What positive impact has the ranch had on your life?
“I learn how to build and fix things. I am less shy, so I can talk to strangers more easily.” ~ Quinn
“It’s helped me better communicate with others, interact with others and learn how to take care of things that aren’t just mine.” ~ Gus
“I’m more social, and I get along with people.” ~ Allison
Testimonial shared by 14 yr old male… “I usually go to SRD Straightening Reigns on a weekly basis. I like going there because it’s peaceful and calming when I’m there. When I go to the ranch, I feel comfortable because I work with the friends I have there and their families. It feels like a safe place for everyone to be themselves. We are all there healing from something so nobody is judging each other or making fun of you. It’s been fun learning to take care of the animals and getting to know their personalities. Going out to the ranch is one of the places that helps me remember that life is worth living.”
Shared by 18 yr old female… “When I first came to Straightening Reins, I was not in a good place. It wasn’t until I came to Straightening Reins and started to take a look at my actions that I realized how truly out of control I was. When I look back on it now, I am extremely grateful that my parents pushed me to come here.
After my first day at the ranch I was in love. The other kids at the ranch immediately treated me like I was family. They taught me how to take care of all the animals on the ranch, and I believe we grew together. We experienced fun times, as well as a couple of tragic loses that I think brought us all closer together. Every moment there was a learning experience; not just about animals or how to run a ranch, but about life as a whole. With every event and experience I began to understand my world and myself a little better, and that is a process that is still in action.
When I began equine assisted therapy, I have to admit that I was skeptical. I didn’t understand how horses could be the solution to my problems. However, within a few minutes of my first session I began to understand. There is a level of trust between a human and a horse that I believe is unobtainable between two people. When a horse looks at you, they see you as an equal. There were many times during my sessions where one of the horses would interact with me as if I was part of their herd. They didn’t look at me as if I was their owner or superior; they looked at me as if I was their friend. That quick forming and unconditional love is part of what makes the horses so therapeutic. You can tell them all of your secrets and they will still love you. Horses live in the moment; they are not concerned with what you’ve done in the past. Their only care in that moment is you, and that kind of attention and affection is what really helped me sort out my life. It was easy to draw parallels between my interactions with the horses and my interactions with the people in my life. At times it almost seemed crazy how similar the situations could be, but it really helped me figure out who I needed to keep in my life and who I would be better of without.
It’s been almost a year since I started at the ranch, and I could not be happier with my life. I’m doing well in school, I have the best friends anyone could ask for, and the most loving and supportive family. My relationship with my parents has improved astronomically, and my friends are happy to see that I’m happy. However, the most important thing that came out of my time at the ranch is that I learned to love myself. It’s certainly not an easy thing to do, but now that I love myself it is so much easier for me to get up in the morning and face the daily challenges that lie ahead of me with a big smile and an “I can accomplish anything I set my mind to” attitude. While I realize that a lot of these emotional milestones were ones that I reached on my own, I have to thank the staff at Straightening Reins for giving me the tools I needed on my journey to self actualization.”