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Meet Melissa Sargent of Heart and Hooves Therapy in Ramona

Today we’d like to introduce you to Melissa Sargent.

Melissa, please share your story with us. How did you get to where you are today?
Heart and Hooves Therapy is a 501c(3) non-profit that was founded in 2014 after years of growing up with children with disabilities, adoptive family who were very loving and horses. During my childhood, I went thru many feelings and emotions as to why I was adopted, etc. I turned to horses when I was just 14 and from that point on I felt, seen and learned the power animals have to help you when needed most. I continued on wanting to give back in someway but I had my own family and timing in life was not right. At the beginning of 2014, all 3 of my kids were all in school, my husband worked full time so I was able to launch our program.

We’re always bombarded by how great it is to pursue your passion, etc. – but we’ve spoken with enough people to know that it’s not always easy. Overall, would you say things have been easy for you?
Heart and Hooves Therapy has grown faster than I have ever imagined. Our different kind of therapy targets any and all in the community. We have had some struggles as most new non-profits have as funding is always hard.

So let’s switch gears a bit and go into the Heart and Hooves Therapy story. Tell us more about the business.
Heart and Hooves Therapy enhances the lives of children and adults, any age and ability with a different kind of therapy! We use mini horses and other farm animals to offer AAA (animal-assisted activities) and AAT (animal assisted therapy) with on-site sessions and off-site visits to San Diego County. The on-site session we teach basic horse safety, learning basic body parts and grooming, foot care and educational learning based on the child’s age! We implement games to help with the educational aspect which also teaches the children confidence, courage, and respect. Off-site visits offer a one of a kind experience for our patients and their families. We provide one mini horse and handler to come and visit as well as help lift spirits and bring joy to those who can benefit most from our visits. We also educate our patients during our visits on basic horse care, safety and more. We are different than a lot of other business or non-profits because we serve any and all from A typical children to ADD to wheelchair-bound to OT, PT and speech goals. We also travel to Children’s hospital, Ronald Mc Donald House, Casa De Amparo, senior centers, assisted living facilities, libraries, hospice patients and more to visit with residents, family members and staff.

Has luck played a meaningful role in your life and business?
I would say I have good luck as I was adopted by a Mother and Father who gave me the tools needed to be caring, giving and compassionate. That, in turn, has helped me to become the women I am today and be proud of my marriage, 3 children and my program. Each and every hurdle I have overcome in my life has made me be stronger, faithful and want to share my passion even more.


  • We ask for a donation fee of $25 on-site sessions for on-site from those who can contribute.
  • We ask for a donation fee of $150 for off-site visits from those facilities that can contribute.

Contact Info:

Image Credit:
1 fur 1 Foundation, Melissa Sargent, Noah Homes, Inc and Interim Healthcare

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