Guess what?! Yesterday I had the wonderful privilege of working as a volunteer at Mill Creek Farm in Florida. It’s a retirement home for horses, and I was there to help them groom several of their horses (they have over 100!). I’ve been looking for an organization to get involved with during our stay in Florida, and until last week I hadn’t found one that really grabbed me. When I found the website for Mill Creek Farm (quite by “accident”), I instantly felt connected to their cause and wanted to help.
The sign says “In Memory of Black Bill,” a horse that died in 1997. All of the pastures at Mill Creek Farm are dedicated to the memory of a horse. They also plant a tree on the property for each horse that dies.
Here’s more about the farm from their website:
We provide lifetime care to horses seized by law enforcement agencies, rescued by the SPCA or humane societies, horses retired from government service such as police patrol or state and federal parks, and unwanted horses that are destined for slaughter.
Every horse that arrives at Mill Creek Farm receives veterinary care, special feeding and attention, weekly grooming and large quantities of carrots and love.
Our promise to a horse when they arrive is that they will never be ridden or worked again and that they can roam freely and live out their life here in tranquility.
As a not for profit organization, Retirement Home for Horses, Inc. depends solely on the contributions of individuals. All contributions are tax deductible.
From the moment I drove down the winding gravel road to enter the farm, I felt at peace. I realized I am a country girl at heart, even though I couldn’t wait to move to the city when I graduated high school and away from the small Texas town where I grew up.
The trees, the space (the farm is 126 acres), the rolling hills and expanse of bright blue sky…I felt so tranquil being there. There was loving energy all around, and the horses and dogs were obviously very happy and well taken care of.
The other volunteers were so kind to me and a joy to work with. One of the women, Bee, took me under her wing and taught me all about horses, how to read their body language, and how to use the grooming tools.
The horses are precious. While I groomed them, I spoke to them about how special they are and sent them loving energy. I’m sure they felt my loving energy, but they PARTICULARLY enjoyed the carrots I fed them 🙂
This is Archie, the first horse (ever!) I helped groom. He has a pin in his right leg from an injury, and they’re working on helping him gain some more weight (you can see the outline of his ribs in this photo). He’s a very old horse.
This horse won my heart. It’s a blind horse that is kept in its own pasture because it doesn’t get along well with others. I sent it extra love and was sad we didn’t get around to grooming this one on my visit.
And the dogs! There were about 5 dogs near us the entire time. They would often fall asleep on the seat of the golf carts we used to carry our supplies and go from one pasture to the next. When we were ready for a drive, the dogs did not even think about moving or making room for us to sit.
Apart from a very content dog 🙂 you can also see all the white hair on the ground from a horse that was just groomed. The horses are losing their winter coats, but hardly any of the horses had as much fluffy hair as that white one did!
On one particular trip, I squeezed into about 4 inches left of the seat and lifted Lady Gwenevere’s head onto my lap. It was that or ride on the roof!
I’m the one on the right, under Lady Gwenevere. I could also describe myself as the one with the metal handrail jabbing into my arse 🙂 I’m pretty sure that wasn’t something mentioned on the liability release form.
Toward the end of my time there, I had just finished grooming a horse when a very cute dog ran up to me. I kneeled down, and instantly I saw the face of my previous dog who had to be put to sleep, Roger. This dog’s face looked just like him. Golden hair with white around his dark brown eyes…even some of his gestures were the same. I know it was Roger’s Spirit saying hello to me. I shed some tears of love and gratitude. What a treasure.
This is my doggie, Roger, several years before he passed away. He was the kindest, gentlest dog. And his ears were soft like velvet. His breath….well, he was a great dog.
Several hours and groomed horses later, I drove away from this special place with the joyful promise to return next week!
I am amazed at how soothing it is for my soul to help this loving organization. I’d love to hear about the communities or organizations you are involved in that you are loving, too. Please let me know about them in your comment below.
Many Blessings to you,
Melanie Jade 🙂