Straightening Reins, an equine therapy ranch, and Redemption Road K9, a canine cynology center, had planned to host their first Hopes Through Horses Open Barn this Saturday, but due to the adverse weather, they were forced to postpone the event until Saturday, April 27.
The event will focus on promoting the mental well-being and empowerment of children and teens and will include guest speakers from both centers as well as special guest, olympian Norris Frederick.
John Anthony, a trainer at Redemption Road K9, said he is excited to team up with Straightening Reins. He said their “Jobs for Juvenile” program takes kids within the justice system and pairs them with dogs and their trainers.
“We both work with at-risk youth and animals and it seems like they are already on par with our ideals, so I think we could really work together to help these kids,” Anthony said.
Deborah Rocha, executive director of Straightening Reins, says the flooding may have put a halt to the Open Barn event, but it certainly won’t stop their counseling services.
“We have to continue to provide services for these children,” Rocha said. “Last Sunday we were out there in the rain, and we will continue to have services this weekend. These children need a safe place to come and we cannot take that away from them.”
Last year, Straightening Reins struggled to find a new property to move their organization to after not being able to renew their lease. Unfortunately for the organization, their new location doesn’t give the animals much shelter from the elements.
“It’s pretty bad. We’ve got extensive flooding and easily 4 to 5 inches of standing water in the arena,” Rocha said. “The animals are safe, but they’re confined to their stalls due to the mud.”
For more information about the Hopes Through Horses Open Barn, visit www.srdstraighteningreins.org/, or to help with the damage that the ranch received, visit their GoFundMe at www.gofundme.com/srd-hope-through-horses.