Friday, December 31, 2010

The VHS web design team's field trip

As the school's suburban drove down the driveway, we could see all smiles through the windshield of the vehicle. Today, the girls who had been designing our website would be meeting the horses and animals they had seen only on a computer screen for the first time. The dogs were the first ones to greet the girls and they were instantly smothered in kisses! The girls made their way into the house where we were able to talk and organize our day. We decided we would catch our horses and play a "horse game."
Since it was almost Christmas, we decided the horses should have a special treat...candy canes! Armed with our "treats" we made our way into the field. The horses chose the girls they wanted to work with and they happily ate their candy canes! :) We were then off to play our games and groom our horses. The girls chatted and loved on the horses as they brushed their soft coats.
The game we chose to play was fun! The girls built an obstacle and had to overcome it as a team wtih their horses. Oh...and then there was the egg on the spoon they had to carry as they did their obstacle course with their horse! They handled it like pros! Everyone was full of smiles...until it was the last teammates's turn. The beautiful black horse...(Beauty) did NOT want to go through the obstacle. The harder her human tried to get her to go, the more she dug her hooves into the ground. She refused to move. Then something amazing unfolded...all the girls as a team approached their teammate. They brought their horses around her and together they encouraged her. Finally, after 25 minutes, they succeeded in getting Beauty through the course! Her human beamed with excitement! They had done it! They had conquered the obstacle! I was amazed at their team work!

The day ended with happy, happy hearts. The girls had an amazing lunch that my aunt had made especially for them. We shared about horses, friendships, and website ideas as we ate together, and then it was time for them to head back to school. We waved good bye as the suburban pulled out of the driveway. The girls were changed, as were we. It was a remarkable day.

Friday, November 26, 2010

Thanksgivng on the Ranch

A special Thanksgiving Wish on the Ranch

Thanksgiving morning was brewing with expectation and RAIN! This was a big day for the ranch and our Black and white paint, Banjo a.k.a. Handsome. This was the first day he would carry a very special man on his back. The two would join together and embrace a new beginning. Banjo had his first experience of being "Legs" for a human. Grady had his first experience in ten years of being atop a beautiful horse and feeling the freedom of moving and walking as a horse back rider. Leaving his wheelchair behind, we rode off into the wind and rain. Smiles brought light into that stormy afternoon. It may have been freezing outside, but inside, our hearts were burning. Listening to Grady talk about the freedom he felt and seeing the joy on his face left all of us knowing that God was using Banjo and this moment for a special fulfill a precious man's Thanksgiving wish. Thank you Lord for using us...and thank you Grady for allowing us to be a part of your special day.

Tuesday, October 5, 2010

God's Goodness

We never cease to marvel at the goodness of God. He always knows what we stand in need of...and this week He blessed us with new tack for our horsies! He knows what they need too! I love watching these horses be used by God. They are truly instruments. I watched this past weekend as giggles resounded through the field as two children took the first rides of their little lives. It was music...sweet music!

Sunday, September 12, 2010

"I feel like Michael Jordan"

Last night we had the pleasure of taking four amazing children riding for the first time. As one of the boys sat atop a big beautiful horse, he looked down at me, smiled, and said, "I feel like Michael Jordan up here." Later in the ride I asked him how it felt to be riding...he smiled big and said, "like I never want to get off."

Monday, September 6, 2010

Evening on the Ranch

As the sun was setting beyond the horse pasture on Saturday night, we headed out with seven giggly girls to visit our four legged friends and indulge them with some delicious pears from our pear tree. As we visited, the teenage girls were laughing and smiling, and at one point, I turned around o see all of them doing cartwheels and round-offs. I was amazed at how child-like they were. The horses watched their human friends while pear slobber dripped from their happy mouths. I think the horses were even smiling...

Sunday, August 29, 2010

Choosing a Girl...

Last night when grooming our new "black beauties," two horses that were donated to our program in the last month, we had a special moment. Armed with only brushes and a hoof pick, we headed into the field. We decided not to halter the horses so they could have the freedom to decide if they wanted to be touched and cared for. They were a little hesitant at first, but then came to us and let us untangle their manes and tails, and check their feet and brush their midnight coats. As the darkness took over the evening, we decided to finish up and head into the house, but as we backed away, we chose to stop and watch them, expecting them to either take off or come to us. Gracie (8) was with us. Gracie LOVES horses! She has quite a connection. She squatted down on the ground to watch when all of a sudden, Beauty, the mare, came directly to her out of all the people, and just put her head down in front of her, so she could pet her. She chose Grace. Gracie just smiled bright and petted Beauty's white stripe. We stayed a few minutes longer and then headed in. Gracie's heart was so light, she ran all the way to the porch.

Learning New Things...

We were so blessed to be granted the opportunity to learn more ways to learn and to grow with our horses and people this weekend! I would actually call it "Untraining" for me, because so much of what I learned was different for me. Instead of giving instructions, we allowed the children to "figure it out." Wow!!! We had to overcome obstacles and learn from our choices...and this is one very amazing story that came out of that learning....

The sun was high in the sky yesterday afternoon as we went out to "play with the horses." Ryan (9) went with us. He decided to catch the gray arabian in the herd. I told him to catch him and put the halter on. I didn't tell him how, I just said to catch him. He was willing, but quickly got frustrated as the horse ran from him. Tears flowed and he decided to give up and catch another horse. I asked if he was sure he wanted to give up on Lucky (the gray horse)? He said "Yes! He doesn't want me to catch him!" At about that time, I asked him, "Are you sure about that?" All of a sudden, Lucky started running to him from the other side of the field. I said, "I think that horse you decided you didn't want...just chose you." He smiled big. He slowly approached him. He figured out the halter and was able to secure it on Lucky's head. He smiled very proudly.

Ryan proceeded to lead Lucky to the fence and tie him. He groomed him, talked to him, and saddled him. He asked if he could give him a new name for the day. I said, "Yes." So he decided to name him, "Remington." He brushed him and told him how beautiful he was and how much he loved him. He asked me if Remington could always be his horse when he rides. He then proceeded to get on him and ride him. Ryan and "Remington" overcame obstacles on their ride, like going through gates, wooded trails, and new expereiences. They were so proud! Ryan said at the end of his ride, "Remington and I aren't afraid of anything together!"

Thursday, August 26, 2010

After four years of prayer and preparation, Solid Rock Ranch ministries is beginning. This is the Lord's ranch and we will be ministering to children, youth, and families that have difficulties with learning and emotional hurts. This will be a place of refreshment for these families.

This ranch will be a place where there is freedom and healing for children, youth, and adults. We see children and horses made whole as they work and play together. We see horses and children running with health and wholeness restored. A safe place where children can be children, and they can laugh, learn, play, ride, and be accepted. Through this place, and the love of the people working here, children can experience the love of God, and the understanding that He has a plan for their lives.

Jeremiah 29:11 says, "For I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord, plans to prosper you, and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future."