I’d like to introduce you to Little Bay, Big Stack, Mr. T, JJ, Chip, Cheerio and Amber – they are the New Horizons Ranch horses but more importantly they are the ones that will teach our kids about trust! This week 12 kids are headed out of the city and into the country every day for horse camp! Each day is filled with the new adventures and new opportunities to learn & grow. First day of camp – come up with your cowboy/cowgirl name, set some goals, define the rules and get ready to have some fun! After all the kids were fitted for helmets, we headed to the ring. The first step was getting to know the horses. One little guy said “When I put my hands on his back, it felt like he had expereinced a lot of abuse.” which is an interesting comment that help give us insight into this childs own experiences. Next came some insights about trust, (with much more to come) our kids placed their hands on the horses back, closed their eyes and moved right along with the horses movements – better known as “Dance With Me”. As the music played and the dancing continued, faces softened, legs relaxed and hands grew heavy – truly trusting the horse and the safety of that moment. After the dance was over, several kids shared “ I had to trust myself and the horse”. Another young girl shared, “ Trusting takes energy”. And finally one young boy said “I was taking a chance on trust.”
After a quick lunch break, it was time to RIDE! Many kids knew which horse they wanted to ride – usually their previous dance partner, while others doubted themselves and fear began to take over. For two of our kids, it was their first time ever riding a horse and they did it! As KidsTLC and New Horizon Ranch staff slowly helped them establish trust, confidence and determination, each kid flipped their leg over the horse, steadied themselves and before you knew it, they were trotting around the ring not wanting the experience to end. It’s a good thing we had sunglasses on to fight back the tears of joy for what our kids had a chance to accomplish! Our community partnership with New Horizons Ranch provides more than just therapeutic riding, it is truly a place for our kids to leave their past behind, learn to trust something MUCH bigger than they are and grow in their self-awareness and self –esteem. Thanks Little Bay, Big Stack, Mr. T, JJ, Chip, Cheerio and Amber for the great week!