“In every thing give thanks: for this is the will of God in Christ Jesus concerning you.” 1 Thessalonians 5:18
November has always been one of my favorite months of the year, with the change in weather, fall sports and the time I get to spend with my family. This year has been especially difficult and I wanted to take some time to remind myself to give thanks for my many blessings as well as to challenge others to focus on gratitude and thankfulness.
One of the things that helps me ground myself is being at the Wolfe Ranch and getting to spend time with our horses. I am so thankful I get to work together with our equine partners providing Equine Assisted Therapy.
We know this intuitively and research has shown activities with horses assist in building skills we all need, and are vital to building relationships. We see this in every interaction our clients have with our horses, many of them developing a strong and lasting bond with “their” horse. We frequently have visits from past clients who want to check in on how their horse is doing and just want to spend some time with them reconnecting and re-grounding themselves. They talk about how they use what they learned through the horses and how they remind themselves they are strong and can manage what life throws at them.
We see the changes horses can make in our therapy sessions. We see strength emerge. We see hope increase. We see communication improve. We see blame and negativity reduce.
We wholeheartedly believe that animals change lives and have seen it at work in all of our horse related programming. We simply love horses and the way they bring out the best in people and how they teach us to heal and grow. We are blessed to be able to include horses in our services and see how they positively impact the work we do. We are thankful for our equine partners!
This video speaks to the power of horses in our lives. Enjoy!
So…Monday, August 10th started out just like any other day…doing chores, feeding the horses and feeding our barn cat, Jules. The day was full with us continuing to finish up our updates to the kitchen and dining room. We also had a volunteer coming in to help in doing a deep cleaning of the main lodge. We were scheduled to have a ribbon cutting ceremony the next day with the Marshalltown Chamber of Commerce.
Earlier in the morning we started getting reports of a fast moving storm sweeping across Iowa. We kept an eye on the radar and then the weather radio started going off with alerts. The rain started first and then suddenly without warning, the wind picked up. The shingles on the barn started to peel up and the pump house roof started to rise up off the building.
By this time, the rain was coming down so hard we could barely see the out-buildings from the main lodge. As we were standing in the doorway doing a visual check of the horses before we headed to the basement, the storm door was flung open by the wind. At this point we had no choice but to head to the safety of the basement. We stayed there until we could hear the wind subside and then slowly came back upstairs to see what was going on outside.
We know times are challenging right now but we want you to know we are still keeping busy by making improvements and updates to our Ranch facility and making plans for future programming. Our commitment to Serve as Christ Serves does not rest in the light of a pandemic. We find a great deal of hope in hearing from the families we serve and the difference our services have made in their life.
“The horse helped me learn to love and trust again. I now know I can tell my family what I am feeling and it will be okay.” Joey
“I told everyone I’m learning to control my anger by walking a horse. If I can walk a huge horse, controlling my anger isn’t so hard.” Mike