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Willow Creek Ranch, Inc.

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Health, Rehabilitative Care

Mission: Therapeutic riding center is to improve the quality of life for children and adults with special needs by giving them the ability to enhance their physical, emotional and cognitive development through the use of equine assisted activities.

Target demographics: Willow Creek Ranch, Inc.

Direct beneficiaries per year: nearly 200 individuals

Geographic areas served: Willow Creek Ranch, Inc.

Programs: Willow Creek Ranch Equine Assisted Services, is a 501c3 non-profit providing equine facilitated psychotherapy, learning and horsemanship to children and children and adults with special needs and those with mental health concerns since 2007

Community Stories

13 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

1 Willow Creek Ranch Inc

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am writing this letter to express my appreciation for the riding program at Willow Creek Ranch. My daughter is four years old and has a mild hearing loss, developmental delay, and autism. My husband and I were hesitant at first that Gabriella wouldn't take to the program, let alone get on such a large animal. To our surprise, Gabriella has thrived after two and a half months. of the riding program. Gabby is nonverbal (very few words), but has started telling her horse, "Buck" to "Wwalk Oon" to get him to walk forward and is also saying some colors, shapes, and letters. We appreciate the support from the vivacious staff, they get just as excited for Gabriella as we do when she speaks and does something new. Their support gives our daughter her the extra motivation and encouragement she needs to get to the next level. Gabriella stays interested and engaged for a full forty-five minutes to an hour. They start with the responsibility of putting on a helmet and walking her horse down to the arena. They work on letters, numbers, and colors as they walk around the arena, before heading to the sensory trails. The trails help Gabby become more in tune with her body by walking up and down hills, through stones, over the wooden bridge, reaching , and playing music, all while she is on her horse. Gabby works very hard during her sessions and has a wonderful calmness after it is over. Our visits to Willow Creek Ranch once a week has have been a beautiful experience for our family. We are very thankful for the program and the support of the staff. This program brings lots of smiles and a light of encouragement to our family.

1 Joanne M.4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My story starts with my daughter needing services and being fortunate to find Willow Creek Ranch and Jennifer. I boarded my horse here and volunteered and now I am an employee. It is hard to leave this place and its calming energy. Willow Creek Ranch is a place of peace and healing. . I have witnessed as a volunteer a child that did not communicate at all to a child that was able to have conversations about what he saw in the pond. I have seen children so hindered by sensory issues they had a hard time touching someone's hand to a child that is able to wear a helmet, hug a horse and even give high fives for their accomplishments. The feeling from being part of that is indescribable. Willow Creek Ranch changes lives.

From the perspective of a client, a boarder, a volunteer and now an employee I can say Willow Creek Ranch makes everyone feel like family.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The therapeutic services that Willow Creek Ranch provides for my daughter are absolutely exceptional! They work with her in such positive ways. It has been so beneficial for her well-being and she looks forward to going every week. Thank you for giving her such an amazing opportunity to learn and have fun!

1

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter is developmentally delayed and had ridden horses for therapy for many years when we were informed that she was aging out of the program she was at. I was very worried as “horse day” had been her favorite day of the week for many years! We were very lucky to find Willow Creek Ranch!! While change can be difficult for my daughter, she had no problem with the switch to Willow Creek and has loved riding there ever since. She especially likes the outdoor riding. I love how they interact with my daughter and how they have made us feel right at home since day one. They have a wonderful facility and amazing instructors and volunteers. Thank you Willow Creek Ranch!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Kevin has gone for three years to Willow Creek. You mention that we are going and he’s up and ready to go even before time. He has been improving with following the requests by the side walkers, who are greatest volunteers❣️. Everyone is so caring for all riders for their safety and a good experience. Wonderful feeling for us parents to know your child is enjoying something special❣️

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son has special needs and autism. This program has helped him in so many ways that I can't even begin to address them all. But in a nutshell it has improved his posture, self estimate, and increased his willingness to talk more and try new things. This program has been invaluable to him and out entire family. I can't thank them enough!

Writer

Client Served

Rating: 5

Willow Creek Ranch is AMAZING! My daughter started this year and was afraid to get on the horse in the first lesson. Now she is helping her new friends. The volunteers have all been very accommodating and helpful! They have a beautiful indoor arena and lovely trails outdoors. I would recommend them to all looking for therapeutic riding!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Willow Creek Ranch provides therapeutic riding. My daughter has been riding there for many years and has gained so much confidence. She looks forward to her weekly lessons and her interaction with Gator the horse. We are blessed by Coach Jen and Willow Creek Ranch.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Willow Creek Ranch is a magical place! Having volunteered here for the past three years has been a very rewarding experience for me. I see constant improvement in the cognitive behavior of our clients, from learning how to steer the horse with the reins, or giving "stop" and "go" commands to the horse, to simply experiencing a newfound sense of joy and calmness. Jennifer's expertise - along with her highly qualified group of instructors - offer remarkable programs for those who come to us, and have an amazing sense of tuning into the specific needs of each individual. On the very first day that a 14-year-old boy started his session with us, he did not talk, but was quite adamant about getting up on that horse; he had absolutely no interest. However, with a bit of coaxing he finally got up and settled into the saddle. At his second session, and each one thereafter, his behavior completely changed, as he actually now does not want to get off! Also, after repeated efforts of persuasion to pick up the reins, he finally did just that at his fourth session, and held onto them for an entire lap around the arena. These are the types of things we celebrate at Willow Creek every day! The horses are beautiful, calm, and seem to have a sense of what their "job" is with our special riders. It is truly magical!

1 Rebecca J.4

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

willow Creek Ranch is a place for healing and learning. People with all sorts of challenge's are met with non-judgmental kindness. It is a special place with outstanding volunteers and wonderful horses.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered with this nonprofit for the past six years and it has been the best experience.

1 Willow Creek Ranch Inc

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am writing this letter to express my appreciation for the riding program at Willow Creek Ranch. My daughter is four years old and has a mild hearing loss, developmental delay, and autism.

My husband and I were hesitant at first that Gabriella wouldn't take to the program, let alone get on such a large animal. To our surprise, Gabriella has thrived after two and a half months. of the riding program. Gabby is nonverbal (very few words), but has started telling her horse, "Buck" to "Wwalk Oon" to get him to walk forward and is also saying some colors, shapes, and letters.

We appreciate the support from the vivacious staff, they get just as excited for Gabriella as we do when she speaks and does something new. Their support gives our daughter her the extra motivation and encouragement she needs to get to the next level.

Gabriella stays interested and engaged for a full forty-five minutes to an hour. They start with the responsibility of putting on a helmet and walking her horse down to the arena. They work on letters, numbers, and colors as they walk around the arena, before heading to the sensory trails. The trails help Gabby become more in tune with her body by walking up and down hills, through stones, over the wooden bridge, reaching , and playing music, all while she is on her horse. Gabby works very hard during her sessions and has a wonderful calmness after it is over.

Our visits to Willow Creek Ranch once a week has have been a beautiful experience for our family. We are very thankful for the program and the support of the staff. This program brings lots of smiles and a light of encouragement to our family.

Review from Guidestar

Previous Stories

Client Served

Rating: 5

"My name is Ashley and I am 19 years old. I was diagnosed with PDD-NOS which is a mild form of autism. My major issue is a fear of stairs, hills and heights. When I go to Willow Creek Ranch my body calms down instantly because my horse Dell is calm with me. Right away I forget my stress of the day when I arrive at the Ranch and my fear of heights goes away as I ride Dell."
"I have been riding since 6th grade. My confidence, balance and coordination continue to improve each year which allowed me to participate in other activities like Special Olympics where I received a 1st place 2 years in a row."
"Right now I am able to ride at Willow Creek for a few months out of the year due to cold weather. I hope someday soon they will be able to build an indoor arena so I can ride every week. This would make a huge difference in my world and help me a lot. Sometimes when I don’t ride for several months during winter I have difficulty remembering basics of riding. The indoor arena would help me a lot and allow me to ride every week and continue to improve my skills."
If you have any questions about my riding experiences at Willow Creek, contact me, Ashley M.

Review from Guidestar

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