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Our Beginnings

Heartland Equine Therapeutic Riding Academy was started in 1989 by Steve and Janet Henthorn of Omaha, Nebraska.

The program started with one participant, one horse, and three volunteers.  Our mission is to improve the quality of life both physically and emotionally of adults and children of all ability levels through equine-assisted activities. HETRA is a non-profit 501c3 organization and is currently the only PATH, Intl. Premier Accredited Center in Nebraska!

HETRA serves a variety of participants including children and adults with disabilities such as cerebral palsy, spina bifida, muscular dystrophy, cystic fibrosis, brain tumors, head or spinal cord injuries, visual impairments, autism, developmental delays, and strokes. 

For the last several years, HETRA volunteers have donated over 26,000 volunteer hours per year.  Without our dedicated volunteers, we could not provide services to over 150 participants each week.  Individuals of all ability levels have a job that is instrumental in making a session run smoothly.

HETRA looks back on a history of growth and achieving many amazing goals.  We look forward to our future with great hope and excitement for what is to come.


Our Values

  • Provide a safe environment for our clients, volunteers, staff and horses.
  • Improve the quality of life for our participants, volunteers and horses.
  • Maintain the highest level of integrity of our staff and volunteers.
  • Financially capable of offering scholarships to all those in need, while keeping sessions affordable for all.
  • Maintain adequate support staff, paid and volunteer.
  • Knowledge, fortitude and knowledge transfer processes to create and perform national best practice.
  • Participate at a national level to further the advancement of the field of Equine-Assisted Services
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  • 2024 Mission Thank You
    2024 Mission Thank You

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