Our Programs

At Charis Youth Ranch, all the programs we offer have a simple purpose; to connect kids and young adults from all walks of life with our horses. While the connection is simple, it causes dynamic change and personal growth in each individual. Our horses are our greatest tool in working with kids. For the kids, our horses are shoulders to cry on, trust builders, wise teachers, mirrors, and inspiring. Often, a horse has a way of breaking down barriers and bringing out the individual where traditional therapy and counseling has failed. Each of our horses are unique and have a story, just like the kids we serve.



Equine Adventureboysrunninginpen Youth Program: June 2018

The heart of our Equine Adventure Program is to provide a space for kids to just be a kid! Our open 35 acres provide a place for kids and horses alike to romp, run, buck, and play in the way only they know best. Our Equine Adventure Program is geared towards kiddos from ages 5 through 12. 

This program we offer to the community for FREE. Sign ups for this program will be opened in May, we have limited spots so sign up early before we are full!

This year we will be running group sessions for the month of June Mondays and Wednesdays. This program runs from 9am to 12pm in June and includes a horse session, a craft, a themed game, and lots of fun on our 35 acre ranch!!Below is an overview of our 4 week curriculum:

Week 1: Love

Out here on the ranch, we love our horses! This session will focus on showing love to our horses and ways they show love to each other and to us. We will learn about communicating with horses in ways they can understand. We will use our horse time to learn to “speak” our horses language and learn some basic safety for interacting with our horses, make a horse handprint craft, and play a fun tag game.

Week 2: Patience and Courage

When you are a horse, there is a lot to be scared of!! This session will focus on how we can help our horses to trust us and increase their confidence. Just like them, we have some scary stuff we have to face in our lives too. We will talk about how patience and courage and having people we can trust will help us overcome our fears too. We will use our horse time to find the inner superhero in our horses, and have them use their super powers on an obstacle course. Our craft is a bracelet with a reminder to us to have courage and we will also practice patience and courage in our game time with water balloons!

Week 3: Peace

Life is hard, but here at the ranch with our horses we can find peace. We will learn about being a peacemaker, and why that is important for horses as well as for people. Our game will focus on skills needing for being a peacemaker and for our craft we will create a peaceful wind chime and take home a little piece of the ranch. We will focus our horse time on the bond between us and our horse and the peaceful feeling we can have while riding.

Week 4: Joy

We will talk about how when all of the things we have learned in the past weeks come together, we can have a joyful life. Joy is not the same as feeling happy, things don’t have to be going good in order to experience Joy! We get to have joy from the expectation of great and awesome things that are coming; like riding horses, summer vacations, spending time with our families, birthday celebrations or celebrating holidays. We will focus on the things that are coming up that bring us joy, and we will focus our horse time on en-joy-ing riding horses!! Our final craft is a horseshoe picture frame complete with a photo from the ranch! 

If you are interested in learning more about this program please contact our program director  for more info. 

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EAP group

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Junior Volunteer tag




We have an exciting program for our 13-17 year old friends who want to learn everything there is to know about horses. The goal of our JV pogram is train up young men and women in horsemanship, leadership, and a heart of service using equine therapy and stewardship. For interest in our Junior Volunteer Program please contact Aurora Chaffee at aurorajchaffee@gmail.com20170902_112352

Our Junior Volunteer program has three tiers of development:

Beginner Class: (6 week program) For those that are new to the ranch or new to horses we start from the basics up of haltering to introduction to riding. The beginner class focuses on horse psychology and how to invite a horse to be a willing partner, to earn their trust and resect which will serve them well into the future. Class culminates with a “show” for the girls and boys to demonstrate what they’ve accomplished to parents and coaches by performing an obstacle course with their horses.20170916_144457

Intermediate Class: (6 week program) For those who have graduated from the beginner class, focus is on higher level of horsemanship on ground and in saddle. Junior Volunteers will also begin serving as young leaders and role models for the kiddos in our Equine Adventure Programs. At the end of this class Junior Volunteers will perform a riding test for friends and family to demostrate their new skills and confidence.

Advanced Class: (6 week Program) Our advanced class in the culmination of all the hard work and dedication the Junior Volunteers have shown throughout their time at Charis Youth Ranch. We take the basics they’ve learned to date and apply it to more advanced riding patterns, jumps, and trail rides. Advanced JVs also volunteer as aids for our other youth programs on the ranch. At the end of the sessions our advanced Junior Volunteers perform a riding test in a show for friends and family to show-off their amazing rescue horse and their accomplishments in the saddle.




Triumph typYouth Program: This is a group program aimed at 13-18 year olds. We work with other non-profit groups, rehabilitation centers, church groups, and individual families. Group sizes range based on the groups needs. We tailor our sessions to the group while addressing each member as an individual. Our focus is safety, service learning, teaching horsemanship skills, and providing an open, grace filled environment. The lessons allow the kids to interact with the horses while promoting character building and strengthening relational skills. Kids in this program absolutely love it! If you are interested in learning more about this program please contact our program director.


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Community service tag





We offer opportunities for youth and adults to complete community service hours on the ranch. For safety reasons we will not schedule community service hours during our youth programs, but we will make every attempt to accommodate your schedule. Please contact us for more information charisyouthranch@gmail.com



New Life Thoroughbred Rescue


We would not have any youth programs without horses and all of our horses are rescues! Our 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 take in other horse breeds locally who need a second chance. We would love to continue to develop our property and expand our facility to accommodate more of our beloved warriors who desperately need forever homes. Currently our retraining program is volunteer based (and our volunteers are amazing!!), but we have plans to develop a professional retraining program in multiple disciplines. We hold on to our horses as long as they need us.  Occasionally we offer a horse for adoption when the time is right. Check out our horses page to meet our amazing equines. If you are primarily interested in adoption, we encourage you to contact us directly, please visit our contact page!!  

Programs In Development


Veteran Program: “It is for freedom that Christ has set us free” Galatians 5:1. We are surrounded by people who have answered the call to serve their country through military service. While some have visible wounds, many have invisible wounds. We believe horses are intuitive and offer veterans the respect and healing that they need. This is an idea and passion that we are currently developing. If you are interested in partnering with us in forming this program please visit our contact page and get in touch with us.

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