The Joyful Horse Project Add to Favorites

Our veterans and horses and need our help! "This is an urgent need. There are people hurting every day. There are horses hurting every day."

At Restoration Ranch, veterans (and their families), rescue horses and the land each contribute to the health and well-being of the others. We provide access to a rural way of life that embraces holistic health, sustainable agriculture and community-building programs aimed at restoring the physical vitality, emotional and spiritual health of all involved. Everything is connected at the ranch as it is in life.

Help us raise $15,000 by the end of Amplify Austin so we can create more learning programs for veteran families, offer continued holistic care for our rescue horses and make enhancements to the ranch that will benefit our community.

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IRS EIN: 45-4522043
Phone Number: 512-551-3231
Address: 57 Treehaven Ct.
Austin, TX 78738
Under the stewardship of The Joyful Horse Project, Restoration Ranch provides a place
where veterans, horses and the land each contribute to the health and well being of the others. This unique 22-acre horse property is not just a place, but a way of life that embraces holistic health, sustainable agriculture and community-building programs that seek to restore the physical vitality emotional health and spiritual health of all involved.

Veteran families who join our team at Restoration Ranch have the opportunity to learn from horses that have been rehabilitated from neglect, abandonment and abusive situations. Our veteran participants enjoy a safe haven for personal growth and fulfillment by building connections within our local veteran community and contributing to service-oriented projects hosted at the ranch for other non-profits.

Last year, after Hurricane Harvey, our team went to Houston and cared for displaced horses. We took in two fosters that had been in flood waters for hours. We're currently tending to the physical needs of our rescue horses, treating conditions such as arthritis and allergies, guided by holistic health practices.

Impact Statement

Since 2012, over 360 veterans and family members have completed a horsemanship program with us and we've rehabilitated over 40 horses.

For hundreds more in our community each year, we share our knowledge of holistic equine care by hosting equine massage training, osteopathy practicums, cranial sacral clinics, nutrition and anatomy workshops and making homeopathic remedies using medicinal herbs and aromatherapy.

Our equine partnership program currently provides individual sessions for approximately six veteran families each week with group holistic workshops, open houses, veteran networking groups and much more drawing hundreds more veterans, students, volunteers and visitors to the ranch each month.

Basic horsemanship skills learned through our veterans equine partnership program apply to every aspect of daily life and relationships. These skills include active listening and observation to inform how they present things to the horse which in turn improves their ability to connect and enhances the quality of their work together.

Our veteran community grows through referrals and partnerships with other veteran service organizations. Special events and group family days at the ranch are filled with horse activities and fellowship with other veterans. This time away from the daily routine can break a pattern of stress and provide a welcome mental respite for participants to fully experience the joys that come from spending time at the ranch with the horses.

Veteran families and groups who share the experience together also find a common purpose in contributing to the mission of Restoration Ranch - caring for the horses, the land and each other.

Donations and volunteers help us improve the ranch and expand our capacity. Within the last year, we've added a overlook pavilion, a new round pen, a covered arena, a new entrance and we refurbished the inside of a barn to create a classroom and kitchen gathering area, among other spaces that bring our community together. With that infrastructure now in place, 2018 is set to be a year of rapid expansion of our programs - making community and financial support all the more important.

Needs Statement

Funding will support our 2018 initiatives, which are centered around enhancing our programs and services in these key areas:

1. Care for our program and rescue horses
2. Equine-assisted learning programs for veteran families
3. Enhancements to the ranch that will improve the health and well-being of our horses and veterans
"I would not be as far along on my journey to lasting health, wellness, and peace were it not for this program....I am very grateful for programs at Restoration Ranch that have a lasting positive impact on a veteran's journey beyond the time in military service." - Liz C.

The amount of love I feel at the ranch is overwhelming and I consider everyone there family.
Working with Derek Michael Dee and Beth has been an absolute joy. I truly feel it in my heart working with these animals and for some of us that is a difficult feeling to find again. I am so grateful to have a place and people I can feel that with." - Mel H.

"The opportunity to be a part of something that is bigger than yourself is very appealing to service men and women. In working with a horse that has been abandoned or abused you have to be able to put the horse's needs first but as you establish that relationship, you are also able to heal yourself from things that you have been dealing with." Derek K.

"Restoration Ranch is a program unlike any other I have participated in. The experience is so individualized and dynamic. No two people are the same, and neither are any two horses. Each person and each animal has their own anxiety, problems, and history to deal with. It's truly a feeling without compare when you work with a horse in a pen that initially wants nothing to do with you, and a short time later allows you to lead them over an obstacle they wouldn't look at before. You can feel the bond formed between man and animal. While working with these horses, I have found an activity that presents a singular focus for my mind and allows me to tune out the "white noise worries" of my past, present, and future. I would highly recommend this program to any veteran or family member." - Patrick B.

"Working with the horses has taught me so much, trust, love, patience and understanding of who I am from the inside out. Something I had forgotten." - Tim H.

"Restoration Ranch is a place for do-overs." - Marysol F.
An anonymous funder has offered a $25,000 matching grant to be distributed among all participating animal care and services organizations on Amplify Austin Day. These nonprofit organizations will receive funds on a pro-rata basis. Each nonprofit will receive matching funds based on their total funds raised on Amplify Austin Day.
Volunteers are needed to help with ranch work, administrative and fundraising efforts and with events hosted for veterans and their family members at Restoration Ranch in Bastrop, Texas.