Challenge Ranch is dedicated to providing recreation with support, encouragement and inspiration to underprivileged and disadvantaged children in San Diego County.
Challenge Ranch is a ten acre, twenty five horse Ranch in Dehesa Valley. Challenge Ranch is open year round, six days each week to the Challenge Ranch Riders. Many children at Challenge Ranch are in Foster Care, live in group Homes, with a grandparent, etc. Young people learn to ride, learn basic horse care and horse knowledge, they take part in Equine Assisted Learning Sessions and all ranch activities. Once on the Challenge Ranch program, the young people (8 - 18 years) are welcome at Challenge Ranch during daylight hours. When children have gained sufficient experience they may take part in Endurance riding, show jumping, mounted games, etc.
I have not been able to Volunteer, but I have been able to attend a few of the events that the Challenge Ranch puts on that shows what the kids have learned & the bonds they have made with the horses. Also the bonds with each other as well as Jane & her husband. If you could read some of the stories that some of these kids had written about how being at the Challenge Ranch changed their life it brought tears to my eyes. What these kids learn at the Challenge Ranch is amazing & have gone on to do more in depth training with horses in Texas. It really is an amazing organization that started from Jane just wanting to help one little girl. It's just amazing to see what these kids can do & how much joy they get from being there. It's heartwarming.
My kids rode at Challenge for 2yrs, and I volunteered on several occasions. I had wanted to volunteer regularly, but the Ranch Owner is impossible to work with. She has an illl temper and habit of making demeaning comments to kids, parents and volunteers. I spoke to a Board member about this explaining that I couldn’t deal with the Owner’s personal attacks. The Board member was aware of the Owner’s reputation as I wasn’t the 1st to complain. At the time I rationalized that everything else about the Ranch was good for kids. I still volunteered a little and supported fund raisers. Eventually the Owner kicked my kids out of the Ranch over a dispute between she and I when I had the gall to yell back at her during one of her rants. The Owner has a terrible reputation in the horse community for kicking kids out if their parents confront her. Challenge Ranch is a totalitarian regime of bullying and favoritism. I highly recommend against participation in their program in any capacity.