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Heber man to begin cross-country trip on horseback

Aug 30, 2023, 6:19 PM | Updated: 6:38 pm

HEBER, Utah — It is safe to say Jake Harvath loves horses. He started working with them at Sage Creek Equestrian in Charleston, just outside of Heber, at about the time he became a teenager.

“They really do mean everything to me,” he said. “My mother found an ad in the newspaper to be a working student here. So, I went and applied and that’s the only job interview I have ever had in my whole life and probably the only one I ever will.”

What he’s planning in the coming year, though, is something most people in the horse business could never put on their resume.

“I am going to take these three horses through 30 states in the expanse of a year’s time, and we’re going to go from here to the East Coast, all the way back to the West Coast, and then back here where I started,” he said.

Of course, Harvath isn’t talking about taking Denver, Bella, and Eddy in a trailer; he is planning on riding them.

He is calling it The Year of The Mustang.

The trip is set to begin September 18th and is roughly 7000 miles to New Jersey, then to California, then back home to Heber.

(Carissa Hutchinson/KSL TV) (Carissa Hutchinson/KSL TV) (Carissa Hutchinson/KSL TV) (Carissa Hutchinson/KSL TV)

He is planning on documenting his journey on his YouTube, Instagram, Facebook, and TikTok pages.

“When you do something this big, it takes years of preparation. So, it starts out as a big dream in your head and you go working on it,” said Harvath.

He has mapped out public land to camp on and places to re-supply, riding each horse six days and taking a break on the 7th.

“Today I have benefits like satellite mapping and things like that to make this trip go a lot smoother,” Harvath said.

He also knows what to tell people when he inevitably gets that look about why he’s doing this.

“For me, it’s become more about these guys,” he said while looking at his horses. “There are over 50,000 mustangs in government holding that don’t have homes and they have no purpose. And they can’t live on the wild because the resources aren’t there and I want to show people the usefulness of these horses.”

Harvath says when he explains that to people, they start to understand his journey and some people have donated to his trip to help him.

It is that sense of freedom many of us dream about, but one that Harvath, at 23-years-old, figured why not now.

“You wouldn’t believe how many have said to me, ‘man I wish I could come with you or man I wish I had done something like that’,” he said. “I am just glad I am going to be able to look back 20 years from now and say man I wish I had done something like that, because I did it.”

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Heber man to begin cross-country trip on horseback