Deadline for Feb. 2021 issue: Jan. 22
Deadline for 2021 Field Trial Review: Feb. 3
Freedom Reigns Ranch
In 2020, Freedom Reigns Ranch provided 2,016.5 hours of mentorship free-of-charge to children and young adults in middle Tennessee who have been through trauma and other life-challenges.
In addition to mentorship programs, Freedom Reigns Ranch fosters and rehabilitates horses rescued from cruelty and neglect cases. This unique pairing of horses and people who share similar past trauma helps facilitate powerful moments of healing and lessons that translate into every-day life.
Freedom Reigns Ranch is a 501(c)(3) non-profit organization that relies solely on donations from individuals who believe in their mission of “igniting hope, with the help of a horse.” To learn more about the Ranch, apply to be in a program, to volunteer, or to give, visit www.freedomreignsranch.com.
Quotes from some Freedom Reigns Ranch participants/families:
“Through Freedom Reigns Ranch, my daughter is learning compassion, redemption, and kindness. She comes home filled with stories of horses that have been abandoned or neglected. She will talk for hours about how, through love, hard work, and healthy meals, these horses get a second chance. About how Jesus restores people just like these horses. Her confidence, self esteem, and work ethic have grown so much this year. We are so thankful for the safe haven that is Freedom Reigns Ranch.”
“Hello people reading this story. My name is ‘A’ and I thought I’d share some of my experiences at Freedom Reigns Ranch. When I was younger, I was diagnosed with anxiety, depression, and PTSD. I was withdrawn from the world and even my family. I’d always loved horses, so my mom decided to look at places where I could ride to help me become a happier person. One day she saw an ad for Freedom Reigns and thought she might as well let me go there, since it was free and we couldn’t pay for expensive horseback riding lessons. When we got there, I was greeted by Carissa and others who showed me my mentor, but I was still really anxious. My eagerness to see a horse started to outweigh my anxiety, and the first horse I met was Dancer. He was kind and looked happy to see me. It lifted my spirits and I began to talk to my mentor and get to know her. Since that first time, I’ve continued to go to Freedom Reigns for about three years and worked with just about every horse there. From them, I’ve learned a number of lessons.
“From Boston I’ve learned persistence in my opinion makes a difference.
“From Joseph I learned that I can come back from anything.
“From Bronson I learned that things don’t have to be scary all the time.
“I learned that little things can make a big difference from Goliath (the mini horse).
“I learned confidence from Finn and kindness from Dancer.
“From Pogo I’ve learned that it’s okay to have fun and try new things.
“But there's been one horse who’s had a special imprint on me and that’s Freedom. He’s taught me so many things, like it’s okay to trust, and people can hurt you, but that doesn’t mean they are all like that. Freedom has seen some of the worst from people and yet he still chooses to love everyone. When you are with Freedom, it’s like instinct to keep yourself calm, as he stays calm because he reflects how you feel. It really opened my eyes to how nervous I was all the time for no reason. When I’m at Freedom Reigns, I feel like I’m safe and I don’t have to worry about what’s around the corner. The lessons I learn there carry into everyday life.
“Here’s the lesson I’ve learned from Carissa: Carissa has taught me that even if we don’t like what's happened to us, we can trust God to use it for good in our lives. And trust is hard, but if we trust Him, we will be okay in life. Thank you, Carissa, and all the mentors and all the horses for improving the lives of others – even when it's hard for you!”
“Freedom Reigns is my happy place – a place where I feel God’s peace and comfort, and where He ministers to me through angels with manes and tails instead of wings.”
“The combination of a Christ-centered and therapeutic riding program seems too good to be true, but it truly is that good! We are beyond grateful for the amazing staff at Freedom Reigns, for what they do, and for helping our daughter to get past a difficult time and find her true self again.”
- Participant’s Father
Carissa Ramsdell summarizes what 2020 at Freedom Reigns has meant: “REFUGE.If one word could sum up this season and describe an accurate picture of what Freedom Reigns Ranch has been to so many individuals, that word would be it. We’ve all felt the strain of this time in our world: the pandemic, the political climate, and the societal distress has left us all longing for a place where we can simply exhale without the fear of what we will see, hear, or read next.And,thankfully, a refuge exists in Freedom Reigns Ranch!
“This year we’ve heard that thought expressed exponentially more than most years. Parents tell us that their kids are willing to give up other enjoyable activities simply so they can come to their sessions; friendships are formed in Junior Rancher groups that are sustaining them while they’re not onsite; parents connect with each other to realize they’re not alone. Over and over again I hear: ‘I’ve been excited aboutcoming ALLLLLL week!’”
Freedom Reigns Ranch is making a positive difference in horses’ and peoples’ lives. Imagine what the world would be like if we ALL followed their example.
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