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2017 Top-Rated Nonprofit

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

19 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Mary112

General Member of the Public

Rating: 5

Haven Horse Ranch truly excells at being a Great Nonprofit organization. To watch individuals whether child or adult receive such wonderful care and support from the staff to reach their fullest potential is a blessing! To see a child that could not control their own actions take control of a 1100 pound animal and ride around the arena is truly amazing. Watching an adult smile and laugh after riding around the pen after being so depressed they didn’t care if they lived or died. These miricles happen continuously at Haven Horse Ranch!

Previous Stories

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have had the honor as a board member of Haven Horse Ranch to see happy smiles from therapy students as well as riding students. When a student wants to show how well they are performing, it speaks volumes of the program, staff, and their commitment to the organization! If you are looking for a program where the student is number one, then Haven Horse Ranch is the place!

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Allen M.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

What a wonderful place to volunteer at! The change you see in the people's faces, their emotions, etc. after riding a horse is remarkable. Equine-assisted therapy helps children, teenagers, and adults who have various illnesses and injuries. People come to Haven Horse Ranch and are withdrawn, distant, agitated, etc., and then when they get on that horse, their whole world changes for the better. As a medical professional (RN, Paramedic) and a human being, I cannot speak highly enough of Haven Horse Ranch.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Haven Horse Ranch changes lives; this non profit works with people who just happen to have a disability. This amazing ranch provides fun for anyone who wants to ride a horse, learn about a horse and more but the reason behind the ranch is what truly inspires. These beautiful horses have a purpose and serve it very well, children and adults come to the ranch maybe not being able to walk, or not wanting to speak and leave completely different. People being helped may have a disability but they sure don't show it, these people are the sweetest, funniest most loving characters you'll meet and Haven Horse Ranch shows them how important they really are. Children and adults alike get on the horses and the smiles are enough to warm your heart but you realize what is truly happening, life changing procedures not only in their happiness and fun but truly in their lives and the way they live. This ranch provides equine therapy allowing people to be healed through a riding session with a beautiful horse, allowing the participants to heal and get better; allowing lives to be changed, smiles to be made and a memory worth a lifetime. Haven Horse Ranch is not in this business for profit or fame; they are all down to earth people who work hard so other people can experience life change.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer with Haven Horse Ranch for over a year and a half. I work directly with the horses (routine upkeep and preparation for rides) and it has always been my experiences that the horses are well cared for and well trained. The staff is friendly and caring and work well with the clients.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Haven Horse Ranch has once again done an exceptional job in 2017. Offering therapy to children with special needs, counseling to juveniles struggling to find their place in the world and special needs adults that are just looking for an activity to lift their spirits and boast their self esteem. The dedication of the management, staff and volunteers at the ranch is inspiring. This isn't just a job to them. I have personally seen them go above and beyond to help with fund raising events and even provide clean up when Mother Nature decided to gave us a hurricane to deal with. Their focus on making sure that the ranch can continue to provide a safe, clean and funded facility in which to provide their services to the community is really great to see. I look forward to many more opportunities to help them further their mission in the future.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I am constantly amazed with how God is using Haven Horse Ranch to improve the lives of children, teens, adults and their families in our area. The miracles and life changing experiences that are a daily occurrence at the ranch are no accident. It is the vision, hard work, and dedication of the staff and volunteers at the ranch along with God's plan that make the difference. Children speaking, walking and doing things for the first time that they were never "suppose" to do. Teens turning their lives around from the wrong pathes that they were on and learning that there is a different way to live. Adults who live everyday with limitations most of us cannot even begin to understand finding an escape and joy even if for a short time on the back of a horse. It all works, and it takes a lot of hard work and dedication to make that happen. This is what Haven Horse Ranch is all about!!! As a volunteer I can only wish that I had more time to spend helping with this mission, but it has been a blessing to help and I would encourage anyone with time, talents or the financial means to contribute as well.

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1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Hello everyone,
My name is Wayne and I am a nursing student at Keiser University in Jacksonville and we volunteer Haven horse ranch for some of our clinical hours. I will say that this program is awesome, the way that the kids react to getting therapy on horse back is amazing and no doubt increases the therapeutic effect of the activates performed. I came here for the first time not knowing what to expect, and after a couple of days of observation I can honestly say that my expectations of what equine therapy is and what it can do have been greatly exceeded. I would encourage anyone to come out and give this place a try, you will not be disappointed.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

This is a wonderful nonprofit organization that works hard for special needs children, and does a great job at it! The staff is friendly , knowledgeable and always willing to help. The kids I have seen at the ranch love it, they love the staff and they love their horses! Haven Horse ranch is a great place to volunteer and ride and learn at. I would recommend it to anyone!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

When you first come upon the place you can't help but notice an atmosphere of peace and calm. Some where that you take all your cares and fore get them for a while. Don't be fooled there is a lot going on. The horses are being fed, groomed. Stalls are being mucked, new saw and shaving spead. Riding lessons, therapy, individual and group.
What I would like to focus on is the group of boys that I help with. It is a six week program that uses the ranch and horses, plus lessons about responsibility and accountability. It is amazing to see a young man scared to death of a horse and in two days riding and being in control of a two thousand pound animal. Seeing the light in the eyes when they know that they have cracked the code of the language of the horse.
The big tough guy seeing that he is not all that and that he has to work with a team to accomplish his goal.
The six week period reach each of the boys to a different degree, some have asked and have been mentors to following groups. We have had contact from the parents of some the boys that gone the program thanking us, telling thaT the difference in their son was like night Nad day.
I pray this work continues

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Haven Horse Ranch is an excellent environment for providing therapy for children with disabilities. In co operation
with certified therapists in physical therapy, speech and occupational therapy, plus using certified horse handlers and gentle trained therapy horses that seem to just sense the needs of their riders, makes for a safe environment for children to receive such excellent care in their therapy experiences. Haven Horse Ranch is unique in providing both hippo and equestrian therapy to all who take advantage of what the ranch offers.

As a volunteer, the rewards are priceless in seeing and experiencing first hand how the these therapy experiences benefit the children. It really is one of the best and most rewarding experiences I participate in all week. I always look forward with much anticipation each week to serving as a volunteer at Haven Horse Ranch.
Ken

1

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Haven Horse Ranch is a wonderful place for kids and adults with disabilities. The look on their faces when they are on the horse is priceless.

Volunteer

Rating: 4

I started volunteering at Haven Horse Ranch as a horse handler for the Equine Therapy program at the beginning of 2014. I love being around horses and have a background in early childhood education and thought what a great way to combine the two. I have been amazed at the changes that can be seen in a handicapped child after only a few visits to the ranch. Whether it is a physical handicap that is helped by the strengthening of the core muscles and the limbering of tightened muscles by playing games of stretching as we ride around the ring; the verbal responses from one who doesn't speak that are initiated from being at the top of the world, on their horse; or the autistic child who verbalizes and begins interacting with the world; they all may seem small goals, but to the child, the parent and therapists these are huge steps to be celebrated!

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.

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!

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.

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.