Horses, Hearts & Healing

Triple H Youth Ranch

I have been horse crazy ever since I can remember. The church I grew up in had a ministry called Salinas Community Youth Ranch that started when I was 13. My single mom got married when I was 15, and my new dad bought me my first horse. She was a feisty little bay Mustang mare named Cinnamon. I would ride my bike to the ranch on the outskirts of town after school, where I would clean my stall and ride western.

After I graduated from high school, I got the opportunity to attend a horse mastership program styled after the British Horse Society program because our instructor was British. We did classroom work, worked with green horses and rode hunter/jumpers. I did that for two years and learned so much. Following that, I was a working student under Jennifer Roth and studied dressage. I purchased an off-the-track Appy/Thoroughbred and started showing him training-level dressage. I named him Lancelot. We did so well that he was the top appaloosa in the nation at training level.

I eventually got married and started a family. I decided to sell Lancelot. In 1996, we moved overseas and lived in Hungary and Slovakia as missionaries for six years. I also managed to find horses to ride there. I learned how to do archery on horseback. There are some amazing horses and horsemen in Hungary.

When we moved back to California, we bought some land and a few horses for our kids, and they could do a little showing through 4H. They also raised swine and steers. I didn’t ride much but would hop on our family horses from time to time.

In 2010,  I heard Kim Meeder on Focus on the Family talk about her Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch ministry. I ordered her books Hope Rising and A Bridge Called Hope. I was selling Real Estate then, and I remember reading the books in my office with tears streaming down my face. I was so moved by her stories of healing and redemption of both child and horse that I felt God calling me to start a similar ministry. 

2011, I launched the Triple H Youth Ranch 501(c)3 non-profit organization—the three ‘H’s stand for Horses, Hearts and Healing. Our vision is to share God’s love with emotionally at-risk youth. THYR has ministered to foster kids, inner-city kids, and kids who have been through difficult situations. I also teach private riding lessons there.

In 2017, I bought myself a 3-year-old gelding from Hope’s Chance Horse Sanctuary and named him Picasso. He was born at the rescue and started by Steve Bauhr.  Steve spoke highly of him, which gave me confidence in buying such a young green horse. I have enjoyed training him, and we have a wonderful partnership. I have shown him Working Equitation and am also schooling him in dressage.  

I am so thankful that God has allowed me to pursue my passion. I believe that God can use our passions to reach a hurting world. That’s why I began THYR to share my love for Jesus and horses with others.

I also want to thank my dear husband, Tom. It hasn’t always been easy for him to see all the time and money we have spent on our horses. He has been gracious to put up with his horse-crazy wife!

For more information about Triple H Youth Ranch, visit their website:
THYR will be participating in LOVE RIPON on April 26, 2024