What We Love
A tip of the hat to the people and things that make the world a little brighter.
The Horse Sanctuary needs 3000 volunteer-hours every year to make therapeutic riding safe and fun, keep the barn clean and the horses fed. Without volunteers, there would be no horse sanctuary, no riding programs for children with special needs or at-risk youth. We would be just another horse farm.
A Volunteer Nation
Lucky for us, Canada is a nation of volunteers. According to Statistics Canada, nearly half of Canadians contributed their time, energy and skills to charities and non-profits in 2013. That’s over 2 BILLION hours in a single year!
These volunteers sat on boards and committees, raised funds, visited seniors, provided counselling, advice and mentoring, advocated for social causes, made and delivered food, coached children and youth…
Imagine your community without these services!
A 2011 United Nations report states that “volunteerism benefits both society at large and the individual volunteer by strengthening trust, solidarity and reciprocity among citizens.”
“We are each of us angels with only one wing, and we can fly only by embracing one another.” (Luciano de Crescenzo)
It’s easy to see that our riders feel they’re flying when they leave their own two feet (or wheelchairs) and trade them for the four strong legs of a therapeutic riding horse. But powerful and gentle as those horses are, they need a volunteer or three to make that magical ride happen. A volunteer to brush and saddle them, lead them, keep the rider safe, and help the child feed her horse a carrot to thank him for the ride.
Some volunteers come for a month or a season and then move on, others return year after year. Our clients cherish and depend on them.
Days start early at the Sanctuary. Horses are fed and turned out in their paddocks, water troughs are topped up, hay-bales put out for the herds, then it’s off to earn the paycheques that help to keep the horses fed. Coming home from work, three days out of five the barn has undergone a magical transformation – stalls are clean and freshly bedded, water buckets scrubbed and filled, aisles swept and tidied. The barn fairies have been here!
It may not be a glamorous job, but “mucking stalls” is part of life on a horse farm. And it’s good for you! A physical work-out with no gym membership needed; a zen-like therapy for the soul without a counsellor or drugs.
Maybe that’s why the barn fairies come? No, not likely. They’re just kind and giving humans who see a job that needs doing, and choose to do it. We could not run this place without them.
Show Me the Money!
Keeping horses healthy and happy costs a great deal of money – much more than therapeutic riding fees can begin to cover. To make up the deficit, we fundraise. Dinners, silent auctions, an annual “fun fair” at the farm, bake sales, craft sales, raffles and draws – we’ve done it all. And every single fundraiser needs still more volunteers to plan, organize, serve, conduct farm tours, perform in demos, cook the burgers, sell the tickets…
A Heart-Felt Thanks
Volunteers make the world a better place. You make the world a better place. And for that we thank you. Thanks for giving of your time, your energy, your know-how, and yourself.
It’s easy to get bogged down in all the bad things in the world. You, the volunteer, are indisputably one of the things that’s good. Of that you should be proud. Our heart-felt thanks.