Taryn Hillman, Equine trainer
September 17, 2019
Taryn Hillman is a valuable member of the Dumb Friends League Harmony Equine Center training staff. She has been on the team since April 2014, and it seems there isn’t a task at the Harmony Equine Center that she hasn’t done! Taryn has a special interest in the veterinary health of the horse herd at Harmony, and she oversees the medical side of running such a large horse operation. Taryn helps the staff employ successful quarantine measures, oversees teeth floats and castrations, as well as caring for all the lumps, bumps, scrapes and bruises that occasionally happen out in Harmony’s many pastures, paddocks and pens. Aside from working with the veterinarians, Taryn is also passionate about training and rehabilitating the horses that come to Harmony. Taryn gained training experience by completing her equine science and agriculture business degree from Colorado State University and by participating in several Extreme Mustang Makeovers. She also became a PATH Certified Instructor in 2007 and has spent many years teaching and training therapeutic riding horses. Many of the mustangs Taryn trained for the makeovers went on to continue as therapeutic riding horses. The fact that her previously untouched mustangs are now well-trained therapy horses brings Taryn joy and is one of her greatest accomplishments as a trainer.
Taryn finds that the best part of working at Harmony is the ability to witness and assist in the process of bringing a horse completely around from starving, neglected and feral to healthy, friendly, well-trained and ready for adoption. She says it is beyond rewarding to watch a horse leave for their new home after knowing what they went through and where they came from. This gratifying experience is what keeps Taryn passionate about her role as a horse trainer and what she says makes all the hard work and long hours worth it. Despite the baggage that some horses bring with them when they come to Harmony, trainers like Taryn accept the challenge of working through those issues to help rehabilitate horses and find them better homes.
Taryn continues to teach therapeutic riding when she is not at Harmony. She uses her BLM Mustangs Dancer, Koda, Blitz and Meeker for her therapeutic riding program and also has Lacers, a grade rescue horse used in an Equine Comeback Challenge, and Fudge, a grade gelding adopted from Harmony.