Dreamhaven Ranch has offered one-on-one mentoring sessions for children, group visits for assisted living residents, and volunteer opportunities for adults who wish to help with chores around the ranch. Here are a few of the comments from participants.

Dreamhaven Ranch has been one of the most beautiful blessings in my and my children’s lives. We have been spending time here since 2014, and since the first day we have felt so loved and cared about. My children and I have been through some very difficult and traumatic times this last year and a half, and Susan and Terry and Bette have come alongside us and invested in our lives so greatly, so deeply, so genuinely. How they have loved us! How they have nurtured the hearts of my children and helped them to heal in ways they couldn’t have if they hadn’t had time to spend in the country with the horses and other animals and doing ranch chores and playing. For as long as I live I will be deeply thankful to Susan and Terry and Bette.
– Jessica H

The fall of 2016 is when I began volunteering at Dreamhaven. It’s been one of the best experiences ever,
and something I look forward to each week. I have found my “haven” by being at the ranch! It’s one of the most lovely places I’ve ever visited, and when I step out of my car each time, I’m greeted by feeling God’s peace and calm.
I love seeing kids be carefree, running through the yard having a water fight, learning to properly care for their assigned horse, and building up strength to carry the saddle from the barn. Probably my favorite aspect of volunteering with these kids and horses is seeing a child’s face light up and get excited over having reached a goal or skill they thought couldn’t be accomplished. Whether it be learning leg cues, or loping for the first time, I’m as proud of them as they are of themselves! I love seeing each child develop and progress in their riding abilities and in the life situations and friendships around them. While I strive to be an encouragement to the children I’;m helping, I too discover that I’m being ministered to. If you’re looking for a place to volunteer, I highly recommend Dreamhaven Ranch; there’s a fit for everyone! Terry and Susan are like a welcoming family, the ranch serene, the animals lovable,
and the kids inspiring!

– Debby W.

Our family has been coming to Dreamhaven Ranch for several years now. We were looking for a way for our daughter, Danielle, to build
more confidence in herself, to learn how to be more social and make friends, and to give her a chance to feel like she was a part of something
bigger than her family. We quickly learned that the Ranch is a special place that has a magic all its own. From the beautiful rural setting, to the
majestic horses and other amazing animals at the Ranch, to the many caring people who work so hard to make the Ranch a reality for so many,
there’s something so unique and inviting about this place that as soon as you walk through its gates, you feel at home. Danielle’s time at the Ranch
has included taking horsemanship classes, where she learned not only how to ride the horses, but to take care of them, and participating in friendship
groups with kids her own age who worked together doing various chores around the Ranch and caring for the animals. The positive experience and
important life lessons Danielle has learned while at the Ranch have surpassed our wildest imagination. She was diagnosed with epilepsy and
autism when she was 9 ½ years old. She went from a very shy, socially awkward young girl, who believed she did not fit in anywhere, to a happy,
smiling, confident young woman who loves to ride horses and connect with people. It’s because of her experience at the Ranch that Danielle now is
willing to take on new challenges and risks that even she never dreamed of taking on before. As corny as it may sound, it’s the truth – the Ranch is
where dreams come true!
– Christine S.

“We had such a great time when we came out to the Thayer farm. The Thayer’s were completely flexible and worked with our schedule so that it was no problem at all to find a great time that worked well for us. When we pulled the bus up (full of senior citizens) they had cleared an area so that we could pull directly in to a ring of chairs that they had set up for the residents to sit in. It was something that I hadn’t even considered. It was so thoughtful of them to think of the chairs and it made a huge difference in the residents being able to enjoy the experience to the fullest. The Thayer’s helped me unload the bus and walked each resident to their chair and made sure they were sat down and comfortable.
That was when the fun began! The Thayer’s brought out two dogs and let each of the residents pet them and spend time with them. A lot of residents have to leave pets behind when coming into an assisted living facility and so to have that interaction brought back a lot of really great memories. They the hosts brought out trained chickens that jump and dance around which the residents really enjoyed. Three different miniature horses were brought out and the residents all got to pet them too. They had been trained to rear on command which the residents thought was exciting and wonderful.

After the residents had their fill of the mini horses the Thaye’rs had yet another surprise. They brought out their full grown horse and let the residents pet him and enjoy being around him. After the mini horses he looked so huge that they were in awe. The residents enjoyed the outing so much and talked about it for weeks. The Thayer’s were so kind and caring and aware of the needs of the older generations. It was a wonderful outing and we cannot wait to go again!”

Jessica Peters, Activity Director, Overland Court Senior Living

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