The Healing Hearts Ranch held its annual Rodeo and Family Fun Day on Saturday at the Great Bend Expo. Proceeds from the event go to the ranch to help people with emotional and behavioral challenges.
“This event is very important not only to the ranch, but to the community as well. With these funds we can help those in the community,” president of Healing Hearts Ranch Scott Stinenetz said. “I really look forward to seeing all the families come out and really enjoy the day and see these cowboys doing what they do everyday on the ranch.”
The day was filled with many different activities for family to enjoy. These included: Horse rides for the kids, face painting, bounce houses, food, city slicker mugging contest, ranch rodeo contest and a silent auction.
“There is a lot to do for the people that come out to the event, Stinenetz said. “It is fun to watch the children in the bounce houses and seeing families enjoying the horse riding.”
The rodeo consisted of three events:
• Team Doctoring — This event is accomplished on horseback with one cowboy roping the head and another roping the heels of a calf. As the calf is held with ropes from both ends, the doctoring takes place. The ranchers are faced with a limited number of tries, which makes this event intense and exciting to watch.
• Mugging — In this timed competition, two cowboys share the duties of roping and tying the legs of a 500-600 pound calf. This is a competitive step from what is still a common practice used on ranches to treat cattle in open pasture without the benefit of pens or panels to contain or hold the animal.
• Team Penning — One of the most popular events in ranch rodeos, team roping requires four team members to read and judge the cattle’s behavior. A good cutting horse is vital, as three cows must be cut from the herd. Team members must keep them separated from the herd and drive them to the pen. Patience and teamwork is the key in this event. The winner is determined by the fastest time.
“This is what being a cowboy is all about,” Stinenetz said. “These cowboys do these events every day on the ranch as part of their job.”
Healing Hearts Ranch Inc. in rural Great Bend, offers equine therapy to children and families who face emotional and behavioral challenges. The ranch is also home to a Cowboy Church, that uses the horse and Western life as a means to teach the Word of God.
Equine Assisted Psychotherapy (EAP) incorporates horses experientially for emotional growth and learning. It is a collaborative effort between a licensed therapist and an equine specialist working with clients and horses to address treatment goals. Participants learn about themselves and others by participating in activities with the horses, and then processing feelings, behaviors and patterns.