On March 11, our dearly loved horse, Dirty Barry, passed away. He lived a wonderful life, full of touching many hearts. He was the first horse we used in the River of Hope Ranch ministry and the beginning of this amazing journey God has lead us on.
A kind spirit, true healer, and loved by all, Dirty Barry - you will be missed! You can't put it better into words than Garrett, my 11 year old son, writing about his love for him:
"Today on March 11, 2011 a tragedy happened. My and my moms most beloved horse passed away, his name was Dirty Barry. He was an amazing horse, I loved him so much. I loved riding him. It came from me being a little toddler just playing around with him riding him to me now being an 11 year old having a deep bond loving him. He was amazing, he loved me and I loved him. He was great with kids and he know how to be gentle. I loved him so much I will always remember him in my heart. I love you Dirty Barry!"
River of Hope Ranch receives $10,000 grant from the Mental Health Recovery Services of Warren & Clinton Counties
River of Hope Ranch Receives $10,000 Grant from the Mental Health Recovery Services of Warren & Clinton Counties
Grant will fund an equine-assisted mental health counseling program for at-risk youth from the Mary Haven Youth Center
River of Hope Ranch, a local non-profit organization announced that it has received a $10,000 grant from the Mental Health Recovery Services of Warren and Clinton Counties. The Ranch provides a unique environment for mental health counseling of children and teens. Together with a professional counselor and an equine specialist, one gentle, loving horse can help a child in pain find hope and healing.
The grant is in support of River of Hope Ranch’s “Reins of Hope” Program and will allow the organization to provide equine-assisted mental health counseling for at-risk youth that suffer from Post Traumatic Stress Disorder (PTSD). The youth involved in the Reins of Hope program will be residents of the Mary Haven Youth Center, the juvenile rehabilitation center of Warren County. Numerous studies show that many of the youth in the juvenile justice system have been exposed to traumatic events, either as victims or as witnesses. Because of this exposure, many of these youth have developed PTSD and other stress related disorders.
"We are extremely grateful for the Mental Health Recovery Services of Warren and Clinton Counties support of helping these youth," says the organization's Clinical Director, Josie Muterspaw, "equine-assisted mental health counseling can help these youth and their families work through the pain of traumatic life experiences and gain a more positive outlook on the future.”
Founded in 2006, the River of Hope Ranch is a Christian non-profit organization that offers equine-assisted psychotherapy and growth and learning programs for children, teens, and their families. The organization provides these services from Cross Creek Stables in Waynesville, Ohio. These services can benefit young people with such issues as depression, behavioral difficulties, abuse, trauma, grief, and more. The Ranch is now taking appointments and accepting new patients. Call (937) 728-3397 or visit our website at www.riverofhoperanch.org for more information.
As we wind down from our fourth season at River of Hope Ranch, I wanted to send out a special thanks to all those who have supported us through prayers, volunteering, and donating of necessary funds. Marne and I are so grateful to have such wonderful people supporting the mission that River of Hope Ranch rests upon.
I sat down the other night to consider where the Ranch has come from and where we are still yet to go. I was reminded after reviewing my numerous journal entries in 2006, what River of Hope Ranch is truly here to accomplish. It has long been my passion to reach out to the brokenhearted, the neglected, the abused, and abandoned. I have seen how God has grown this passion in me even more and directed me in the path of serving these very delicate kids. Sanctus Real in their song “Whatever You’re Doing” sums up so well how I often feel. Because of the nature of the trauma experience by most of the kids that come to the Ranch, I have to rely on “something bigger than me, larger than life, something heavenly.” There song begins with, “It’s time for healing, time to move on, time to fix what has been broken too long, time to make right what has been wrong, time to find my way to where I belong.”
The Ranch is the chance these kids have at healing and finding where they belong. I can’t tell you how many times I have heard through tear filled eyes, “We’ve tried everything, nothing has worked until now.” Therefore, based on the passion the Ranch was founded upon and the path we have taken thus far, it is no coincidence that River of Hope Ranch is embarking upon a new program to add to our current services in 2011. This program will have an intense focus on serving the needs of kids and teens that have undergone trauma that has been broken too long. Dean Piovesan, equine specialist, and I have worked to develop a trauma focused program rooted in equine-related therapeutic activities. We plan to begin by addressing a population that is often riddled with trauma but overlooked because of the severe behaviors that are present. Mary Haven Youth Center and River of Hope Ranch will partner together to provide much needed trauma focused therapy to the juvenile at-risk youth involved in their program.
Sanctus Real song goes onto say, “I surrender to whatever you’re doing inside of me, It feels like chaos but I believe, it feels like chaos now I can see this is something bigger than me.” Please consider being a part of something bigger and support the mission of River of Hope Ranch, especially, through your prayers. This is such a necessity when considering the chaos often associated with the lives of kids who have undergone a severe or multiple traumas. This chaos also affects the helpers who are entering the pain with them. Please also consider a tax-deductible donation to make the trauma-focused program far reaching. We hope no child is turned away from their chance at healing merely because a lack of funding.
Again, I thank you for your support in any way you feel lead and have a blessed Christmas Season.
Josie Muterspaw, Co-founder, President
When: Saturday October 2nd at 6pm
Where: Cross Creek Stables (home of River of Hope)
7565 N. St. Rt 42
Waynesville, OH 45068
Why: To benefit the children that the River of Hope Ranch ministry serves!
Featuring The Hip Shakin Daddies with our dear friend Helge Buflod. DJ to follow with lots of dancing and fun.
Dinner provided at 6pm.
Lots of fun activities for the entire family including bobb’n for apples, face painting, and more!
All proceeds go to benefit River of Hope Ranch.
Cost: $20/ kids 5 and under are FREE!