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Our History

Mission Statement

Achaius Ranch exists to provide refuge for neglected, abused and unwanted horses.  We welcome children and their families to the ranch to help care for and interact with horses in a Christ-centered, loving environment in order to nurture healing and growth for both horse and person.



This website is our way of sharing our experiences on this wonderful journey of love, faith, growth and service to others. Through our blog we will share with you every aspect of this journey from the perspective of as many people as possible that join us along the way. We hope you will walk along with us, too!

Achaius Ranch, a 501(c)(3) charitable organization, is a faith-based ministry for youth and their families. It is modeled after Crystal Peaks Youth Ranch in Bend, Oregon. Written by Kim Meeder, one of the founders of that ranch, the true stories in the books Hope Rising and A Bridge Called Hope clearly illustrate the kinds of life-changing experiences that can happen through this kind of ministry.

Two of our members, Nicole Wilson and Elisha McCulloh (see below), having been inspired by the stories from Crystal Peaks and wanting to see where God would lead them with their dreams, interests and various giftings, traveled to Crystal Peaks in May, 2010, for an Information Session. They were delighted and inspired by the ministry at Crystal Peaks Ranch and they learned the specifics of how horses, children, and families find love, healing and growth there. Upon returning, they started planning and building Achaius Ranch, along with our 11 member board of directors. We obtained nonprofit 501(c)(3) status in March of 2011 and are currently focusing most of our efforts on preparing the ranch property.


The Ranch

Achaius Ranch is located near Ladoga, Indiana. The facilities include about six acres of pastures, an outdoor riding arena and other areas in which to work/ride/play with the horses, and a pole barn and run-in sheds to shelter the horses. A new welcome center is currently under construction.



We currently have eleven horses residing at the ranch. Many have come to us with a history of abuse, neglect, and other significant difficulties. Two of them are blind miniature horses. Our horse specialist and Ranch Manager, Nicole Wilson, oversees all care for the herd and training of volunteers that work and interact with the horses. Nicole has a bachelors degree from Indiana University and is a Level 3 graduate of the Parelli Natural Horsemanship Program.



The Ranch provides opportunities for children to interact with horses through scheduled sessions, which involve positive, loving interaction between the child and the session leader as well as the horse. Our session leaders are trained in leadership, techniques for effective communication, relationship-building, and in natural horsemanship. Our Program Director, Elisha McCulloh, MSW, a Licensed Clinical Social Worker, facilitates the screening, training, and activities of our volunteers. Before becoming a full-time volunteer at the ranch, Elisha counseled individuals, couples and families in Crawfordsville. She also supervised workers that provide home-based services for the Department of Child Services, and established a Truthought corrective thinking program for the Montgomery County Probation Department.


Eisha with Iago


Elisha McCulloh


If you are interested in being a part of Achaius Ranch, please check the blog frequently for additional information. And please feel free to contact us.


Achaius Ranch is a 501(c)(3) charitable organization. Your contributions are tax deductible and greatly appreciated!