Geneva – Almost six years ago, the Youth Treatment and Rehabilitation Center in Geneva (YRTC-Geneva) instituted an equine program at the facility. The program was designed to use horses as a rehabilitative treatment resource and serves as a unique alternative to more traditional methods, like counseling. The program, which has successfully helped participants develop crucial personal management and critical thinking skills, is on the verge of wrapping up its fifth year, which will culminate in a public demonstration on June 29, 2018, in Geneva.
This year, the Equine program that began Monday, April 2 included three 90 minute evening sessions each week. Jacki Wilkins, of J Bar D Ranch in Geneva, facilitated the program and oversaw the six participating youth, with the assistance of Pam Harms, a community volunteer. Two YRTC-Geneva team members, Kathy Coffman and Shirley Kamler, were responsible for transporting the youth from the facility to the ranch and supervised the youth as they worked with the yearlings.
Except for halter breaking, which required a team effort, the youth worked one-on-one with their assigned yearling. They began by learning round pen skills and worked their way up to walking the yearlings through and over various obstacles.
The youth were chosen to participate in the program after completing an extensive application and interview process that commenced in March. The program started with classroom work, including lessons in safety around the horses, videos about the horses’ personalities and beginning and advanced skills training. Each daily session began in the classroom, with the youth sharing and discussing a life lesson they learned from the previous session.
Last year, 72 members of the community, family, staff, and friends attend the demonstration. This year’s Equine Public Demonstration will be held Friday, June 29, 2018 at 2 p.m. at the J Bar D Ranch Indoor Arena, located at 1412 N 13th Street in Geneva. The event is open to the public.
What: YRTC-Geneva Equine Public Demonstration.
When: 2:00 pm on Friday, June 29, 2018.
Where: J Bar D Ranch Indoor Arena, located at 1412 N 13th Street, Geneva, Nebraska 68361.
Who: Nebraska’s Department of Health and Human Services
J Bar D Ranch
Established in 1891, the family-focused mission of YRTC-Geneva is to provide a place where young women can learn, develop a sense of self, and return to their homes as law-abiding citizens. It is just one of the 24-hour facilities currently operated by Nebraska DHHS, including the Youth Rehabilitation and Treatment Center at Kearney, Whitehall and Hastings Regional Center.