Melanie was blessed to have grown up with horses in her backyard. Learning from the horse itself, Melanie strives to understand all aspects of horsemanship, not just riding. She began giving riding lessons to beginners at age 12, working at a horsemanship camp at age 13, and volunteering at a therapeutic riding facility at age 16. Melanie’s passion to use horses to reach hurting children began early and never left. She began college classes in Human Services with a goal to attend a college that offered a degree in Equine Therapy. Melanie married her high school sweetheart, Nate, while working to help grow an equine assisted program when she was diagnosed with degenerative arthritis in her spine. Melanie had to reluctantly quit all her dreams and pursuits in horses to strengthen and protect her spine. But the dream never died. When she knew that Take Heart was growing and had a need, she was thrilled to serve in a capacity that furthered her similar passion while utilizing the skills she had to give. Melanie has twin girls (who also share her passion of horses), a dog and four cats, 2 goats, a miniature pony Angel, and a undisclosed number of chickens and ducks. She enjoys training service dogs, gardening, art and hosting game nights for friends.

If you are interested in volunteering in any capacity, please reach out to Melanie at

Volunteers are appreciated because their help allows Take Heart to grow and serve more people in our community! There are many ways to help:

  • Barn Duty team
  • Horse Enrichment team
  • Administrative help
  • Special Events
  • Work Days & Special Projects
  • Landscaping & Facility Care

Melanie Garland, Volunteer Coordinator

Building Community

Hope. Healing. Horses.

Looking for something to do that benefits others and creates friendships, in a fun environment? Our volunteer team is a community of caring and fun individuals and families who want to give back! Some have horse experience, others don't - but all pull together to take loving care of the animals and property, which makes Take Heart possible. We have young and "less young" volunteers - and all learn and grow together. We do horsemanship nights with our volunteer team to teach skills needed to advance and do more with the horses - and of course give everyone a chance to work and play together. Everyone is welcome and valued here!

Volunteer Opportunities