Non-profit to heal at risk youth by working with horses

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LOLETA- To help guide at risk and foster youth a new local non-profit will train young people to work with horses. The organizations, Wild Souls Ranch, will start the program in June and take in ten young people ranging in age from four to 18.

Founder, Savannah McCarty, said she modeled the program after a group that she was part of when she was young. McCarty was a Ward of the State of California when a woman started to teach her how to care for horses. McCarty said it changed her life and made her want to share that experience with other children.

The children and teens will work with two horses, one that McCarty worked with herself when she was young. They will start by watering and feeding the horses then move onto riding them.

The non-profit is held under the branch of Heart of the Redwoods Horse Rescue a local non-profit. Carey Call, a social worker and Board Member for Heart of the Redwoods said horses can help young people develop a strong work ethic and manage their mood. "Horses are like a mirror to your emotions," said Call.

McCarty said she hopes the organization will make a lasting impact in the lives of the young people that are involved. "I really do think it's going to be a place where they can find peace and love and some guidance in their lives," said McCarty. "I want this to be a place where they can come to and be some place new and challenge themselves."

To benefit the launch of the new organization the group is holding a fundraiser at the River Lodge in Fortuna on Saturday at 5 p.m. Ticket sales and the silent auction will help to keep the organization going said McCarty. For more information on tickets and the group you can visit the website: