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STORMWALKER RANCH, INC. | DEWEY, OKLAHOMA | HELPING HORSES HELP PEOPLE
Recently, I had quite a “hoot” of a day. On my way to work one morning as I was driving down the road, a hoot owl–most likely a Barred Owl–flew right into my driver’s window and knocked himself right out! To say that it “startled me” would be like saying a lightning strike was the jolt of a 9-volt battery.
Now, once I stopped and realized what had happened, I knew I couldn’t very well leave the poor guy flailing around in the cold, rainy road. So, I carefully picked him up and wrapped him in a blanket “of warmth and love” in my car, and prayed for him. In a short time, I was able to see him calm and regain his bearings. So, I carried him back outside, unrolled the blanket, and watched him fly away right down the road like he was late for school.
As I pondered what happened, I began to sense that this was like experiencing the presence of our Lord. Let me explain. Several months ago, we started a new ministry program at the ranch where we have groups of “wounded” women who come in, and we get to interact with them on a weekly basis. Most of them have been strongly affected by various types of trauma or other conditions. In our own way, we wrap them in a “blanket of God’s love” and pray both for and with them. The Team has had the profound pleasure of seeing some of them regain their strength, clear their minds, and start to fly on their own again, all by the mercy and grace of God Almighty working in their lives…
When considering adding a horseback riding lesson for your child to your already busy schedule, have peace in knowing there are many benefits of riding horses. First and foremost, it gets kids off the couch and away from a screen–something of critical importance these days. As a parent of two horse-crazy daughters, I have noticed that working with horses has developed self-motivation in them when dealing with their responsibilities, both inside the barn, as well as in other areas of their lives. They have more focus, perseverance and mental alertness. Who of us couldn’t use some more of those; am I right?
Through riding lessons, kids learn accountability, patience and level-headedness. They have learned to respect themselves, the horses, their instructors and others. I have clearly seen their confidence grow. Now, it doesn’t happen overnight. As with most pursuits of true value, it takes time. As a mother, one thing that has really warmed my heart is how my kids have become kinder and more empathetic not only towards animals, but also to people, which is an important step in the process. Riding lessons have helped my children become more well-adjusted in their all-around daily lives. And I couldn’t recommend them more!
In the midst of busy lives, horses have taught my family to find calmness within our chaos.
From the Horse’s Mouth
Hello, my name is Leo’s Jazzy Playgirl. But most folks just know me as “Jazzy.” I am one of the lesson horses at Stormwalker Ranch. I got my start at the ranch as one of the original horses from the breeding program set up by Don and Elayne Scott (parents of SWR Co-owner Clay Scott).
I remember one time when I was being ridden out in the pasture, we came upon a creek. When I jumped it and landed on the other side, I got bogged down in the mud. But, I didn’t panic, mostly, even though they had to get a tractor to get me out. It was quite a sticky situation.
Ok, I admit it, I can be a little reactive, which has made it difficult for me to find a place in the lesson program. But, like everyone else in this world, God has a purpose for me. I get to help teach kids in the round pen during our day-camps and overnight camp programs, as well as the new “Gates of Grace” program. When Ms. Cheryl started to teach here, she wasn’t quite sure she could use me for her lesson students. But then Ms. Valerie started riding me during her personal lessons with Ms. Cheryl. Since then, Ms. Cheryl has changed her mind about me. Wahoo! And now I get to help teach the some of the more advanced riders here at the ranch. I even got to go to the Kansas Cowboy Dressage Regional Gathering this past November. And guess what? Ms. Valerie showed on me, and won Reserve High Point in Walk Jog.
Thank you for reading my story. See you around the ranch.
“Being confident of this, that he who began a good work in you will carry it on to completion until the day of Christ Jesus.” – Philippians 1:6
Hailey started riding at Stormwalker Ranch in the Spring of 2017. There is little else that she loves more than being around horses, riding them, or learning about them! She has participated in a few SWR Schooling Shows and loves her teacher, Ms. Debra.
When she’s not enjoying her time at the ranch, Hailey takes part in several other organizations, such as the Girl Scouts of Eastern Oklahoma. Her troop has taken on service projects. After the Houston area suffered damage during Hurricane Harvey, her troop mounted a book donation drive for the Kingwood Library. Other projects have included packing “blessing boxes” for at-risk children and families living in Bartlesville, in coordination with My Refuge. And most recently, they contributed to the Girls Scouts Beyond Bars Angel Tree. Hailey has earned badges such as First Aid, Think Like An Engineer and Astronomy, and she participates in Girl Scout cookie sales each February (hint, hint).
Hailey has also been a member of the Bartlesville Civic Ballet since 2014 and has performed in every Nutcracker performance since that time. She started out as a baby angel and took on four different roles during the 2018 performances. In addition, she has participated in a couple spring performances such as Tarzan and Sleeping Beauty. Even though she keeps busy, Hailey says the highlight of her week is when she is back in the saddle.
Thank you for being part of Stormwalker Ranch, Hailey!
“I know the plans I have for you declares the Lord. Plans to prosper you and not to harm you, plans to give you hope and a future.” – Jeremiah 29:11
“Equine Experiential Learning” or “Equine Assisted Learning” incorporates both personal and corporate growth and learning models. Horses are incorporated into the process and are the focal point of client sessions that are usually completed on the ground. It’s about the relationship between the horse(s) and the client, not the client and the facilitators. I often say that it is my purpose to assist the client to become self-aware through their own revelations. It is my purpose to assist them in having a strong, dependent relationship with the One True God. It is about them coming to the knowledge that God is fully aware of them and that He has a plan for each of their lives…
I work at two barns and I love both of them. I love my coworkers, students and the horses that fill the stalls. I also have my own farm with a menagerie of animals, including nine horses. I often lay down at night and reflect on the day, wondering how in the world we made it all happen. I know that I have many shortcomings and weaknesses, in both character and physical abilities. Yet, I get to be part of this large network of people who bring the joy of horses and the love of God to so many. We certainly could not do the work we do without the horses. All of these horses come from different backgrounds, different ages, and different abilities. Using these creations of God, we are able to touch the lives of more than 200 people on any given week.
Sometimes as instructors, barn managers, and program coordinators, we get bogged down with everything that can and does go wrong. Horses come up lame, sick, or seem unwilling to cooperate that day…
Feb 02 – Debra: HBD to our outstanding riding instructor!
Feb 14 – Mia: Happy 14th!
Feb 19 – Koby: Happy 10th!
February Lesson Schedule
Normal daily schedule for the four weeks of February – weather permitting
Valentine’s Day dates back to a festival the Roman Empire called Lupercalia. It was in the middle of February which was officially the start of their Springtime. I found it interesting to learn that the purpose was to purify a city from any evil spirits and to lay the groundwork for health and fertility.
While February 15th might mark the beginning of Spring in ancient Rome, it’s not so for northeast Oklahoma. With these Winter temperatures, we are having to cancel programs and lessons due to the below-freezing temperature in the enclosed arena. We have a plan to insulate/weather-treat the arena, so that we can maintain those Spring-like conditions in the arena all year-round.
To learn more about this project, click below and consider partnering with us to keep our programs running through both the freezing Winter and the scorching Summer.
Thinking once again about Lupercalia, I do, however, very much like the idea of binding up evil so that we may continue laying the groundwork for a “healthy season of growth”. The Lord continues to bless the Ranch with significant growth. And as He does, I ask that you pray for us through this Valentine’s season, that we will be protected from evil, that we can continue to partner with the Father in forming a solid foundation.
In the Power of His Grip,