The riding program began in 2009 by founder Jodi Geerlings as a result of her lifelong dream to offer therapeutic riding in the Holland area. The following year, Jodi Geerlings and Phyllis DeHaan, both achieved their Instructor Certification with PATH International. In 2011 we found our home here at Rusty Spurs Ranch when we partnered with Tom and Kelli Rozema to begin therapeutic riding at this new location (in the big barn!)
- In 2012, Shaina Faber joined the team and became a Certified Instructor with PATH Intl.
- In 2013, the board hired Melissa Conner as the first Executive Director and as a PATH Intl. Advanced Instructor. We then began another stage of growth, doubling our number of students served and volunteers involved in the program during the year. We also started serving school groups, both public and private.
- In 2014, Renew began a Capital Campaign to raise funds to build our own facility by re-purposing an large enclosure at the sound end of the property in order to accommodate the growth and need for additional space and horses.
- Since moving to our new facility in 2015, we’ve added several more instructors who have obtained their PATH Intl. Instructor Certification by participating and completing our Mentorship program. We also hired Kayla Tuinega as Barn Manager and Allison Carns as Volunteer Coordinator.
- We currently serve approximately 60 students per week, 37 weeks each year. Our programming includes weekly therapeutic riding lessons, school groups, group home outings, and summer camps. In 2016, we provided over 1,500 hours of direct service.
- Renew is supported by a dedicated Board of Directors, and functions as a charity dependent upon donations and grant money to cover expenses.