I first found Brook Hill with the intent of volunteering to help with the horses in any way I could but soon found out about the other amazing programs they offer. Soon I was part of the Adult Sponsorship Program and was taking lessons once a week to improve my horsemanship skills and confidence. I have learned more through that program during the last few months, than I had during prior lessons I took at my home. Not only am I learning to ride again...I am learning how to ride properly and my confidence level has been steadily growing...as is my knowledge and experience. Eventually I also became involved with the United Neigh program and began volunteering every Friday. It didn't ake long for me to see how valuable this program is...not just for the horses but for the amazing girls that are a part of it. I absolutely love my time with them and originally started volunteering because I wanted to help in any way that I could...but they have given me more than I ever thought possible. I have been blessed to watch these girls rally together as a team and for a short time put the outside world and its problems aside, and care for their horses with an enthusiasm and joy that only a true bond can bring. Jo Anne Miller, one of the Executive Directors has a talent for matching the right horse to the right girl and I have witnessed first hand the healing power in that connection between each girl and her horse. I would encourage anyone to check Brook Hill Retirement Center out if you are thinking about volunteering or looking for a worthwhile cause to donate to. Many lives are being changed daily and I am thrilled to be a small part of that :)))
Brook Hill Farm is not only a great place for horses, but for teenage girls. Brook Hill Farm is by far the best place my daughter has ever been to learn about horses. She not only gets to ride, but learns how to work hard and take care of the horses. My daughter has epilepsy and has fought some stigma because of this in other places, but not here. Brook Hill Farm is her second home, the place she loves to be. She is given responsibility and is valued. The girls here have a reputation of knowing what they are talking about according to the local equine store. Brook Hill Farm also has college interns. One of these girls (a math major) has been tutoring my daughter in math and has made a big difference. This has been one of the best experiences in my daughter's life. She can train to whatever level she wants to here, but most importantly, she can be herself.
Our experience is truly "helping horses, helps people!" My daughter struggles in school because of vision difficulties and dyslexia. Brook Hill Retirement Center for Horses has changed how my daughter feels about herself. The non-judgemental environment is refreshing. The "pitch in a do" attitude is contagious. Brook Hill has made a difference not only in her life, but in our whole family because what she experiences doesn't just stay on the farm but goes out into the community.
Brookhill is a place where I have had a great volunteer experience! As a complete novice with grooming horses, I have had fun learning about and working with the horses. I also enjoy being among teens, adults, dogs, and cats there. It is such a sweet, loving atmosphere.
I am one of the teenage volunteers, a member of bBrook Hill Farm's "United Neigh" program. I have been a volunteer for more than three years. I love the horses, activities and all the other volunteers....they have become like an extended family to me. I started there when I was 12 , doing chores and helping to groom horses. Now I ride horses and am part of the 4 H group and pony club that are included in the activities for the teen volunteers. JoAnne and Tracy work hard and put in lots of hours to make this a wonderful program and help many many teens and horses.
Brook Hill not only Helps Horses, But helps people. They are the most caring bunch I have ever known. Seeing those girls come to the barn from broken places, and watching them heal with their horse is one of the greatest pleasures in life. No one can come to Brook Hill and leave the same person!
I have the honor if being on the board at Brook Hill Farm, but also have the great pleasure of teaching riding lessons to the young people in the United Neigh Program. This program quite simply changes lives, both horse and human. As a Board Member, I can vouch for the well-thought out and executed business plan, which is so vital to ensure the continued health of the farm. As an instructor, I get to see the progress made by the youth in the program, and as an adopter, I'm so grateful that Brook Hill Farm exists. This really is an exceptional place, and it's a joy and a great privilege to be involved.
In the past, I've worked in the horse industry for years; training, riding, teaching, caring and owning of horses. I've never seen anything like this program. It's an extremely expensive hobby/livelihood but it isn't about the cost... like we always said, it's a labor of love.
Review from JustGive
I have been an adult volunteer at Brook Hill Farm for more than 2 years now. I had been an active horsewoman all through my 20s and 30s, then took a haitus to raise my family. Upon returning to horses 20 years later, I searched my local region for a place I could fit into. I was thrilled to find that Brook Hill Farm was nearby, and from the first visit there, I knew that they had something very special going on. Sometimes you see horror stories of horse rescues that start out with good intentions, but for financial and other reasons, the horses end up sometimes worse off than when they arrived. This is NOT the case at Brook Hill Farm. Organized from the very beginning with a solid plan, dedicated professionals at the helm, the blessing of adequate land, and loving & committed volunteers, Brook Hill has managed to place over 350 horses in new homes in little more than a decade of operation. But that's not the end of it! Here, they also run a number of community programs that benefit people, too! for starters, there's the United Neigh Program, which helps teens, some of which have disabilities or troubled home lives, gain love and acceptance, while learning responsibility caring for their "own" horse. These kids absolutely thrive in this environment! There's also the College Intern Program, where Brook Hill partners with many of our local colleges providing students with on-the-job training in the fields of pre-med, pre-vet, and sociology, among other majors. Brook Hill is also PATH (Professional Association of Therapeutic Horsemanship) Certified, meaning that some of our professionals are certified to train disabled children. The list of credits goes on an on, but one of the best things that Brook Hill does is that they heal and help horses. We get many "throw-away" horses - ones that burn-out or physically break down, and their owners just don't want to care for them anymore. Through our team of seasoned professionals - the Director, Veterinarians, Board of Directors, Farrier, and other Therapists, each horse is evaluated and a care plan is customized for the physical rehabilitation and mental restoration of that horse. As long as it takes, each horse gets the time that he/she needs to return to a useful like if at all possible. Along the way, the volunteers and interns give the horse all the love, attention, & exercise it requires to thrive. The horses, many of whom have had hard-working or tough lives prior to arriving here, get to relax and just be a horse again, in beautiful rolling pasture, in a herd where they can graze freely and move about unconfined. And when they are ready, and only then, they are offered for adoption into carefully screened new homes. Brook Hill Farm is Nationally recognized, but the need for financial support is great. We do an awesome job with the resources we have, but we have outgrown the facilities and desperately need to expand the structures. We currently have 38 horses, but the barn only has seven stalls. The horses that need to be fed grain daily are fed in rotation, and this puts a lot of labor stress on the volunteers. We are fundraising to build a larger barn and indoor arena which will put us inthe position of being able to help more horses and serve the community better. I am only a volunteer here - I am NOT receiving any kind of payment for this review - so these are my honest reflections: Brook Hill Farm is a wonderful place doing wonderful things for both the kids and the horses. Their income is derived solely from donations and grants. PLEASE, please, please consider them in your charitable giving! We are good stewards of every penny, and we are grateful for all gifts received, both large and small! Check out our website at www.brookhillfarm.org, and please help us! Thank you so much!
Brook Hill Farm was founded to provide rehabilitation focused therapy and a safe haven for unwanted horses. However, along the way, they discovered the magic combination of horses and children; how they help teens that are economically disadvantaged, disabled and abused find their way. This program is a great success for the teens and the horses. They have rescued over 387 horses and have a 100% graduation rate for the teens that participate in their United Neigh Program. Not only that, they are a great presence in our community offering youth and adults equine education and a chance to participate in their programs or volunteer. This program has changed the lives of many teens in this area, and have saved the lives of even more horses.