LEESBURG — Michelle Housley Morgan is determined. She was determined to beat cancer and she did. Now she is determined to make a difference, and she and her partner Jonathan Lemuz are doing just that with equine therapy at Hootie’s Horse Haven.

The philosophy at the ranch is to share the healing power of horses with those who need help and healing. They offer horses to accommodate any size rider; they have mini horses to draft horses for anyone to enjoy.

This therapeutic riding center offers equestrian skill-based activities to build trust and confidence between horse and rider. Equine therapies include activities for special needs students. Adult, teen and children’s riding lessons are available with one-on-one instruction. Ranch therapy is offered so that the students can groom and pet the horses. Non-equine ranch therapies are available for students not quite comfortable with horses yet.

The therapies offered at the ranch help students deal with difficult life experiences that are made more bearable through their relationship with the horses. The special needs students worked with include but are not limited to those with emotional trauma, physical limitations, terminal illness, PTSD, depression, anxiety and grief.

Their website, hootieshorsehaven.com, has more information and an option to book a visit to the ranch. Meet the people of Hootie’s Horse Haven and the horses there. Give them a chance to help. Life will only improve with the experience.

At this place, this farm, it is OK to be different. It is OK to be one’s true self. Housley and Lemuz and the animals at the ranch are there to help a person heal, grow and enjoy life.

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