Mountain Mayhem: Whinny Wonderland in Carbondale
Looking back to the holiday season, the non-profit Smiling Goat Ranch in Carbondale continued its tradition of creating a “Whinny Wonderland” with twinkle lights, an enchanted forest, and more.
The organization was founded by Sheryl Barto — whose bio includes being an autism mom, horsewoman, and PR professional — and her husband, Karl Hanlon, who grew up in a ranching family raising cattle along the border of southern Wyoming and Jackson County, Colorado. Smiling Goat Ranch is a labor of love for the pair.
The mission of the ranch is to help humans heal through interactions with horses and other animals. It offers therapeutic services for free to families with neuropsychiatric conditions, including autism, anxiety, and depression as well as veterans with PTSD.
During the festivities the evening of Friday, Dec. 16, families traveled from throughout the Roaring Fork Valley for a chance to interact with all of the therapy animals — horses, mini-horses, dogs, bunnies, and, of course, goats.
The first stop on the nighttime tour was a photo op for families in a sleigh. Next up was a visit with the horses for a demonstration of the ranch’s sensory work — part of the Horse Boy Method working with body-to-body contact, human-to-horse to relax the entire nervous system.
The last stop was a gathering around a bonfire to make s’mores, enjoy hot cider and chai donated by Bonfire Coffee, and make holiday decorations. The entire event was sponsored by Wrangler and Slifer Smith & Frampton. Board members who attended included Blair Palmer and Beth Mobilian.
“We are ever so grateful for the incredible support from people near and far to keep our mission alive to offer our therapeutic services for free,” said Barto. “We are blessed with an incredibly passionate community of volunteers, families we serve, and donors!”
For more information on programs and ways to participate or support their efforts, please visit http://www.smilinggoatranch.com.
Mountain Mayhem: Spring flings
Casa Tua hosted a dinner last month in partnership with Wyld Blue, the chic boutique in the Elks Building downtown featuring a collection of housewares, childrens’ clothes and women’s fashion.