I know you love horses. I imagine you could love any horse. So could I.
But I believe we’d have a special place in our hearts for a horse that saved a child’s life.
That’s Mr. Big.
Mr. Big isn’t just a wonderful horse. He is an equine therapist.
He’s been serving as a member of our team for years, just like so many of our horses.
They help the children we serve every bit as much as our human staff and volunteers do.
When Mr. Big arrived here at the Ranch, as a rescued animal 6 years ago, he was painfully thin. He was sick with parasites. There was sand in his belly, from eating desert stubble without proper hydration and fiber — with the threat of intestines being blocked, metabolism shutting down, muscle mass shrinking.
Our team went to work, correcting Mr. Big’s medical issues, easing his suffering, and soon, he was healthy and strong.
Then Lauren arrived. She wasn’t healthy or strong. She faced significant challenges with PTSD from trauma of childhood and the foster care system.
The human members of our team worked hard to help Lauren, collaborating continuously on her case, month after month, with the Department of Child Safety (DCS).
But meanwhile, Mr. Big was working hard with Lauren too. He was “her” horse … and she was becoming a new person.
Loving her as he did, responding to her so faithfully, guiding her even as she learned to guide him … it was a beautiful thing to see her transformation happening.
It took time — 3 long years — but Mr. Big was devoted to this mission – this little girl – no matter how long it might take.
And the day finally came when Lauren experienced a real breakthrough.
There’s a word to describe her today — a single, simple, beautiful word: Healed.
She’s attending a Christian charter school. She’s on the cheerleading team. She’s doing amazingly well. We’re all so proud of her!
“She is where she’s at because of you,” her mother told me. “You helped build her confidence; she did things here that she never thought she could do.” She wasn’t just talking about me, or the human members of our team. She was talking about Mr. Big as well. His contribution was beyond measuring. Irreplaceable.
But Mr. Big has faced some serious hazards — this is the real reason I’m writing to you today. Please give me just 3 more minutes to explain…
Mr. Big hit his head and damaged his eye. He couldn’t close his eyelid and an abscess formed. We’ve been working day and night to save his eye. Sage is our veterinary technician: That first week, she was treating the horse every 2 daylight hours; the second week, it was every 4 hours around the clock.
Sage was literally living in a classroom in the building next door — to keep this animal from going blind. Even so, she didn’t have all the medical equipment and systems she needed.
And it’s happened before: Our medical staff often have to engage in a kind of “science project,” using whatever tools and techniques they can, doing their best to care for our horses — but knowing they could do more, they could do better.
Mr. Big’s medical crisis shines a real spotlight on a harsh reality: We urgently need to upgrade and expand our facilities, in order to provide top-quality care — including lifesaving interventions — for the equine therapists on our team, and all the horses we rescue.
This is the largest equine therapy program in Arizona; we host nearly 70 horses, requiring a dedicated equine-support team. These folks begin the day at first light and only wrap at sundown. As many as 30 horses require special care on any given day. This neverending labor of love requires the right tools and facilities.
So I’m coming to you today with a heartfelt request: Please help us build a Hope & Healing Barn.
It’s going to take $250,000 to make this miracle happen. But I also bring you good news: A caring friend saw the need at close hand, and was moved to help — by offering us an amazing Matching Challenge:
Any gift you give today will be matched, dollar-for-dollar, up to a total of $70,000. This means the impact of your generosity today will literally DOUBLE.
Any donation you make toward our Hope & Healing Barn will go twice as far. You’ll be helping move us $140,000 closer to the ultimate goal.
I can’t overstate the critical importance of this facility. It will have a lab with microscopes and other equipment, everything we need to do lab work ourselves. Instead of sending blood out for testing — which takes valuable time when we’re trying to save a horse — we’ll be able to do it here immediately.
Urgent care is often needed. Horses seem big and strong, but they’re actually sensitive creatures. Colic is their #1 killer. Horses cannot vomit, so when they get a stomach ache, they panic, rolling around on the ground, trying to dislodge whatever is causing them pain — often leading to twisted intestines, which is fatal. We’ve got to act fast, or the horse will die.
I humbly but boldly ask you to prayerfully consider how generous you can be. (If you could even give a major gift of $10,000, we’ll name one of the new horse stalls after you. Or give $5,000 to share naming rights with someone else, or $2,500 to share naming rights with 3 others.)
I know those are big commitments, but they’re worth it to keep hope and healing moving forward at the Ranch. If you’re on the fence, sign up for a tour by checking the box on the enclosed reply device. I’ll be happy to set up a time to personally show you around the Ranch, introduce you to the depth of the need and the huge impact your gift will make firsthand!
But let me assure you: any gift, large or small — will be a real help. If every friend of the Ranch simply does what they can, according to God’s blessings in each life individually, we’ll get this barn raised in no time!
I do, however, urge you to respond quickly. Every day counts. We have lost 4 horses so far this year. Could their lives have been saved if we already had our Hope & Healing Barn up and running? We’ll never know.
But this we do know: When the doors of our new, fully equipped facility finally open, things will only get better.
And lives will be transformed. Like a little girl named Lauren. Her life has been dramatically shaped by her experience at the Ranch. Lauren was once a struggling child …
now she’s thriving!
It began with a human friend like you, giving generously to this unique work … and an equine friend, a therapist called Mr. Big.
Please reach out today with a generous gift, so in the days ahead, another Lauren can be changed by the love of another Mr. Big … and in the years ahead, hundreds of other children will connect with hundreds of other horse-therapists.
Your gift today will help make this dream come true.
Let me hear from you right away. Thank you so much. God bless you!
Believing in second chances,
The Matching Challenge expires on 11/30. Please don’t delay. Life gets busy; don’t let this slip your mind. You can save a life — that of a horse or a child, or both. Please give as generously as possible. Your gift will be DOUBLED! Thank you again!
Your gift can earn you a dollar-for-dollar credit against your state taxes, thanks to the Arizona Charitable Tax Credit. Claim up to $400 of your gifts to Reigning Grace Ranch if you file singly, or $800 if you file jointly. (See insert for more details.)