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GOYR’S Session Program offers children hope by connecting them with a horse and a session leader. This program is for children ages 7-18 and is free to families. Your donations help children and families who need hope! (Name of boy in the story below has been changed for confidentiality reasons.)

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 race horse 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.” ~ Chalae Cartledge

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