Helping kids hear the voice of the Holy Spirit,

and grow spiritually, emotionally, and academically.

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Horses and Hearing loves it’s community and desires to help it’s youth grow! We believe that God created each and every person. He knows each of our aches, pains and challenges. He also knows the absolute remedy for each of them. Horses and Hearing is a Minnesota based ministry that purposes to help youth hear the voice of the Holy Spirit to grow spiritually, emotionally and academically. We do this by partnering with horses and the Holy Spirit. Isaiah 30:21 says, “Whether you turn to the right or turn to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it’” Let the ears of our youth learn to hear the voice of the Holy Spirit so that they are limitless in their character and achievement.




Our Mission:

Help kids hear the voice of the Holy Spirit in order to grow spiritually, academically, and emotionally.


Our Vision:

We will partner with the Holy Spirit using horses and art to grow.

The ministry of Horses and Hearing has roots that reach deep into Tanya’s early walk with the Lord.  She has always had a heart for youth.  Her first taste at youth ministry was coaching a church league youth softball team with her husband.  From there the Lord called her to leading and co-leading senior high youth groups, teaching and leading children’s church, organizing Christmas programs and starting her own girl’s ministry.  She also parents a fabulous, horse-loving and dancing daughter who loves the Lord.  Tanya always seems to have girls hanging around the house with her daughter and herself.  She finds joy in dropping little nuggets of truth into their laps and watering seeds for the growth of the Kingdom.  Tanya also worked as a Paraprofessional at a local public school and has taught online courses.

Tanya has discovered the powerful truth that when we create, we are reflecting a part of God’s character.  When we are surrounded by his creation, we see him.  This is why Tanya developed opportunities for youth in her greater community to come to experience this truth as well.  Tanya firmly believes that hearing God speak to oneself is a life-changing event that spurs on growth in all areas of life.  That’s why Tanya’s role as facilitator is to simply create a safe space for kids to come, hear God’s voice, and grow.  The Holy Spirt does the teaching.  Tanya is certified in equine assisted learning activites, Horse Powered Reading, and is a certified Created Arts Facilitar, and Therapeutic Arts Practioner.   

Whether you turn to the right or turn to the left, your ears will hear a voice behind you saying, ‘This is the way; walk in it.

Isaiah 30:21



These sessions are ideal for youth who struggle academically.  Whether its reading, math, science or history, horses make great study buddies.  These sessions also help with focus and attention.  Sessions will be individualized to the academic need of the student and adjusted accordingly until the goal is reached.

Field trips

Come visit the farm for some fun equine learning!  Both public and private schools as well as homeschool groups are invited to pull on their boots and their thinking hats.  Your trip to the farm will be tailored to the interests of the students.  What about horses most interests them?  Students will be able to pet and groom the horses and ask a lot of questions.  The possibilities are endless!  

family sessions

These sessions are designed for family units who desire to strengthen their relationship with one another.  Holy Spirit will help identify areas of stress and believed lies and then replace them with truth.  

Summer Day Camp

Day camps will be offered and vary depending on availability and types of sessions requested.  Check back for details!

private sessions

These sessions are designed for youth (kids ages 5-18 years old) who struggle with self image, anxiety, depression, low self esteem and relationships.  Sessions offer experiential learning with a horse and time with the Holy Spirit.

Sifted wheat MENTORSHIP Program

Sifted Wheat Mentorship Programs moved from my heart to my hands one winter morning out in my barn.  When I look around at the youth in my surrounding communities, I see a generation that is flowing with creativity, ideas, compassion, and determination.  However, our world offers a large palette of outlets for such rich character.  Many of these outlets are not healthy and quickly rob our youth of their futures.  The mission at Sifted Wheat Mentorship Programs is to help school-aged girls grow to their fullest potential.  

The benefits of a mentoring relationship in a young person’s life are exuberant and unquenchable.  There are roughly 46 million young people, aged 8-18 years old, living in America.  Of those, there are about 16 million young people that are growing up without a mentor.  That is one out of every three young people.  Research shows that youth who have a mentor are much more likely to see improved academic, social, and economic prospects.  It is more typical for adults to seek out mentorship relationships, but they are highly effective for youth.  While school-aged youth often have teachers, coaches, and other school staff that care very much for them, these relationships are hinged on the hours of the school day, practices, games, etc.  A mentor is someone who specifically meets with their mentee to edify and build them up with no other agenda in mind.  When the waves of life become turbulent, a Mentorship can help anchor you and then return you to smooth sailing.  

What does the program consist of?  That is mostly up to you.  While meeting here at the farm is preferred, we have learned that virtual meetings can also be effective and fruitful.  Mentorship groups can consist of individuals or small groups of youth who already know each other.  The areas that we spend our time growing in will largely depend on the participants. The Participant(s) will identify what area of life they most would like to grow in.  Such areas may include identity, self-image, friendships, dating, family dynamics, faith, and all things dealing with relationships whether it be social, emotional, or sexual.   Certainly, an equine or artistic theme can be woven into each session if desired, but it is not necessary.  The tapestry is ours to create making it uniquely formulated to fit the participant’s heart.

If a participant chooses to focus our time on growing in their faith, we will definitely spend time intentionally listening for the voice of God.  Hearing the voice of God for oneself is a remarkable gift that cannot be substituted with anything else.  It is God’s voice that carries the most value among all others.  Hearing His voice for oneself changes everything!  He knows each girl personally and desires to guide her through life’s challenges and to celebrate her victories alongside her.  Let’s teach our girls to sit and listen……. for His voice.  

Please inquire for pricing and availability.


Stay tuned for upcoming products!


In the Barn Book Club:

This program goes beyond reading and answering standard “comprehension” and “vocabulary” questions.  All five senses will be stimulated to foster optimal learning.

Your child will have the opportunity to participate in group discussion through rotating roles such as Discussion Director, Illustrator, Connector, Wordsmith, Summarizer & Investigator.  The youth will also have the opportunity to participate in light interaction with the horses (no riding) to reinforce learning.


Book: Winnie The Horse Gentler, Book 1- Wild Thing by Dandi Daley Mackall. (Students will be given the book on the first day.)

Grades: 3-6, ages 9-12

Group Size: 8

Cost: One time – $45

Register: Please send email to Tanya  Click Here!


Requirements: Closed-toed shoes, Signed Release of Liability by parent/guardian (To be completed by the first day of Book Club by a parent)


The amazing race

Contact for 2024 inquiries!

$20 Registration

Call 507-530-6712

or Click Here!

This is a fun scavenger hunt type activity that allows your child to grow in character and explore the barn and farm.  Along the scavenger hunt they will use lots of academic skills to solve each clue.  

All about horses

Contact for 2024 inquiries!

$40 Per Student

Call 507-530-6712 

or Click Here!

This two-day event is short and sweet but packed with lots of learning about horses.  Participants will have the opportunity to have hands-on-time with horses and learn about them.  We learn best when we can use all five senses to explore – come spend some time in the barn.




horse powered reading

Contact for 2024 inquiries! 

Sign Up Today!


These four days will be packed with some horse themed fun activities for your child.  Over summer break, it’s natural that retention of new skills can plummet.  These four days are an opportunity for your child to refresh their reading and educational skills.  There will be hands-on time with horses and engaging equine activities all four days.  Cost is $100.  


Horses and jesus

Contact for 2024 inquiries!

Register by calling 507-530-6712

Or Click Here


This two-day event is a glimpse into Sifted Wheat Mentorship Programs.  Participants will experience a sweet time of fellowship that will include a devotional, hands on time with the horses, a snack, and additional activities.


Mommy and Me

Meet Weekly for 3 months


Register Now!

Call 507-530-6712 or Click Here!

This class features some Horse Powered Learning activities for the smallest learners.  Moms can enjoy a “date” with their child which will allow for not only educational growth but a time to connect one-on-one as well. 

Art Therapy

Art Therapy:

It is widely known and scientifically proven that
artistic creation can soothe and reduce stress for
children who have experienced trauma. It is also
helpful with autism, social disruptions, psychiatric
disorders, and attention disorders.
Some of the benefits of using art as a therapeutic tool are:
*reduce anxiety and promote concentration.
* promotes communication and self-confidence.
* promotes emotional outlet from recognition to
* suited for the management of post-traumatic
Stress disorder.
Art Therapy is effective with a wide range of people
and can be used in private or group settings. Art
therapy is a vast discipline and can include drawing,
painting, sculpture, music, theater, dance, and written

Dance Therapy

Dance Therapy:
The scientific evidence of the positive effects of
dance and movement for both the body and the
mind are numerous. Dance is simply the
expression of emotion in movement. Dance,
therefore, is a highly sophisticated form of

communication that promotes unity, self-
confidence, and trust.

The benefits of dance are vast and diverse. When
we dance, multiple areas of the brain are
stimulated which causes our body and mind to

connect. Dance therapy benefits many social-
emotional disorders, academic challenges, and

relational barriers. The benefits are endless.
Dance therapy does not require any prior dance
experience, its simply movement of the body.
There is a wide range of dance types that benefit
any age of person in both private and group

from our participants

In addition to Tanya’s impressive portfolio of professional accomplishments, she has one of the best personalities I have ever had the joy of working with. She is a caring, admirable, and empathetic individual who is dedicated to helping others identify their passions and individuality. An example of this is an after school activity she conducts monthly at her home with a group of students from our elementary school called Lighthouse. Several of my students with special needs have joined this group and have discovered positive traits about themselves and developed new friendships."

JoAnna Pluym

Special Education Teacher

Tanya has such a gentle spirit and a heart for children. She is always seeking out new ways to minister to them and goes above and beyond to show them God’s love.

Kelly Strenge

Author and Friend

contact tanya

Tanya Backstrom | 507-530-6712 | St. James, MN

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