I believe in the strength of women and horses. There is an empowerment that comes with women doing manual labor, day in and day out for something they love and cherish. I volunteer at a horse retirement farm where most of the volunteers and the owner of the farm are women. Most of the farm work is done by women who do all this hard work on the farm to keep the farm going. Without these volunteers the retirement farm would not be able to run. The women work to give these old horses a place to live out their lives peacefully with no burdens. The women do almost every job on the farm, from the everyday barn chores to getting fund-raisers together to support the farm and even grooming the horses.
A typical day starts off with feeding the 29 retirees on the farm, the stalls have to be cleaned out every day, and during this time stories are told and exchanged. Most of the volunteers are older than I am and I have learned life lessons and great advice by mucking out stalls next to these wonderful women. At every step in the process in keeping Mitchell Farm Equine Retirement running are these wonderful women putting in their time and energy.
One day I went to the farm on my normal Saturday thinking everything was fine. I walk into the barn and see the owner she tells me that they are going to put one of the horses down today. I have never been through this process before. A lot of the volunteers had shown up that day to support the owner through this process which is very tough to handle. Once all the chores were done we were sitting on some rocks outside waiting for the vet to show up. I was crying like crazy and I had two women on both sides of me with arms around me trying to comfort me by giving me hugs. I have never been involved with such a loving, caring and very strong group. I refer to the volunteers at Mitchell Farm as my second family.
Most of the time it doesn’t feel like work being on the farm, instead it feels like the greatest medicine in the world. Great connections and friends are made on the farm, mostly friendships I will keep for the rest of my life. The empowerment given off by these hard working women with the heart and soul of gold is just incredible. I believe in how these women can come together to form this tight group to support each other along with the common goal of making the lives of these horses as happy as possible.
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