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Meet Gary Gleason - Partner Spotlight

Gary Gleason serves on our Board as the Co-President of Between Horses and Humans, applying his 30+ years of experience as a civil trial attorney to help lead and strengthen our organization. Gary grew up riding horses with his late father who had a love of horses, going riding when on vacation or when his father came to visit. Into adulthood, he continued to ride any chance he got. He and his wife gravitated toward the Carson Valley for many reasons, one of them being to spend more time with horses. 


Gary describes being with horses as relationships. 

“Horses were a means of bonding with my father, and now a way to bond with my children and hopefully my grandchildren in the future,” Gary said. “Relationships are formed between you and the horse, learning their personality, strength, and quirks to form a partnership. Horses are a way to connect with other people, connect with the animal, and connect with yourself.” 

When it comes to the horses and the children of Between Horses and Humans, Gary has witnessed the impact the program has had on their participants.  

“The horses are gentle giants, who won’t judge or reject the children in ways other animals, or humans, have in the child’s life,” he said. “This is an important aspect, as the kids we serve come from many backgrounds and walks of life where they might be struggling with themselves or their environment. Horses simply don’t know, and don’t care, and can provide partnership, companionship, and leadership to the children who work with them.” 

He’s witnessed the kids pick up on the horse's intuitions and control their emotions to emphasize with the horses, and in turn, he’s also seen the horses emphasize with the children.  

“You're in an arena usually and you're having the horse follow you,” Gary said. “There's a partnership there, but this partnership also needs a leader, and the horse is looking for a leader. I think that makes the-kids experience feeling important, being responsible and leading something, which doesn’t happen a lot in their life.” 

Gary said he was working with a participant who became upset and went to sit by himself for a moment. His horse gave him some distance, but eventually walked over to the child and nuzzled his helmet to comfort him. To Gary, it was a magical moment where the partnership began: the horse knew what the boy needed, just like the children come to know what the horses need. 


Gary is excited for the future of Between Horses and Humans and the impact he is hoping to make on the organization, with his own experiences and what he has learned from the horses!  

“I believe leadership involves several aspects, not the least of which is the ability to be objective and to bring together differing viewpoints, while keeping the overall mission clearly in focus,” Gary said. “This requires many of the lessons we learn from horses, such as equanimity, patience, and observation.” 

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