Texas Boys Ranch Video Production

Stuart Blalock Visual Company has been a long time partner with Texas Boys Ranch. They provide a vital ministry to foster children on the South Plains. They've entrusted us with their story because we thoroughly research their programs and create motivating content which they can then use to educate, fundraise, and encourage others to become involved with their programs. 

We recently produced a video demonstrating the process through a child’s eyes of arriving at the Ranch from CPS scared, confused, and very mistrusting of adults. The caring staff at the Ranch build bonds with new arrivals and restores their confidence. These relationships have a lifelong impact on a foster child’s self worth, and the Ranch makes it their mission to help each child feel safe and loved.

This happens all the time. Child Protective Services need to remove a child from his home, his parents, and everything he knows. He is overwhelmed with thoughts and emotions. Sometimes he's scared, sometimes he's relieved, and most times he's just sad. The only thing he gets to take with him is his favorite stuffed animal and the clothes on his back. He arrives at a place that immediately has him intrigued. Horses greet him as he enters through the gate. It's only a brief distraction from what has just happened and all the sad feelings are still there. The grownups he just met unload him from the car and another new person greets him. Then, he walks into another building, the place that will be his home for a while. Because he has a hard time trusting adults, he is weary of all these new people. But then, a change starts to take place in his heart. Although he misses the familiar, he starts to warm up to his new surroundings. And there are others like him here. He no longer feels alone. He keeps meeting nice people who seem to like him. They even let him pick out some new clothes. And now that he feels somewhat normal, he expresses himself through one of his favorite things to do, coloring. After a while, trusting adults becomes easier. It almost feels normal. What he knows for sure is that he feels safe, cared for, and loved at the Texas Boys Ranch.

In another video, we featured the Equine Therapy Program at Texas Boys Ranch. We followed the Ranch foreman,  Brady,  from the range to the barn where he combines his passions for horses and for helping abused and neglected children. We filmed video of Brady calling the horses in from the pasture and documented actual therapy sessions while preserving the confidentiality of the clients. He and other staff members build self-esteem, confidence, and communication in the children through riding and caring for the horses. The bonds kids build with the animals allow them to work through many of the pent up feelings they've carried as a result of their abuse and neglect. 

All of our kids have been broken in some way. They've been abused or neglected, and so they just carry around, I think, a burden that's really not their burden to have to carry, but they've got it and we try to help 'em. Not eliminate that burden, but deal with it and understand that it wasn't their fault or any of their doin' that caused that neglect or abuse to happen. I'm gonna start gettin' their attention here. Well, I'm gonna get out and dump a little feed on the back of the truck. Lest you all are out there, them horses are gonna go pushing each other around. Don't let one of 'em knock you down or somethin'. Come on. Come on. Peanut, come on. You guys ready to go? What we try to do with our equine therapy, with everyone of our clients, kids that we have therapy for, one of our... main goals we always have is building self-esteem.

- Okay, so this time, I'm gonna give you a little bit of challenge before we get off, okay? You guys are gonna go opposite ways, so that means at some point you're gonna cross, right? You need to talk and say how you're gonna cross each other. All right? So, you go that way, you go that way. And watch out for each other and talk. Go for it, okay, if you run into anybody else, you gotta stop, too. Good job slowing your horse down.

- When they come out there, they just, once they kinda get a bond with the horse, it's just easier for 'em to talk about things from the past that weigh on 'em. It's pretty amazing to watch how the horses will change their attitude sometimes for a certain kid that we put on 'em. Most of the time, in my opinion, the horses will calm and humble themselves for a kid more than they will get aggressive for a kid. Tell you one kid we had, he had been goin' to therapy in the classroom, or office setting, for over six months. And he had not opened up and told the therapist one thing. His only response to questions, why was he out here? I don't know, I don't know. She was a little concerned that they weren't makin' progress, so I said, "Well, let's schedule him and bring him to the horse barn." The third session at the horse barn, he opened up and shared more information with her in 30 minutes than he had shared in over six months. And from that day forward, he just started making progress. Oh, that's how he keeps the flies off. He stomps his feel and shakes. How do you keep the flies off? Yeah, well, that's what he does. See there, he just kicked a fly off. You ready to get up there?

- [Girl] First we have to bring it over there with the step.

- Well, how about if I just pick you up?

- [Girl] No.

- You want the steps, huh? You think that's necessary?

- [Girl] Mm hmm.

- All right, we'll wait on them then.

- Okay, there you go, all by yourself.

- Come on, come on, there ya go.

- Oh, good job, good, hold that hair right there. Beautiful.

- [Man] All right, can you turn a circle? They'll be standin' there brushin' their horse before they saddle 'em, just talking to 'em. And it's let 'em get some of those feelings they had locked up in, get 'em out. And they share 'em with their horse. You know, I couldn't tell you what they're sayin'. I just know they're over there talkin' to their horse. And it does 'em a lot of good. And they'll tell ya, those horses are their best friends right now.

A third video for Texas Boys Ranch documents actual foster and adoptive parents telling heart-warming and funny stories about their experiences. It shows how average families provide loving environments for children from previously harmful situations and do life together. Kids are silly, life is messy, and it’s no different for families that the Ranch brings together.

 - Yeah, a typical day for us with four kids already is all over the place, but adding one more, we're already playing zone defense so it's just another day in the life for us.

- Well on a typical school day, I wake up and go to work and let her do everything else.

- Basically.

- In the beginning it was definitely -

- Oh my gosh, what did we get ourselves into.

- Yes.

- You might be a foster or adoptive parent if you automatically grab two baskets at every story you go to.

- Some of the kids we keep are allergic to sleep, I think. It's funny but they usually sleep on her side so I'm not going to say they wake me up a whole lot, but they definitely wake us up.

- Oh my gosh, learning how to do hair has been interesting. It took me probably about three weeks to master pigtails and I was so happy I was taking pictures.

- Daycare can really tell when mom's out, because the girls hair just kind of goes everywhere.

- I had never been exposed to boys, I had been in an all girls house, so that was quite a challenge.

- I finally got someone to wrestle with.

- Yeah, but the noise level went from here to out the roof.

- The first time we went to the shelters, we met Nicholas and Cecilia and he was...

- Two.

- Two at the time, and she was three.

- Five.

- Five. No four.

- We traded in our Prius for a 12 passenger van.

- And that was a pretty big step.

- First Nicholas who is four, very, very, very four.

- You might be a foster or adoptive parent if someone comes up to you in the grocery store and says, "God bless you."

- Nicholas will be running around and then he'll come up with this sword to me and be, "My name is Amigo Montoya, you killed my father. "Prepare to die."

- He wanted a Princess Bride birthday party. I was like, "You're about 20 years too late kiddo." I don't think they have any of that in the store anymore.

- You might be a foster or adoptive parent if you have two children, almost exactly the same age of two different races and someone says, "Are they twins? "No wait."

- You might be a foster parent or an adoptive parent if your name is on the church prayer list every single Sunday.

- That first meeting we were joking around with them, they said, "We might have four kids coming in, "I know you all are only thinking of maybe one or two, "but what do you think of four?" So.

- The rest is history.

- We were doing care for a young girl and we took her to church with us for the first time while she was in our home. While we were sitting at the back not knowing if a child is going to be loud or not, the lights are out, we're starting communion time and the picture of the communion cup and the bread shows up on the screen and just as loud as she could and in the quietness of the surrounding said, "Coffee, coffee." Because she saw a cup that looked like coffee. So she also liked to say, "Amen" really loud at church. So we were getting a lot of attention that morning at church.

- He had gone back to work and it was over Christmas break and I had been doing some laundry and the girls were playing in their room. Reed was playing video games and all of a sudden I hear water. I'm like, "What's?"

- I didn't hear it.

- So I jumped up and a run into the bathroom and the older one is standing on the stool and she was going to wash her hands and she plugged the sink, turned the faucet on, dropped her toothbrush in. The little one had crawled in and was splashing and playing and laughing like we had never heard her laugh before. I mean she was having the best time.

- Water's going over the sink, into the drawers.

- Everywhere.

- Out on the floors, out into the hall.

- And it just made me think, "So this is what it's like having twins." Because you know, all of a sudden we went from one to three. You just have to be very much on top of your game.

- The seven year old is still, we're going over sight words and one of his spelling words was stand. Well he has been going to a Catholic school for this entire year, so they really, really have jumped in all the way, 100% into our faith. He's sounding it out. I see him struggling. "Okay, what's the problem? "What can I help you with?" He's like, "I just don't know what this word is Mom." I said, "Well what is it?" I said, "Sound it out." He says, "Okay, It's Saint And. "Saint And, I don't know that word." I said, "No sweetie, it's stand, stand." "Yeah, but that's an S-T." I said, "Yes, I get that, "but it's an abbreviation for saint. "That's stand."

- She takes baths in the kiddie pool because she is too scared of the other bath inside.

- Well yeah, hang on. So when she first showed up to our home we found out she did not like having water poured on her head so in order to get her used to that my wife got a kiddie pool set up in the backyard and just kind of made it fun and "Hey, we're going to pour water on your arms." and tried to kind of work her into it. We didn't always give her a bath in the backyard.

Behind the scenes