This program runs year-round & is available on a first come, first serve basis. Please contact Pastor Corilee if you are interested in being paired with a mentor.
The goal of this program is to have each participant paired with a Christian mentor whom they will meet with on a weekly, bi-weekly, or monthly basis. Your mentor will prayerfully seek to help you grow in your experience with horses as well as in your relationship with the Lord! :)
Destiny Youth Ranch is now providing individual riding sessions for girls & boys ages 6 to adult! This program is designed for those who would like to have one-on-one training time with horses while having a Christian mentor to spend time with, learn from, & look up to!
We will provide one horse and one mentor per person for sessions at the ranch. Our sessions are organized on a first-come, first-serve basis. You may sign up to attend for a shorter period of time, but your mentor needs to always be aware of the time you are willing to commit, as we generally have a waiting list.
Free-will donations are accepted, but not required for you to participate. We are often asked what we'd suggest for a donation ($10-15 per hour), but we don't want cost to keep anyone away. DYR does not have paid employees, so we want you to know that all donations will go toward upkeep of the horses and toward the growth of the ministry. We are so very grateful for our heated indoor riding arena to use throughout the year and are excited and hopeful for the continued growth inside with a kitchen, tack room, offices, BATHROOMS, and bunk rooms in an upper level :)
Please contact Pastor Corilee by texting her at: 605-553-7422 or e-mail us at: firstname.lastname@example.org in order to schedule your appointments today!
The only requirement to participate in this program is that you have an open heart and want to attend. Each session will look a little different. Some days you may ride in the arena, some days you may trail-ride, & other days you might be assisting with Ranch needs or just observing the horses as you learn more about how to communicate with them. We will seek to make enough time for horse/ranch stuff as well as devotional time. We would encourage you to visit with & get to know your mentor & let them know if you have any questions or prayer requests.
Sessions will run approximately 1 hour. We will consider allowing 2 students to attend together with 1 mentor, or family groups depending on their ages, relationship, and how well they can focus during a session ;)
FAQ's for Parents
How and when do I schedule my children for the Mentorship Program? You can schedule sessions by calling or texting Pastor Corilee at the number or email listed above.
Who needs a completed release form to be on ranch grounds? Every rider! Because of the unpredictable nature of horses and ranch life, you are required to have our current release form on file or completed upon arrival. Release forms must be renewed at the start of each new year. This is all done electronically.
Will my child always ride during his or her session? Destiny Youth Ranch aims to offer mentorship, ranch-style activities, healthy friendships, & time with horses free of charge to youth in our community.Our riding sessions are a conduit towards these goals. Although we aspire to help your child become a safe rider who understands and cares for horses, our main goal is not to produce “advanced” riders. They will participate in multiple different things as they continue to visit from riding to observing to helping care for the ranch animals. If your hope is to learn advanced equine activities & ride every minute of your session, we would recommend scheduling your child for riding lessons at a more traditional stable.
What should my child wear to Horsemanship sessions? We recommend paying close attention to the clothes your child wears to his/her session. Keep an eye on the weather. Layers are a good idea, just in case. Even though we have a heated arena, it's not going to be 80 degrees in there in the winter - the difference between the outdoors and indoors can not be drastic (about 10-20 degrees for the safety of the horses) so please do bundle up as it gets colder.
What does my child need to wear or bring along?
* Long Pants (blue jeans preferred)
* Sturdy close-toed shoes or boots with 1" heel
(We have some boots on hand to borrow if necessary)
* A water bottle or drink & snack (if needed)
* A Helmet will be provided for all of our riders ages 6-17 and is mandatory
(Helmets are 'optional' for teens & adults ages 18+, but are encouraged for your safety)
What happens if something comes up and we cannot make it to a session? Please just try to call your mentor as soon as possible. They generally come to the ranch early to prepare for the upcoming session, so if you don't let them know they will be standing there with a horse waiting on you. We prefer to have communication between mentor and participant on every session day - just to make sure everyone is on the same page :)
If I live outside of your area, can my child come to ride as a one-time experience? We embrace all children from all places that desire to be here, but we do feel that overall our work is most effective for children who are able to attend consistently over a long-term basis. If this is simply not possible, we would love to try & find a time to get together with you for a one-time or occasional session so you can experience the joy of spending time with horses & be encouraged in your faith :)
Can I bring other people to the ranch to watch & visit with while my child rides? While your child is in their session, parents & any other visitors are welcome to quietly observe or visit while waiting for them, but please be considerate of the one-on-one session taking place by allowing the staff member's attention and guidance to be focused only on the child they are working with. We can't have people running around or yelling near the horse areas because this could spook a horse. As the adult bringing additional people, you are responsible for them during their visit. There are chairs & an observation window in the kitchen located inside the indoor riding arena, if you would like to stay & watch.
How you can help!
We are currently looking for more interested christian horse enthusiasts that would love to mentor young people. We need experienced Christian adults or mature teens that have (preferably) volunteered at DYR camps in the past - we are looking for gals AND guys to be mentors !
Our DYR Mentors!!
Beth and her family moved to Alvord in 2014. She was eager to begin working as a mentor in our program as soon as they got to town & we have been very grateful to have her on board. She has 2 sweet little girls (Ariel & Rachel) and a husband at home. She has always enjoyed horses.
Laurel has been volunteering at the ranch as a worship leader & horse helper. She is great with the kids & likes to get them moving (we didn't realize how loudly they could sing!). We have really appreciated having her & her family on board.
Corey joined the ranch's team in 2014 and has been doing a great job with the kids and the horses. She looks forward to working with young people & helping them grow in their comfort around horses and in their faith.
Anna really enjoys being out by the horses & helping kids feel comfortable around them. She often leads the tack & riding safety portions during camp & helps during most of the trail rides. She works hard & has helped with so much at DYR.
* The Importance of Having a Mentor * by: Lana Snyders
Sometimes, as a counselor at Destiny Youth Ranch, I'm tempted to call my girls my "little ducks" or "lambs" since I am basically their caretaker for the weekend - helping them stretch their wings and continually making sure they are doing alright. I feel as though I am shepherding them through a life-changing experience... being around the horses & learning more about God... hopefully while having tons of fun & making new friends! Today I considered how I could compare nurturing relationships in animals with christian mentorship in our new Big Sister Riding Program :)
Cygnets = After they are about 1 day old, baby swans (cygnets) can follow their parents into the water. They already know how to swim. But they won’t be able to fly for 7 to 20 weeks. Until then, their parents swim or walk with them. Some swans even carry their young on their backs. Mentors encourage you to know God better, act more like Him &, never give up - even if you sink! They will cheer you on as you learn to fly...
Lambs = Baby sheep (lambs) naturally desire to be in groups & follow a leader. They get to know their shepherd's voice so that when he calls, they listen - they know he cares for them & protects them from harm - he will even carry them on his shoulders. Jesus is compared to a shepherd in the bible as he cares for each & every one of his children - He notices if even one is far from him. He would leave a large flock to find the one lost lamb because each one is so precious to Him. A good mentor will encourage you to pray & read your bible so you can learn to hear His voice and know for yourself what God's desire for you is on a daily basis.
Foals = A baby horse (foal) can stand up almost instantly after it is born, but it isn't very graceful! It will continue to follow its mother around and copy what she does for months/years in order to learn how to behave in the world. A horse goes through a season of training in order to become kind & respectful toward the wishes of his rider. All christians are growing from glory to glory - no matter how long they've been saved! Having a mentor/friend to be there for you regularly to teach, encourage, & pray with you is a beautiful gift. It is not to be assumed that your mentor is perfect, but they will do their very best to guide you & set a good example for you to emulate.
DYR Mentor = In the beginning, it takes time to learn how to handle a horse safely & effectively, but even more important is that we learn to become more like Christ & seek Him out on a daily basis. Having a christian mentor is a great way to gain wisdom, encouragement, & accountability. You might think you know it all about horses... or about how to be a good christian, but Proverbs 19:20 says: "Listen to advice and accept instruction, that you may gain wisdom in the future." Having a person you trust alongside you as you grow is a great help & makes it way more fun! "Whoever loves instruction/discipline/correction, loves knowledge..." Proverbs 12:1