Read our story, the founding of Rustic Way Ranch, an equine-assisted psychotherapy center for teens struggling with mental health.

Our Story

Nestled in Melissa, Texas, just 30 miles north of Dallas, Rustic Way Ranch has opened its gates to invite teens to experience a renewed sense of purpose and hope as they experience life on the ranch.

At Rustic Way Ranch, therapy takes on a unique and transformative form. The inception of this innovative approach to mental health care for teens is deeply rooted in the personal journey of the founder, Brooke Carreker. Her lifelong battle with anxiety and depression, a journey shared by her family across generations, led to the realization that psychotherapy could be reimagined.

Brooke's pivotal moment of healing came through equine-assisted activities. This personal breakthrough ignited a passion to extend similar hope and support to others, especially young people grappling with mental health issues. This vision gave birth to Rustic Way Ranch, where therapeutic horsemanship, professional counseling, and nature-based experiences intertwine to offer a holistic path to wellness.

Together, they formed Rustic Way Ranch.

In February 2023, the dream began to materialize when long-time Melissa residents, Bill and Pat Daniel, offered the use of 10 acres of their land on which to launch this vision. Brooke and those close to her began with a modest setup of two horses and a round pen. By the start of 2024, their dedication and hard work has transformed the ranch into a bustling haven equipped with five horses, a round pen, an open arena, and an area ready for a new barn. The ranch also features a chicken coop, home to over 60 chickens, a litter of playful barn cats, the gentle presence of two Great Pyrenees, and there are plans to welcome more small livestock soon.

Further bolstering our ambitious vision are the newly appointed Counseling Program Director and Horsemanship Program Director (read their bios here), with decades of experience in their respective fields. Our growing team is united in our eagerness to serve the young people and families of Melissa, TX, and the broader North Dallas area.

Rustic Way Ranch is more than a therapy center; it's a sanctuary where restoration and healing are nurtured through equine-assisted psychotherapy. It embodies a journey from pain to recovery, a path that the Carreker family has walked themselves. Their mission is to share this experience, to meet the needs of struggling teens, and to inspire hope. The ranch is a testament to the belief that restoration begins with one person and then spreads to others. It's a place of hope, where the road, no matter how dark or winding, leads to healing and growth. Rustic Way Ranch is dedicated to walking this road alongside each individual who steps through its gates.

Support Our Cause

The enduring success of Rustic Way Ranch and its mission relies heavily on the generosity and involvement of our community. Volunteers breathe life into daily operations, making a real difference in the lives of teens. Donors and investors play a crucial role in sustaining and expanding our services, ensuring that every teen has access to the transformative care they need.

Each contribution, be it time, resources, or financial support, has a profound impact, echoing far beyond the ranch's fences. Join us in this mission — your involvement is integral to changing lives.