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Meet Our Team

Taryn Hillman

Taryn Hillman

Founder & CEO

Born and raised in Colorado, Taryn graduated from CSU with a degree in Equine Science and Agricultural Business. She pursued her passion for horses from a young age and has been actively involved in both training horses and teaching lessons for over 20 years. She became a PATH Certified Instructor in 2007, helping individuals with special needs accomplish their goals while learning how to ride. She has participated in multiple Extreme Mustang Makeover competitions and several of those mustangs became partners in her therapeutic riding and lesson program. She has also competed in the Equine Comeback Challenge and several local TIP challenges, conistently placing among the top performers. When training horses she strives to do right by the horse, using natural horsemanship training methods to gain trust and respect while working with the horse to create a partnership with the goal of developing quiet, versatile horses that most anyone can ride. Teaching and training, along with helping horses in need, are her true passions and she loves the rewarding nature of her vocation. While being actively involved in the horse training industry, the past several years she has also helped rehabilitate and train hundreds of abused and neglected horses, many of which were seized by law enforcement, troubled mustangs, or feral horses with "baggage". She has become renowned for not only working with feral horses, but also unhandled or minimally handled horses with a rough past, many of which become riding horses. Her unique experience in rehabbing and training so many horses makes her a valued member to Wild Hearts Haven.

Bree Thompson

Founder & President

Bree Thompson was born in Colorado and has always loved horses. As a child her very best friend was her horse; she would tell him all her secrets she couldn’t tell anyone else. From a very early age she knew horses were very special and extremely healing. She grew up and ended up getting a full scholarship to Occidental College and moving to Los Angeles where she acquired a BA in Psychology. Bree remained in Los Angeles for 20 years building a health and wellness business. She is a certified personal trainer, pilates, yoga and meditation instructor as well as many many other things to help people achieve the best versions of themselves. In 2018 she moved back to Colorado with her six month old daughter. Soon after that her daughter had a life threatening seizure that ended her up in the hospital intubated and in a coma. After a lot of tests she learned that her daughter Solvi has a very rare genetic condition which causes not only seizures but global delays, feeding complications amongst many other ailments. There currently isn’t a cure for Solvi’s condition. What does help is therapies; speech therapy, occupational therapy, physical therapy and Hippotherapy (which is riding a horse to gain core strength and gait). Most kids with Solvi’s condition are fed with feeding tubes and can not sit up unassisted. Everything in Bree’s life changed with Solvi’s diagnosis. She immediately started searching and getting Solvi set up in all the therapies, except every hippotherapy operation had over a year long waitlist. Bree did not want to wait and she missed having horses in her life so she decided to go get one and start the Hippotherapy on her own. She wanted to help a horse in need as well as Solvi so she started looking for horses that needed help. She ended up at one of the worst places on earth; a notorious Colorado kill pen where horses are kept before before being funneled south to Mexico for slaughter. That day she left with not one horse but two and that was the beginning of Wild Hearts Haven but she didn’t know that yet. Bree had no idea that people in other countries eat horse and the brutal ways in which the slaughter pipeline treats these majestic animals but the more she learned she couldn’t turn away and not do anything. One of the horses she got that day was going blind and the other had a huge wound on his hip. She had multiple vets look at the wound and they all suggested the horse be put down but she wanted to give him a chance. It took two years of tending to it multiple times a day but it finally healed and that horse she named Lucky. Lucky was about 200lbs underweight when she got him but once he gained enough for Solvi to ride Bree and her dad got her on him and walked him around while holding and helping Solvi balance on him. After about a year and a half and finally getting scheduled once a week at an official Hippotherapy practice, Solvi finally started to walk! She is now almost 6 and still not talking but Bree believes she will one day. Solvi also loves horses and they all love her. Not long after that Bree adopted a mustang from a rescue but he was also in terrible condition and she learned more about the equine rescue business. She started helping that rescue and became a board member. It was a great learning experience as she learned what doesn’t work and that many times rescues can get in over their heads and fail the horses miserably. She desperately wanted to make things better so they formed Wild Hearts Haven and the rest is history! 

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Teri Hall

Member Board of Directors

Teri was born in Virginia and grew up in Maryland.  Horses have been a part of her life as long as she can remember.  First going to riding academies with her mother as a very young child, then their family leased a horse for a couple of winters.  Finally when she was 12 years old, Teri got her first horse named Cinnamon Twist.  Teri later purchased a weanling quarter horse filly and started training her herself.  That filly, named Sutters Holly Bar, won everything from hunter classes to pleasure classes in both English and Western events.  This mare was so versatile, Teri even trained her for speed events and won the VQHA Amatuer Barrel Race trophy for 1981.  Next Teri received her thoroughbred training licenses from Maryland, Pennsylvania, and West Virginia and began to raise and train horses for the track.  In 1997 a horse Teri puchased as a yearling and trained won the Virginia Stallion Stakes.  There was then a pause in training as Teri had to take over her husbands business upon his untimely death.  After retirement, Teri and her new husband Jeff moved to Colorado as we had always vacationed here.  The realization upon moving to Colorado of the horrible wild horse roundups was shocking, and Teri and Jeff soon adopted two mustangs for personal trail riding and started volunteer fostering and training for Wild Hearts Haven.  Both Teri and her husband Jeff greatly enjoy riding their mustangs on Colorados numerous equine trails.  The mustang training has been very fulfilling for both of them.

Dr. Maria Brock DVM

Advisory Board Member

Equine and Livestock Veterinarian

 

Dr. Brock grew up in Colorado and participated in a wide variety of equine activities. She was a proud member of Douglas County 4H and has competed in several different western performance disciplines. She worked as a polo groom throughout high school and regularly volunteered with equine therapeutic riding programs. She even had a short stint in the hunter-jumper ring! After working at several different veterinary practices as an assistant and technician, she set her eyes on becoming a veterinarian.

 

She attended Colorado State University for her undergraduate education, where she studied biomedical science and microbiology, and published research on antibiotic resistance in a veterinary setting. With no desire to leave her incredible home state, she continued her education at the Colorado State University College of Veterinary Medicine and completed the large animal clinical track, focusing on equine and livestock medicine. She absolutely loves the variety that comes with ambulatory practice and has strong interests in dentistry, nutrition, reproduction, and preventative medicine. She believes that an ounce of prevention is worth a pound of cure, and enjoys working with people to create thoughtful, realistic plans that will help keep their equine partners in top shape.

In her free time, she enjoys exploring this beautiful state we live in and you will often find her riding a mountain trail with her horse, hiking with her loyal companion, Moxie her dog, or tending to the small herd of Black Angus cattle that her partner, Harrison, and her co-own.

Dr. Maria Brock
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Dr. Kari L Palmer DC AVCA

Advisory Board Member

Dr. Kari Palmer, owner of Back Country Animal and Human Chiropractic, is a both a human and animal chiropractor, receiving her animal certification through the American Veterinarian Chiropractic Association. She a Wisconsin native who grew up in the outdoors being a lover of nature. She moved to Colorado in 2013 and never looked back. She has a husband and two kiddos, who have been raised in the mountains playing in the dirt, and making memories around campfires.

Her three fur babies are all senior citizens, and the whole family lives for the camping memories and mountain fun.

In 2008, Kari graduated from Northwestern Health Sciences University in Bloomington Minnesota as a Doctor of Chiropractic and was living her dream. After about 11 years in practice, she felt like there was more she could do and something was missing. This is when she learned about animal chiropractic and became obsessed with a new passion.  

She enrolled into Parker University in Dallas Texas for the Animal Chiropractic program in 2019 and it has rocked her world ever since. She absolutely adore these furry babes and loves integrating this into her practice. She primarily work on dogs and horses, but has adjusted to many different pets and animals. Pigs, hamsters, cats, goats, cows, even alpacas….the list goes on. She supports Wild Hearts Haven in many ways, including adjusting the horses in our care who need it!

Steve Long DVM

Advisory Board Member

Steve Long is a 1983 graduate of CSU and has had an Equine exclusive practice in the greater Denver area for 40 years.

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