Teens horse therapy proves Buck Creek Rescue was worth saving - wave3.com-Louisville News, Weather & Sports

Teens horse therapy proves Buck Creek Rescue was worth saving

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Ray and Galaxy Ray and Galaxy
Ray Ray

ELIZABETH, INDIANA (WAVE) - A horse rescue with financial woes and facing foreclosure was saved when the community came through with enough donations to keep the non-profit open.  There's a big reason why they came to the rescue: Humans at the farm help abused horses and in return the animals are therapy for children and teens going through difficult times.

They may not be on the race track, but so close to the Kentucky Derby, it's only fitting to brag on the rescue's special horses that are champions in their own right.

Volunteers at Buck Creek Valley Rescue know abused and neglected animals from dealing with malnourishment to a horse with a halter embedded in it's face.

The rescue is about horses that are hurting and so much more. "To us, it's all about the horses and the kids," said farm manager Richard Mills, "The horses need help and the kids need help."

"At first she was kind of quiet, when I first met her," said Rachel Phipps, 13, talking about new volunteer Ryshauna Knear AKA: "Ray."  She understands why Ray was so quiet, because Rachel too was quiet for a long time after dealing with bullies.

"In school you would get a lot of judgement out of kids, " Rachel told us.  The horses, unlike some classmates, spoke to her right away and the message was clear. Rachel smiled, "No matter what, don't let people judge you."

For Ray, getting comfortable around people was a climb, but she was instantly at home with the horses, especially her girl Galaxy.  "I've been riding since I was about 10 months old," she told us.  Ray said she and her horse growing up were inseparable until a traumatic experience pulled her best friend away from her when she was 9.

"We weren't able to take care of him anymore and it was hard on me, " Ray said, "and there are times when I still grieve about it."  Her parent's divorce also puts stress on Ray.

Buck Creek and Galaxy are her calm.

"Being free," she explained, "getting on the top of the horse and feeling that freedom that you don't get every day."  Another connection comes with caring for them," It's the feeling of being needed by the horses that have been abused and abandoned and all their trust issues," Ray said.

The teens in-turn open up and build confidence.  "They have to talk to the horse because it's the only way the horse is going to recognize who they are, " Mills told us.

The great news for the girls and the horses?

Buck Creek Valley Rescue is getting new life after nearly falling into foreclosure.

Mills explained, "All the money we generated from the yard sale and the auction that's what really helped us to get it going." There's still much work to do, but it's a blessing no one wants to keep quiet about.

Ray added, "It's like another home to me."

There are all new board members for the Rescue including a new Board President who's an attorney. The Mills family who tried to take care of finances, fund raise and run the farm can now just manage it.

They did have to file Chapter 13 Bankruptcy to keep the Rescue and the deal made their payments higher so they are still in desperate need of donations. The new website is buckcreekanimalrescue.com. and on Derby Day beginning at noon, they're holding a fun family event fundraiser called "Derby with the Horses."  Head to the Buck Creek Valley Rescue Facebook page for more information.

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