Volunteering


HORSES!! I have always loved horses. They are magical creatures with an incredible ability to heal. I grew up only riding horses every now and then – on vacations and such. But every time I’d see one, I’d smile. I’ve always wanted to do more, learn more about them. Since getting laid off, and our move to the Bay Area has been pushed out a few months, I wanted to do something where I felt useful. So I started looking for places to volunteer. I found one that uses horses as therapy for children and adults with disabilities. At the orientation, I learned that it was founded by a lady who had MS, and who found that horses helped her feel better. Kinda hit close to home! There’s just something grounding in working with animals. I’ll be assisting in a class, as well as doing barn duty each week. I’m very excited to be more hands on with the horses – grooming, tacking, feeding, cleaning – all of it, as well and helping these graceful animals bring healing to a person.

I know I don’t write too much on this blog but recipes… It’s basically because a) I’m not much of a writer (words have always been tough for me), b) I have a hard time thinking my life and stories aren’t boring to you guys, and c) it’s been really hard for me since getting my MS diagnosis. I don’t want to fill this blog with Debbie-downer-ness, so I focus more on the food. It’s getting “easier” every day, but I’ve had to deal with a lot of change all at once.

But I think I’m going to write a lot about my volunteering… In addition to the horse therapy, I’m also volunteering at a women’s home – a place for women who are down on their luck to get back on their feet. It provides housing, clothing, classes (on just about everything from finances to yoga), community, etc., and are almost completely volunteer run. I’m not sure what I’ll be doing there, probably office work, maybe teach a class on something (knitting? cooking?), work in the clothing boutique? I’ll find out once my background check clears…

I’m hoping the work will help get me out of this funk – maybe I can actually help someone in some little way. It’s amazing how feeling useful links to mood. On the dreary days of winter, bringing a smile makes the days light up (even if it’s just a perceived smile on a horse’s face. Although I learned today that when they chew/lick their lips that means they’re content and happy. Blaze was doing that while I was learning how to put on a halter and lead him around; I guess he likes me!).

Blaze!

Blaze!

So stay tuned! I’ll even try to grab a couple snaps of the horses to post along with my stories (the one above of Blaze is from the center’s facebook site). I have my first hippotherapy class this afternoon… Fingers crossed!

2 thoughts on “Volunteering

  1. HI Veronica,

    I am so happy to read you are going to do this!! Horse ARE quite healing. I was a participant in a class like this for a couple of years about 14 years ago and I learned a lot and loved it. My longest time and closest friend here in Moscow works with horses in a therapeutic way. Here is the link to her web site, which you might find interesting:
    http://www.horseheartconnection.com/

    Do keep us posted on your volunteering adventures. Many Blessings!!

    Maria

    • Thanks, Maria! That’s awesome you were able to participate in something like this, and that you enjoyed it. I think that’s a huge part of the healing – just having fun so it doesn’t seem like “work.” Your friend’s center looks amazing! She’s doing great work, helping a lot of people, and animals. Dolphins, too?! Sweet! The Hawaiian excursion sounds so perfect. Thanks for sharing!! xoxo

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