New gateway welcomes children and adults with disabilities to Hearts therapeutic riding center. (Courtesy photo)

Hearts Therapeutic Equestrian Center recently marked the grand opening of its new entry gate that was donated by members of the Los Rancheros Pobres, a men’s horseback riding club. The Pobres, which originated in Santa Barbara in 1952, celebrates and memorialize the Western ways of the early Santa Barbara ranchers.

Led by Lorne Everett, past president of the Pobres, the entry took three years of careful planning and was designed after the entry to President Ronald Reagan’s Rancho del Cielo, while other Western wood and metal designs were evaluated for aesthetics and longevity.

The final gateway is made of metal and stone with a repurposed wood sign. A bronze donor plaque celebrating the entry’s donors is located in the stone on the left. The most recent addition to Hearts’ new facility, the portal stands at the top of a steep road incline, providing a striking view to Hearts’ new home.

Los Rancheros Pobres’ first gift to Hearts was also spearheaded by Everett and included the construction of a structure housing a motorized lift in 2018. The motorized lift assists in retrieving individuals from their wheelchair or other seated position onto the back of a horse.

Adding the motorized lift and lift structure has allowed Hearts to include even more individuals in its therapeutic riding program.

Hearts recently finished building a new, more efficient facility adjacent to the prior one at 4420 Calle Real in Santa Barbara and shares the same entrance road.

Los Rancheros Pobres meet every week for lunch in the Rancheros Room at Harry’s restaurant in Loreto Plaza. The Pobres also host two 3-day trail rides each year at various locations in Santa Barbara County.

Hearts Therapeutic Equestrian Center provides equine-assisted services to inspire, strengthen, and motivate children and adults with disabilities in Santa Barbara County. Since its inception in 1985, Hearts has grown its programs to serve more than 200 individuals each year with the help of 18 specially trained horses.

Hearts also has programs serving U.S. military veterans and at-risk youth. For more information, visit or contact