My task in the activity at the ranch was to paint the way I saw myself. My canvas? The smooth chestnut side of the horse. My mind immediately began forming the picture that I could not look past. All I could see was a butterfly, one wing broken, limping on her side across the ground in a vain attempt at regaining flight; a fragile, stricken drop of life on the ground after an ephemeral dance on the wing. My mentor, coming up behind me, did not see a wounded butterfly. All he saw was a phoenix. At this word, I stepped back and realized that my image had merged with the one from the task for the other side of the horse, to paint an image of how God sees me. My butterfly had risen from the ashes of my life as a phoenix.
Welcome to The Son and Reins Ranch, an equine-assisted ministry center in Franktown, CO that uses experiential learning with rescued horses for life-changing healing and growth for people and horses alike. In essence, we are in the business of walking with the wounded and as we walk, we hand the reins directly back to He who alone has the power to heal. Each day, we pray for His wisdom and guidance and for the willingness to open ourselves completely to His will as we acknowledge our own weaknesses and wounds and ask for His help, His love, and His mercy. What emerges each and every time is truly a phoenix rising from the ashes.
We use Equine-Assisted Learning (EAL) activities to help our participants self-identify challenges in their lives, especially those emotional and behavioral troubles that emerge from the wounds of life experiences. We create a safe and positive environment that facilitates the discovery of what has inhibited the participant to become all that God intends – to live a life of purpose, hope, and relationship. How does this happen? Step out into the pasture and say hello to God’s four-legged assistants and be ready for positive, life-altering transformation.