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Parent Comments

"Coming to H.U.G.S. literally gave my daughter her voice back. She started to feel proud of herself, and confident in her horsemanship. It translated into a willingness to take chances and meet people and speak aloud in class. Now people see the same witty, vibrant, affectionate person we see at home. Shadow is a household name now. He is her most trusted friend. If she's feeling sad, looking at her pictures with Shadow bring her cheer. In my daughter's words, H.U.G.S. Ranch has taught her how to smile. Our family will be forever thankful for the blessings the Ranch, the staff, the mentors, and one large and beautiful black horse have brought to us."

"My daughter loves animals and caring for them, learning about their needs, and what kind of attention they like to receive has helped her to focus on their needs and forget about her own. She thrives on the loving attention she receives from her mentors and seems to be opening up to them. Her life in her home has been full of tension and insecurity but here she relaxes and can focus on giving care to an animal that does not judge her but accepts her just as she is. Spiritually she is learning to trust her heavenly Father, and forgive her earthly father for his shortcomings."

"My daughter has come with us from a very traumatic past. Horses give her a sense of calm, responsibility, and love, among a handful of other things. This experience has made a big impact on her mental health. Having the extra attention and open communication in a safe and comfortable environment is exactly what she needs."

"My four children talk about H.U.G.S. Ranch all year. They struggle with being accepted and liked in most areas of their lives. My eight-year-old said, 'I want to go back to H.U.G.S. Ranch; they told me they loved me and that Jesus loves me.' They feel so accepted and loved here. They thrive on the two-on-one attention they receive. I love that they are loved on and they learn about Jesus."

"Every year we appreciate the therapeutic atmosphere H.U.G.S. provides to our family. Every worker, family, and volunteer are so positive about life. My son has been here for three years, and each year he gains more confidence and happiness (a big smile) when he rides Lincoln. He requests coming to H.U.G.S. every summer. He feels safe and peaceful in a loving and friendly atmosphere. He looks forward to being here and it helps his autism and having a routine in a natural setting."