Tuesday, March 8, 2011

Kids helping horses who help kids who help horses who help kids

Mike Archambault, founder of New Beginnings Youth Ranch, and some of
his rescued mustangs.

Last month, I was reading the February issue of the Tennessee Cooperator when I came across the cover story about a wonderful place not far from here called New Beginnings Youth Ranch in Clarkrange, TN. The more I read of this article, the more amazing the story became. I had no idea this was just down the road from me, not more than an hour from Knoxville. What a special place! I am and always have been a firm believer in the power of horses (well, all animals) to change and improve the lives of anyone/everyone around them. This ranch certainly proves that theory many times over. I know that there are programs out there that connect horses with convicts, dogs with convicts, etc., but the Archambaults endeavor to help those kids before they ever become a convict or prison inmate....and that is really saying something. In a world where I become so disappointed and dismayed much of the time by the greed, selfishness, and lack of compassion I see around me, this really brightened my day.

And, on a related note, I noticed that they have a link on their homepage to a list of items that they can use as donations. I will go through my tack trunks this weekend and pull out some old brushes that I inevitably have more than 2 or 3 of that I never use, as well as other miscellaneous grooming tools, and I will send them on. If anyone else has an inclination to help them out, it is a truly worthy cause. I always want so badly to help these organizations that do such wonderful work, yet I never have enough money to cover my expenses, it seems, much less having much left over for the people/causes I want to reach out to. It is refreshing to see that on their list of requested items, they also ask for "prayers." Now that is something I can offer that won't cost a thing!

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