Volunteering at TIER, knowing the stories of unspeakable abuse and inhuman neglect that the horses suffered at the hands of their prior “caretakers,” is sometimes almost too much to bear. I walk onto the TIER property, and my first emotion is blood-boiling anger when I see a new arrival that is so emaciated, it looks like a skeleton, or I see a mare that Animal Control just rejected and carted over, who has gaping, open wounds on her back.
But there is no time for the luxury of anger. There is work to be done; manure to be shoveled, fences to be mended, and horses to be loved. When I focus on these tasks, the hours slip away and my fury fades into a sense of satisfaction. At TIER, I can do more good in the space of an afternoon than I can ever do at my salaried work.
So in the end, I benefit from my labor at TIER far more than the horses do. My perspective shifts; the petty nuisances of the daily grind become meaningless. I am better at saving my worries for things that are actual problems, and I discovered that there are far fewer “problems” in my life when I think about those horses, and about Gail’s daily struggle for the very existence of TIER.
I've personally experienced the results of this organization in...
adopting and abandoned horse. Gail arranged the adoption of an elderly thoroughbred mare who was being boarded at a stable. The owner lost her job, moved out of state, and turned the mare over to the stable owner. The stable owner contacted Gail, who thought that the mare would be a good match for my son, and she was right. They are inseparable.
Ways to make it better...
If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...
Make sure that Gail had steady, reliable, daily volunteer help. Gail is solely reponsible for the daily care, feeding, and watering of about twenty-five horses. This is a Herculean daily task that she does herself. Most volunteers work on the weekends, since that is when they are available, but there are simply not enough hands on deck.
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