St. Augustine Woman's Journal - Educational Resource to the Women of St. Johns County Since 2009

By Ric Lehman
Executive Director, MTI, MCI Haven Horse Ranch 

How did you change the world today?


February 1, 2017 | View PDF

We're changing the world, one child at a time.

With all the talk of late about changing the world, what have you done to make a change? Think one person can't do anything? Can't do enough? You would be wrong.

Children with Autism, MS, MD, Cerebral Palsy, Down's Syndrome, Learning Disabilities and more can learn to speak. They can learn to walk, sit up, stand, and do the simple things most of us take for granted. They can live a higher quality of life. But they need a chance, they need our help. Together we can make a difference; together we can be an instrument of change. The best part is that change is good for all of us.

These very same children do go on to lead useful, self sufficient and productive lives. They do go on to become professors, scientists, educators, captains of industry, and leaders within the free world. But they need is a chance, they need our help. Together we can make a difference; together we can be an instrument of change. The best part is that change is good for all of us.

Haven Horse Ranch is one of our Country's oldest, largest and highest rated Therapeutic Riding Centers, we have been on the bleeding edge of so many innovations and discoveries of the benefits of Equine Assisted Therapy. With multiple studies published and an accredited training program for therapists we have advanced the science of Equine Assisted Therapy. And we have seen so many miracles...

Since 2010, we've changed more than 5,500 local lives. This year our goal is to help 900! The impact to the individuals and our community has been proven, is immeasurable and exponential.

Since 2010 alone, more than 95 have spoken their first words and more than 75 have walked their very first steps. We're mentoring in detention centers throughout NE Florida. Recidivism rates are down to less than 4% for our juvenile programs, and High School graduations are up to more than 95%!

That's great, but what can you do to help change the world?

1) Volunteer to help with the horses, therapy, fundraising, or the grounds. Anytime we get something done with a volunteer that's more we can do with therapy.

2) Get Certified. We offer a nationally accredited training program. If you are a licensed practitioner (PT, OT, SLT, COTA) it even qualifies for CEU's.

3) Participate in our Miracle Maker's Dance April 22nd or Special Kids Fishing Tournament May 6th.

4) Support a child or a horse. All donations are tax-deductible and 100% goes to its intended target. Never to admin or overhead, that's what our fee-based services are for.

5) Advertise in our arena. 12,000 people visit Haven Horse Ranch annually and banners are a great to get your message out to decision makers and support therapy all at the same time.

6) Take a lesson or a trail ride, or send your child to horse camp. Our fee based offerings also go to support our therapy programs so it's a win-win.

For more information, call us at 904-813-5710.

We continue to develop newer and better ways to increase the people served via our affiliations. As a direct result we have seen significant increases in the; number of people served, quality of that service provided, and we have reduced operating expenses in the process. This is why GuideStar and Great Non Profits have continually awarded us their highest ratings. In fact in 2016 we were awarded Great Non Profits Top Rating for an unprecedented 5th year in a row and were the highest rated Children and Youth program in the State of Florida and 24th nationwide.

Join us. So the next time someone asks, you can tell them, I helped change the world today, one child at a time.

Haven Horse Ranch, a non-profit, 501c3 organization is a licensed SpiritHorse Therapeutic Riding Center and member of PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship). The ranch provides riding lessons, horse camps, clinics , retreats and trail rides to all individuals including those with special needs. "Horses just have a way of breaking down barriers," explains Lehman. Whether child or adult, whether "normal" or "special needs" doesn't matter to the horse. If you're good to them, they'll do right by you." To sponsor a child, make a tax deductible contribution or for more information contact Haven Horse Ranch at 904-813-5710 or [email protected] or visit our website at


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