Carla & Dave Dennis. Carla is the Founder and President of Remedy Ranch. Come & meet us!
"I can do all things through Christ
who strengthens me."
ABOUT REMEDY RANCH
The name for Remedy Ranch was born out of an experience that we had in 2008 just after my mom passed away. I was heartbroken and was looking for help with the pain that I was suffering. We had just sold our little Icelandic horse Andi, so I was also grieving his loss as well. Selling him was a very difficult decision for me. He was the perfect "kids" horse, however our youngest daughter was outgrowing him as she became more involved in High School activities and he was too good a horse to leave sitting around. I was shopping for a new, larger horse and found a Rocky Mountain horse located just north of us in Arroyo Grande. His registered name was "High Voltage" which was a tad bit scary! He had been renamed "Scooby" by his current owner which did fit his personality as goofy as he was. But it didn't do his appearance justice. After spending the day with his trainer and riding him, We were in the car for the ride home, discussing possible names for him.
Our 14 year old daughter was sitting in the back seat of the car, when she suddenly said; "You should name him Remedy, because he is like your remedy for life!" The name Remedy stuck although I knew that there was a more permanent and effective "remedy" for life, and that was my faith and relationship with Jesus. Over the next 10 years, I have built a relationship with my beautiful Remedy that helped me to heal from my Mothers death and separation from my husband, being a single parent to our teenaged daughter and learning a new job in the corporate world, giving up my home based drafting business that I ran for the last 17 years. My Lord and Savior Jesus Christ was also there with me during those difficult times as well as before. He gave me hope and has helped me to navigate through tragic experiences such as the 1985 suicide of my younger brother when he was just 25 years old, the childhood abuse that I suffered at the hand of my earthly father, enlisting in the Military and being raped, a difficult divorce, single parenthood and the loss of several other family members, my new marriage and the beginning of Remedy Ranch. Jesus is my Remedy and is someone that I am committed to serve and share with others. The Love and Acceptance that He showed me after I fully submitted my life to Him has, and still continues to amaze me. I see Him working in my life every day that I wake up vertigo free, which allowed me to seek full time employment to support our daughter during those two years that my second husband and I were physically separated. I moved out of our home of 20 years without a job, supporting us on a few small drafting jobs that came up and inheritance that was quickly running out. I rented a condo with a year's lease without knowing how I was going to pay the rent. I had applied with my current employer over 6 months before this, and received a notice a few months prior to moving out that they decided not to hire for that position. A month after I moved out, I received a letting from that employer stating that they again had funds to hire and I was asked to call them if I was still interested in interviewing for the position. Thank you Lord for blessing me with the means to continue to support myself and our daughter! I've been employed there since 2010 which has also grown my faith in the power of Jesus to heal and help me to grow personally & spiritually. I had many emotional issues to overcome due the the abuse that I experienced, such as trust in other people, and this separation from my second husband gave me the time and space to heal so that we could eventually reconcile and be a healthier family once again.
Before the separation happened though, I was listening to a local radio station in 2006. They were doing an interview with a gal named Kim Meeder. She started a horse rescue and then moved into paring those abused and abandoned horses with kids with similar experiences. She and her husband named her ministry Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch. I had to pull my car over to the side of the road, as it became too difficult to see through the tears that were streaming down my cheeks as I listened to her tell story after story about the redemption and healing that occurred with these children and horses. I had purchased my first horse 7 years prior to this and through listening to Kim, I identified with her healing through horses, as she experienced the tragic murder/suicide of her parents. Her grandparents bought her and her siblings a pony who connected with Kim through her pain and gave her the hope that she needed to go on. Kim didn't allow her experience to define her in the sense that it held her back from giving to others. I had built up such a thick wall towards others, I didn't trust anyone. I allowed the abuse to define who I was, and lived like I was still a victim. My horse helped me to just be "me". Not the scared and abused child. This beautiful mare accepted me as I was and carried me thru wonderful rides that gave me freedom from pain as I experienced the joy of real living for the first time. I bought Kim's first book (she has written several more since then) and vowed to start a similar ministry that I later decided to name "Remedy Ranch" in 2008 after my new Rocky Mountain fur-buddy.
We hope to use Remedy and the rest of our horses to help others, young and old, to come to the knowledge of Jesus and to rely on Him for healing as they build a relationship and accept Him as their Savior. For me, this long awaited dream began in real time in March of 2018.
I had rented a car from a dealership while my old Prius was being fixed, again. I pulled into a gas station on the way to return the rental car and sat in the driver's seat as I was looking through my purse for a few dollars for gas. The radio was playing an interview on a local Christian radio station that featured a movie about Bart Millard who is the lead singer for Mercy Me. This movie about his life as an abused child and how his redemption story led him to stop defining his life by the abuse. He wrote one of the most highly acclaimed Christian songs; "I Can Only Imagine." Hearing what Bart said in that interview struck me with a thought that was long overdue; the abuse that I suffered did not have to continue to keep me a victim. It doesn't have to define me. I can be free of the shame, guilt of not being "good enough" for my earthly dad. I can live my life for Jesus, not in remembrance of what I suffered. I can help others to escape the bondage of what they experienced in their lives, whether it be from childhood abuse, divorce, the effects of suicide and recently for those who have suffered from the sexual trauma of rape and brain damage like I have from being enlisted in the military, in my case it was the Air Force. From that epiphany I experienced through the Holy Spirit during the radio program, I had a new course to live; to find Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch and see what I needed to do in order to start a similar ministry.
My husband and I were blessed to be able to attend Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch two months later in May 2018. It was a dream come true for us to meet Kim and her husband Troy Meeder and hear about how they grew their ministry first-hand. They provided numerous tips and examples of how to start our own ministry, we worshiped our lord through singing and with heart-felt fellowship with their staff and other participants. The program was very hands-on and we listened, observed and participated our way through 4 solid days of training. They are so blessed by the staff that Jesus has provided for them to impact the lives of those in the program, and we trust in and have faith that we will be blessed as well. Their clinic gave us the insight and tools that we needed to navigate the complicated process of starting a nonprofit with the IRS and State of California. It equipped us in other ways as well, we knew that the staff at Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch were praying for us and I have prayed for other similar ministries as well through their own process to start similar ministries. I am so grateful to God for allowing me to hear Kim's interview, the interview with Bart and for winning a contest with the same radio station in 2019 that allowed me to do an interview with Vision Possible's Butch and Julianne Hartman. Their advice and encouragement provided a much needed boost of confidence as I was growing weary of navigating the permit process with the County of Ventura. God is so good and will provide what you need when you step out in faith for His Kingdom.
I'll be adding to this "blog" as we navigate this process of starting a nonprofit organization to document how we have been richly blessed, and about the blessings to come.
Update 2019: I met with the County of Ventura in December 2019 and the Planning Department told me that we will be able to host our family and friends at our new ranch without obtaining a Conditional Use Permit. This will limit our advertising to word of mouth and private emails as we share our website with others, but Praise the Lord for this challenge that will ultimately glorify Him and His Kingdom! It will be interesting to see how He works this one out! Here at Remedy Ranch, we accept everyone that we meet online or in person as our friends and we pray Lord, for Your will to be done!
Update 2020: We have sold our "almost an acre" property located in Oak View California, and have closed escrow in January 17, 2020 on a property that is almost 40 acres which will allow us to grow our ministry as Jesus provides the volunteers, leaders and donations that we will need in order to do so. Our ministry is 100% free of charge to our guests of the ranch and we are relying on Him to survive and provide others with a place that they too can find hope and healing through Jesus and the hospitality of our horse partners.