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I was walking through the barn the other day and greeted Elayne Scott, as she was helping one of our Gates of Grace clients lead a horse from the pasture up to the barn and then into the arena. I followed to find Mary Jane, Kathi, Patty and Sudi all working one-on-one with our clients, helping them work with their horses. I looked at these women, our “Reliables”, and saw their love and compassion for those learning to address their recovery from drug or alcohol addiction. These volunteers offer no judgment. They are role models. They offer hope along with the tools the ladies need to move forward after their 28-day program is complete.
Walking back into the barn, I stopped to chat with Jana, another Reliable, and her Gates client, as they put Sackett, a ranch favorite, back in his stall. The gal shared with me that during her first session at the Ranch, Sackett ran all over her, making her feel weak and out of control. However, by her third session, with the help of our Reliables, she had acquired the tools necessary to not only keep this 1200 pound horse from “pushing” her around but she was able to lead him, to move his shoulders and haunches without tugging, pulling, touching him or raising her voice.
Along the way to surrendering their lives to addiction, these ladies lost their confidence to make the right choices. They lost their self-assurance or inner conviction to say “no” to things that would harm or sabotage themselves. They allowed others to push them around and make unhealthy decisions for them. It is our group of volunteers who are encouraging them to heal and grow by offering a different approach. They are coming alongside these ladies, helping them navigate from addiction and abuse into liberty and freedom offered through Christ.
There is always something going on at Stormwalker Ranch. And each of them depends on volunteers to make them work. Two days a week, we host our Gates of Grace program. At least one day a week, we have something happening in our Spurs program. Every Summer, we have Trailblazer and Hoofbeats camps running.
Our ever-present Reliables are an invaluable part of every program. Without these precious volunteers, we could not fully accomplish our mission. Our hats are off to them – we are forever grateful!