There is a rush in the city. Everyone is anxious and late for something. The high stressors of everyday life seem to envelop you in a dense fog. But, driving north on I-75 with the bustling city behind you, the buildings become sparse, the trees become plentiful, and your mind begins to relax.
You are headed to Webster, a town not too far north of Dade City, and a little ranch called Peaceful Pastures.
Peaceful Pastures Ranch was founded in 2020 by Jessica Oliver, LCSW.
Jessica had spent many years planning her dream of opening a horse rescue and providing help to others through animal-assisted therapy. She graduated with a bachelor’s degree in social work and a master’s degree in clinical social work, specializing in military trauma.
In February 2020, it was time to put her dream to work. By March, Jessica had seven rescue horses on the ranch and a pandemic to worry about, but that didn’t stop her. The Ranch grew and provided a much-needed escape for the quarantined through socially distanced rides and therapy.
Fast forward to 2022, and Peaceful Pastures Ranch had become a cherished resource to the community with a collaboration with Honey’s Mini Therapy Adventures.
The two organizations teamed up to bring weekly equine group therapy to area schools and centers. Working alongside the Veteran’s Adventure Network brought twenty-plus veterans to the Ranch in the summer of 2022 to experience equine therapy, mindfulness, meditation, and yoga. An incredible 2022 ended with a spectacular fall festival and Santa’s Village at the Ranch!
As word spread about the benefits of equine therapy and the impactful experience at Peaceful Pastures Ranch, Jessica’s reach grew even further.
In 2023, Peaceful Pastures Ranch hosted a school visit from East Pasco Education Academy and another Healing with Horses event alongside Veterans Adventure Network.
In July this year, Jessica achieved the goal of becoming an in-network provider for TriCare, which has enabled her to increase access to equine-assisted therapy and other mental health services to the active duty and veteran population. For veterans seeking alternate therapy or emotional support, time spent on the Ranch can be the perfect answer. No clinics, just fresh air, the smell of the earth, and horses.
With 2023 coming to a close, Jessica can look back on the past three years with pride, knowing her dream of helping people and horses has far exceeded her expectations.
For those of us who have had the wonderful opportunity to spend time on the ranch and benefit from Jessica’s therapy, we can only say “thank you!” Thank you, Jessica, for everything you and your family do to keep Peaceful Pastures Ranch strong, growing impact, and changing lives.
To run a ranch like Peaceful Pastures costs money. To provide free and reduced cost therapy costs even more. Most of the ranch’s herd comes in dire need of medical attention. Immediate costs can range from a few hundred to over one thousand dollars. Once rehabilitated, daily hay, feed, supplements, monthly farrier visits, and yearly vet checks can bring the annual total to over $6,000 per horse.
If you love horses, if you love people, and if you can help, please donate to Peaceful Pastures Ranch, a Florida 501(c)(3). You can also sponsor a horse through the Peaceful Pastures Ranch Sponsor a Horse Program.
Check out the four levels of support you can choose from on the Peaceful Pastures Ranch website. One-time donations are always welcome as well.
Peaceful Pastures Christmas Wish List
“We are trying to save up for a hay barn. This will allow us to purchase hay in bulk, saving hundreds, even thousands per year.”