The ranch classes at Returning Glory helped me discover my hidden talents, traits, flaws, and helped me overcome my fears and past. On the first ranch class I learned how lonely I get when it comes to group activities and how much I weigh myself down. The time with Destiny exposed how I sometimes act like a hypocrite, bullying people when I hate bullying the most.
There was one ranch class I did that showed me, with the help of the teacher, that I have the traits of a good leader. Because of that, I became very confident in myself, and it helped me take on my depression and other problems I’ve face in my entire life. I also learned that making decisions isn’t my strongest suit. At first, I felt like my horse, Destiny, hated me, but I was told she was testing my leadership. After that I grew closer to Destiny and she (I think) to me. As a result, I set up a goal: to have the strongest relationship with Destiny. Though she gets on my nerves as much as I get on her nerves, I’d gotten better as a leader and decisions maker.
Our last ranch class was when I noticed the biggest problem I had ever noticed about myself: I loved being blamed and being alone. That ranch class also showed me that I had become a better decision maker that I was before. As a result, I can’t wait for ranch class.
Thank you so much for the class today. Adrian loved having her friend there and said she wished she could come all the time. It was a great experience for the both of them. Christy also texted us later thanking us for inviting her and saying she enjoyed it. You have such a wonderful gift of teaching life lessons! I am thankful to God that we found you! This experience is going to be so helpful for Adrian. She needs desperately to learn how to communicate with others.
Thanks and God Bless You! DP
Just pick up the horses’ hooves. That was all that was needed to be done. Shira tried and tried to pick up Topaz’s hoof (the horse that she chose in her first session), but the mare would not pick it up. After much effort Shira called the mare “stubborn” and continued to try. Getting tired of the effort, she then said that Topaz must be really frustrated but she kept trying. On the last round of trying each hoof Shira desperately said “How do you get this done!?” Then the discussion began. Was Topaz really stubborn, or maybe this horse did not understand what she was being asked to do? Was Shira communicating in the right way? When the frustration came up – was it Topaz or Shira that was frustrated? We then talked about communication and how people perceived others to be stubborn or frustrating because of a lack of knowing each other’s heart. How did that connect with her struggle with her parents? Did they just need the time to get to know each other better? After 20 years of not living together because of divorce, maybe patience was needed.
I then showed Shira how to pick up the hoof, (commenting that it was important in life to seek help), Topaz did it very easily for me. Shira tried again and could not get it done. I showed her two more times but still it did not happen. Then I asked Shira to put her hand on my hand and “feel” how I communicated with Topaz. Again she picked it up easily and Shira experienced the difference. Could it be that details make the difference? That Shira and her parents need to be patient and learn how to communicate with the heart (feel)?
On, behalf of the 4 young ladies that attended the 7 sessions this summer, please accept my sincere gratitude and thanks for our time spent with you, the horses and pardners. Each session was just as special and meaningful as the others. The impact the lessons had on the youth were immeasurable, priceless. My hope is that they take what they learned inside the arena and apply it to their lives.
Again, thank you for all you do, all Returning Glory represents and for the love and attention you’ve shown the Crittenton youth.
Manager of Expressive Therapy
Crittenton Children’s Center
I learned that respecting people is important. This year, I treated my horse as if it was my brother. I have a brother, so I need to be taught how to treat my brother. I have some troubles in life of treating each other properly. It has taught me to be patient and to wait patiently for the instructions. It has taught me to obey and listen to what has been spoke. It has taught me to hear better and listen carefully. It has taught me to have a relationship with my horse rather than getting a gift that you really want. It has also affected my life because sometimes we work as teams. God wants to let you know that you are not alone, and He is always there for us. He wants us to work in groups so that we can help each other. God purposely didn’t leave us alone because He loved us so much.
It impacted my life because that was the first ranch I got to pick a horse. I picked the one I did because I just felt something that was telling me to. I like the color of the horse for some reason. I choose to build a relationship with Pi. I also learned a lot about horses. I didn’t’ know how to ride, lead, put a halter on a horse, and a lot of other stuff. I never knew anything. I made a lot of new friends at the ranch. I got to see what it feels like to be at a ranch. It brought my faith, courage and bravery up a lot of times. I learned how to stand up for myself. I also learned how to ride a horse for the first time in my life. It taught me to make good choices for myself. To ask for help when I need it the most. I learned how to be a team. Also how to be a leader for my fellow friends and family.
The ranch affected my life by teaching me several things to not worry about. I was worried about being different and people judging me because of how awkward I am. They would say – you’re crazy – you need a therapist. I don’t think Topaz would be a therapist but more of a friend. She taught me it’s ok to feel alone but she also wanted me to feel like she was always there for me. This sounds super mental but I love talking to her. The ranch made me feel really confident. It made me feel not so judged and more accepted. I’m glad I got to know Mrs. Roxanne and caring hearts allowed me to connect with a forgiving Being. At the ranch, I’d compare the things I did with Topaz with God. Doing this made me feel less isolated from Him. I was scared of God. The more time I spent with Topaz and the other horses, the more I felt like God was with me, watching. I felt complete comfort. I didn’t worry about a single thing, I was in full control, I felt smart, and most importantly, I felt special. I thought I would spend the rest of my teenage years smoking and having the discomforting burden of unforgiveness. That’s why I thought God was so scary. I knew on Judgement Day He would shun me and have the pure look of disappointment plastered on his face for doubting him. I thought I could manage w/o him. Back then, little did I know, I was dead wrong. There was nothing to be afraid of. He would sit on his throne thing, smiling. It’s unbelievable that he would forgive so many people so many different times. The ranch made me realize that there’s nothing to be afraid of. I feel like he’s walking right beside me when I’m taking Topaz with the lead rope. I would laugh and say “It’s okay to have allergies, Topaz,” every time her head would jerk up, because it IS okay. I have allergies, too. We have a lot in common so it’s comforting to know that you have a friend. I’m glad horses are so forgiving because I don’t have to worry if she’ll remember I accidentally went in her face lololol, b/c I know she won’t abandon me. That’s how the ranch affected me, they gave me a friend.
About a year ago, I started doing the ranch classes. This has helped me so very much. Beniah has helped me reconsider my life, love, and many other things. If my teacher would have been selfish, I might be dead. This is not about riding, it’s about learning how to ride. Making a relationship isn’t anything like how you think … When I learned how to make Beniah circle in the round pen & draw him, I felt a rush go through me & I wasn’t scared or annoyed at ANY of the activities. Most kids probably think this about their horse, but Beniah is probably the most forgiving and understanding of them all. Last year I had the choice to ride & I didn’t take it. I didn’t think Beniah would have liked that, but now I almost think he enjoys it! Even though I only have 1 or 2 people that enjoy me, I’m glad I have another to enjoy me, I know I enjoy him lol. When I first rode, 3 weeks ago, it was the first time I had gotten on a horse without being led in hand. I felt free & like I could do anything! When I was allowed to trot, I didn’t know if I wanted to, but when I did I felt SO alive and free (more than before). This has helped me stop cutting, in just a year & most of my suicidal thoughts are gone. You could say, Beniah saved my life, almost single handedly.
When I first went to the ranch I thought that someday I would get kicked. I liked my horse, Angel, a lot. She made me laugh, cry, and have fun. When I am bored I sometimes think of Angel, and when I do I cry. If I could be with her every day I would. She is the love of my life!
I liked it when we could ride our horses. Other teachers, I think wouldn’t, because the teacher would think that we would get hurt. Our teacher gave us so many chances, and let’s us use our brain to figure out stuff. Angel is just something else I am trying to figure out.