This was a wonderful community event that about 200 people attended. There were many activities including a horse costume parade!
It was a blessing to host this three day, day-camp for adopted children and their parents. The programming is based on a very effective and powerful model called Trust Based Relational Intervention. The horses added their special touch to the learning and healing.
Moving to a new location meant leaving behind a barn and arena and making due until a new one could be built. Our horses basically live outside 24/7, however us humans sometimes find it more convenient to tend to their needs inside a barn. Also, our herd was used to using our indoor arena to escape from heat, bugs and wind sometimes. So Tom and Mike Pienkowski built them a run-in. It was not as big as the arena, but almost as tall! Thanks guys!
One of the biggest concerns of moving was how to make it the least stressful for our two 33 year old horses, Sporty and Passion. Sporty had already had one eye removed and was beginning to lose sight in the other. Passion, I had promised after her 7 year abandonment that she would never have to move again. Cognitively, I knew this was not the same, but my heart ached putting her on that trailer. I did my best to reassure her she still had her forever home.
Because the new property did not have any horse shelter and we did not know how long it would be before we could build a barn, two run-ins were set up.
Sporty and Passion moved into The Retirement Home that was purchased from and brought in by Grandpa's Shelters. This company was a joy to work with and this was a wonderful purchase for our elderly friends.
Sporty and Passion adjusted to their new home with all the strength of character that a 33 year old horse clearly posseses. What a blessing this pair of mares have been to each other and each of us.
The horses adjusted very quickly to their new home. We did get to learn first hand just how different of an experience it is to move a whole herd as opposed to just one or two horses. Of course as I write this that seems quite obvious!
Just as in our human lives, when there are large changes in the herd, each of the horses' strengths and weaknesses became more pronounce. Their communication was "louder" and less predictable. Hope Reins did not miss a single day of sessions. However, for the first couple of weeks most of our session time with the horses was observation from behind the fence.
We just celebrated 1 year at The Ranch on Dietrich Road! I realize there has been a communication silence over the past year. This has been a year of many ups and downs. I experienced once again, just how true it is, that Hope changes everything! During the past year toxic mold in our house became a significant challenge.. A few of the hard parts have been sickness and pain that have made everyday life difficult, together with my family we have thrown over 90% of our belongings into dumpsters, and have been struggling with difficult decisions and the fear of losing our home. However, none of that can take away what Hope gives me. My hope is my relationship with my heavenly father and also my purpose to help others find hope and healing. That Hope makes me strong even when I am weak!
I would like to make up a little for the lack of communication and share some of the "ups" from this past year. Over the next week or so I will be sharing pictures and some highlights starting with our move.
Executive Director of The Ranch of Hope Reins