At The Children’s Ranch, our students do not ride, but focus instead on learning to care for our animals. We tailor our programs to the unique needs of each student. Our current program offerings are below.
Private Ranch Lessons
We begin by teaching students to care for the Ranch’s animals, including horses, rabbits, chickens, and guinea pigs. Activities include grooming, mucking, feeding, leading, lunging, joining up, bathing, and socializing. Students learn the intricacies of how prey animals feel, and how they respond to their human caretakers and the environment, building a relationship that feels safe and connected. As students learn to navigate these sensitive creatures, they often learn to express their own feelings. Students focus on becoming expert animal caretakers. By learning to care for other creatures – large and small – students develop a sense of identity and belonging to a community, and experience a sense of meaning through purposeful work. Individualized 45-minute session; offered weekdays after school.
Ranch Corps is a transition program where adolescent Ranch students are given personalized training and supervision to help them move into the role of Ranch volunteer. With support from Ranch staff, Ranch Corps students work towards independence. This support includes scaffolding, organization, reminders, feedback and emotional support. The Ranch Corps program grew out of our commitment to helping adolescents become developmentally ready to shift their focus outside of their own needs, and towards serving others. Ranch Corps members mature before our eyes as they shift their focus from being served by the Ranch, to becoming part of a team serving others.
Lulu Xochi Calderon Ranch Internship
The Lulu Xochi Calderon (LXC) Ranch Internship gives young adult Ranch students a chance to put their skills to use serving the animals they love. Our young adult Ranch students often face dramatic challenges, and many feel socially isolated once schooling opportunities have come to an end. As adults, they are ready to learn to work. And the Ranch is the perfect place to start — mucking stalls, grooming horses, and feeding animals. We provide whatever support our LXC Interns need to get their work done and serve their community.
“Ranch Hands” is designed for kids and teens who are ready to focus on giving back to the animals at the Ranch. Kids learn how to work as a group to care for our Ranch animals. Favorite activities include grooming, mucking, and bathing horses as a group. We also help the rabbits and chickens socialize, and prepare special treats for all of the animals. Parents are invited to attend a Parent Workshop during the group – to support one another and gain insight into the tools and strategies that the students learn at the Ranch. 2-hour session; offered one Saturday a month.
**Students must be evaluated for readiness to participate in Ranch Hands group, showing an ability to join a group without one-on-one supervision, and mastery of basic horsemanship skills taught in Private Ranch Lessons.
Sibling Group & Parent Workshop
The Ranch Sibling Group provides a space for the sibling of a child who regularly attends our Ranch. The sibling knows what it’s like to have a sister or brother who often requires a great deal of the family’s attention and focus. These siblings appreciate the chance to share their experiences with other siblings and learn tools of their own. While focusing on learning to care for the Ranch’s animals, siblings build relationships with other siblings through a variety of activities and discussions. Parents are invited to attend a Parent Workshop during the group – to support one another. 2-hour session; offered one Sunday a month.