Tuesday, September 6, 2011

Remembering Jan Montgomery

In 1984, a tragic horse-back riding accident left expert horsewoman Jan Montgomery with severe injuries and a loss of mobility. Although she could not walk, her intense love for horses and her fiercely independent nature inspired Jan to dream about resuming horseback riding again someday.  Would she be able to do it? 
The answer for Jan was a resounding "yes!"  She embraced her goal with courage, enthusiasm and determination. With the help of instructors at Hearts, and with volunteers supporting her from either side, Jan worked diligently to re-gain the strength and balance necessary to once again sit tall in the saddle.  Eventually, she was able to ride independently once again. She progressed from riding in an arena at Hearts to trail riding throughout Hope Ranch on her own beloved Connemara pony named Luke.  She also rode with the Sage Hens on their annual rides. Her “impossible dream” had come true. 

Jan was one of the first riders to benefit from therapeutic horseback riding when Hearts was newly established in Santa Barbara as what was then known as "4-H Hearts".  For 26 years, she remained a devoted supporter of Hearts and an advocate for therapeutic riding. Her passion for life also found expression in her fondness for travel and her deep commitment to protecting the environment as well as supporting women's rights around the world and here in Santa Barbara.
Jan Montgomery passed away on May 20, 2011.  Her many friends at Hearts remember her abundant spirit and tremendous courage with great admiration.


  1. How courageous of her to sit tall again in that saddle, and an inspiration for all of us...I hope the family finds peace knowing she loved riding and could to it again.