Roughout Ranch Foundation develops and facilitates the connection between horses and humans and ranch life to provide community integration, social recreation, and life skills to inspire, motivate, and enrich the physical, mental, and social health of vulnerable and underserved populations for kids and adults.
Horses and ranch life encourages social and emotional learning, healthy transitions and relationships, independence, and promotes awareness of critical traits, such as sense of purpose and community, nutritional awareness, and building confidence. Using equine-assisted activities and learning, and life skills, we can achieve our goal of improving the quality of life, self-confidence, and overall health.
Kathy is the program director, equine specialist, developer of the Authenticity Workshops and original founder of Daystar Ranch in the early 1990s, she identifies as a Follower of the Light who’s “learned a few things about love, life and relationships.” Mother of six, grandmother of 12, Certified Flight Instructor and a Registered Nurse who’s cared for newborns, mental health patients and for those in hospice.
FOUNDER/VICE PRESIDENT/ TREASURER
Kathy lives on the ranch. She holds five OK Corral certificates in equine-assisted philosophy, a certificate in the Authenticity Workshops: Conscious Connection and Encouraging Engagement.
McKenna is a Bay Area local whose always dreamed of living in the countryside. In 2019 she spent six month volunteering at a Camphill Community in Ireland and that is what sparked her passion for working with those with disabilities in a farm/ranch like setting. Her degree is in Human Communication from CSUMB and she brings with her administrative and communication skills.
BA with Distinction in Social Science with an emphasis in Child Development. She worked multiple jobs to further my experience, including developing an Art program in a Montessori School. She advocates for her son with Autism to help him receive services and support. Her passion now is advocating for our most vulnerable populations and bringing services and support to those who need it most.
Keith is involved in a variety of community and volunteer activities. He currently serves as the Board Chair of Northern Valley Catholic Social Service Housing Corporations, and on the Board of the Shasta County Economic Development Corporation. He is a founding board member of both the Redding Soccer Park and Nor Cal Think Pink and has served on the board of the Shasta Builders’ Exchange, St. Joseph School and several other organizations.
Jim is a co-owner of Roughout Ranch and received a BS degree in Range & Wildland Science from UC Davis. He lives on the ranch, provides horse training, horse care, facilities maintenance and management.
Dusty is a 17-year-old Blue Roan Mustang gelding and BLM rescue that went through the Nevada Correctional Center Wild Horse & Burro Training program. He has been in our Horse Encounters™ and Therapeutic Riding programs since 2019. He also has been a trail riding horse and has solid groundwork foundation. Dusty is the alpha horse and very confident, responsive and sensitive to pressure.
Chile is an 8-year-old Sorrel Mustang gelding and BLM rescue that went through the Nevada Correctional Center Wild Horse & Burro Training program. He was trained to be a cattle horse by the Center. He has been in our Horse Encounters™ and Therapeutic Riding programs since 2019 and is very gentle and patient.
Paint is a 15-year-old Paint horse gelding. Paint is diabetic and prone to foundering so he eats lower sugar hays and supplements for better hoof health. He wears boots on his front hooves most days which allows him to run and play with the other horses. Paint very calm and reliable in nature and loves to do groundwork exercises. He has been in our Horse Encounters™, Therapeutic Horsemandship and Therapeutic Riding programs since 2019.
Puck is an 18-year-old Shetland Pony gelding. Puck was trained to give pony rides and to pull a cart. He has been in our Horse Encounters™ and Therapeutic Riding programs since 2019 and is in our Carting program. Puck is a favorite for the kids.
Waldo is a 4-year-old Standard Donkey gelding and BLM rescue from Arizona and is halter broke. He leads well and is learning to pull a cart. Waldo is very friendly and loveable and also wants to be the center of attention. He loves his ears scratched.
Your support and contributions will enable us to meet our goals and improve conditions. Your generous donation will fund our mission.
"Rough out Ranch saved my life! This ranch is a place where you don't have to think about what is wrong in your life and has given me hope and healing. I love the geese, ducks, guinea hens, and horses. Everyday when I show up and start working everything that is negative goes away. I now know I have a bright future because of this healing place. One of the reasons I know I have a bright future is because of one of the programs they have here at the ranch called, "Horse Encounters. It was through this program and working with the horses that I began to believe in myself again. Kathy O'Donnel is extremely helpful and talks me through things. When I get stuck in my head she turns my experiences into life lessons all while using the horses to relax my mind..Kathy works miracles and has no idea how powerful her words are to me. This ranch has changed my life and has taught me life skills to inspire and motivate me to keep trying. I am so grateful to Kathy Odonnel and Roughout Ranch for changing my life and bringing back hope and light." --Mark Hunting--
My name is Suzanne Hunting, and I have a 27 year old son who has been diagnosed as being on the Autism spectrum with associated developmental disabilities and additionally, he has mental illness challenges. I have searched all over Northern California to find support and help for my son. He has worked many jobs, both supported and public, and never found fulfillment until he was introduced to the ranch through Impact Solutions. The impact Roughout Ranch has made on my son is miraculous. The Horse Encounters program at Roughout Ranch that Kathy O'Donnell runs has completely changed his life. It is through this program and the connection the Ranch develops between horses and humans where the magic takes place. Paralleling the skills of horsemanship to life has helped my son to be motivated, and it is inspiring him to become social, curious and develop positive mental health so he can start enjoying life and believing in himself again. There truly is no other program in Northern California with proven results. I can’t talk enough about how wonderful and important this ranch is needed in our community. Horse Encounters provides support to our special needs, foster and adopted children, veterans, seniors, families, and Peer Groups. I am so grateful to Kathy O'Donnell and all her work to support our community and our most vulnerable populations. I truly do not know what I would do without this amazing place called Roughout Ranch. --Suzanne Hunting--
I would highly recommend Roughout Ranch and Kathy and Jim for anyone wanting a fun exciting experience for anyone with special needs they teach social skills with the help of their animals some of those skills they help teach are personal space as well as how your excitement level as you do things can affect others around you, those experiences I myself have had have helped me tremendously in getting out of my shell of isolation and helped me be who I am today they have helped me cope with my anxiety ptsd and my adhd.
"Roughout Ranch has been AMAZING for my son…He has PTSD and is behind in social skills. It's done wonders for him on picking up on social ques because he learns about that with the horses. His confidence has also grown as he sees himself learning new things and earning the horses trust. I strongly recommend it to everyone with kids!!" --Michelle Dale--
“They have been wonderful helping my daughter and grandson - both children of trauma.” --Destinee Dale--
“Amazing place...the people who run this ranch truly have hearts of gold!”
I would like to shine light on how amazing the Roughout Ranch Foundation is and the dedication that Kathy has not only to the Ranch but to the population that she serves through the Ranch.
I contacted Roughout Ranch in Oct 2020 to enrich the lives of my 4 special needs children. My four boys started Nov 2020 and has continued one-on-one in the Horse Encounters® program with the horses, donkey, pony, and other farm animals at the Ranch.
This experience that Roughout Ranch provides for my children is priceless one of a kind and cannot be duplicated. Kathy has a unique approach and has gotten to know each one of my boys and with the Horse Encounters for Relationship Enrichment program my boys have gained self-confidence in their own abilities and much more.
Kathy and along with other Ranch staff has facilitated other group activities for my boys to sharpen their teamwork skills.
Oct 2021 was the first year my boys participated in the Rough Rider Roundup, special western day and rodeo that was put on by Roughout Ranch. This event gave my boys the opportunity to have a simulated cowboy on the ranch experience with roping, bull riding, cow milking, gold panning and much more.
I am truly thankful for Roughout Ranch, and I look forward to what this next year unfolds for the Ranch and I'm anticipating more growth in my boys many years to come. --Sheryl--
We move 1yr. from BayArea. My son lost out his Horseback riding there. We live in Redding now. Thanks to our respite person recommending Roughout Ranch. My disable son-Jacob wakes us up to make sure we are not late. He loves to be around the animals. He says their his friends. Mr. Big the turkey made sure on our first day he was the boss. Now he see Jacob Mr. Big runs behind him to keep up. Waldo the donkey played peek a boo with Jacob sticking his head from behind a wall. Now when Jacob is drawing Waldo puts his head on Jacob’s shoulder. Jacob just laughs he thinks it’s cute. He loves it. This is the best place we were recommended to us. Kathy and Racheal are the best too. We too recommended this place to everyone. They are so kind and your Children will learn a lot. Parents will be happy too. We are.
My experience with the 2nd annual Roughout Ranch's Rough Rider Roundup
event in 2021 is as volunteer and participant. As such I've learned about
the monumental amount of organization, craftmanship, creativity,
problem-solving, procurement, fundraising, expertise, networking, and
training that is involved in holding Roughout Ranch events. As I write about
the idea of problem-solving, I realize that I can't recall seeing this in
action because all potential problems seem to have been addressed long
before volunteers and participants engage with Rough Rider Roundup.
Volunteers seem eager to help and return for future events and they do return. This is especially true of the participants. The western theme, set up over several acres, cannot fail to enchant. There are old west building facades and every kind of adapted/simulated horse encounter. Some volunteers are old west re-enactors that interact with participants through song, as cowboys, gold rush campers, Marshal, full-dress gentle women strolling
about, or as would-be train robbers. The train is a special highlight. The cars look like happy cartoon cows, with two riders in each. There is an ease of participation for all, including check-in, movement between activities, food/drinks, and awards (for which everyone is included). And, amazingly, because the founder is so focused and dedicated, all of this is free. Not only would I rate a 5 as very likely to recommend Rough Rider Roundup to
others but I already have and continue to do so to countless people; all of whom hope to have an opportunity to check it out for themselves sometime. --Krisit--
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