A Youth Ministry Program That Teaches By Healing Equines
In 2008, Kim and Troy Meeder were contacted to help with the recovery of a small horse found wandering in the high wilderness of the Cascade Mountains. When they arrived at the medical center, they were shocked to discover a sweet bay Arabian with devastating injuries. He had a severe leg wound, had lost half of his blood volume, was 200 lbs underweight, and his left eye was hanging from its socket. Most shocking of all, medical examinations determined that he had been shot in the head TWICE before being left for dead.
To the workers of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch, the story of this small horse named Hero symbolizes the struggle that many people go through in life. They feel it is their calling to use their organizations to help save desperate horses, share their faith, and impact the lives of youth through horsemanship.
Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch is located just outside of Bend, Oregon on a beautiful 100-acre property, but they started on a much smaller scale. It began in 1993 on a 9-acre abandoned cinder mine. Founders Kim and Troy Meeder took two years to revitalize the rocky soil so it could function as a farm. Generous donations in the years since have allowed the couple to expand the program to help broken children, horses, and families find wholeness and healing.
We spoke with Equine Manager Jeff Woodford to learn more about the program. “Many of our horses have been rescued from neglect, injury or abuse,” he shared. “Some arrive healthy and ready to ride, but all horses that stay show a general friendliness to people and willingness to spend time with the kids who come here.”
“It is wonderful to have a facility that is able to meet the needs of all sorts of rescues. Whether a horse needs physical healing, building trust, or basic training, our goal is to include children in the process as much as possible. Ultimately, our job is to show the love of Jesus Christ to children and families. Working so closely with horses provides endless opportunities to live out parallels of a person’s relationship with our heavenly Father.”
The goal of the ranch is to create reliable, trustworthy, confident horses that love people. That may look different for each horse, but they include kids in that process wherever they can. The four pillars of the program include mentoring children, supporting families, rescuing equines, and empowering through ministry.
Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch is a powerhouse program that is certainly making a difference in the lives of both equines and children. We salute them for their ongoing efforts and ministry!
Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch
Location: Tumalo, Oregon
Donations: 19344 Innes Market Rd. Bend, OR 97703
Trailer: NOT NEEDED