I started volunteering at Horse Power for Kids in April of 2012 and I fell in love with all of the animals immediately! I was suprised that there were a few animals I didn't even know existed. There a some great people that I have met and work with at Horse Power for Kids, and a tremendous amount of work to be done each day. When you see the big smiles on the faces of the children that come to visit, it is worth it. To be a part of a childs first pony ride or watch their wonderment at petting a goat or baby chick it is so much fun. A lot is done to try and extend this experience to all children. It is the mission of the farm to allow as many underprivileged / special needs children as possible to visit and enjoy this experience for no charge. There are several programs to make this happen, my favorite being the "Fun on the Farm" day which happens every month. Kids, whether special needs or inner city or underpriveleged in some way are invited to spend a day at the farm with their family and enjoy a nice lunch to boot! It takes a lot of help from the community and volunteers to keep this going. To me it is a lofty goal, but definately worthwhile. :)
Last year we had a chance to go to this farm. As far as I know is a non-proft and that's great. However, the way this place is ran and kept is less than desirable. I've been to many other farms and they are clean and have responsible adults working there. There were swarms of flies everywhere, the animals were free roaming right next to all the guest tables, scaring the little kids. The trash can were all open and swarming with flies. The bathrooms and places for the kids to play were all dirty and the kids didn't' want to play in there. OUr kids were in charge of doing the dancing entertainment for our Dance Company, and they promised a stage area for them to demonstrate on; instead they got a sand area full of horse "poop". Very disgusting and unsanitary. The kids faces were in horror and I don't blame them. I've been to many farms, like McMickey's in Tampa, and thconditions were very different. This year we returned for a birthday party, not realizng it will be the same place and we had similar issues. They need to get their act together because for the money they charge to host an event that they barely participate in, it's not worth the time.
While this a great nonprofit with a wonderful mission, I believe they should keep more mature adults around than children. Kids are great for the nonprofit, but when they are out on trail rides it's nothing but a competition. The volunteers are commenting on each others riding, and beating each other down, and it's just not right. Especially when they started commenting on my childs riding. She hasn't been around horses for nearly as long as the volunteers and I would hope they'd understand she isn't going to be jumping 5ft fences anytime soon like these children are.
Also, I went during "rainy season" and while yes I understand the rain causes flooding especially when the ranch is under sea level, but is "rainy season" an excuse for dead chickens in the coop, or 45 goats in the petting zoo with runny noses that haven't seemed to be treated?
If this place would keep up their ranch/farm instead of advertising everywhere about how great of a nonprofit they are, they'd be a lot more well off than most other nonprofits. However with what it looks like now - they look no better than turkey creek.
I first went to Horse Power for kids to go on a trail ride . I never left I loved it and the people that worked there . I saw the dream that they envisioned and I wanted to be a part of that . The founder Armando Gort is so driven in his vision to help children that it is infectious . I will always be there as long as the farm is there . My daughter Loves the animals and she LOVES the summer camp . She never wants to leave . I would suggest that you come out with your family and enjoy a picnic lunch . See all the animals ..Go for a trail ride ..Or just get away from the hustle and bustle of the daily grind . It is a treasure to the Tampa Bay community ..
This farm gives my son and myself an outlet for our energy and free time. Supporting a wonderful cause, to serve inner city and at risk children, who may not otherwise ever have the opportunity to ride a horse or pet and hold a farm animal. We benefit from the great outdoors, love of animals and awesome people, both in other volunteers and the customers and children that visit the farm. The animals are loved and well taken care of and the experience the past couple of years has forever changed us "city" folk, to experience country life on a farm.
We are so happy to be a part of this exciting horse ranch. THANK YOU!!
Im Lily the clown, I volunteer at Horse Power for Kids every chance I get, I love going there, and interacting with the Children and not to mention the Animals and all the amazing activities that go on at that Farm, This is such an amazing place for Children to relax and forget about their problems, even if is for at least a few hours a Day, When I look at the kids when they enter the Farm is like a door closes Behind them, and they have entered into a completely whole new world, a world of Happiness, Family, Sharing, Unity, and most of all Love.
I have been at Horse Power for Kids since the begining. The farm is a wonderful place that puts many a smile on all the childrens faces. they learn farm life,the responsibilty to care for the animals. To watch them daily running and playing and laughing brings so much joy to my heart. I would like to thank Armando and the staff for making the farm such a positive experience for not only the children but also the adults. keep up the great work.
All four of my children have attended Horsepower for kids. My daughters 9 & 12 love it so much there, they wish they can move into a stall.
I love being around animals it's very peaceful and brings a form of tranquility to my soul.
Both my daughters ride and take English lessons and have also attended horse shows. They find it very rewarding and has really boosted their self esteem. Horsepower for kids is very family oriented and their mission is to reach out to underpriviledged children, that otherwise would not have the opportunity to ride a horse. I highly recommened you vist, it's an addicting place to be!