It was about five months ago that we set down with Highland’s Church to discuss partnering up with their special needs ministry. To be honest we weren’t sure where the partnership would go but since the ranch is close to the church and the special needs ministry is a huge part of Highland’s Church, we knew something would come of it but first we had to get through the long hot summers that we endure in Arizona! Well, after several tours, a few sit down meetings, Cowboy Sunday was initiated. At Highlands Church, “their special needs mission is to lovingly share Christ with God’s unique individuals, both children, and adults, to grow them spiritually, and provide them with opportunities to serve and be served. It is the desire of the ministry to be a lighthouse of hope, acceptance and belonging for individuals with special needs and their families, so they may experience the love of Jesus and excel to their greatest potential, becoming all God desires them to be.”
We love their mission and knew a partnership with them would be great. So, back on Sunday, October 22nd we welcomed Highland’s Church volunteers, about eight children, and parents to spend a few hours learning about what life is like on the ranch. This included feeding and grooming the horses, learning a few key horse terms, a barbecue, lots of smiles, trust, balance and a little riding! At the ranch, we have a variety of programs for at-risk and special needs children as our mission is to offer equine-guided mentorship and equine-guided experiential learning to youth, families, and veterans. We strengthen the mind, body, and soul and elevate the spirit of our families through traditional core values. Our goal is to experience what it means to work hard or have “grit” for what they have, be a part of something bigger than they are, develop self-confidence, experience teamwork, accountability, love, safety, trust, encouragement, and hope without judgment. This is powerful stuff for a little horsin’ around!
What was achieved on that day you might you ask? Well, first and foremost, trust between the horse and the child. Then, balance and coordination along with feeling important and loved. The smiles were contagious, the horses involved were perfect and we knew this was a partnership that was meant to happen. With that said, we need your help, these programs are getting bigger and bigger and we need more volunteers to keep them going. Contact us today if you are interested in taking a tour or learning more about our volunteer positions.
If you want to attend a Cowboy Sunday, the following are the upcoming dates:
- October 22nd
- November 19th
- January 21st
- February 18th
- March 18th
- April 15th
At RGR, we are committed to providing a safe and loving environment for families and kids. Please consider getting involved, we would love to have YOU! For more pictures and videos of the event, please check out our Facebook page!