Cary ranch pairs at-risk girls with rescued horses

Friday, February 12, 2016
Horses helping at risk girls
A horse ranch in Cary is helping at-risk girls

CARY, N.C. (WTVD) -- There are hundreds of at-risk teenage girls in Wake County who are running out of options. Therapy didn't help, after school programs aren't working, and the juvenile justice system doesn't work either.

But a horse ranch in Cary full of rescued horses catches these girls before they slip through the cracks.

"We pair at-risk girls with rescued horses, and together they heal and turn their lives around," saod Joy Currey, the program's founder.

Jessica, 14, had no real experience with horses until she came to Corral Riding Academy in Cary.

"I had only been around horses at the State Fair," Jessica said.

Jessica had also been in and out of therapy, had struggled with thoughts of suicide, and wasn't in school with her peers.

"I really wasn't doing all that great," Jessica shared.

But once she met Chester, a Thoroughbred, and Jazelle, an Arabian pony, her life changed.

"It's wonderful how [the horses] can talk to you without using words, everything comes spilling out with them and they understand," Jessica said.

"Most of [the girls] have never seen a horse before, most of them are afraid of horses," Currey explained. "Part of what's happened in their lives, they've experienced abuse and neglect and trauma."

Currey started Corral to help at-risk girls back in 2008.

"When you meet [the girls] on their first day, they rarely look you in the eye," Currey explained. "They're angry, they're depressed."

At Corral, they girls get mental health treatment, academic help, vocational training, and mentorship.

"You would not call them at-risk at all when you see them after a year or two," Currey said.

Bonding with these rescued horses makes girls like Jessica realize they have an important place in this world.

"I can see my future ahead of me," Jessica told ABC11. "I can see myself in Paris designing beautiful dresses for all the top celebrities in the world. I can see myself so successful now."

Corral is looking to expand to help even more horses and girls.

To find out more information about Corral, or if you know someone who could use their help, click here.