By Debbie Hall
Many would agree that children face enormous challenges growing to adulthood. Amy Meyer-Terry faced her own obstacles and, realizing the great need, founded White Horse Youth Ranch known as WHY Ranch in 2007. The fully functioning ranch and equestrian program helps children, teenagers, families and military personnel.
WHY Ranch builds confidence, encourages integrity and inspires creativity. It offers a safe place for kids to come and experience personal healing and growth while building a loving and connected relationship with their horse.
Kids and teens can experience a difficult time going through adverse situations. Many are bullied, face various forms of abuse or deal with a death, divorce or many other situations that causes withdrawal and strained family relationships.
Diamonds in the Rough is designed as an after-school program where kids attend for 30 minutes to a couple of hours. Participants get to work with horses in natural horsemanship and groundwork. It is not a riding program, but after a child or teen has been in the program, they do get the opportunity to ride the horse.
$1Korral is a yearly or monthly sponsorship to help with the cost of the horses and ranch as well as grow the programs. Volunteering opportunities are available to those who are passionate about horses while getting their hands dirty. WHY Ranch is looking for those who want to share the joy of loving and caring for horses and kids, work alongside staff members and experience changing lives. The Junior Leadership volunteer program is for teens ages 10 to 14 who are not part of the program but volunteer and learn through their service.
WHY Ranch also works with military families, especially those experiencing PTSD. Meyer-Terry’s husband served in Afghanistan and suffers from PTSD. He works at the ranch which is integral to healing himself and helping others.
“We want to rebuild lives working together on the ranch,” Meyer-Terry said.
“Horses are great because they don’t judge, just love,” she said. “They only perceive how a person approaches and pets, grooms, hugs or talks to them. They are instinctive animals that can help heal broken hearts and minds with just their beautiful spirits and tranquility. Positive experience with a horse provides each youth with life-changing tools that can transfer to all aspects of his or her life. What I hear from people who come to the ranch is that their child can finally open up.”
The beautiful functioning ranch, complete with gentle horses and trained staff, continues to help kids become their best selves. For more information, visit WhyRANCH.org.