The changes in the children even from the first day is AMAZING! The love at HOPE RANCH is contageous! No one leaves the property unchanged! God+Animals+Kids=Miracles!
I have been a volunteer at Hope Ranch for the past three years; it has become like a second home to me. I love going and spending my time with the goats, the horses, and especially the kids. It is a great thing the Shelton's have started in the Ponca City community and I would love to see it exist and thrive for a long time to come. When I first started volunteering, I have to say I did not know that much about kids with special needs, the Shelton's taught me what to do and were always very helpful when I had a question. Now three years later, I find myself answering the questions asked by all the new volunteers. I pride myself in being able to make pretty much anyone smile, but when I go out there I realize that the kids make me smile as much as I do them. On the mornings I go out to volunteer in the summer I always wake up with a smile on my face because I am going to do what I love to do, teach kids about the love of horses, and how horses can help in so many different ways. The love the Shelton's (and the horses) have for the kids is something special, and I would love to be a part of this organization for many years to come. I would recommend that everyone should come and visit Hope Ranch at least once to be able to feel the love and happiness that is shared there.
Hope Ranch is a wonderful place for young and old a like. The Ranch helps children gain confidence in all aspects of life. They learn responsiblities about the whole ranch: feeding animals such as dogs, pigs, goats, donkeys, and horses. Grooming and care of horses adds to the delight of learning to ride the animals. They also water plants and care for the fish in the fish pond. All the activities help the child to grow and be a responsible person. It's a great ministry to the city and area of Ponca City, Ok.
Horses never cease to amaze me. They connect with the children and youth at Hope Ranch with a depth of understanding and patience in a miraculous way. The children and youth learn to trust, some have never known trust. Confidence is gained where before obstacles hindered their paths. Hope Ranch is a "Can Do" place not an "I Can't" place. As a volunteer of four years I have been blessed to see this transpire. Smiles are abound and the horses enjoy the Hope Ranch experience equally. One morning Gallop, a favorite at Hope Ranch, was found standing at the hitching post, not haltered or tied, ready to enjoy her time with the kids. When Gallop's eyes look in mine, we know our prupose in life.
I am the mother of a special needs child that rides out at the Hope Ranch. it has been the best thing for her they say that horses can help heal and I truely feel that is true. As a parent I see the joy and relaxation that she has when she rides. I will always feel that the Lord gave the children and even the adults this place to help us all heal and becopme better people.