We were delighted to join Equine Heart Healers for a homeschool field trip. It was especially a treat for my family and me. I grew up with horses but had not been able to introduce my children to them until our visit. It was so sweet to reminisce and share stories with the kids while they got to ride and enjoy the horses firsthand. We had just moved across the country, so this was also a wonderful time for us to bond with our new homeschool friends, as well as the friendly staff!

I can’t say enough about the joy of watching each child interact with all of the farm animals- chickens and geese, cows, horses and more. It was so fun to see them walk the property and ask a hundred questions. One of our favorite parts was getting to hang out with the goats! We loved it all and will be back soon!

Greenville, SC


Being an advocate for veterans, the mission of the Ranch was just what I was looking for to help our fighting men and women with PTSD. I later came to learn the Ranch also provides “horse therapy” for autistic children, people with learning disabilities, and many other maladies our society doesn’t seem to want to help. It is a unique place.

Being disabled myself with bad knees, and it was impossible for me to mount a horse as I had when I was a young man. But I had an immediate connection with the horses, and was able to feed them and brush them. I felt the stress come out of my body. It felt as if a weight had been lifted from my shoulders. To me, it was a heavenly experience.
Now I go out as often as I can. I love that the farm is growing by taking in all kinds of animals that need a home. One was a baby calf whose mother had died, and they undertook the challenge of bottle feeding this baby every XX hours for weeks and welcoming her to the family. The goats are also so much fun, too. I never come without carrots or apple treats for my animal friends.

I recommend the ranch to many people, especially to my veteran friends.

Thomas F. Plesser, Jr.


I am a Marine who completed two tough combat deployments. It cost me. I was diagnosed with PTSD and depression. For the most part, I was able to cope with my diagnoses for years with medication. Then my marriage came to an abrupt end. I lost everything that mattered to me- my wife, my two sons, my job, and my home we worked so hard for. I felt like there was no way out and that nothing would ever get better. I only saw one option.
The best I could do was hide out. I would not even leave the house. This went on for quite some time. Things were the worst they had ever been for me. It was at this crucial juncture that a family member came across Equine Heart Healers and told me about it. She said their mission was to help those with PTSD and other incapacitating conditions and that I should get in touch with them.

I figured I had nothing else to lose, so I did. When I went to the ranch, I felt so welcomed because Andrew and Sedina get it. They know PTSD. They understand the challenges and know how to talk about hard things. They simply invited me to participate in whatever I felt comfortable doing.
They offered me time with the animals and said they could also use some help around the property. Just working outside on a few things with Andrew helped coax me back into life. While we were working, he would give me advice and guidance. He shared about other people’s experiences in similar situations, too. Interacting with both Sedina and Andrew gave me hope. I know it is what helped get me through the toughest time in my life.
I regained enough confidence that I was even able to leave the house and go out and get a job again. I won’t lie, I still struggle some days, but I don’t have thoughts of giving up anymore. I can see tomorrow.

If you are in that place where you have lost hope, or you just need to see some good in life, take advantage of Equine Heart Healers. You will leave better than you came. I did.



I battle with depression and anxiety almost every day. I’ve learned to smile and push those feelings down so I can get through life. While therapy helped me briefly when I was a teen, it didn’t wash away years of trauma.

I felt that it had been many years since I actually felt like “me.” My hopes in going to the Ranch were to see if I could reconnect with who I used to be before trauma invaded my life.

I still let many fears control me and I was afraid to trust. That is why I really connected with a horse named Iris. She seemed to have the same issues! As I began working deeper with her, she worked on me! We both started to get free!

As I’ve connected with the ranch, I smile more now, and it’s not a fake one. I breathe easier. I feel relaxed and less stressed out. I am seeing that my past doesn’t have to control my future. With the help of Iris and ranch director Sedina, I am facing fears and trusting again. This little ranch is paradise for me, and I couldn’t be more grateful for the open arms I find every time I visit. This place and these people are beyond amazing.

Kelly Shaffner
Honea Path, South Carolina


Horses have such a connection to our spirit and what is happening inside of us, and they will always teach us something when we come with open hearts… Build your confidence with horses. Learn to trust yourself again… Thank you, Andrew and Sedina, from the bottom of my heart for all the kindness, generosity, and warmth you have shown me…



I highly recommend that veterans, police officers or anyone who has experienced trauma visit the ranch and meet the people. It is a very peaceful and healing environment. Even if you are physically unable to ride horses, you can enjoy the animals and the peace and quiet of the country…



As a young teen, I was raised in Argentina during what is known as the “Dirty War” of the 60’s and 70’s. The government was overtaken by a military dictatorship that blanketed the people with fear- and rightfully so. More than 30,000 people “disappeared” during this time, only later to be discovered murdered in mass graves.

Living in Argentina was a dangerous place to be, especially as an American. Every day as I left for school, my parents and I were aware I might not return. During the night, I would hear gunshots and bombs going off. The next morning revealed that terrorists had planted bombs in trash cans at bus and railroad stations. Almost everyone, including myself, used public transportation. Out of necessity, we learned to be suspicious of everyone and everything. The uncertainty and the ever-present danger took a huge toll on everyone. I was no exception.
When our family did return to the States, my PTSD was so bad that any loud noise would make me duck to the floor or run away as fast as I could.
It was a difficult way to live. Over the years, counseling helped me greatly. However, being close to nature and enjoying that peace and calm has always helped me the most. It brings one back to the pleasure and security of a simple life.
When I found Equine Heart Healer’s Ranch, I was provided with opportunities to ride horses, to volunteer to help around the farm, and to feed the animals. This helped me immensely.

I had ridden and been around horses in my youth in Argentina, so I already knew that being close to them and other animals is a true comfort. It is great therapy for anyone who has PTSD or other traumatic experiences. There’s a bond of innocence and trust that animals can give that is unlike any other. I had fun recording these times at Heart Healer’s in pictures and videos and sharing them with my daughters and grandsons.
I highly recommend that veterans, police officers or anyone who has experienced trauma visit the ranch and meet Sedina and Andrew Rutledge, the owners. They are a unique couple whose personal knowledge of PTSD combined with love and acceptance are surely as healing as the animals themselves!

Do yourself a favor and help around the farm, too. It will benefit you and others! Any time spent at the ranch is a great way of filling your mind with pleasant and peaceful reminders that life is beautiful and worthwhile.

Ware Shoals, SC


JK had at one time been an avid rider and capable sports enthusiast. The years had taken a toll on this military veteran, eventually landing him in a wheelchair as a double amputee. When he came to the Ranch, he was intent on riding again. We wanted to make it happen for him since being in a wheelchair afforded him little opportunity for any movement. His attitude was resolute; “If I fall, I fall.” We hooked him up with Buddy, one of our friendliest horses. Buddy outdid himself that day, making his usually bumpy gate wonderfully smooth for JK. You could see the radiant joy in JK eyes atop his mount and feel the gratitude for time again in the saddle. Feeling wonderfully free by the motion of his new equine friend, JK happily declared, “Buddy lent me his legs.



Hello friends!

We came to your farm yesterday, and you were so kind and patient with my
sweet MR. I have rarely seen him so happy. My husband was also so
blessed to hear of his adventure. We cannot wait to see you again, we are
seeking to possibly come once or twice a month, if that is possible. I
grabbed this picture and thought you would appreciate it. He also came home and drew Buttercup (or Peach?)




Ware Shoals, SC