This page is a place to share stories of how Freedom Reins Ranch changed your life, or the life of someone you know who was touched through the ministry of Freedom Reins Ranch.
by Mike Roetheli
When I first set up FRR, I had not quite gotten to the point where I was ready to start doing sessions with children. Word somehow got out about what I was trying to start, and a desperate mother called me. She asked about our program and what it was like. I explained to her the basics: we were a mentorship program that used horses to teach children about life, goals, interacting with others, teaching children about God, and showing them the love of Jesus. I was a little reluctant to tell her that I hadn’t actually started accepting children into the program yet, but eventually the conversation got around to when her child could come out. I told her that I hadn’t started yet, but if she was willing to be the “guinea pig”, that I would start her child in the program as my first. She gladly agreed and we set up a time the next week for a session. I was more than a little nervous: what if I couldn’t do this, what if I didn’t know what to say, or do, or if I said something wrong. The “What-If’s” were an endless list in my head. The day of the session came around and I went up to the barn early to get everything set up and to pray. I got down on my knees and prayed that God would take this program and do with it what He wanted. I prayed for the safety of the child and the for the horse to be calm. No sooner had I finished, the family drove onto the Ranch. The session began and I showed her how to safely be around horses, how to groom and tack up a horse. Soon we, came to the point where it was time for her to get on the horse and ride. She was a little hesitant, but showed real courage and mounted Irridescent. I led her on Irridescent around the arena, and we all had a good time. When the time came for the session to end, we said our goodbyes, but the mother came back over to me after the child had gotten in their car. With tears in her eyes, she told me that she never would have thought that her child would have even gotten close enough to pet the horse, much less ride one! She was overwhelmed with blessings from this session. Fighting back tears of my own, I told her that I too enjoyed my time and we set up another session.
Horses are able to unlock a part of us that some of us never even knew existed. They present us with a way to have a friend that never talks to much, and is always willing to listen to us. They give us a hug when we need it; a peaceful, quite walk with a friend; or an exciting race across an open field with our hair flowing in the breeze. They teach us a better way for relationship, and provide a way for Jesus to show us spiritual truths, we might otherwise miss.