The mission of Bright Side Youth Ranch is to Rescue the Horse, Inspire the Child, and offer Hope to the Family. But, what does it look like to inspire or mentor a child, and how do horses and the family fit into the picture? If I could have a moment of your time, I would love to share the working vision with you.
We desire the ranch to a welcoming environment where all children ages 8-18 can come as they are and experience hope, healing, and encouragement. So many kids and youth deal with difficult life issues such as trauma, anxiety, depression, or abuse, and we long to provide a safe place for them to find the love of God through a relationship with a horse and connection with a mentor.
The heart of it all will be the Session Program. It is through a flexible, interactive 60-90 minute session that a child is paired with a horse and a mentor. This personal, one-on-one focus paves the way for a customized session that is geared to a child's specific need or unique situation. The session will usually begin with an activity. All activities are chosen at the discretion of each individual mentor and may include a farm chore, learning about basic horse care, games, crafts, or life skills. The remaining part of the session will be spent working with or riding horses. Whatever the method or activity, the sessions will be designed to encourage students toward hope and personal growth. There is one main purpose - to Inspire and mentor the Child.
We also desire to offer Hope to the Family by bringing families together and bridging the emotional gap between the child and the family. Because of this, we will ask a parent or parents to accompany their child to the ranch. Connecting family members together is often a vital part of the healing process.
All children are invited to come just as they are. The only requirement we will have is that they want to come. This shows an open heart and a willingness to participate. Any "therapy" that may take place is done through our "angels in horsehair" and through the presence of God. We long to create an environment where kids can know that they are heard, valued, and loved by our leaders and horses, and most importantly God. We truly envision the ranch as a place to rebuild trust, confidence, and hope, with that hope being sourced in Jesus.
"Let Your unfailing love surround us, Lord, for our hope is in You alone." - Psalm 33:22
"We have this hope as an anchor for the soul firm and secure." - Hebrews 6:19