Sun-tea brewed on the back patio as Otter pops froze in the freezer for all of us at the ranch who needed a little extra cooling this hot, hot July and August. As always, our summers sizzle with activity even if the temperatures are in the normal range of mid-seventies. But this summer, the azure-blue skies gave us no clouds and some pretty respectable sun-tans. The horses shined like sun reflected off of Lake Washington. We almost needed our sunglasses to look at them!
When it is very hot, we often paint our horses with washable tempra paints. It does a few things: Painting is often a great way for our kids to express their inner emotions without needing to talk. The kids also get to touch the horses, which can be so important for them. And, it keeps us all cool as we finish each painting session with a hose-off for horses and sometimes kids, too!
Raven and Kaylee have each found a new very good friend. As you may recall, Kaylee was so connected to Frieda. When Frieda passed away in May, I thought about how very difficult that was for so many of the kids, but thought in particular, about Kaylee. Early June, Raven came to our ranch. Kaylee was on vacation at the time, but when she returned, a blossoming relationship developed very quickly. Kaylee has learned to be trustworthy and kind to our horses, allowing them to trust her. It might have been a match made in heaven 🙂
We see a lot of joy here at the ranch. It is in the horses’ kind and gentle attitudes, the volunteers’ laughter, the parents’ reports of better grades & better school attendance, and, of course, on the faces of our kids.
This summer, I saw tears of joy in the eyes of a young man, now on his way to college, who never thought that he was accepted for who he was. No one thought he would be able to go to college either. But he has come a long, long way.
When he came to us, we knew something was terribly wrong, but we often do not get the whole story about every kid. He was introverted, had no self-confidence or self-esteem. He came to a Christmas party with his younger sister and I had no less than 8 people ask me if he was in the program and if we could help him. He said nothing, but his body language screamed a deafening, “Help me!”
We were able to get him a spot working with Tim. He did not work with horses at first, but later began working with Justin and Reo. Through experience with his horse and his able facilitator, this young man was able to learn self-acceptance, worthiness, and value. His goal is to be a Math teacher, so that he can be available to those kids who are suffering bullying. He wants to help them to feel accepted and valuable. I consider it a true success story when our kids not only find healing for themselves but then want to turn around and help others who have suffered as they did. It is building a better world one life at a time.
We had a GREAT time at The Evergreen Classic, the big Hunter-Jumper Horse show that took place in Monroe this August. We were selected as the show’s “chosen charity”. What an honor! It was a great experience for all of our kids who came with us to present ribbons to the competitors at the show. They all had on bright blue Raven Rock shirts. Everyone looked great, and the show management said what a great job we all did! We had a BBQ for the exhibitors and all of the RRR kids who were there. We also had all of our Board members show up to lend a hand. A GREAT BIG THANKS TO Olympia Granger, all of the Board and Big House BBQ. They all did a great job! Thanks to the Rus family, Eve and Mary, Taylor– great volunteers! And, of course, all of the kids 🙂
Our annual dinner is coming soon! Registration is up on our website and we will begin advertising soon. The seating is limited and our keynote speaker is FABULOUS so if you are interested, I recommend you get registered a.s.a.p. It is a night you don’t want to miss!
I hope to see all of you there!
As always, my sincerest gratitude for all of the dozens of people who make Raven Rock work. What we do here is changing our society for the better. We are helping so many find healing, and they, in turn, help others. That is the way it’s supposed to work, isn’t it? YOUR help makes it possible for us to reach those isolated kids and neglected horses. When we can bring them together, it is nothing short of a miracle.
Thanks to all of you! You are a BIG part of this organization.