Happy (early) Thanksgiving! We should all be thankful for horses and hope, don’t you think?
The gentle, graceful beauty of our equestrian friends is something that we as human beings can learn a great deal from. These strong yet peaceful creatures are often a source of solace for those of us who are dealing with difficult maladies or life situations. Equine therapy programs across the country, whether religious or secular in their mission, fulfill an important spiritual role for many, whether they realize it or not.
In central Michigan, the tiny community of Wiedman is home to the Hopewell Ranch, a facility that uses equine therapy programs to help those with physical, mental or emotional disabilities. As this article published by Central Michigan Life shows, this organization has helped many find a way to get around or even learn to walk again when it seemed that hope was lost.
The founders of the Hopewell Ranch, Jodi and Ty Stuber, themselves have found a graceful answer to personal tragedy through the conscientious stewardship of these animals. In 2003, Jodi lost a child she had named Hope. After finding a book titled Hope Rising, full of stories of people growing past trauma through their relationship with horses, Jodi felt a strong calling to provide the same service to others while honoring the memory of her daughter.
Every season, the Hopewell Ranch accommodates about 3,000 visitors, many of whom are stricken with a variety of issues, autism being one of the most common. Riders, especially children riders, are given plenty of background on the basics of riding and horsemanship, which includes both safety and proper grooming. Some of the miraculous happenings at this equestrian camp include children who are exhibiting much happier personalities than they’ve ever felt, as well as some riders who’ve even learned how to walk with physical issues after working with the horses.
In this holiday season, we are called to give thanks for those things in our life that help us grow beyond our limitations and bring us into a closer covenant with God. Deer Creek Structures is happy to share the world with the many equine therapy programs who use the natural power of horses as a force for good.