About the Program
Quick facts about WHY Ranch and our “Diamonds in the Rough” program:
- Clark County has no other program like Diamonds in the Rough, that takes underprivileged children ages 8-17 and offers them an inspirational non-urban setting where healing takes place by that magical connection with a horse.
- WHY Ranch offers the program at partner facilities due to not having a ranch home of their own. The partner facilities offer the location and the horses along with the trainers (current partner facilities are Four Views Equestrian Center (http://4viewslv.com/index.html), Cowboy Trail Rides (http://www.cowboytrailrides.com/) and Legends Ranch (http://www.facebook.com/legends.ranch1).
- WHY Ranch interviews and selects the students and brings the program with them to the partner locations.
- WHY Ranch is in a Capital Campaign to raise the money required to purchase a ranch property, find suitable horses for a children’s program, staff the program and sustain operations for two years.
Where is WHY Ranch located?
In 2007, we were given a horse property in Las Vegas from which to operate our program. However, due to neighborhood resistance toward the population we desire to serve, we have not been able to offer the program on this property. Currently, the property is in the process of being returned to the foundation which gifted it, due to the inability to utilize it for our Diamonds in the Rough program.
We are privileged to partner with two host facilities, Cowboy Trail Rides and Four Views Equestrian, at which WHY Ranch offers our Diamonds in the Rough program to up to 25 students. The program is offered two Saturdays per month at each facility from October through May.
DIAMONDS IN THE ROUGH General Program Information
What is special about your Diamonds in the Rough youth mentoring program?
The beauty of our Diamonds in the Rough program is that all children are on an equal playing field when they enter this world called “horse time.” Horses are not aware of: schedules, pressures, gossip, expectations, pretty, ugly, poor etc. Horses only perceive how a person approaches, pets, grooms, hugs or talks to them. They are inherently instinctive animals that help heal broken hearts and minds because of their beautiful spirit and tranquility. It is only through personal experience with a horse that a person can understand the symbiotic relationship that develops. This type of program is truly God’s work in action.
Our philosophy at WHY Ranch is that each trainer will focus on one child, one horse, one hundred percent of the time. We give one-on-one attention to a child while providing a safe learning experience. Each young person is taught how to care for a horse (such as preparing a horse to be ridden) and also receives riding lessons. We believe that interaction with horses builds self-esteem, self-awareness and gives hope for the future to each of our young participants. This experience may be far beyond the life they know inside their personal families. In order to encourage the family in rebuilding and strengthening their bonds, we request that the parent or guardian accompany the child during their WHY Ranch lesson.
How does a child qualify for the program at WHY Ranch?
The most important qualification a child must have to participate in our programs is the desire to do so. WHY Ranch’s program is a specialized after-school program that provides a unique opportunity for underprivileged youths, ages 8-18, to experience a life-changing connection with a horse. These youth experience caring for a horse while both the youth and the horse experience unconditional love and care. This experience is something many youth have yet to come across. While our focus is mainly dedicated to underprivileged children, we are open to every child. Unfortunately, since our trainers are not specialists in therapeutic riding techniques, we are unable to offer therapeutic riding lessons.
How can I get my child involved?
Contact the ranch office at (702) 644-9177 to request an application or download the application here: Click here for application. In general, our application reviews are late summer for the school-year calendar based program, but an application can be submitted at any time for the next upcoming review. Each child must go through our application process while accompanied by a parent or guardian. We treat each “diamond in the rough” with love and respect and expect the same respect and regard for our program in return.
Why do I need to accompany my child to the ranch?
WHY Ranch focuses on bringing families together. To facilitate this goal we ask that a parent or guardian accompany his/her child. A parent’s presence is quite often central to a child’s healing process.
What do you charge for a child to attend the Diamonds in the Rough program?
Our program is absolutely free of charge.
The only requirement for children who are accepted into our program is to have an open heart and want to attend. Please be aware that, as a result of Nevada liability statutes, each child must have his or her own proof of insurance coverage (insurance card) in order to be eligible for the program.