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The Healing Effects of Life at Sorensons Ranch School

One of the most important parts of the therapeutic process at Sorensons Ranch School has been the incorporation of animals in the treatment of troubled youth and troubled teens.†

Some of the animals have many purposes in our program. Some are used for our 4-H program. They can also be individually assigned to students to care for, groom, and show at the local county fairs. Horses, sheep, pigs, and cattle are the main stock that our youth learn to care for and show. The 4-H program nationally has been a proven vehicle in helping youth build self-esteem, knowledge, and individual responsibility. This individual responsibility can help teens overcome problems associated with ADD, ADHD, Reactive Attachment Disorder (RAD), anger, depression, lack of discipline, and many other common issues with troubled teens. Sorensonís Ranch focuses on helping troubled youth return to a time of tending to their chores and taking care of the work that is involved in running a ranch. Another element that animals provide is unconditional love to their caregivers, and they present non-judgmental companionship, which is especially valuable with troubled youth with reactive attachment issues. Shoveling horse manure, feeding horses, herding cattle, assisting in the birthing process of the animals, fixing fences, watering, grooming, breaking horses, growing crops, hauling hay Ė all these activities prepare the youth at Sorensonís Ranch School to learn responsibility and respect. There is never a dull moment and the youth have plenty of things to do! It could be argued that life in a simpler form (ranch life) has a way of soothing the soul. The high mountain valley that provides the backdrop for helping children here at Sorensonís Ranch School is a beautiful region with high elevation peaks on each side of the valley. Water arrives by canal down to our farm, which then goes into our sprinkling system. The students help in the preparation of the fields for planting by scouring the freshly tilled portions for rocks, which show up with each new plowing of the fields. The youth remove the rocks by hand or in a wheelbarrow and deposit them in the lower fields. Once the fields are planted the sprinklers are the way our crops are irrigated. The youth then must move the sprinklers on average every twelve hours for crops of oat hay or barley. With alfalfa or alfalfa-grass mixes for horses the sprinklers are moved once daily. Endorphins are produced in the human body by the pituitary gland during strenuous activity. Endorphins give us all a sense of wellbeing. Some have likened endorphins to the bodyís natural pain relievers. With this knowledge, we capitalize on the healing/soothing effects in our youthsí lives by keeping our youth busy in the many activities. There is a simple pleasure to riding a horse through one of our mountain valleys or hauling hay. Often when troubled teens arrive they are reluctant or outright against participating in many of the activities we offer. Some of this stems from basic rebelliousness while often times we find fear to be a factor. Standing by a horse, ready to throw a saddle on it is an intimidating feat for most people. Often as students watch their peers performing these kinds of tasksFree Web Content, it helps them realize that there are many things they can accomplish that were previously considered foolish or impossible. Sorensonís Ranch School is an excellent program that helps struggling teens find the answers to the problems that they are facing and helps them learn to find solutions on their own. For more information contact the admissions office at 1-888-830-4802 or visit the Sorensonís Ranch website at

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Sorensons Ranch School 410 North 100 East, Koosharem, Utah, USA, 84744

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