Their journey really began last summer when a team from Timberline Church went to serve at the Hillcrest Children’s Home in Hot Springs, Arkansas, a private Christian residential childcare facility for abused and neglected children. Team members discovered that while there were several ponies and goats on the property, the children were not engaged with the animals because they couldn’t ride them.
The seed of an idea was planted and passed along to the Finally Home Foundation, a ministry partner of Timberline Church. Since part of Finally Home Foundation’s mission is to support foster and adoptive families and help hurting kids, they wanted to be part of blessing the kids at Hillcrest Children’s Home by providing them new friends.
Kristin Orphan, their Director, explains more about how interacting with horses helps traumatized kids learn to develop healthy relationships.
After a search lasting several months, two mares (named Belle and Amber) have been donated along with all of the necessary tack including child-sized and adult saddles. The next question was how to get the horses from Colorado to Arkansas. Then an equine transport company offered to feed, water, exercise, and transport the horses almost 1000 miles for the price of fuel. So, Belle and Amber got their health documents from the vet and are ready to leave this afternoon.
In the meantime, Hillcrest Children’s Home has already sold their ponies and goats to prepare a place for their new horses who should arrive sometime in the next few days.
If you are connected to the story on Facebook or Twitter, expect to follow Belle and Amber on their journey east to meet their new friends. Later this summer, another short-term trip to Hillcrest Children’s Home will be able to see the new friendships in action.