WHAT WE DO
True North provides a safe environment where at risk youth and their families come for training in life skills and spiritual awareness in an equine setting. This includes, but is not limited to, children who struggle with depression, autism, foster/adopted, ADD, ADHD, self-harm, bullied, addiction, sexual abuse, incarcerated parents, eating disorders, truancy, and other similar society issues. We instruct our students through an eight-week program covering the following character qualities: relationship building; teamwork and leadership; respect; patience, perseverance and strength; focus; communication; critical thinking, decision making, discernment, and conflict resolution; and trust. Byproducts of these character qualities are values such as honesty, gaining control, confidence, empathy, compassion, love, gratitude, forgiveness, grace, humility, contentment and care. Individual lessons plans are uniquely designed based on the needs of each young person. Each lesson is planned to connect the horse and student. It is our desire to bring hope to those in need.
Grooming is involved in every lesson at the beginning and end of each session. Grooming builds a connection, teaches kindness, care, love and compassion. Grooming a horse before a lesson allows you to remove dirt and debris that might cause irritations to the horse. It also allows you to check for changes in the horse – to check for any swelling, bumps or cuts. Hoof care is part of the grooming process. It is always critical to clean out your horses’ hooves to make sure there are no foreign objects embedded in the hoof. Additionally, it is critical to check for tender spots in the hoof. Grooming at the end of a lesson is a way to thank the horse, and a way to massage sore muscles or tender spots. Every lesson is safety conscious.
Every lesson will have a goal and the question why do we do this will be answered. Every lesson will repeat the concept from the previous lesson and continue to build on that foundation. Our goal is to connect the horse and the student to life concepts and spiritual insights.
MEET THE TEAM
Founder and President
Colleen is the visionary and founder of True North Training Stables. She is active in her church and belongs to the New Hope Counseling Ministry at Liberty Bible Church in Chesterton Indiana. Colleen enjoys horseback riding and loves helping others. Colleen wants to create a safe place where kids know that they are loved and have a have a port in what might seem like the storm of their lives. Colleen is married to Randy Lee. They have one adult son. She is a Director of Retail Sales for EDF Energy Services. She holds a Bachelor of Liberal Arts Degree from Purdue University and a Masters of Business Administration from Indiana Wesleyan University.
Melinda (Mendy) Norman
Mendy is married to Phillip Norman. She has three adult children and one granddaughter. She has a Bachelor of Elementary Education from Cedarville, Ohio and a Masters in Psychology from the University of Phoenix. Mendy currently works as a therapist at New Hope Counseling in Chesterton Indiana. She enjoys riding horses, sewing, reading, music and networking with people. Mendy’s goal for True North Training Stables is to reach the youth in our community by providing a safe, loving place for them and their families.
Cindy is a registered nurse at Porter Regional Hospital. She is married to Dave and they have four wonderful children and two grandchildren. Cindy loves to travel, ride horses, read, and spend time with family and friends. Her hope for True North is that with Godly wisdom and our horses, the children and their families will gain back the freedom to become the person God created them to be.
Board of Directors
Allana grew up in Chesterton Indiana and holds a Bachelor of Science from Purdue University. She currently lives in Chesterton with her husband Chris, their two Great Danes and their two cats. She participated in gymnastics for eighteen years and coached for seven years, where she used gentle teaching as a way to coach and encourage the girls. She currently works for Globe Star in Chesterton Indiana, which provides services to mentally handicapped individuals. Allana enjoys reading, crocheting, knitting, sewing and riding her dad’s motorcycle with him. She is excited about using the horses to gently coach, mentor, help and serve others.
Elizabeth (Liz) Marie Scharp
Board of Directors
Liz was born and raised in Northwest Indiana. After completing a degree in Chemical Engineering at Purdue University she moved briefly to the east coast. When she decided to return to Indiana she took a job as a Chemical Engineer with Unilever where she still works. Six years ago she married her wonderful husband, Will (Treasurer of True North Training Stables). Together they have 3 sweet little girls; Alice (4), Madelynn (3) and Ellie Mary (1). Most of all she enjoys spending time with her family but in her free time she also enjoys running and is active in her church. She knows True North is going to change lives, it has already helped many youth and just being involved with it has started changing her life. She sees True North growing to an organization with a full time staff that can help even more youth. She sees it being known not only in Northwest Indiana but nationwide for all the great work it does to help youth at risk.
Join Our Team!
Are you interested in joining the work that God is doing here at True North? We look forward to hearing from you! Whether you are looking to volunteer for a few days out of the month or wanting to get involved in a more full-time capacity, we would love to hear about your story and how God may be calling you to serve him. The links below provide forms for two of the ways you can help.
Sky is at the heart of the horse ministry. He is a sweet, loving guy that desperately needed a job and a purpose. Like most of us that have too much time on our hands and no direction, Sky was starting to get himself into trouble. Since Sky became a mentor horse and he is getting the attention he needs, he tries to do everything you ask him to do. He loves when he is brushed and cared for and he loves taking care of his riders.
Rain is a little bit shy and acts like she doesn’t want to be a part of this entire ministry. When you approach her, she retreats and it isn’t until you really let her know that you are serious about spending some time with her that she lets you catch her and work with her. Rain loves going fast and she enjoys winning any race that she runs. She has the heart of a warrior and even when she is tired, she is happy to work for you.
Maggie is a very sensitive, intuitive soul. She is very well trained and has wonderful manners. However, because she is quite sensitive she notices every detail and so she is most comfortable at home in her own paddock and barn. Maggie especially loves another gentle soul that believes that love and care are of the utmost importance. Maggie performs best when someone is patient and gentle.
Whiskey is a quiet force to be reckoned with. He has a laid back disposition, but don’t judge that book by it’s cover because this old boy can turn and burn. He is fast as lightening and loves to show his stuff. Whiskey loves a nice long brushing and a slow gentle walk, but if you ask him to go fast, hold on because he will give you the ride of your life.
Gary is a miniature version of Sky. He found his forever home with us after being returned by a rescue. He is beautifully and wonderfully made and we are truly fortunate to have been able to adopt him. We are discovering great qualities Gary has every day. He loves the big horses and they love him. He is a natural at the farm and people are drawn to his beautiful unique blue eyes.
Blondie and Brownie – Affectionately known as – “The Brudders”. They are a dynamic duo of biological brothers. They are the good will ambassadors at the farm. They are little tricksters and will do just about anything for treats. They love for you to brush them and pay attention to them and they are happiest when they are eating grass and being groomed.
To bring kindness, compassion and grace to those around us. To love others as Jesus loves us. We seek to love our neighbor and let His light shine through us.
To provide a safe and positive experience for children and families to learn about God's saving grace, the hope of Jesus Christ and the love of one another in an authentic equine environment.
Statement of Faith
True North Training Stables is a faith-based organization. Although the ministry is not associated with any particular denomination, the foundation of our belief comes from the Christian values found in God's Word. The Founders and Directors believe in a Sovereign God and the saving grace of His Son, Jesus Christ. It is our greatest desire to serve God by the demonstration of our faith through action. Faith at the Stables is demonstrated through "living examples" to those with whom we work. It is our highest honor to serve children and families of all backgrounds with the same loving grace that has so freely been given to us.