Grace Stables Korea is South Korea's largest equestrian organization for expats, as well as an organization that offers weekly outreach events for communities and people in need. First started and organized by Pastor Sarah Shechner in 2013, Grace Stables is one of South Korea’s first outreach organizations, offering horse riding and horse activities related to EFP/EFL (Equine Facilitated Psychotherapy/Learning).
Grace Stables is currently an outreach branch of Morning Calm Ministries, a registered missions church in Pyeongtaek City. We realize the desperate need for healing and joy in today’s society, and therefore we aim to assist in making positive changes in the lives we reach. We contribute assistance with healing, educating, integrating, enriching, and overall supporting a better future for Korea’s community, as well as the large Expat community. Grace Stables represents honest and true concern for the well-being and value of both human life and animal life.
Grace Stables also understands the importance of offering outlets for the Expat community. We offer lessons, an Expat Jumping/Dressage team, participation in FEI competitions, trail rides, opportunities to volunteer, as well as events and group activities, from earning badges for Girl Scouts/Boy Scouts groups, to having fun birthday parties and small club outings.
Healing is at the heart of what we do at Grace Stables Korea. Healing is gift for all involved: there are many helpful ways our hoofed friends can help, and many ways that we can help them.
Focusing on the horse helps people to clear their minds, as they have to put their problems and worries behind them and fully concentrate on their interaction with the animal. Seeing the trainer work and explain how to communicate with the horse can give people, especially those who have suffered through difficult and traumatic times, a sense of trust and respect, and also leads to rebuilding their trust towards others in general. Horseback riding gives the rider confidence, as well as a beautiful experience of looking out over the world, and keeping their problems beneath them.
“I encourage my clients and riders to try and form their own special relationship with their horse. When these relationships are cultivated, healing of many forms is evident.” Sarah explains.
This charitable work has also shown many beneficial results. Sometimes the impact of the interaction with horses is amazing to everyone, like for one of the North Korean orphans that has attended Grace Stables. The child changed his attitude towards school and other everyday challenges and started putting much more effort into succeeding, so he could attend the equestrian school.
Also, our therapy activities help the traumatized to speak about what they experienced. They find a safe and supportive environment to help release, work through, and leave their trauma behind them. They become renewed body, mind and spirit.
Our volunteers also receive healing by their giving. Knowing they are bringing joy to others brings much joy to themselves. Volunteers are always eager to return, as the synergy of all the people coming together to help each other and celebrate life are moments to be cherished.
Finally, the relationship of human to horse is an extraordinary bond. Horses depend solely on humans for quality of life. When horses are neglected and abused, this bond breaks with terrible consequences for both the physical and emotional parts of the horse. Grace Stables Korea has a team of terrific volunteers that work with rescue horses to get them healthy again: spirit, mind and body.
Together it creates perfect circle of healing!
Grace Stables reaches out to South Korea's "those in need" community. This includes, but is not restricted to: under-privileged or low-income children/teens, orphans, children/women/victims of any abuse, high-risk adolescence (or juvenile delinquents), all students, physically/ mentally/ emotionally disabled, and refugees.
We offer fun riding and non-riding activities with horses, or even without horses (i.e. horseshoe painting decorating, English Horse Prep Classes, stretching classes, agriculture, games, etc.). We work with both children and adult groups. We have even started a "Family Day" for our local community to just come out and enjoy fellowship, BBQ, and simple riding.
Since January 2014, we have been consistently offering riding lessons and riding time to North Korean refugee children and North Korean refugee University students from the Mulmangcho Organization. This has been such a great experience for everyone involved.
In 2015, we extended our services, under the direction of our founder Pastor Sarah Shechner, to the mentally and physically disabled boys at Hae-Don-Sol Center in Yongin-si. The assigned occupational therapist Dr. Son and Pastor Shechner witnessed great results and improvements in this short time.
In 2017, we joined forces with “Life Together Korea”. They enable children from welfare homes to establish themselves as thriving individuals in a challenging environment.
Pastor Shechner also works privately with clients who suffer from physical disabilities, diseases, Autism and severe ADHD patients, and other emotional or mental disabilities, such as PTSD and depression.
Here at Grace Stables Korea we aim to cultivate a relationship between the rider and the horse, between the volunteers and the community and we can only achieve that with your help. We want to create an environment where our animals receive love and support, but where our humans feel equally catered for. It is our biggest hope that our volunteers and clients leave our programs with a lighter heart and satisfied soul.
Why not see what we do and join our cause? We can only achieve our goals when you help us. Get involved! Make a donation, whether it's time, money, or supplies. Come and see the great joy and positive changes in horses' and humans' lives!