Pause. Take a slow breath in as you look over the ranch grounds. Let it go as you nuzzle a horse happily munching on hay. Step away from the rush for a moment and let yourself find your center. “There’s something about horses that grounds you,” Alison Boyd says. As the Executive Director and co-founder of Wings of Hope Ranch, she understands how beautiful healing can be.
Eight rescue horses occupy the barn stalls and they each have a sweet story of recovery. Like Jewel, who arrived so thin she was a 1 on the horse-health scale but is now healthy and full of life. Or Sampson, whose previous owner was going to put him down just because he no longer wanted a horse, but is now a beloved, relaxed gelding anyone can ride.
Each week, 50 kids age 5-18 journey to the ranch to find solace from stress, abuse, illness, anxiety. They are met by a team of youth and adult volunteers, paired with a horse, and head up the hill to learn how relationships can be built on trust and how a calm mind reduces stress. They talk about life, they laugh, they breath deeper. With the horses back in the stalls, the relationships continue as the group converses about real issues with a faithful grounding.
As we heard about the ranch’s beginnings, met the horses and greeted volunteers and ranchers, the story unfolded along with our own carried-worries. Our Hanover Chamber group (Josh Holder, Melissa Miller, Amanda Porch, Marianne Powell, Beth Royal) got to see firsthand how therapy takes many forms. And, sometimes, you have to leave the pavement to feel the ground.
We hope you enjoy watching the video as much as we enjoyed creating it. Thanks again to Alison Boyd, the volunteers and ranchers of Wings of Hope Ranch for giving us this tour. Let’s ride!
*Watch the video on our YouTube Channel: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=F6lJJfzVRqI