Founders say there are many children who could benefit from the equine therapy that would not be able to get the help they need.
TERREBONNE, Ore. (KTVZ) -- In December, NewsChannel 21 highlighted the benefits of equine-assisted therapy in a special report featuring Broken H Rescue Ranch in Terrebonne.
On Sunday, founder Dannyel Usher told us enrollment has skyrocketed since that report. However, she said Broken H Rescue Ranch needs help from the community in order to keep the program running and continue providing children with emotional healing.
Since the report, Usher says the number of interested children and their parents has risen rapidly. Unfortunately, the program only has one instructor and six horses, and that meant many children had to be placed on a waiting list until further notice.
"We have the kids, we have the instructor, and we have horses," Usher says. "But in order to claim more of that child's time, the need is huge. We have 16 children in our program now, with the one instructor."
Usher says when the program first started in May, they had one horse and one student. Now, on the wait list, there are about 14 children waiting to participate in the therapy program.
"It's such a positive thing that they crave to be here," said Keleen Woosley, office manager for Broken H Ranch. "They want the time with the horse, they want the time with the instructor, they want the time for themselves to grow. But everything requires funding."
Woosley says this year's hay shortage also makes it difficult to care for the six horses they already have.
In order to stay afloat, both Usher and Woosley say their husbands have also helped by cutting and selling wood, picking up extra shifts at work, and helping out with the students when needed.
Despite their financial challenges, Usher and Woosley say they are determined to keep their doors open to children looking for a safe space away from whatever their personal challenges may be.
In the future, they hope to expand their program to meet the needs of tribal members, war veterans struggling with PTSD, and other adults who struggle with mental health.
The Broken H Rescue Ranch will be having an open house for the public to learn more about their program on Sunday, Feb. 2 from noon to 4 p.m.