Instead of walking to her, Ray lumbers toward the wall of the stable. Just before he hits the side, Palmer calls his name at a tone just above a whisper, and he gently turns to her.
Ray, a 19-year-old rescue horse, is blind.
Palmer said she started the ranch so disadvantaged children could learn the joy of helping once-unwanted horses like Ray.
After petting Ray, Palmer strolls out of the barn and leans against the half-rusted, white fence that traces the ranch. Though the sun has just set, she still squints as she surveys the land.
"We don't know if we're going to be able to stay here or not," she said.
In the two years of the program's existence, the ranch has had more than 50 children from troubled homes come to the ranch. She said the organization has never made money, but, up until now, it has gotten by.
Palmer said other programs like Reins of Life receive checks from politicians or corporate sponsors.
"I guess we're never at the right place at the right time," she said.
Palmer recently started a thrift store at the ranch to raise funds for the program. And as she looks over the property, she rattles off various opportunities for fundraising: hosting church events, a Halloween haunted trail or lock-ins.
Palmer and volunteers at the ranch also plan to hold a motorcycle show at Carbon Hill's Hillfest Saturday. For an entry fee, contestants can enter the show to win trophies for "Public Pick" and "Kids Pick." The organization will also have pony rides for $10 at the festival and will sell $15 gift certificates for rides at the ranch.
Palmer said residents can also purchase a half-hour ride at the ranch for $10.
Reins of Life will also host a Christian youth rally on Oct. 9, where attendants can donate to the program.
Palmer said the ranch desperately needs support from the community.
"I'm beginning to think it wasn't meant to be here, but I'm hoping God will provide a way for us," she said.
Palmer said the Reins of Life Youth Ranch was inspired by the Crystal Peak Ranch in Oregon. Like Crystal Peak, Reins of Life offers free riding lessons and basic horse care instructions in four or six week sessions. Most of the 25 horses at the ranch are rescues, either abused or neglected.
Palmer said the program allows horses to gain back their trust in humans while the children are provided with an escape and an emotionally healthy environment.
"I'm not a therapist, and I don't claim to be," Palmer said. "But I know these horses help people."
Though around 70 percent of the children served by the youth ranch are from troubled homes, Palmer said anyone is welcome at the program.
Residents can sponsor a child for $200 or a horse for $1,000. However, ranch organizers are also happy to accept volunteers, donated equipment or one-time contributions, Palmer said. Reins of Hope Youth Ranch is a non-profit, 501(c)3 organization, and all donations are tax deductable.
"We just need help," she said.
For more information about Reins of Hope Youth Ranch or to donate call 205-495-0017 or 205-522-3944.