Hey there! My name is Sarah Hereim, welcome to my Blog! I will share a little bit about myself and my family. My husband Kent and I have a cattle ranch in Judith Gap, Montana. We also have a Guest Ranch (Horses N Courage) located in the Crazy Mountains. We have been married and ranching for 26 years. We are parents to 3 great kids. Our oldest daughter Casey, is an elementary teacher and married to the love of her life Nick, a police officer. Our middle child, our son, Jordy is living his dream of Cowboying in the Nevada desert. Our youngest child, Nikky, is currently a Sophomore in Highschool. She helps on the ranch and is a Wrangler for us at Horses N Courage. We love our rural life, our ranch and all our many animals. Because we are very passionate about sharing our guest ranch and our way of life with others, Horses N Courage was created!
I started this Blog to for two reasons. 1. to share about our family ranch life, and Guest Ranch happenings. 2. to create a community of with whom we can share our journey of having a teen girl with ADHD and we sincerely hope that you will share your ADHD journey as well as your family’s way of life with us!
Our ADHD journey begins… Our youngest daughter Nikky, was diagnosed in early spring with ADHD and the traditional depression and anxiety that normally accompanies ADHD. After hearing her diagnosis, we were momentarily shocked, but after reflecting back over the years, the light bulb came on! Everything became clear! Her Dad and I were immediately thankful to know what she was dealing with so we could start making changes in our parenting, and to help Nikky make the changes that she needed to be successful in school and life! The first key step in making all that happen was to educate ourselves. What is ADHD? Is it more than just a high energy child? I spend 4 days, not leaving the house, or even getting out of my sweats, researching. I scoured the internet, watched YouTube videos, read books and anything I could get my hands on to get a good understanding of what Nikky has been dealing with and deals with every day. One of the biggest eye openers for me was when I watched YouTube video’s filmed by teenagers of an actual day in their life. I was amazed! Nikky could have been that teen in the video! ADHD was SO much more than just a high energy child! Everything that I learned opened my eyes so much, that when I reflected back over her childhood, from the time she was small, I could see how it had played out in her life, positive and negative. The second key step for us was to help Nikky accept and embrace her diagnosis. Being a 15-year-old Freshman is hard enough and then when you throw a diagnosis in with it and she felt very alone, different, dumb, sad, etc. It was very hard on our hearts watching her struggle through this period. We still work with her everyday to realize that ADHD is not a failed version of normal… it is simply a different way of being!
Our family journey with ADHD is how our idea of “Riding ADDventures for Teen Girls” was born! After scouring the internet and other resources to find a summer camp for our daughter, where she could meet other girls with ADHD, learn from their experiences and enjoy an atmosphere where she felt safe and like she belonged. To our dismay, we found that there were no summer camps for ADHD in the state of Montana It was also important to her father and I, that she felt safe and felt like she belonged, and to what the heck, possibly learn some tools to add to her tool box?! But most importantly, we wanted her to have some FUN and find her smile again! Her Freshman year of Highschool was really tough on her. She struggled on many levels and she continually struggled to squeeze her creative, energetic, ADHD self into the public- school mold. We wanted her to find a sisterhood where she could be herself and flourish in an atmosphere she loves, while doing what she loves! What a better way to help herself than to help others?
Our goal was to create a program that to teach tools, that Nikky has worked on or will be working on. A place where the girls can share openly and then take those new friendships home to their daily lives. Our hope is to have them to lean on one another during tough, trying times and also to share accomplishments, successes and happy times! With our working ranch life and Guest Ranch it was possible to add two major healing components that could make our camp successful. One…Horses. Horses are such amazing, patient, loving creatures. The horse is a universal symbol of freedom without restraint. Riding a horse makes a girl feel like she can free herself from her own bindings. Two… the Mountains. From the dictionary the definition of mountain is, “Mountains symbolize obstacles, climbing over one, or passing through, a mountain range indicates, overcoming obstacles or making progress. It also means “rising and improving”. The dictionary meaning speaks volumes to me! But when you are actually in, the mountains and experiencing the healing of nature, the wildlife, the peace, the quiet, no interruptions from life or cell phones. The mountains in themselves have a calming balm that take you to a new level. A new level of finding yourself, aiding and supporting in digging deeper and accomplishing things never thought possible. We wanted our camp to be authentic, and professional, so we agreed the best way to do that was to back our camp by a team of professionals. We are happy to announce that we joined forces with a Physician’s Assistant, therapists and teachers. You will meet each one in upcoming blogs. We believe that together we all created a winning program for teen girls. Our hope is that they have so much fun and learn tools to take home, that they will want to come back and see what the next summer’s session has to offer!
We sincerely hope that you will join us on our journey through our blog! We believe that we can be the change our kids need! We can support each other through trial and error, the ups and the downs, and most importantly celebrate our children’s milestones and successes! Together we can end the stigma and NEVER GIVE UP HOPE!