HUGER, S.C. (WCBD) – Blissful Dreams Rescue Ranch located in Huger is using horses as a form of therapy for children and adults struggling with psychological, emotional, physical, and relational challenges.
Started in 2010 by Jamie Kohler, the faith-based non-profit offers a safe environment to help visitors with self-awareness, socialization skills, and more by riding, feeding, and grooming the horses.
“We use rescue horses, dogs, cats, all sorts of animals to try and reach out to those in the community no matter what ability they have” said Kohler.
Wednesday morning, Camp Artism, a program for artists with autism, spent time at the ranch.
“It’s kind of a once-in-a-lifetime opportunity,” said Ryan Tomaszycki, a camper at Camp Artism.
Ashley Drayton, the founder and CEO of House of Artists Foundation and Camp Artism, says activities like riding horses bring smiles all around.
“This helps with their communication skills both the horse and the rider are one together. They are able to thrive abundantly beyond the spectrum,” said Drayton. “I see them smiling, I see them having a really, really great time getting able to experience something that they don’t get to on a daily basis.”
Many of the animals at the ranch are rescues including three horses saved from the kill pen.
“They know that they’re loved and they give that love right back,” said Kohler. “I like to work with challenging horses so we got them, them not knowing a whole lot, and worked with them and now pretty much anyone can ride them.”
The non-profit is looking to expand its reach with inclusive summer camps.
“This year we’re really trying to focus on doing all the inclusion camps including everyone of any age and ability whatsoever,” said Kohler.
For more information on the camps, click here.
Camper Ryan Tomaszycki says the trip to Huger is worth it.
“When we work together and the horses work together it’s about tenacity, perseverance, and sticking it out!”