the moment. I’m like this is where I’m supposed to be. This is what I’m supposed to do. I’m home.

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