2020 Horse “Adoption” at Inspiration Ranch

By: Rachel Norton
| Published 12/31/2019

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THE WOODLANDS, TX -- Sponsor a horse for a year at Inspiration Ranch, a nonprofit that helps children, youth, and adults overcome their physical, emotional, and social disabilities through therapeutic riding and equine-assisted therapy and activities. They have different programs including the Therapeutic Riding Program and Mental Health Program.

The Therapeutic Riding Program aims to fast track the strengthening of core and leg muscles. MG Tindall, CEO and President of Inspiration Ranch, said that riding a horse shares similar movements to walking. Through this program, their clients are able to gain muscle memory, balance and strength – an opportunity that would not otherwise be possible for participants who are wheelchair bound.

The benefits of horseback riding cover emotional and behavioral issues as well. “The biggest thing for a lot of our kids is that they’re gaining confidence,” Tindall said. They’re learning riding skills, they’re getting good at it, and some are even competing and earning medals in the sport.

There is also a huge impact on the client’s ability to communicate and socialize. Some group lessons include two children riding different horses around the arena. Each child holds onto opposite ends of a string of toilet paper. In order to not break it, they have to work together. They must make eye contact with one another, and plan out which directions to take. These lessons and skills carry over into everyday life.

Through their Mental Health Program, Inspiration Ranch is able to reach at-risk homeless teens and young adults, battered women, and survivors of domestic sex-trafficking. The program introduces them to healthy boundaries, new skills, and opportunities to overcome obstacles, as ways to work through their severe emotional trauma. Each lesson is fitted to the client.

The work that Inspiration Ranch does cannot be accomplished without their horses. “We consider them staff,” Tindall said. “They are a huge part of our team. We make sure that they are not getting overworked, and that they’re getting the proper care that they need,” she said. The horses are housed at a 40-acre ranch and raised through, “natural horsemanship,” which means that the staff works to keep the horses in an environment as close to the natural one that they would inhabit in the wild.

Their horses are treated with immense respect and love. They receive annual assessments to make sure they still enjoy their jobs, they receive custom-made saddles, and they even get a rest for the holidays in which there are no lessons, so that, “they get to go be horses, because it’s important for their mental health and well being,” Tindall said. “We all kind of tease that we hope to come back as an Inspiration Ranch horse one day,” she joked.

By adopting a horse for a year, you will cover the cost of feed, grooming supplies, and medical care for 2020. The average annual cost per horse is $5,800. You can also donate $1,450 quarterly or $484 monthly. Those who adopt will be featured on Inspiration Ranch’s website, and receive notecards with photos and updates on their horse. They can also come out to the ranch to visit with their horse, and take pictures. Your sponsorship will change lives for the better.

For further information and volunteer opportunities, visit https://www.inspirationranch.org/adoptahorse

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