So much has happened in the first quarter of the year here at the ranch! As the spring reveals new baby leaves, warm breezes mixed with freezing rain (that’s Seattle area for you!) I think back to new herd members and a new start for one beloved mare.
We finally decided to re-home Rena to the high desert near Bend, Oregon to help relieve her agonizing allergies. The dry air and the lack of environmental allergies made her life SO MUCH happier immediately after stepping off of the trailer! Tim and I drove the 7 hours with our beloved girl. She was a perfect passenger, quietly looking out the back window for the entire trip. When she got off of the trailer, she was relaxed, calm, happy and felt at home immediately. I might not have believed it if I hadn’t seen it with my own eyes! She always has a home at Three Sisters Horse Rescue, but my hope for her is that she finds that one person to spend the rest of her days with. She always will have a home in my heart, too!
While we were at Three Sisters Horse Rescue, we met a thin but sweet and kind Thoroughbred mare that was recently (3 months prior to our meeting her) purchased from the kill pen in Eugene, OR. Those are the horses that are purchased for a nickel a pound to be made into dog food. She did not deserve that fate- she is so trusting and caring. We knew nothing about her, but brought her back with us to see if she could be a program horse here at RRR. We named her “Roomina” (the Roman goddess of motherhood). This was the perfect name for her as she still had milk from her last foal. We call her “Roo.”
In December we got a new Cremello (creamy-white color with blue eyes) Quarter Horse who was very loved. His former mom (owner) wanted to be extra careful that her adorable boy was assured a good home where lots of love and care are on the daily menu. He has settled right in- LOVING all of the attention he gets here. Great with the kids and quite wonderful in general. We hope all of you make it out to the ranch to meet our wonderful herd of counselors
Often, I share a story of great change and significance. While this story may seem small, I want you to know how profound it was for one young man I’ll call Ryan.
Ryan was s little “stuck.” He was at RRR against his will. Absolutely did not want to “waste his time” here. He told me in a rather loud voice in very clear terms. I advocate for every one of my kids- I want them to know for sure I am on THEIR team. He begged his Mom for “another chance” to straighten out his behavior (anger outbursts, threatening her, not doing schoolwork, etc.) His Mom and I both knew he needed to be here. But I said to them both- “Let’s give Ryan a chance. How long will it take to turn it around?” “Two weeks,” he said. So, we all agreed that if he could turn it around, he would not have to begin at the ranch.
So, 2 weeks came and went and Ryan had to start at the ranch. He probably wanted to improve his behavior, but without the skills, will alone wasn’t going to change anything. He was coming for a few months when I recognized he needed a horse to help him with boundaries. He had good boundaries for himself, but no desire to respect others’ boundaries. Enter Rusty, our Boundary PhD horse. He teaches boundaries like no other!
Last week when Ryan came out, Rusty had some aches and pains from an accident during the snowstorm. He did not even want to be brushed. Ryan did not want to touch him at all. Usually, Ryan would yell or push if it were a person, but a horse carries a bit more weight. I recommended that we do some massage on Rusty. I taught Ryan how to do it and after about 15 minutes of massage, Rusty turned from a “cranky” irritable horse (think about what a regular horseman would have done-the horse wouldn’t stand still for brushing and tried to bite at the holder. He might have gotten a quick, hard slap). But because we “heard Rusty’s voice”, he knew he could trust us. Trust is everything- to the kids and to the horses. When we were finished, he followed Ryan around like a giant puppy. Stopping when Ryan stopped, turning when he turned. No halter, no lead ropejust a stronger bond than a rope could ever be.
Rusty learned this day that he can trust Ryan to hear him and Ryan learned that respecting another’s boundaries is SO MUCH more effective than trying to push through them. We are reenforcing the neural pathway that helps Ryan to recognize and respect boundaries and will make all of Ryan’s relationships more successful.
We have many things coming up on the calendar this year. Just a preview:
• APRIL 1-JUNE 30, 2021 BUY YOUR ENTRIES TO WIN A NEW PELOTON o Purchase your entry Here> https://one.bidpal.net/win/welcome
• SUMMER CAMP FOR KIDS AUGUST 23-27, 2021
• APRIL 27- “SPRING FOR THE KIDS” FASHION SHOW AND LUNCH
• TBD PICNIC AND LIVE MUSIC
You can find out more about these FUN FUND-RAISERS by contacting the office. We will NOT be having our usual auction gala this year, so we are getting creative about fundraising. Your generosity is appreciated SO MUCH!!! We are depending on YOU!
Thanks go out to all of you-faithful donors and friends of Raven Rock Ranch!
Blessings and hugs,