For fifteen years, Cheryl and Steve Harris were foster and contract parents. While they worked as best they could to love and help the children in their home, they saw first-hand the shortage of quality intervention programs in their community. Cheryl decided to combine her love of horses and her passion to serve children to create a program that would help both. Reins of Life was started in 1995 and since then has brought healing and hope to the community.
Reins of Life offers programs for special education students from local community schools - students grades one through eight come during the school day for a weekly 90-minute session. They also offer programs for counseling clients referred from community agencies, riding lessons and summer camps.
Their 50-acre facility is home to 25 horses. The horse professionals at Reins of Life do all the retraining to prepare the horses to work in the programs. Cheryl says “they are wonderful at matching the right horse with the right people to work with.” She continues and explains that some of the horses prefer doing lessons, while others enjoy the more intimate work of connecting with troubled people and patiently and lovingly reaching out to them.
“It is amazing to watch them offer themselves to our clients,” Cheryl says, “you can’t train that into them, they seem to want to do it and will go out of their way to give of themselves to people in need.”
Pepsi is one of Reins of Life’s horses that is just meant to work with troubled kids. She was very nervous and was a rescue horse that was neglected in the past. At first, she wasn’t allowed to work with kids because of her background. However, one day, she was introduced to a little seven year old girl.
The little girl was referred to Reins of Life by the local domestic violence shelter. She showed PTSD symptoms after living in an abusive household and watching her dad shoot her mother. The little girl loved horses, and when she was introduced to Pepsi, there was an immediate connection. Pepsi showed interest in her and followed her all over the pasture.
She began working with Pepsi, and both of them began to heal. The health and horse professionals taught her how to help Pepsi overcome her fears and negative behaviors, while at the same time applying it to her own situation. By the time the counseling sessions ended, the little girl was completely recovered from her trauma.
Pepsi was a lifesaver for this little girl - who now excels at home and at school and has a bright future ahead of her.
Visit the website below to learn more about Reins of Life’s programs for children and to support their amazing work through your contribution today.
How to Contact This Farm:
1238 Silver Shoals Road
Eastanollee, GA 30538