About Our Team

Robin has experience in strategic planning and execution and development. She has over 20 years of experience as a legal assistant and developed and dissolved an LLC and developed a 501(c)(3) nonprofit organization.  She has a Bachelor’s degree in Criminal Justice and a Masters degree in Education Specializing in Organizational Leadership. She also served over 23 years in the Army Reserves’ Judge Advocate Generals Corp. and honorably retired in August 2011 as a Sergeant Major.

 

Robin began teaching children and adults with mental, physical, and emotional disabilities how to ride horses in 1998.  In 2000 she became a certified therapeutic riding instructor through the North American Riding for the Handicapped Association (now known as the Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship, International (PATH Int)) and she is was the catalyst in Queen of Hearts Therapeutic Riding Center in achieving and maintaining PATH Int’l Premier Accredited Center status. In 2013 Robin became certified as an EAGALA Equine Specialist and in 2014 she became a PATH Intl certified Equine Specialist in Mental Health and Learning. She is currently working towards her advanced certification in EAGALA as well as becoming certified in using the Horse Boy Method to better assist those with autism and neurological restrictions.

 

Robin served on the PATH Intl Equine Services for Heroes committee for four years and currently mentors others to become certified therapeutic riding instructors through PATH Int’l. She speaks to numerous organizations throughout Southern California explaining how equine activities and therapies can help people with special needs. She has even educated her local city, county, state, and federal government representatives regarding how the horse and human connection makes a positive impact for healing. This community education encouraged her local congressman to co-sponsor H.R. 1705 bill – “Rehabilitative Therapy Parity for Military Beneficiaries Act” for the United States Congress consideration.

 

As well as having a heart and soul for our nation’s heroes, Robin is also actively involved in our local community.  She serves on Jurupa Valley’s General Planning Advisory Council, and a couple of Healthy Jurupa Valley committees. She provides meaningful volunteer opportunities to individuals with developmental disabilities from The Arc of Riverside as well as the work experience opportunities for the students attending California School for the Deaf in Riverside.

 

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That's the professional story.

This is my more personal story:

There are two songs that express a gift I asked from God about 20 years ago.  The first contain lyrics from Amy Grant, “My Father’s Eyes,” and the second is more recent from Brandon Heath, “Give me Your Eyes.”

Combined they are as follows:

I pray

When people look inside my life, I wanna hear them say

She’s got her father’s eyes . . .

Eyes that find the good in things

When good is not around

Eyes that find the source of help, when help just can’t be found

Eyes full of compassion, seein’ every pain

Knowing what you’re going through, and feelin’ it the same

Lord,

Give me your eyes for just one second

Give me your eyes so I can see

Everything that I keep missing

Give me your love for humanity

Give me your arms for the broken hearted

Ones that are far beyond my reach.

Give me your heart for the ones forgotten

Give me your eyes so I can see

I’m asked why I do what I do. The answer is simple: because God is answering my prayers.

 

When I ask Him what he wants me to do or why am I doing what I do when things get very stressful, he then reminds me the steps of I’ve taken in my life.

I was a nerd with very, very little self-esteem and very, very few friends. I grew up in what was called a Chicano neighborhood but I was such a nerd that I didn’t know it was a gang neighborhood. I was too much of a nerd for even gang-bangers to mess with me. I was bullied, but not by gang-bangers. One day I decided to stand up for myself with a gang-banger wannabe. That did catch the attention of a gang and was approached by the leader who for whatever reason told me not to tell anyone and they would leave me alone. Who was I going to tell? I had no friends! What I learned about that was that I didn’t need to be bullied anymore – and neither did anyone else. I started speaking up for other nerds and no one ever seemed to mess with me about it. I then started making friends. They were nerds and wonderful people.

In the mid-70s people with disabilities started attending our high school. Of course they were different so they were nerds. I got along well with nerds. In particular, there were many deaf students. I liked one so I started learning sign language and decided I may want to interpret for the deaf for a living and became pretty well-versed.

Throughout my college years I gained more confidence as I attempted more challenges. One thing I always wanted to do was try out to work as a character for Disneyland. On the 1st morning of tryouts I saw all kinds of people there in dancer’s outfits and stylish clothes. I almost left thinking I wasn’t good enough, after all, I’m not an actress or a dancer, and I was scared to death to be in front of anyone. A friend asked me something that I still think of when I’m afraid or think I’m not good enough and that was, “But what if you are good enough? Do you want to regret not knowing?” Well I learned an important lesson that day: those pretty people didn’t follow directions and didn’t make the cut. I prayed throughout the entire 3 days of tryouts and I found out that with God, I am good enough.

Back then the characters in the park were the same characters in the parade. I learned a lot about fitness and a few years later, I tried out for another group, I was hazed and made it through and eventually became a leader in a co-ed law enforcement fraternity.  I started learning how to speak in public and I also tried out for a leadership position at the college and, to my surprise, I was voted in by the student body.  Being physically fit was important in this fraternity as most members wanted to be law enforcement officers.  I learned a lot about fitness during this time. I also learned about volunteering as this was also important for the fraternity.

While my friends wanted to be in law enforcement, I wanted to be a lawyer, and I thought I would try out for the Army and maybe be a lawyer for them. Well, I ended up being a paralegal and when it was time to prepare for law school, I was pretty much tired of school.

One other group I joined after the Northridge earthquake was the Junior Chamber of Commerce. As I took on more and more leadership responsibilities, I started teaching others how to also become leaders. I found I really liked to teach and when the opportunity came, I became an instructor for the Non-commissioned Officer Corp. I learned even more about fitness in the military and became a Master Fitness Trainer. Needless to say, I also learned a lot about leadership as I advanced in rank.

In the late 90s I was mugged in a dark parking lot. I then suffered from post-traumatic stress (PTS). I wouldn’t go outside except to work and I started missing out on life. A friend from work, however, invited me several times to visit so one day I finally did. She lived in Norco and I was introduced to horses.

I started frequently visiting her horses and eventually got my own and started learning about horse behavior because I wanted to know if the horses liked doing what I was asking it to do or if I was forcing it to do things it didn’t want to do. I found it easy to work with horses and I enjoyed playing with them.

Now things started moving relatively quickly. My rent became too much for me to handle so my horse friend invited me to rent a room since I was over there all the time anyway. We then decided to buy some property in Riverside which was cheaper than renting. We then decided to start teaching other people how to ride so the horses could be a write off. We then learned about working with people with disabilities with the horses. This is when Queen of Hearts Therapeutic Riding Center, Inc. was born.

My former partner and I went through many struggles and we eventually parted ways. However, because of volunteers and the desires of our clients, I was able to keep the program going – barely. I still worked at law offices to pay the bills and I was still in the military and I then met the man of my dreams. Due to the real estate crest and Riverside’s 25 Year Plan of zoning out horse property, we accepted an offer on our property and we moved to Jurupa Valley.

At that time I was praying a lot about the direction of the ranch, the military, and my civilian job. I had two baby boys and I was feeling very torn over my family and my career. Soon after a short stint of active duty in the military, when I returned home, my civilian boss changed my job and schedule and tried to get me to quit. After fasting and praying for direction, I lost my civilian job on the last day of my fast. God answered my prayers. I was to stay full time at our small ranch.

Through all the highs and lows, why do I do what I do?

Because God allows me to see the pride that comes into an autists’ eyes when he accomplished what a so-called “normal” person does because he is normal and doesn’t want to be considered otherwise.

Because God allows me to see the calm come over a panicking parent because his autistic son became over-stimulated by a new activity and ran in the shed to hide and I told him his sons’ reactions are normal when the public schools have sent him home for lesser distractions.

Because God allows me to see children with Cerebral Palsy, whose teachers told their parents that they don’t work with their walking skills because they’ll never walk. I see them walk.

Because God allows me to see the gift he has given me in family. My family doesn’t see what I see and yet they support me anyway. They support me even when we can’t pay bills because sometimes our clients can’t pay for their sessions but they come anyway.

My family supports me even though they don’t see the horses when they hug those that felt unlovable as many of our clients need their horse time to help them keep their sanity while the world is going insane around them.

Our clients don’t feel any more special than you and I do. We are all normal in our own unique ways and God gave me eyes to see how my family sacrifices their patience and support while the horses and volunteers at Queen of Hearts continue help everyone they come in contact with feel special.

Why do I do this? Because our Heavenly Father has taught me to rely on Him when times are tough. Relying on God has brought me peace through lean times as He continues to bring us supporters and volunteers.

I thank our Heavenly Father for blessing all who have entered our gates and that God lets me see boys become kings and girls become queens as they are wrapped in His majesty when we love the least of these.

Our Horses

Gidget

Gidget

Equine Therapist

Hi. My name is Gidget. I was foaled in 1999. I’m a Quarter Horse and my color is chesnut.

I am from the great O.C. and I like moonlight walks on the private beaches in Laguna with the ocean waves tickling my feet. I’m an international jet-setter – and I just KNOW everybody wishes they were me!

Lena

Lena

Equine Therapist

Howdy, y’all, My name is Lena. I was foaled on May 16, 1993. I’m a dark bay Quarter Horse.

I’m not quite from these here parts, but darn near close to it. I was born in Utah, but recently hung my hat in Murrieta – where I was one heck of a barrel racer. Yes, my ears do go forward as my picture testifies. I love my stall and I love my food. If you bring me food, I may let you visit in my stall. Ask Ms. Robin first, though, ‘cuz I may try to nibble your fingers instead!

Candy

Candy

Equine Therapist

Hey, there! My name is, like, Candy. I was foaled on April 30, 2002. I’m a naturally palomino Quarter Horse.

OMG! I am like SOOO excited to be here! I’m totally from around here and I’m like way too cool for shoes. I like – make that LOVE – having my nose touched and back scratched. You know I’m so like – you know – so cool about it. Feel free to take my picture – just make sure you get my good side. But who am I kidding? I have no bad side! I was registered as Boot Shine.

Holly

Holly

Equine Therapist

Well, hello there.  My Name is Holly Wolly. I am a rescue horse so the date I was foaled is a mystery. I was saved, adopted, and cared for by Terri Rollings here in Jurupa Valley who believes I was foaled in about 2000 which makes me a millennial.

With a lot of love and patience, Terri showed me how to teach little humans how to care for and ride me and I moved to Queen of Hearts TRC in July 2013.  I’m a “been there, done that” kind-of- gal so there’s not much that goes on around here that I can’t handle. If you are a little scared, don’t worry, I’ve been there and understand. There are still some things I’m afraid of too but together we can work through our fears and put the pieces in place.

Lilly's

Lilly's

Equine Therapist

Hi my name is Lilly.  Queen of Hearts TRC has been my home since June 26, 2015. I was adopted for therapeutic riding lessons but, unfortunately, I have seizures.  I am on medication which controls my seizures but because we cannot guarantee I won’t have a seizure when clients are around, I can no longer participate in sessions. I still run around and play with the other horses but I need a be in an environment where there would not be a chance for my seizures to hurt anyone. Queen of Hearts TRC has decided that since I have such a huge heart and so much love to give, they need to find me a new loving home so I can be a companion to someone very special. Are you that someone?

Lucy

Lucy

Equine Therapist

Hello.  I am Princess Lucy. I was donated to Queen of Hearts TRC on February 1, 2014 by Georgette & Peter Kuechler who called me Lil’ Lucy. (My registered name is Que Tee but I like to be called Lucy so that’s what you can call me.) I am a miniature horse and I was foaled on Jun 1, 1990. I came to Queen of Hearts with Prince Caspian.  I enjoy supervising the activities around here and will often watch over the events from my castle which I allow the humans to use as a tack shed. I am part of the EAP/L program and I primarily work with little children because I am closer to their size but occasionally I will grace an adult with my presence.  Because of my special ambulatory needs, I understand what it’s like to walk different and look different than others around me and what makes me unique makes me the perfect ambassador to help others understand people who are unique.

Caspian

Caspian

Equine Therapist

Yo!  Prince Caspian’s the name, having fun is my game! (Yes, I have a crown but keep misplacing it).

I celebrate my foal date as February 1, 2007.

I’m a miniature pinto with a tobiano pattern. But I am super cool because my coat has 3 colors so I am also tricolored or calico. SAWEEET!! I may be small but I have a HUGE personality.

I was donated by Georgette & Peter Kuechler and my exact foal date is not known. Therefore, Queen of Hearts gave me the day it adopted me with the approximate year known by the Kuechler’s.

I am part of the EAP/L program and travel during some promotional events. I don’t really like to stand still so I often will be found wandering the property or coaxing others to play with me in a game of tag. After all, I am all that and a royal bag of chips.

Diesel

Diesel

Equine Therapist

Hola! Name’s Diesel. I am considered a Half-Draft because I am a mixed breed: 1/2 Standardbred and 1/2 Belgium Draft and I was foaled in about 2002.

My former family, Terri & Leanne Byram (who will always remain in my heart), loved me so much that when Leanne had to move to a colder climate, they searched and found Queen of Hearts so my arthritic tootsies can stay warm in the So Cal weather. They keep in touch and stop in whenever they can so I still feel their love.

I am 16h so I help our adult clients with riding lessons although, the little ones like to ride me as well. I also help with sensory sessions as people chill-lax on my back and learn how to “breathe.” It’s really quite peaceful for all of us.

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JURUPA VALLEY: Therapeutic riding center sets open house

EquineWorks recently formed a partnership with the Queen of Hearts Ranch Therapeutic Riding Center in the Mira Loma neighborhood of Jurupa Valley and is now their primary location for theraputic services. The groups have set an open house from 1 to 4 p.m. Saturday at...

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