​​​Using horses to transform lives, imparting hope, and healing

Cyla's Story

Annie's Story

We want to hear from you. Please send your personal story or memory about Hope Ranch experience(s) to terri@HopeRanchMinistries.org

When Cyla came to Hope Ranch she was very intimidated by the horses and nervous. Her self esteem was very low and she did not see herself riding any of the horses at all. After a few basic training sessions, Cyla began to open up while getting used to the animals. She started her training by watching the Pat Parelli training videos to learn the “Horsenality” training principles. This program helps develop self esteem in individuals helping them to overcome fears and many obstacles. The training videos are a learning tool on how to treat and handle horses.  Cyla also learned the basics of getting to know her horse which meant a horse choosing her as a rider. This shows that the horse is comfortable with its rider and it establishes trust. This way Cyla also learns how to trust an animal that that can be very intimidating and in her training she has mastered that. Since the beginning of the program, Cyla has improved tremendously, she goes out to the corral and selects a horse and preps it for her lesson. The training that she has received has helped her to gain control and keep her confidence. With ongoing lessons Cyla will continue to overcome her insecurity and anxiety, along with her levels of confidence. Cyla is working with horses that have been trained in Natural Horsemanship which focuses on building trust and respect using Love, Language & Leadership to get the heart and desire of the horse so that the horse WANTS to obey. This is the exact opposite of the “normal” horse training which uses fear, mechanics and intimidation to MAKE a horse obey.  

Hope Ranch and Natural Horsemanship focus on developing positive and meaningful relationships with the horse.  Cyla is learning to; never sacrifice the relationship in order to accomplish a task, take the time it takes to get the horses attention and desire and to reward the slightest try while building the horses confidence in her leadership.  This helps her continue to gain the trust of the animals and it places her in control. Hope Ranch has helped Cyla to gain control over her life and emotions again while working with these extraordinary horses. She has come a long way and with further training she is on target to becoming a leader herself to help teach & mentor other children how to overcome their fears as well. We consider this to be a great breakthrough for her and with continued work with horses, though there are many levels of training, Cyla will continue to succeed in her personal goals. Working with the horses is a therapy because as she builds up her confidence within herself, the horse is building confidence in her as the leader and rider.

At that time I had awful social anxiety and depression, so I came with little confidences but pretended that I was not afraid. Terri set me up with a horse named Ollie. When we first started she showed me the basic ground skills with him, and as lessons went
by I gained confidences and skills by working with him. Each lesson I had with Ollie was teaching me to be more of a leader because the horse was just as afraid as I was. Now it has been a year later and Ollie comes up to the gate to meet me every week. I have been able to talk with groups of people and not make myself a shadow. My depression and anxiety is hardly there
because of going to Hope Ranch and the bible studies there. Hope Ranch is a safe place for me to be and I love it there. My home life has improved greatly because I'm not always hiding in my room and avoiding other people. I'm also now able to go to places that I was never able to go to because of the social anxiety. I continue to grow and learn even to this day.