At RedShirt we feel very strongly that when we recommend a resource we want it to be a good, reliable, helpful one. People are already navigating enough, they don't need to navigate unhelpful recommendations as well.
We met Roman's Ranch at the ISU Mental Health Expo and I immediately felt in my gut a connection to them. But in keeping with our dedication to vetting sources, and using logic and not emotion to navigate important things, I reached out to Danielle and got to spend this morning touring their space and learning about their organization.
From the moment we first spoke on the phone, to watching Danielle's passion about people and her animal, and learning about her vast and varied knowledge on all things horses and brain health on her farm I was just in awe. And, honestly, trying to hold back tears and wiggles of excitement. Even while writing this hours (and workouts) later, I am still getting emotional, and I think it's because the power of what she is doing, and the lives she is helping have touched me on so many levels.
So, what exactly is it they do at Roman's Ranch? The answer is a lot. Typically a client will come in, will get to choose a horse, and will begin working with that horse (or goat if they want). Danielle phrased it like this "you get to choose your friend here. Just like in life, you get to choose. And your choice matters."
Together, with staff's help, the client and the horse will begin to learn about one another and relationships. About how to tell when the other is a safe space and about how to be a safe space. They will learn how to listen to and respect no's, will learn when no's are good and when they are detrimental, and will learn that everything has body autonomy and deserves respect and safety. They will learn how to recognize their effects their behaviours have on those around them, and will learn how to recognize when another's behaviour has nothing to do with them at all.
Instead of, or in addition to, traditional talk therapy that teaches you why you have the emotion, they teach strategies and new skills and responses to the emotion. They teach about how to 'not loose your mind' when external and internal pressures are put upon you such a deadlines, emotions, or even just someones physical presence. They can also do EMDR on horseback which is a super effective way to get that bilateral stimulation needed to reprocess trauma.
When we were able to take V to a farm to help with chores, we noticed a difference in him. I feel strongly that if we had known of this program while he was alive, he might still be alive. And man does that feel complicated but also like we have got to get more people connected to this place!
Roman's Ranch accepts Medicaid, BCBS, United, and is working to accept Tricare. They also have a self pay option.
They take clients of all ages, including young children so long as they have enough self preservation instinct to not run out in front of the horses.
They are especially adept at working with youth, people with trauma, adopted and foster children (and parents!), as well as those with autism.
If you are looking for spiritual informed care, they do that. If you are wanting non-spiritual care they do that too!
They do BHIS (behavioral health intervention services) and EACS (equine assisted counseling services) and have I mentioned they are good with trauma? Because they are super effective at helping process trauma!
(Remember, we do not fix the trauma so we can survive-we are already doing that- we fix the unhelpful trauma pathways so that we can survive the surviving and create for ourselves the life we want.)
They will also work with corporations (or any business or group) that wants to learn about teamwork and leadership.
If you don't want their services now, but would like to donate or stay appraised of their happenings, they do have a newsletter you can subscribe to on their website.
I seriously cannot say enough good things about this place. It is a place of healing for so many things.
Please check them out at https://www.romansranch.org/ or call Danielle at (515) 298-2202 to learn more.