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Second Chance Ranch

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Alliances & Advocacy, Animals, Arts & Culture, Fund Raising & Fund Distribution

Mission: "Leading With Horses" is an innovative platform for mental health professionals to utilize while engaging with clients. Our Equine Facilitated Learning and Coaching (EFL) program is non-riding and psychotherapy based, in an environment that fosters social, emotional, and behavioral growth. Our program is flexible, changing to meet current needs of the community. Through collaborative efforts and community outreach we address youth development, school social structure, the awareness of anti-bullying and suicide prevention. We also invite military families to a program that will encourage communication and bonding with the entire family or spouse rather than just treating an individual. Our talented herd of horses provide a unique transformational learning opportunity. Based on cognitive science, intuitive learning, and sequential processing, EFL empowers people to overcome challenges brought on by PTSD, and through the healing process to achieve their full potential. It is our belief that creative learning environments will put kids on the path to becoming tomorrow’s inventors, thinkers, and leaders.

Target demographics: The mental health community

Geographic areas served: Spokane, Washington

Programs: Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy, and sanctuary to retired sport horses.

Community Stories

6 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters


Rating: 5

Excellent facility. They do so much for the community, the horses, and people. The horses are so special and sweet. They have personalities that touch me and others deeply. SCR's horses have a sense about people and interact superply with human beings. There is not a mean or vicious bone in their bodies, which I think is a reflection of the kindness and concern of the director as well.

I have been associated with Second Chance Ranch for years. The director loves and cares very much for the horses and all of the young to old people who come out and/or get involved.

We donate what we can, and we are always pleased with how the money is used. It's only used to benefit the horses and the services of Second Chance to improve lives.

We also have three horses from Second Chance Ranch, and could not be more pleased. We always have ongoing support with knowledge, caring, and friendship. I have to remind my husband that not all horses are as gentle, sweet, and intuitive as ours, and so be aware when around other horses. He had never been around horses before we brought our three home, SCR helped him greatly in learning and being confident.

We love SCR and everything it stands for and offers the community.



Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer and supporter of Second Chance Ranch for 13 years. I have seen Katie rehab numerous physically and mentally broken horses, turning many of them into safe and adoptable options. She has a way of bringing out the best in them! I have a couple friends who have adopted horses from here. One of them is bringing a mare home soon. One of the reasons I like sending people here is because Katie will let people try out a horse to make sure it is the right fit, and she stays in touch. Her knowledge and care of the horses is amazing! I have learned so much about care and handling by watching and listening to her. Second Chance Ranch is a magical place for horses and people! This place is near and dear to my heart! Thanks Katie and Second Chance Ranch!

Special Horses

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I am the Executive Director of Special Horses, a non-profit dedicated to fundraising for equine rescues across the US. Second Chance Ranch is one of the rescues we support. Their Executive Director, Katie Merwick, is passionate and committed to the Equine Facilitated Learning program - the beauty is that she uses horses that would otherwise have gone on to slaughter, or that need a second home. It has been a pleasure to work with her to help support SCR. Special Horses insists upon fiscal transparency, scrupulous honesty, and responsiveness to donors, and we are proud to be associated with SCR.

Adam K.1


Rating: 5

I have known the founder of SCR for over 15 years and have watched her vision grow into a precious resource for retired thoroughbreds. Her knowledge, dedication, and selflessness are above reproach. I strongly endorse this nonprofit.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I've been familiar with Second Chance Ranch for nearly 20 years. Not once in that time has help for a horse been withheld, nor an owner not offered guidance. People coming to this organization can not help but benefit. The therapy program now offered is wonderful for the horses' happiness, as well as the visitors'. I have fostered for Second Chance Ranch in past years, and any questions I had were immediately answered, thoroughly and respectfully.


Rating: 5

What a great resource for Pacific Northwest horses and horsemen. They are always willing to offer assistance and guidance, and frequently use their extensive knowledge and experience. The animals come first - ALWAYS. I cannot say enough good about this organization. Please consider donating and sharing their mission of helping people through horses and vice versa.