To intercept & break the cycles of teen suicide, human trafficking, and domestic violence by pairing at-risk youth with rescued horses.
Our future depends on today’s young people to take the lead. But what is happening to our youth? Experts say we are heading to a mental health catastrophe. Suicides are up, drug abuse is up and crime involving youth is up. Raven Rock Ranch is a stronghold of donor-funded mental health treatment of youths 7-18 years of age who have suffered greatly during the pandemic. Our success rate is 98% and rising. Help us save kids- they could be someone you know. The need is increasing due to COVID-19. We currently have a waiting list that is over a year long. It costs us $8,500 per year to serve each child and we have saved dozens of lives during our tenure. $8,500 to save a life-think about that for a minute. Kids from all walks of life-every background, every demographic. They are all hurting.
People damaged through a relationship- a bad parent, bullies at school, feelings of isolation from being kept in lockdown, etc.- must be healed through relationship. Most traumatized youth do not trust counselors or others who try to help. But they will trust as horse. Horses are big and powerful, but are, by nature, kind and gentle. They are a prey animal that needs a leader to keep them safe. It is a perfect healing environment when mutual trust and respect is attained.
The Raven Rock approach is experiential psychotherapy and learning. Most traumatized kids cannot talk about the trauma. But it is stored in the senses- a sound, a taste, a touch- and can be addressed by Body-centered awareness. We never need to talk about the things that upset the youth, but we focus on creating a healthy relationship with a horse. These neural pathways of relationship, once changed into a positive path with a horse, can transfer onto relationships with humans.
The research backs up our program’s efficacy. Universities are now looking at how working with horses reduces the cortisol (a stress chemical) released in at-risk youths’ brains by simply being with a horse. (See research tab). Our own numbers concur with those results. We track GPA, school attendance, positive changes in behaviors, and suicidal ideation of our clients. We have found that: GPAs go from 1.7 to 3.6, attendance in school goes from 56% to 98%, negative behaviors are extinguished and suicidal ideation goes from 98% to 2% in one year. We have never lost one of our clients to suicide.
Raven Rock is literally a Rock
Raven Rock is literally a Rock for our Daughter. It is the one place where she is completely confident and interested in learning. Being with the horses each week helps her to control her anxiety for the rest of the week. If we miss even one week I see a difference in her behavior and anxiety level. The staff and volunteers at Raven Rock are interested in her and treat her with respect and friendship. They make an effort to interact with her multiple times during the sessions and this is excellent modeling for her. I also have witnessed other children in the program heal through the horse therapy. This last weekend we didn’t leave the ranch right on time and saw some of the kids in the second lesson arrive. One girl who in the past never raised her eyes off the ground or acknowledged anyone but her mom came over and talked to me. What a lovely surprise! I don’t see her often and I was amazed and delighted for her and the progress she has made.
Raven Rock has been extremely beneficial for my daughter she looks forward to her weekly visits with her horse and Julie. Since we have begun she has increased her awareness and mindfulness. We are working on her anxiety and self-confidence. She has increased significantly from where we were but not quite there yet. She has blossomed while at RRR and seeing her find herself while working in the round pen and in general she is learning self-advocacy and that is okay to make decisions, this is a huge struggle because of the lack of confidence but she has increased a lot from where she was 2 years ago. We are very thankful for RRR.