Small Steps, Big Growth

My favorite memory of Horseplay is when a group of inner city kids came out for an afternoon.  In my group there was a young girl who went to the back of the line when we started the trail course.  I was using good old Frank as my horse that day.  All the other kids got to do the trail course with Frank and had a great time.  Now it was that little girl's turn to lead this huge horse around.  Frank is a tall horse, and to this little girl he looked very intimidating.  She did not want to lead him through the trail course.  We chatted and I introduced him to her and had her pet him.  She agreed to walk with me and Frank.  As we continued around the course, she was gaining her confidence with each step.  When we got to the low jumps, she wanted to do it on her own.  She did the jumps without a problem.  Then she had to lead her horse up to a Bridge and have him get all four feet on it and stop.  She did that effortlessly, just like she did it before.  The smile on her face when she accomplished that was priceless.  I love to see how each guest at the ranch grows from their visit here. 

- Volunteer

It Means the World to Me

I got to spend five months going out to Horseplay every Friday to train a horse. I have come to love that farm. It means the world to me. It changed who I was as a person. I absolutely love Tami, and she does a wonderful job with her horses. Horseplay is a magnificent farm run by a wonderful family. I am glad I got to experience going to Horseplay Equestrian. 


- Youth

Horses are like Mirrors

The Lighthouse girls have been participating in Horseplay Equestrian with Tami Klinger on her farm over the last four years. Horseplay Equestrian is part of Barnabas ministries, which work together to reach kids who are at-risk in the community. Over that time period, Tami has continuously mentored girls one on one. Last summer Tami provided a 10 week long group horsemanship clinic to the participants in the Lighthouse program. Each Lighthouse girl was paired up with one horse and one mentor. While learning about horses, each exercise was designed to teach life skills and to improve decision making skills. Through those exercises, they learned how to build trust, create healthy relationships with others, as well as learning how to care for a horse. The girls learned about trust, hope, respect, boundaries, and leadership in their own lives but also learned how those areas relate to caring for and riding a horse. Through their experience at Horseplay the girls gained confidence in themselves, learned life lessons and built relationships with their horse, mentor and withTami. One girl said, "I learned about myself and my attitude. The horses were like my mirror. If I was happy then she (the horse) was happy". Another girl said, "They copied what you are doing. Whatever I did, they did too." It has truly been an amazing experience working with Tami and watching the girls grow through Horseplay. 

- Lighthouse Staff

He Made Me With a Purpose

Horseplay means so much to me.  They were always a listening ear when I needed someone to talk to. They helped guide me back to God when I found myself feeling lost, they explained how much God loves me and cares for me and how he really does forgive people of their sins. Horseplay especially helped me learn how valuable I am in Gods eyes, even when I mess up I am still His.  He made me and he made me with a purpose. I'm so glad Horseplay Equestrian was there to help me when I was young.  Now I have found my path and am going to college next fall to become a paramedic! 


- Youth

God is Greater

I used to go to Horseplay Equestrian then I graduated. When I went there it was because of my stress and anxiety. Let me back up a bit. Ever since I was little I have been a Christian. I always thought I was a good or good enough Christian until I hit middle school. All of my friends left me, they all got popular and well I did not. I felt sort of alone and was looking for a friend. I then became friends with someone who I thought was a good Christian friend. She was the opposite. She had such a bad influence on me. I kept being her friend because I thought she was the only friend I could make. She drifted me away from God.  I still believed in him but I was not as committed to the relationship. Once I realized this I tried to get her to become a Christian. No matter what, she wasn’t into it.  Once again I wasn’t as committed because it was hard to talk about God if my friend thought it wasn’t that important to talk about. In this process my uncle touched me in a way he should not touch his niece. I told my mom in time and we stopped talking to them. Another reason being my grandma took his side and was mean to my mom after my grandpa passed. Sorry for going out of order but before that my half-sister moved back in. Her dad isn’t a very good one, and at the time she had no home and was doing drugs, my mom and dad told her she could stay if she didn’t do drugs in the house. She shared a room with my younger sister. One day I walked in and she was making cigarettes in my sister’s bed. At this time my life was going downhill. To make things even better my friend (same one I was talking about before) was spreading fake rumors about me. I noticed people started looking at me different. People thought I was like her, I was the opposite.


During all of this I was going to Horse Therapy.  Let me tell you now, this made things thirty times better. I could be in the worst mood but leave there with the biggest smile on my face. I remember a lot and everything I did there always helped me, but it has made an even bigger impact on my life now. I did a lot but I’ll share the three things that I will never forget, (I will never forget any of it but these things will always effect how I look at things, and do things.)  Mrs. Tami told me to collect all of my newspaper in my house for a week. She had me carry it the whole lesson (let me tell you it was not light).  While I carried it I had to lead the horse I was working with. I walked over some logs and started to fall. Cool (the horse I worked with) started falling too. Behind her were some kittens who started to fall also. From that I learned that we should be good leaders like God.  You can gain more followers, but when you slip up they will too. That same day we took all the newspaper to a giant dumpster. Every piece of paper was a sin or something that was bad in my life or something I worried about. Putting it in the dumpster meant I was giving it to God. And that if I wanted that horrible weight back on my shoulders I’d have to go dumpster diving and no one wants to do that. So I handed all of my problems to the Lord for him to take care of. Another really important thing is when I painted a horse. I started with red and that represented everything bad in my life and my sins. But then I painted with other colors over them, those colors represented everything good and everything that God has blessed me with. When I was done you couldn't’ even see the red. That just shows how amazing our God is. No matter how bad the sin, God is greater. Last but not least, I trained Cool. Before she came to Horseplay she got abused. She was so frightened, even if you were waving to someone she would be scared. I had to gain Cool’s trust.  This took a very long time. I would first bring her into the round pen and make her trot and then canter.  After that I would desensitize her. When that was done I would put a bucket in the middle of the pen and let her run around the pen. I waited for her to come to me, to trust me. She would run in circles stressing and worrying, instead of just coming to me and trusting me. It’s like this: God is always sitting on that bucket. I would get caught up in everything that was going bad. I forgot all I had to do was go to God. God is always there, always waiting for you to trust him and turn all your worries to him.


Everything that I did at Horseplay helped me right away. And it is still helping me today. Now I don't think I can remember a recent day where there was not a smile on my face. I went from zero friends to one friend who spread bad, untrue rumors about me, to Realizing God was my friend.  He was my only friend but sometimes one is all you need. After some time I prayed I would find an amazing Christian friend. God heard me.  My used to be friend moved away, and it took time but now I have five friends. They are all amazing Christians who have my back at any time. And we just started a bible study at my school during lunch. The horse I worked with, Cool, went from being afraid of everything, to coming straight to me when I went into the pasture, and letting a four year old lead her on a rope. Going to Horseplay completely turned my life around, and I am so blessed. If I didn't go to Horseplay well, I can’t even imagine what life would be like. All I know is that it would not be as amazing as it is now. Now my relationship with God is even stronger than ever. 


- Youth

Very Blessed

My family was going through a really hard time in our lives and through the grace of God we found Tami and Curt at Horseplay. They were great helping my children over come what they had been through as well as helping our family as a whole. We are very blessed to have these wonderful people and beautiful horses! 


- Parent