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Grateful Hearts

Posted by on Feb 3rd, 2016 in Blog | 0 comments

Grateful Hearts

Thank you to our wonderful sponsors Mary Mountain Cookies and Spoons for the delicious cookie and soup donations for our volunteer appreciation dinner. We are so grateful that these companies support local non-profits like ours. Our volunteers work tirelessly to keep the Ranch operating and our horses fed throughout the winter months, we love and appreciate each and everyone one of them! 

spoons sponsor

URGENT NEED: Help our sweet Gaspode

Posted by on Jul 1st, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

URGENT NEED: Help our sweet Gaspode

Update 6/30 9:30 pm : We called the vet out tonight, Gaspodes entire right hock was swollen twice its normal size. The vets verdict is he needs CSU tomorrow. We hit him with a ton more drugs and are working to keep him comfortable and still through the night. We need help with his vet bills for tomorrow!!

6/30 9:30 am  : Gaspode. Our goofy guy, our sweet dependable friend, has injured his stifle pretty bad. The injury happened in the bad storm last Tuesday night (6/24). As best we can figure, he must have fallen. We noticed it during our morning feeding on Wednesday 6/25 and immediately brought him up and put him on 24 hour stall rest. We had the vet out on 6/27 and the prognosis is not great. He has been on steroids, prevacox, and bute all weekend but today he is about the same. Our vet ballparked the surgery at about $1500 which is not that much but a whole lot for a horse rescue/youth ranch. Would you consider donating towards Gaspodes vet costs? You can designate your donation “Gaspode”. Lets get our boy back up to running pain free with his herd and loving on the kids at the ranch

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I Like You

Posted by on Jun 21st, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

I Like You
triumph youth
I LIKE YOU
Yesterday marked the end of the 3rd week with our kiddos in residential treatment. A group of teenagers aged 13-19 come out wearing their heart battle scars on their sleeves twice a week. We love them so much and each time we see them, we smile, encourage, love and joke around with them as we work on the ranch together and they learn about our horses’ stories and see the similarities in their life wounds to the horses’.
The kids are very protective of their hearts and they do not hand over their trust or open themselves to just anybody. In fact, very few people in their young lives get to see who they really are. Their battle armour of detachment, no eye contact and stern expression keeps them safe.
It takes time for them to see that you really mean it. If you tell them you love them, it is just words until you prove it. So in the 3rd week of hearing our words of encouragement, seeing our smiles and sometimes receiving our hugs or a touch on the shoulder, their little heart flowers begin to open ever so gently, quietly and cautiously.
There is one young man who catches my heart in particular this day. There isn’t much we know about his story except that he doesn’t have many loved ones in his life. He does not look anyone in the eye and he works hard, trying to prove he is worthy.
Yesterday, I called him by name, looked him in the eye and said “I like you” and smiled at him. As I waited patiently for him to return my gaze, he cautiously raised his eyes to mine. As our gazes met, he saw my sincerity. For the first time since his arrival, his eyes crinkled up in happy little sparkly half moons in realization that I meant what I said-I really did like him. And for the first time in 3 weeks, I saw hope in his eyes. For that one moment, he opened the windows to his soul and I got to deposit a little God treasure in his heart. Not by my doing, because God gave me the love. I just pass it on. And he deposited a treasure in my heart too.
I am looking forward to what God has in store for our kiddos, horses and us. It is going to be a great summer!

Lost

Posted by on Jun 11th, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Lost

Tracy Heckert Cookman's photo.

Lost
That was one word written on the side of a horse. Worthless, unloved, broken, afraid, fat, and stupid were a few others. Our horses became living canvas today on the ranch. We painted them with the labels our rescued horses came to us with, and the teens we work with from a residential treatment facility added words that they have been labeled with. It broke my heart as one painstakingly wrote with their fingers in paint: lost. Wow, what a stark word, what a visual. The thing about labels, and canvas, and lives, is that they can be changed. So we washed the horses, we scrubbed the labels off of their sides and necks. Then we wrote the truth. We canceled out the lies by writing the truth: Loved, beautiful, peaceful, healed, hope, found. Grace is this thing that we don’t fully understand, but once you experience it, you are changed. The thing about grace is that it’s free, and its for everyone. There is no one so lost that God’s grace can not find them, today, on the ranch, I think we were found.

the truth 2

Trust

Posted by on Jun 5th, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Trust
A boy rests his arm over the back of an anxious old horse. Roper is our oldest gelding. He is not one to trust quickly, he is partially blind and it makes him jumpy, he is scared. He and this boy seemed to understand each other. 10 kids came to our ranch from a local residential treatment facility. For 5 weeks on Wednesdays and Fridays they will come and spend their mornings with us. I am forever changed by moments like this; the quiet hand of a kid resting on the back of a horse, each drawing strength from the other. It seems insignificant, but for this kid and this horse; it means everything.
“God my shepherd! I don’t need a thing. You have me bedded me down in lush meadows, you find me quiet pools to drink from. True to your word, you let me catch my breath and send me in the right direction.” Psalm 23:1-3 (msg)

“The Schoolmaster”

Posted by on Apr 10th, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

“The Schoolmaster”

You know that horse that is the “schoolmaster”? The one that patiently trotted you around while you posted the crap out of his back on the wrong diagonal. The one that was pretty much on autopilot while you just tried to keep up, he counted his own strides, he followed the pattern when you forgot, he carefully adjusted his speed to your ability. God gives us the schoolmaster to teach us. Rajah is our schoolmaster at the ranch. He is an OTTB in his 20s. He has so much to teach, and Sunday as I climbed up (none to gracefully, it’s been a long winter) into the saddle and let my muscles remember how to hold me he assumed that familiar patient expression. In a rope halter and with a leadrope as my single rein he did not bat an eye, he listened, shifted speed and took great care with me. I am so grateful for the schoolmaster. I hope you think of your greatest equine teacher today and give thanks with me for all the lessons learned, and all that are yet to be.

Fear to Confidence

Posted by on Mar 24th, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Fear to Confidence

Sunday we had two kids out for their first session at the ranch. They got connected to us through the Mathews House. They helped us clean up the horses pen, and then learned about how to catch and lead a horse. It was awesome to watch their little faces light up as sweet Molly followed them all around cones and chairs. I watched their initial fear turn to confidence, and the little 7 year old who didn’t want to hold the lead rope at the beginning of the session backed Molly straight through one of the obstacles like a seasoned pro at the end. Its amazing what hope and healing can be gained through such simple interaction with horses. We are truly blessed to be a part of it.

Humbled…

Posted by on Mar 17th, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Humbled…

More and more I am humbled that God lets us be a part of His plan for this ranch. Today we met with a mom and 2 kids. She wants her son to have horse sessions to assist in his learning delays. While I spoke with the mom and her caseworker, Annie went off with the hopping, skipping 8yo and quiet, yet intrigued 11yo to meet the horses. In talking, mom shared that their father left them 4 yrs ago with no word, and they haven’t seen nor heard from him since. They have suffered tremendous grief over it. Then a year later, their Grandmother, whom they were very close to, passed. This family has experienced so much loss in a short time. My heart broke for this hardworking mom, who clearly loves her kids so much. As they were leaving, the caseworker told us that mom said this is the first time in months that her daughter has left her side and that her son has smiled and laughed.

You are right Robert Palmer, I might as well face it, I am addicted to love. 

Sunset at the Ranch

Posted by on Feb 25th, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

Sunset at the Ranch

Last nights sunset on the ranch was so beautiful. Roper is doing so well, he has put on some weight and he is one of our most vocal guys  We are so happy to have him and get him fit into our kids programs this summer. We think he will be one of the best groomed horses in Larimer County  Thank you to all of our donors, we just bought hay at the hay auction on Saturday and our guys are munching with joy.

We Need Your Help!

Posted by on Feb 10th, 2014 in Blog | 0 comments

We Need Your Help!

Winter has been hard and we are in need of funds to keep the horses in shape. Some of the expenses include feed, vet visits, shots and general upkeep of the ranch. We hope that you will partner with us to rescue these horses.

Charis Youth Ranch’s mission is to rescue, rehabilitate and sanctuary retired racehorses by transitioning them from a life of racing into new careers or providing sanctuary for life. Additionally, we endeavor to connect youth from all walks of life with these rescued horses to learn unconditional love and trust, which facilitates healing for both equine and child.

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