Quarantine and an empty arena were giving me the blues! I didn’t realize how much therapy volunteering was for me until I wasn’t able to come spend time with sweet Fancy and all the riders.
Prior to COVID-19 wreaking havoc on us all, my days were spent exercising Fancy, giving her a spa day twice a week, feeding the horses, serving as a leader in lessons and helping with volunteer orientation and events. I volunteer 12 hours a week.
My days during the program closure were empty without all the joy, serenity and love I feel from the horses, participants and volunteers with whom many I now count among my closest friends.
I’ve worked with Fancy for a year. It’s my job to care for her. Fancy has the kindest eyes. I was attracted to her because she had 11 homes before coming to NTRC. She reminds me of the middle school students I worked with who were low readers. She just needed someone to believe in her.
I was drawn to NTRC’s mission because after I retired, I wanted to volunteer with children and use my strengths as a 27-year veteran teacher. I had horses all my life. I really missed being around them. NTRC was the perfect fit. Now four years later, I’ve realized this is the most worthwhile thing I’ve ever done. Not only is it a stress reliever, I get to help others doing what I do best.
Working with the different groups, many participants have been with me for years, is very rewarding. You bond with the riders. Seeing their progress, smiles and mood improve gives me goosebumps. It brings me great joy seeing people feel good about themselves.
I’m so happy to be back on the job! I am very impressed with the safety precautions and training volunteers have received for the reopening of programs. If you are a people person and want to help others, NTRC is a wonderful place to spend your time.