Maui Youth Ranch was started by Ohana Ranch of Maui owner Toni Martin in 2011. Toni was inspired by the book “Hope Rising” written by Kim Meeder, owner of Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch located in Bend, Oregon. In her book Kim shares stories of the incredible healing power that rescue horses have on emotionally and physically “broken” children and adults. Ohana Ranch has been a horse rescue facility for several years.
Toni has also been working with children and adults with special needs on her own in a limited capacity. Inspired by Kim and her husband Troy’s work at Crystal Peaks Ranch, Toni saw the bigger picture. She realized that there is a huge unmet need in the Maui community for children and adults with emotional, mental and physical disabilities to experience the amazing healing capacity of equine therapy. Toni, with the help of a few volunteers, opened up Ohana Ranch’s facility to Maui’s special needs community. One by one she witnessed the transformation special needs children and adults through the healing power of equine therapy. “We need to reach out to more people who need our help and I can’t do this alone” she lamented. Maui Youth Ranch was created with the purpose of creating a resource center for the purpose of touching lives.