About us....

Our Purpose:

   To provide a safe and nurturing environment where healing and
   learning can take place. People thrive in an environment where
   every success is celebrated and trying new things is exciting
   and fun.  Partnering a horse with a student, allowing them to
   build relationship and engage in meaningful ways allows both
   to experience something wonderful and powerful.

Our Philosophy:

   We believe that an experience with a horse can be life
   changing.  With three powerful concepts:  
             1) Learning the language of the horse
             2) The right learning environment
             3) Promoting the freedom for an individual to learn at their
                 own pace.
   This combination powerfully builds leadership and problem solving
   skills, while lifting self-esteem and exercising the whole body.

   Communicating with respect and honor with each other
   and our horses is key.  Our heart is to help someone
   know that they are highly valued as an individual.
   We are delighted at the opportunity to get to know them.

Our Past:

   We began in 2007 working with 2 horses and 2 ponies and a handful  
   of very special students who gave us the realization of how powerful
   working with horses could be.  2009 we achieved our non-profit
   status, 501(c)(3) which allowed our Big Star family to grow with
   donations to support our students who could not afford services and
   helped us to grow our herd. In 2011 our covered arena allowed us to
   be open in all weather conditions. We grew exponentially! Next came
   the Rising Stars leadership development program, foster kids   
   individualized programing, adult therapy and natural horsemanship
   training, we continue to add to our offerings with relevant topics,
   character building, horse training and experiential learning.

Our Present:

   We are so excited! Every year we have seen more lives changed and
   more growth in those who come through our program.  The barn and
   arena have expanded as our student base continues to grow.

   The word is out about how working with horses helps the heart of a
   hurting person.  We continue to serve students of all ages and

   Big Star Ranch is committed to building relationships with our local
   vendors, service providers, local churches, mental health
   professionals, DHS and other agencies, volunteer and fund raising
   organizations as we value those partnerships and believe in
   community involvement.  

Our Future:

   We are excited about the new group classes we have added!  The
   new HEART series was designed to help both parents and their
   children become better communicators. Horses are non-verbal
   communicators and studies say that human communication is 93%
   non-verbal!  Learning how to become more aware of those cues has
   been powerful!

   The HEART series (Human/Equine Awareness and Relationship
   Training) isn't just for parents and families, but work groups and
    other small groups.

Our Founder:

    Barbara Knudsen had a dream more than 25 years ago about a
    horse, disabled rider and the healing that took place partnering
    with a horse.  For the years following, she volunteered at several
    programs and in many capacities knowing someday she would have
    a program of her own.

    Barbara found horses could provide another form of therapy, the
    kind that helps to heal a broken heart.  That was the kind of horse
    therapy program that really touched her.

    The benefits horses bring to humans is just amazing,but the heart
    of a horse can be wounded too.   With that in mind, she set out to
    find a way to provide a different kind of therapy program. The kind
    that would benefit the hearts of both the humans and the horses.  
    This is what Big Star Ranch is all about.

   Love * Respect * Honor * Trust * Tolerance * Boundaries * Empathy

    "Working with horses, learning their language and developing a
     relationship through mutual respect and trust can enrich the life
      of anyone.  Horses can make us better people."

 Barbara is a CHA certified instructor and enjoys continuing
 her education, skills and knowledge levels with all things
 horse.  She is the President of Big Star Ranch, Inc.,  a
 member of the American Quarter Horse Association, the
 Certified Horsemanship Association,  the Clackamas County
 Youth Providers Network and Won by One Church.    
     Big Star Ranch, Inc. is a 501 (c) (3)  Your contributions are tax deductible.
Tuition fee's cover a portion of the care and feeding costs of our hard working horses. It is the generous gifts of people like you that help us continue to serve those individuals
who need our services and may not be able to afford them.
Big Star Ranch, Inc.                                                                                                                            503-913-8680
Equine Assisted Activities and Therapies                                                                                                                       BigStarRanch@gmail.com