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How is Stormlily Ranch Different From Existing Equine Programs in the Springfield Area?




Our Mission: Stormlily Ranch exists to provide a safe and peaceful ranch environment where at-risk youth and those affected by sexual abuse, exploitation, and trafficking find hope and the healing touch of Jesus through hands-on experience with rescued horses.


When I share the concept of Stormlily Ranch, most people envision equine therapy. In general, equine-assisted therapy is considered a “program where professionals guide clients through activities with horses.” (Source: WebMD)


Of course, that’s a very broad description and there are myriad ways horses can and are helping children and adults.


Currently, there are three therapeutic riding organizations in the Springfield, Missouri area:


Dynamic Strides Therapy - Therapeutic riding (hippotherapy) for children with special needs working with skilled, certified therapists.


Healing Reins (Dogwood Ranch) - Trauma-informed programs by experienced, licensed therapists and certified equine specialists specifically tailored to foster and adopted youth as well as our honored veterans and their families.


Horses of Hope - Therapeutic riding and equine-facilitated psychotherapy focused on providing services to persons with disabilities, caregivers and their families, and professionals in the field.


As you can see, there are no equine organizations that are providing equine sessions specifically for at-risk youth and those affected by sexual abuse, exploitation, and trafficking.


In addition to the specific groups of people we will serve, four key components make Stormlily Ranch unique for our area:


1. Form

The form of sessions will not be considered therapeutic. Certified therapists and certification programs can provide great value, and I could see us working hand-in-hand with them for many Ranch participants.


Instead, any “therapy” at Stormlily Ranch will be done by the horses. Each participant will be paired with one trained session leader and one horse. Sessions will be tailored to the needs of the participant and may include grooming, leading, riding lesson, watching horses, barn chores, crafts, etc. The purpose of every activity is to provide a safe, encouraging environment for each participant.


2. Function

Stormlily Ranch will offer unique and effective ways to teach responsibility and experience relationship with both horses and people.


Riding is only a small part of the program. Participants will be required to take part in the general care and upkeep of the ranch as a whole as well as being responsible for the care of individual animals. They will learn the correlation between hard work and payoff and the joy that comes from caring for others and being a part of something bigger than yourself.


3. Faith

As a faith-based organization, we believe in God and the saving grace of His son, Jesus Christ.


It’s our greatest desire to serve God by showing love to others as Jesus showed the ultimate love for us. We will strive to serve youth and families of all backgrounds and demonstrate the love and healing power of Christ through the relationship He desires to have with each of us.


4. Free

Sessions will be provided free of charge. Especially given the youth and survivors we will serve, this is extremely important.


All that’s required of each participant is that he or she “wants” to be there, as a willingness to come is an indicator of a heart that’s ready to take steps toward healing.


If you have any specific questions about the nature of a session, please feel free to reach out. I’m so grateful there are similar ministries that I’m able to learn from and model after as we create a program customized to our community here in Southwest Missouri.

 

Sources & Additional References

 

Do you want to be part of bringing hope and healing through Stormlily Ranch?


Right now, Stormlily Ranch is in its infancy. That's what's so exciting—God has put this vision on my heart, and I know He is going before us preparing the way and preparing the hearts of people like you who will come alongside us to make it happen.


Your first step? Join the Stormlily Ranch Prayer Team!



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