(First appeared in the Pensacola News Journal, June 13, 2015)
I am a Panhandle Equine Rescue volunteer and board member.
Our mission is to rescue, rehabilitate and provide adoption services for abused, neglected and abandoned equine. We are a 501(c)3 organization which operates in Escambia County.
I cannot stress enough how dependent we are on the hardworking men and women who volunteer to come and do barn chores. We rely on these folks 365 days a year to keep the facility clean and the horses tended to. We have a small group of dependable volunteers who have been coming each week. These folks are our “constants” and we appreciate them so much. We desperately need more people to step up and volunteer especially during these hot summer months. We currently have eight horses. We could have more come within a moment’s notice. We need YOUR help!
If you have been interested in volunteering, now is the time! It is not that difficult. School is out for the summer and high school students can earn hours toward their scholarship requirements. We have mom/daughter duos and even a dad/daughter team. What a wonderful bonding experience!
Our facility is a small, humble place, but what we lack in size we make up for in love and dedication to our rescues. We pride ourselves on keeping it clean and tidy and making our horses as comfortable as possible. It is a place of love; a place of safety and security for horses who haven’t known these things.
I get so much out of the hands-on experience of doing barn chores … seeing a horse who has not had shelter, go into their stall that is clean, has fresh bedding and a full hay bag. I also love when I’m watering the horses and I finish filling a bucket with cold fresh water and a horse take that first drink – seeing him lift his head and lick his lips as if to say “Oh, that’s good! Thank you so much!” After chores are done, comes my favorite part: grooming! It’s an incredible feeling to be able to show these horses that a human’s touch is not something to fear. They enjoy the attention and it’s amazing to see a horse blossom from a skinny, malnourished bag of bones to a beautiful, healthy and happy equine!
It’s especially touching to see updates on our horses, especially ones that I had a hand in helping. The horses who greeted me each day when I came for barn chores and are now either adopted or fostered: Capona (Topsannah), Sweet Mary, Comanche, JB, Jesse, Rolla, Smarty, Lucky and Ebony. When I see updates on Facebook, I feel proud because I know in some small way I made a difference in that horse’s life.
You can also have the experience of making a difference in a horse’s life, no matter the commitment you can give; every little bit helps. Our barn chore volunteers are our “boots on the ground.” These are the folks who are invaluable to our day-to-day operations. Barn chores are a labor of love. It is not glamorous but it is rewarding in so many ways.
If you are interested in learning more, please send a message or email. If you cannot volunteer, please share this and our FB page. There may be people out there who would love to volunteer but don’t know we even exist.We need you. The horses need you! Your life will be richer because of it. Hope to see you out at Pensacola Equine Rescue!
—Article written by Nancy Way
Email her at email@example.com. To contact Panhandle Equine Rescue Inc., call (850) 587-3565 for more information or to report equine abuse/neglect. Check out the Facebook page, Panhandle Equine Rescue Inc. for frequent updates and current events, or visit Panhandleequinerescue.org.