Semi-finalist Q&A: Heart 2 Heart Ranch

Heart 2 Heart Ranch provides riding experiences for youth and adults with disabilities. Lessons are also available for their siblings. The Old Wild West lives again where persons with disabilities experience first hand the world of cowboys and cowgirls. Riders come to the ranch as inexperienced Cowpokes and leave as happy Buckaroos.

Information from their grant application is available here. Read below for more, and if you have questions for our semi-finalists don't hesitate to ask them in the comments section.

Also, don't forget to cast your vote! YOUR vote will determine which entrepreneurs most deserve to be amongst the finalists.

How did you come up with the idea for your business?
Heart 2 Heart,LLC was created after hitting a very low point in my life. I had left teaching to be a stay-at-home mom and had been moving with my husbands career. When his career came to an abrupt end and all goals for our life diminished, we did some soul searching about what we wanted to do with our lives. I kept asking the question, “If we could do anything we wanted as a job and money wasn’t an issue what would we choose to do?” and Heart 2 Heart was created. I took two passions of mine, teaching individuals with disabilities and riding. These were two areas where I had a lot of experience and training and knew I would feel like I was giving back something special and worthy to the world. By building self-esteem and providing enjoyment to others Heart 2 Heart just makes me feel good. I now have the best job in the world that I am proud of!

What do you love most about running your own business?

I love running my own business because I can incorporate creative ideas and there are no limitations set on what I want to try and do. All the hard work I put into the business benefits the development/success of my business. I guess it is like owning your own home, there is pride in ownership!

What makes your business unique?

There are businesses that provide riding lessons but we are unique in that one, we use mules instead of horses and we offer the opportunity for our riders to participate in parades, compete in mule shows and rodeos, spend time bonding with animals in our petting zoo, trail ride, and eventually individuals with disabilities will have the opportunity to learn how to drive mule/donkey drawn carts and participate in Heart 2 Heart Ranch Riding Camps.

What are some of your top business-related accomplishments, or business lessons learned?

Our top business accomplishment took place last September when we took 3 riders to our first mule show to compete. I still get chills when I picture the faces of the riders when they finished their events. The smiles from ear to ear and high fives were exhilarating and being involved in the kids feeling of success was awesome! I felt like we had accomplished our goals when a parent expressed that other riders need to know about what we as a business were providing and how Heart 2 Heart focuses on abilities NOT disabilities!

Why should Idea Café regulars vote for you?

By voting for Heart 2 Heart, LLC we would be able to purchase Western Cowboy Hat Helmets. Having these cowboy hat helmets is passing on a gift to individuals with disabilities providing them the opportunity to look like, feel like, and be like other cowboys and cowgirls. Wearing a cowboy hat/helmet means much more then safety to these youth and adults with disabilities; this is a hat that signifies importance, pride and inclusion by involvement in a real western riding group. Parents that can not afford Cowboy helmets get to experience the thrill of their child/adult not only competing and participating but developing self-esteem by taking pride in their appearance i.e. Western Cowboy Hat/Helmet, boots, western Heart 2 Heart Ranch shirts, blue jeans, belt and buckles.


Trin and Jeff, What a great

Trin and Jeff,
What a great job you are doing with these kids. May I pass the e mail to people I know requesting votes?

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