"If there’s a world here in a hundred years, it’s going to be saved by tens of millions of little things. The powers-that-be can break up any big thing they want. They can corrupt it or co-opt it from the inside, or they can attack it from the outside. But what are they going to do about 10 million little things? They break up two of them, and three more like them spring up!"
- Pete Seeger, in YES! Magazine

Saturday, March 21, 2009

Volunteer at a Wild Horse Sanctuary

The project:
Groom, feed, paint, shovel and learn the ropes during volunteer orientation day at Return to Freedom American Wild Horse Sanctuary. The sanctuary is located a few minutes south of Lompoc, and only about a half hour from our house.

6.5 hours

Why bother?
For as long as I can remember, I've wanted a horse. During visits to my great grandparents, I spent most of my waking hours on and around horses, riding with other farm kids, even napping on horseback.

The desire has spread to my daughters now, but they haven't had much horse experience. Mr. B and I decided we should get them around horses as much as possible so they can get a feel for what it really takes to maintain horses - a lot more than feeding and brushing.

The sanctuary houses some 200 horses on 300 acres of managed lands. Its operators are constantly seeking help in maintaining the facility to meet the animals' needs. Welcoming volunteers onto the privately owned property is a incredibly fantastic idea which affords horsey folks opportunities to mingle with the animals while also getting more work done in a short period of time. (Wish I'd thought of this!)

Worth it?
Yes. We had a wonderful day at the sanctuary. The owner and staffers were friendly and helpful, educational and mindful of the fact our girls haven't had much horse experience.

Most of the other volunteers were young members of Pony Club. It was so refreshing to be around a group of such willing young workers.

And while we were shoveling horse apples, mucking out a pig pen, and performing other filthy chores, none of us were bothered. In fact, the girls' raced to get to their next pile of poop for scoopin' and, indeed, asked what MORE needed to be done as they completed each task.

Photo by JenPB. All rights reserved.


  1. I have a volunteer opportunity of sorts in my back yard if you all enjoy scooping that much. Of course dog droppings just aren't the same as horse and pig. Loving your blog!!

  2. Yeah...somehow dog poop just doesn't have the same allure! ;) And a SEASON worth of THAWING poop! WHEW! nope...not the same.

    Still, you know we'll be happy to help you out with whatever you need when we come out in the fall! :)


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