For years, the Arkansas Sheriffs’ Youth Ranch has understood that horses can have a major impact on the healing process for teenagers who have struggled with personal issues that have impacted their lives. Now, due to the strategic alliance formed with Methodist Family Health (MFH), the Ranch has begun providing equine services to the children and staff of MFH.
Beginning in December, the Ranch provided an in-service to staff members of MFH who reside on the Alma campus, as well as staff from the MFH Heber Springs home. Staff was trained on the wide variety of applications that the Ranch has used horses for, which ranges from recreation to intense Equine Psychotherapy. The training was very eye-opening, with the strongest compliment coming from a Methodist Teaching Parent who summed it up by stating “ I not only learned a great deal about working with children; I learned a lot about myself today.”
As a follow up, Ranch staff have since started working with MFH residents at both their Heber Springs home, as well as the children on the Alma campus. “This has been a true blessing to be able to share something that we are really good at with a group that is hungry for that type of experience,” says Ranch Superintendent David Ward. “I think that this is simply the tip of the iceberg in terms of what our two organizations have to offer each other.”