Initial introduction to horse training with rescue horses, animal care, and trauma-informed education with weekly off-site programs at Juvenile Hall, the Youth Center, SUHSD Alternative Ed schools, and onsite at the Ranch with small groups for MCOE probation, foster group homes, etc. Youth will learn about the animals and basic horsemanship, work with the rescue horses, and establish initial relationships of trust with the WWR staff.
Youth are enrolled in our volunteer program to earn any needed community service hours. They also receive horsemanship sessions that occur along with other animal care and ranch skills training (these can be scheduled up to 3x/week). Youth learn to competently handle horses, ride, and help others. Youth establish a safe community trust in the WWR environment and become part of the WWR family, replacing the need for supplemental family that gang-activity often tries to meet. This stage includes both individual and group time, with the focus on meeting initial short-term goals and establishing a sense of safe community. Youth in this stage are also invited to be leaders for larger Wonder Wood Ranch events to practice their learned leadership skills.
.After completion of Training Tails, students are eligible for resume development and career mentoring in ranch management, ranch hand work, horse training, and other animal-related fields. (Job opportunities are frequent in the area). Youth become certified by Wonder Wood Ranch in Horsemanship and Ranch Management. Youth are also connected to appropriate community agencies and businesses for career/job opportunities.