Centrally located just outside of the heart of Tucson and just a short 15-minute drive from the University of Arizona, Therapeutic Ranch for Animals and Kids, more commonly known as TRAK, is often called the “Ranch in the City.” It’s a beautiful facility and it’s home for the many volunteers, staff members, and riders.
TRAK offers horsemanship riding lessons for both children and adults, for all levels. Lessons start off learning about the nature of the horse, then working side by side with the horses, then finally mounting and riding the horses. Their main focus is western bases riding, and each semester they do something called a “gymkhana” – a variety of timed, speed-based events like barrel racing and pole bending.
For kids under 7 that want to participate in the fun, there’s a Little Buckaroos program that teaches the littles about horse safety and gives them their first-time riding experience. They also have a unique Animal Assisted Life Skills class. In this class, it’s one-on-one with an instructor, and horses and other animals are used to help individuals learn coping and social skills. It’s great for children and adults with anxiety, depression, emotional challenges, or ADHD.
The combination of the outdoorsy, dirty, physical nature of ranching and the calming, peaceful therapeutic animal interaction is the force behind what they like to call ‘Trak Magic.’
Amy was able to witness “Trak Magic” as her son D participated in TRAK’s programs. She recalls holding her breath the first day, worried about whether D would enjoy and benefit from the programs. Scott was paired with D, and since the beginning, he always believed in D’s abilities and talents. Although there were frustrating days and difficult lessons that followed, the small victories turned into huge wins, as D grew and improved and enjoyed his time at TRAK.
D is now a “17-year-old who has grown into a thoughtful, albeit stubborn, young man…who doesn’t quit, works hard, feels compassion for others, and takes risks without constantly worrying about failure.” Amy shares that “when I look back on all the pivotal points and people who have helped get us where we are today, I know that TRAK and Scott were the turning point.”
Recently TRAK was chosen to be one of the 2019 beneficiaries of Angel Charity for Children. This award will fund two staff positions in their Animal-Assisted Life Skills Program for one year. The staff at TRAK and Angel Charity are thrilled with the new partnership and are looking forward to being able to provide “Trak Magic” to more of the community.
Learn more about “Trak Magic” and check out their programs by visiting their website below.
How to Contact This Farm:
3250 E Allen Road
Tucson, AZ 85718