Animal Therapeutic Sessions



An 11-year-old boy hopped out of his Mom’s car when he arrived at the ranch and ran over to me filled with excitement, ready to start his session. We entered the big pasture to say hello to each horse, but it seemed as though Mark already had his horse picked out; a horse that was three times his size. He walked up to the horse and said, “Hi Bear!” Mark’s heart was drawn to Bear as he felt a sense of protection and calmness from the stresses of life. After putting on Bear’s halter, and walking him to the arena, I noticed Bear understood his role in protecting Mark, as the 16 hands retired racehorse was noticeably tripping over his own feet so he wouldn’t step on Mark’s feet. Bear’s soft and gentle pace let the boy know Mark was in charge. At one point during our session, I looked over and saw Bear lowering his neck so he could be close to Mark’s face, connecting with him as they walked together and shared in silence. God used this connection between Mark and Bear as a safe place for Mark to share his feelings about recently being diagnosed with a life-altering medical condition. As Mark rode high on Bear’s back, it helped him see above his circumstances below. Circumstances of uncertainty that caused pain, fear, and anger. His body found strength to sit tall and be in-sync with Bear’s body. One step together conquering their fears. Mark kept his eyes looking forward to his future rather than where he was in the moment. By the end of our Session, God’s presence and healing was ministering to both of our hearts. I could sense that God was speaking to Mark’s heart and giving him a promise found in Jeremiah 29:11- “For 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.”


“It is amazing to see David and Rick excited to participate in a program like GOYR’s Session Program. The program is individually tailored for each child. As a parent, I am excited to see David and Rick learning and growing in the Lord. The boys are beginning to apply what they learn from working with the horses to their own lives. I see confidence, responsibility, and action in each child. Each week they are given a scripture or something to think about that applies to what they are facing. It was amazing to talk with each one about his thoughts and feelings with the program. I saw David and Rick go from struggling with issues to being calm, confident, and most of all, happy.”

Animal Therapy Sessions

Embark on a Journey of Healing with Animal Therapy! Fill Out the Form Below, and Our Caring Team at Graceful Oaks Youth Ranch Will Be in Touch Soon. We’re Grateful for the Opportunity to Support You on this Path of Wellness

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