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Haven Horse Ranch

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Nonprofit Overview

Causes: Animal Protection & Welfare, Animals, Children & Youth, Health, Health Care, Rehabilitative Care, Youth Development Programs

Mission: “To assist each person with special needs in reaching their full potential through interaction and therapy with rescued horses.”

Results: Since 2010 we have heard more than 95 children speak their first words ever. We have seen more than 75 children walk their first steps ever. We have been there as countless children sit or stand or reach or hug a parent for the first time ever. That is what we do, we help all children achieve their potential.

Target demographics: children with special needs

Direct beneficiaries per year: more than 1,000 people

Geographic areas served: NE Florida

Programs: therapy for people with Autism, MS, MD, Cerebral Palsy, Down's Syndrome, traumatic brain or spinal cord injuries, learning disabilities and more.

Community Stories

105 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Client Served

Rating: 5

My grand child has been taking lessons here for quite awhile now. I can not say enough good things about this organization! She often has a difficult time interacting with other humans; however, she loves horses. She has learned a lot since she has been taking lessons here and I really appreciate having this facility in our area. I have watched the staff and volunteers working with both children and adults with disabilities and they are all doing a great job! My child looks forward to her riding lessons all week! Her instructor is wonderful and always patient with her. She always provides positive feedback and helpful tips for improvement. Haven Horse Ranch has been a wonderful blessing for us!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter has been riding for a few months and loves it. Prior to her joining Haven, she had been going through a very difficult time with bullying and severe depression. Riding at the Ranch, helping with camp and learning more about equine therapy has been life changing for her. She is becoming a more positive person, happy and feels she is in a place where she can belong. The team at Haven are wonderful, supportive and truly care!! Thank you Haven!!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My 9 year old daughter recently visited Haven Horse Ranch with a friend for a 90 minute riding and equestrian education session. She had never been around horses at all before and she is usually scared of large animals. She was a little anxious about going. But, she had a wonderful experience! My daughter came home and shared everything she had learned about horses with me and told me how much she enjoyed grooming and riding her horse. She said her instructor was very friendly, interesting, and funny, too. And she said her horse was so gentle, patient and easy to ride. She fell in love with him! She can't wait to go back! We will definitely be returning and spreading the word to our friends. Thanks Haven Horse Ranch for my daughter's wonderful day!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter was born blind and with a form of cerebral palsy that limitied her abilities to crawl/roll/walk and also impaired other functions such as speech. She began going to Haven Horse Ranch at 3 years old, with no insurance to cover. The therapists and owners of the ranch insisted she continued going even though coverage of these services were not yet figured out. My daughter has been attending equine therapy there for almost a year, going once a week, and her motor function has improved tremendously. The balance needed to ride the horse has increased her trunk muscles, and the speech therapy she receives alongside the horse ride has improved her speech. She now knows when to say "walk on" "yeehaw" and so many other things. She asks to ride the horse every day. I have never seen anything excite my daughter like riding the horse does. The therapists, volunteers, and owners/managers of the ranch have been so giving and caring about my daughter's progress. You can tell they love what they do and how dedicated they are to changing these kids' lives. My daughter has never missed a session because expenses were not covered. I am so thankful we are apart of their program.

Donor

Rating: 5

I had the opportunity to visit the ranch with my niece who is one of the speech therapists working with the kids. She had talked about what a huge difference it makes to the children she works with, and I was interested in seeing what had her so passionate about Haven Horse Ranch. Well, after spending half a day, I could see it! What a great place for kids to step out of what they know and experience something that truly was life changing for them. I live in Colorado and generally feel that I should support local initiatives. However, the passion I saw in the therapists, volunteers and Rick made me want to help. I decided to sponsor a child and am happy to see that monthly withdrawal from my checking account since I absolutely know that it's changing lives.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My son attends for therapy and it has tremendously helped him over come challenging obstacles for him. He constantly ask about the horse therapy, and he looks forward to being out there with the wonderful team and staff that works really hard with him. I can't thank them enough for what they do for my son because it shows everyday!

General Member of the Public

Rating: 4

My daughter has gone to camp there for the past 2 years and loves it.

Client Served

Rating: 5

I went to the ranch to ride and found out about the services they provide. I was amazed, it was one of the most organized non-profits with a great cause. I hope that Have Horse Ranch can continue to do the great work for many years to come.

Lisa

krislyam

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter started when she was 2 years old and is now 3. She loves her therapist and we have seen significant improvement since starting her therapy at Haven Horse Ranch.

Client Served

Rating: 5

First Time Riding lessons for our 7 year old daughter .
What a beautiful serene spot to enjoy the afternoon .
Alyssa, our daughter enjoyed the entire experience . We were greeted by the owner and had a short oreintation on her responsibilities to the heard .. Lol, she was the boss !! Onto grooming the horse, where she was taught brushing and getting the horse ready to ride . Then, .. immediately Alyssa was shown basic skill by Jarred how to direct her horse to turn right, left , and other stuff ..... Alyssa along with guidance from Jarred played horse soccer .. It was delightful for me as a spectator to watch from bleachers by arena . Alyssa learned the basic comands of horseback riding . Great experience with wonderful professional staff . Thank you Haven Horse !!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have recently had the opportunity to learn more about the amazing things that are happening at Haven Horse Ranch and I only wish I would have heard about them sooner! Through my position as a Speech/Language Pathologist with Next Step Therapy, I have been able to become more involved with the ranch through becoming a Certified Equine Therapist. Now I am able to see the life changing activities first hand with the children that are being served on the ranch. Haven Horse Ranch is a wonderful place where children with various disabilities and/or challenges can go to help them achieve greater personal independence.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter has been riding at Haven Horse Ranch for over 4 years now. Her symptoms of Autism have been greatly reduced thanks to Smokey, Fancy, Rayne, and of course the wonderful staff & volunteers too! Thank you Haven Horse Ranch!

Vicky C.

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Haven Horseranch is a great organization to be a part of. Our team of therapists at Next Step Therapy recently started treating our kids out at the ranch and it has been great! Ric has made equine assisted therapy his top priority and it is amazing to see the results in the kids. We share his passion to help as many kids as possible achieve functional independence either through physical strength, speech, or controlled behavior. We are truly grateful for the opportunity to partner with Haven in changing the lives of children with special needs.

bubbe02

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I have known about Haven Horse Ranch for a few years, but just recently became actively involved by becoming a Certified Equine Assisted Therapy Instructor. I now see first hand what an amazing facility Ric has made for children with special needs. I am a Speech Pathologist with 39 years experience, and I can truthfully say that what I see in the therapy sessions is remarkable, The children become animated and do and say things at the end of a session that they were not doing at the beginning. His horses are so well trained that I have no doubt that the riders are safe. I work with many children who have significant sensory issues, and I believe that the Equine Assisted Therapy is a definite asset to their therapy program. I will work with as many as I can at the Ranch. The staff there has been wonderful and are a joy to work with. My only regret is that I did not get involved with Ric and his programs sooner.l

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

Wow! Is what I think when I think of Haven Horse Ranch a licensed SpiritHorse Therapeutic Center in St Augustine Florida. The ranch is ran with the children's safety first and the latest therapeutic approaches offered in the "therapy world" with equine therapy. This ranch truly benefits a child with a diagnosis through passion, love, knowledge, research, and the I CAN approach. With this type of enviroment a child CAN be successful. All therapeutic riding centers should be ran with the mission statement of Haven Horse Ranch. It is the most amazing professional experience not just for the volunteers/ professionals that make this ranch run but in turn gives the children a place to flourish through passion and spirit! I say congrads to Ric for a job well done! I would highly recommend the ranch to anyone.

Respectfully, Melanie COTA/L & Certified Equine Assisted Therapist

Janet70

Advisor

Rating: 5

I have seen first hand the impact this ranch has made on many lives. . .troubled youth that went from a detention center to a local private college because of the lessons learned at the ranch. . . Children walk unaided when doctors had all but given up on them. . . Autistic youth speak their first words from atop their trusted equine friend. . .physically challenged adults develop their core and balance to improve their quality of life, and a young boy play catch with his dad for the first time. . .a gift neither expected but both cherish. These are the clients, but the volunteers and staff also speak of the awe, the renewed sense of wonder they get to experience by working with these wonderful horses and the clients whose lives are changed forever.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My wife and I went for a trail ride one day at the Haven Horse Ranch, and before leaving after talking to Ric and hearing about the Ranch and its mission, we decided that this was a place that we would like to become a volunteer. Seeing the strides made during and as a result of the equine therapy have been both amazing, truly remarkable and rewarding. We really enjoy working with both those who work for and or volunteer at the ranch and those who receive the equine therapy.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My seven year old son has cerebral palsy and walks with the aid of a walker. He has been receiving equine therapy at Haven Horse for three years now and within just a few months he was taking steps without his walker. His balance has also improved tremendously. The horses are beautiful and impressive, and the staff is incredible. They have been nothing but kind and supportive to our son and entire family. Our experience with Haven Horse has been nothing short of amazing!!

Ric L.

Board Member

Rating: 5

It's been said you are known by the company you keep. In that case we are in great company because Haven Horse Ranch has been blessed with the greatest volunteers and staff anywhere. What makes them great is their committment to the children and the mission. Each of them gives so much of their time and of themselves to the betterment of the lives of those we serve. It makes it such a joy to work with them on a daily basis. They are truly the backbone of this organization and they deserve the highest of accolades for all they do!

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been honored to work with a group of people for many years now who are more like family than anything else. Everyone pitches in, everypone takes our mission to serve children with everything they have. And best of all, so many are straight up volunteers who don't necessarily know the children we serve, only that they need help so they jump in with both feet and do what they can. It has been an amazing journey for the last 23 years and one we look forward to continuing on for many years to come.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

We have been volunteering almost a year as horse handlers in the Equine Therapy sessions. We have received excellent training and lead horses during the therapy sessions for individuals with autism, CF, brain or spinal cord injuries etc. For those with limited mobility, can you imagine the experience of moving along on a horse as they take the therapy? Seeing the smiles of the students and their expressions of love toward the horses is simply amazing. All the other activities at the ranch, such as trail rides and riding lessons, help support the therapy. Ric, the owner of the ranch has a true calling to make the equine therapy happen and that calling shows in everything that is done at the ranch. We have been very touched by working there.

Madolyn L.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My experience with Haven Horse Ranch has been much more amazing than I could have possibly hoped. I originally reached out to them to become a volunteer and gain necessary observation hours with their equine therapy program (I am applying for a master's program). They made the entire process extremely easy and accessible for my schedule. Once I began volunteering, I was disappointed with myself for not reaching out to them sooner. They do amazing work with their equine therapy, and the staff all welcomed me with open arms. The way their program works, many children don't even realize they are doing therapy, and the joy is definitely contagious! They also offer riding lessons, summer camp, a special needs camp and provide a show on Friday nights for their riders to show off their skills!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My daughter rides at Haven Horse Ranch. She loves every minute of riding her "Fancy". She gains more from riding than many of the other therapies she has been in. She has gone from being able to ride for only 15 mins to 30 mins at a time. She use to need people on both sides for her to ride, ow she needs only one, her balance and core muscles are so much better. The staff is wonderful, kind and caring, my daughter is not just a client to them, she is family and they are part of our family too.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The ranch is the best! I rode as a child, and now I am back into it. It means so much to me!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My six year old son goes to Haven Horse Ranch for Horse Therapy every week. He loves his time there on the horse and with the staff. Our son is developmentally delayed but also has trouble with his balance and muscle tightness. His PT had recommended horse therapy for him and we are so happy that we found Haven Horse Ranch. We are thrilled with the improvements he is making and it is always great to see his excitement when riding.

Client Served

Rating: 5

The therapy my autistic child receives at Haven Horse Ranch is life altering. Having been in and out of various types of therapy for the past 16 years, Haven Horse Ranch has had a more positive impact than any other therapy my child has been through.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Haven Horse Ranch for 15 years. I was first introduced to the ranch by my daughter. Over the years I have seen so many lives changed. I have seen children that never spoke before say their first words to the horse. I have seen crippled children experience the freedom and joy of being on a horse. I have witnessed young people learn responsibility and kids that had no self image stand tall hold their heads up high as they interacted with the staff and learned to control the horse. I have seen hardened young people that were one step away from jail stand in the arena and weep with gratitude. I am proud to be a volunteer at this amazing facility. The staff at the ranch is dedicated, trained and full of heart. I cannot recommend it high enough.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I proud to be a board member at Haven Horse Ranch. This excellent organization strives to improve the quality of life for anyone who comes to the ranch. The Equine Therapy Program has been very successful in positively changing the lives of children and adults with disabilities. Haven Horse Ranch also works with at risk teenagers who are taught strong values and ethics. The needs of others are numerous and Haven Horse Ranch reaches out to assist. It is a haven for all.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Haven Horse Ranch is amazing! The Ranch provides Hippotherapy for developmentally disabled children and adults. While I work directly with the horses, I am able to watch some of the therapy sessions, and it's wonderful to see the pride and smiles of the clients. No one is turned away; if someone has the need or desire, the staff will find a way to accommodate them.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am proud and honored to serve Haven Horse Ranch. The Equine Therapy Program assist adults and children with disabilities to reach their full potential. Miracles are witnessed at the ranch. One can see an autistic child speaks their first words. When they speak, we are left speechless. It is just one of many wonderful aspects of this exceptional organization.

Cammie T.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Haven Horse Ranch is a wonderful organization that truly provides a unique service touching the lives of people in the community who have obstacles to overcome. I love how they reach people through interactive experiences with horses. The therapy they provide with their horses and staff builds confidence and hope in the clients they serve and the community they impact.

Tammy18

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

My son participates in the therapy program at Haven. In only four months time, we have seen great improvements in his posture, patients and confidence. He truly lights up every week as he see Fancy walking towards him. I couldn't be more happy with the staff too! We feel like family.

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have had the pleasure of visiting Haven Ranch and was immediately struck at how much Love, compassion and hard work goes into this facility. They are truly making difference in other peoples lives and are nothing short of a Blessing.

1

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

I have visited Haven Ranch a few times, and just walking the grounds, meeting the folks and seeing the horse's, gives me a humble awww, feeling! Seeing and knowing how the ranch helps so many, is incredible! My mother in-law had MS, and over time, confined to a wheelchair. If we could have had a place such as Haven, what an experience she would have had! Mom didn't get the chance, but knowing so many others can experience the joy and knowing the confidence it instills is incredible! Thank You Haven Horse Ranch, for ALL that you do, and the LOVE you share thru the program of horses! So honored to know you, and see all you do thru HIS work!! Can't wait for another visit, and horse ride!!