'HIS Ranch' helping children one ride at a time
Mon, 25 Jun 2012 15:04:31 GMT —
Children from all over the Tri-States are taking to the saddle, while learning a bit more about themselves.
It's the purpose behind 'HIS Ranch' in Taylor, Missouri which serves hundreds of children every year with free riding lessons.
Before a ride, each child learns to give back to the ranch and his or her horse by performing a small chore like grooming or feeding their horse.
"That gives an opportunity to get to know the child and that instills a work ethic that we know from our time on the farm," Haerr said. But it's also building relationships between kids and their animals.
"There's so many things you can learn from animals by caring for them," Haerr said. "We've seen children come here who have a pretty traumatic background in life and they can stand next to an animal weighing a thousand pounds and feel more safe than standing next to me. So there's a relationship there."
Staff and volunteers at 'HIS Ranch' also serve adults with special needs.
It started in 2004 after Shannon Haerr and his wife prayed for a way to serve others.
"I felt like the Lord spoke to my heart to start a ranch where kids can come out and learn about horses and really feel the love and the hope we have in the Lord," Haerr said.
That hope is being passed on to riders of all ages - one trip around the corral at a time.
'HIS Ranch' is a non-profit organization that provides riding lessons to children free of charge. However, it takes a lot of feed, time and work to keep things going.