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Mitchell Farm Equine Retirement Inc

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Community Stories

38 Stories from Volunteers, Donors & Supporters

Eileen G.1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered with my dad for a few years during the summers. It’s an amazing group of hardworking people and a truly wonderful place. The horses are all well cared for and cared about. Dee and Hank do an amazing job running the farm. The events hosted there are fantastic and a great deal of fun. Mitchell Farm is a truly awesome non-profit organization run by spectacular people. The horses are kept comfortable and looked after for their residence there. It’s just an amazing place to be.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I volunteered at Mitchell Farm Equine Retirement for 4 years until moving away a couple years ago. The farm combines outstanding management of resources with the highest quality of care for each and every horse. The volunteer staff is well-trained and overseen. I've volunteered at animal care facilities over the years and Mitchell Farm was personally the most rewarding experience due to all the hands-on support and the high caliber of the operation. I miss it!!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I thoroughly enjoyed my time here. They’re very appreciative and patient with volunteers, prior knowledge isn’t necessary. They take the care of the horses very seriously, and welcome input and observations from everyone. I can’t over state how much I learned. Frankly, I think my time there was just as therapeutic to me as it is for the horses! Seeing the unique personalities of each horse was fascinating. They also make the best coffee in Connecticut.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Thank you to all the wonderful staff who are so dedicated to their residents and also fantastic with the volunteers. I am a new volunteer here and am so impressed with the care and expertise of the staff and volunteers in the individual care given. My lack of experience has been a wonderful learning opportunity. I look forward to spending more time with this great group and the lucky retirees!

Board Member

Rating: 5

Mitchell Farm is the most caring and beautiful equine farm on the east coast! The horses are so well cared for they live much longer than expected on the date they are admitted because of the exceptional care and love they receive from the staff and volunteers! Truly a special place. Barry

Volunteer

Rating: 5

i’ve recently started volunteering and i absolutely love it here. having no experience with horses coming into this i was a bit worried, but Dee and some of the other volunteers have been so kind and amazing teachers. everyone is so kind, and it is clear that all of the horses that stay at the farm are well cared for and very loved. i mean it when i say i love this place!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering at Mitchell Farm 2 years ago. It has been a wonderful experience. The staff and volunteers are so dedicated to making sure these horses live out their days well cared for and happy. It makes me proud to be a part of this great nonprofit.

Melissa L Angell B.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I started volunteering at Mitchell Farm a little over a month ago. I can not begin to explain how much I love being there. It's not just the peaceful setting or the beautiful horses that make Mitchell Farm great, it's also the people. You can not step foot on that farm without falling in love with everything about it. The love and care given to the horses and donkeys there is the best there is. You won't find better. Volunteering at Mitchell Farm is just like coming home to family. I'm proud to be part of that family. I believe deeply in the mission of Mitchell Farm to give retired horses a wonderful home where they are loved and can spend the rest of their days happy and cared for by people devoted to them.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Mitchell Farm (MFER) for 14 years. It has meant a great deal to me, my family, our horses and the community. This place is phenomenally run by a dedicated staff and army of volunteers who work extremely hard to make sure that each and every resident has a wonderful "retirement". They also work very hard to make everyone welcome - volunteers, guests, clients and the professionals who service the farm. In this age of quick fixes and self gratification this farm stands out as a true beacon of caring patience and giving to others. The equine world is very lucky to have MFER. It is truly a wonderful place for equines and humans alike

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Both my daughter and I have been fortunate to volunteer at Mitchell Farm in various capacities; coming to know each of the horses and donkeys as individuals and noble creatures. As a horse fan all my life, it is a gift to have the opportunity to work with each of them and the people who take care of them on a more full-time basis. I am a full-time educator, and recognize the quality of time those dedicated individuals put into knowing each horse's, and donkey's, individual needs and requirements. If I did own a horse, who any horse fan knows becomes a true member of your family, I would pray he/she could get into the Mitchell Farm Equine Retirement facility for their retiring years to enjoy a quality of life and genuine care that I have yet to see matched anywhere else! Vicky H.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I'm a retiree myself and needed to find something to do to get out of the daily rut.....stopped over at an open house at Mitchell Farm and found my niche. Had horses of my own in the past and missed their calming effect that they had on me. There is nothing like the smell of hay, the happy sound of horses munching on their hay and the warm nickering when you come into the barn to feed. Its such a joy to watch them either saunter or race their way to be led back into their stalls at days end after a peaceful day of turnout in such a beautiful setting....horsey retirement at its best...Dee and Melissa are great...always ready to share and teach about the care of elderly equines....not only to volunteers but also the community, from kids to adults that come to visit the farm. Mitchell farm is a caring and loving farm to its inhabitants and its an honor to be able to volunteer there!

Client Served

Rating: 5

Mitchell Farm is an amazing organization run by professional and caring volunteers and a truly dedicated staff of 2!! We became involved with Mitchell Farm from the beginning. We boarded our horses there and I volunteered several days a week as they were starting out in 2004. As our horses aged we knew there was nowhere else for them. We have continued as volunteers and myself as a Board member. I KNOW this farm gave our horses the best possible care and it is managed impeccably. My hours spent at Mitchell Farm are the best of my week - great friends, beautiful equines and tons of fun. Best place I know to volunteer!

Professional with expertise in this field

Rating: 5

I've been involved with Mitchell Farm for 2 years. The horses are in paradise, the volunteers love them, and life is how it should be. These horses have given to the humans in their lives for their whole lives up until their retirement here. This is the "give back" for all they have done for their humans. Watching them enjoy their retirement is priceless!!

Janet147

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at Mitchell Farm Equine Retirement for almost 2 years and my experience there has been nothing but positive. The dedication of the founder, barn manager and volunteers is something that words can't express but is felt every time I am there. These senior horses are given the very best care imaginable to live out their remaining days just being who they are. Individual needs are met on a daily basis in an atmosphere of love and concern for each and every one of these awesome creatures. I continue to be grateful for my connection to this wonderful organization and for the horses and people who enrich my life.

Previous Stories
1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

i have been fortunate enough to be surrounded by the beauty and peacefulness of Mitchell Farms Equine Retirement as a volunteer who has loved horses my whole life. From day one I was struck by the dedication and commitment of the hard working staff and wonderful group of volunteers I have had the pleasure of getting to know. Everything that is done on the farm, from cleaning out stalls to putting on a halter, is done with a commitment to their mission statement of allowing the horses to live out their remaining days with dignity surrounded by the love and care they deserve. The welfare of the horses comes first and foremost and I cannot say enough good things about the workings of this farm!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been immensely fortunate to have witnessed this nonprofit grow and flourish throughout the years. It is not only a safe haven for the horses and donkeys who call it home, but for every soul that comes down the driveway. Countless times I have heard volunteers, visitors, and horse parents call Mitchell Farm a dream land. Truly a rare and special place!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Mitchell Farm Equine Retirement provides a meaningful, dignified and naturally beautiful environment for the horses to live healthy and full lives as they retire. Great care is taken to meet the horses' individual needs and enhance their experience as they become social with other retirees. Volunteering at Mitchell Farm is the highlight of my busy week.

Considerable attention is taken to train volunteers especially those of us who have little horse knowledge. Volunteers are a valuable resource on the farm, a lot of time is dedicated to teach the fundamentals of being a part of barn care, horse care and the different aspects of what it takes to care and provide for the horses. Learning about the horses and how to care for them through "hands on experience" is amazing and speaks to the core of Mitchell Farm's dedication.

Mitchell Farm is also a place where people gather to be part of something meaningful, give back to the environment and even learn about themselves. I forgot to mention about all the "ah ha" moments, the laughter, the attachment and the feeling of awe seeing the horses run, graze , roll in the snow and call out to each other. I often wonder who is the lucky one here. I believe I am. Flo M.

Kim_268

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at Mitchell Farm on and off for about 7 years and have had the opportunity to be involved with many special horses. Being a horse person since a young age I am truly blessed to be involved with all the wonderful people and horses there. All the animals are loved and live the rest of their lives the way they should. I would not recommend any other place to retire your horse. It has always been my happy place.

lewesolowski

Volunteer

Rating: 5

After spending my life around horses and retiring from my previous career, I wanted to give back to all of those four legged creatures who made my life so enjoyable. Choosing to volunteer at Mitchell Farm has been the most rewarding experience. As a volunteer, I work with the most caring and compassionate people who are there for the love of the horse. Our horses are truly fortunate to be loved and cared for in their senior years. Dee and Melissa provide the best in care and support and are truly thankful for the volunteers that make up the spirit of Mitchell Farm.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

Writing again to support this phenomenal organization. I can truly say that Mitchell Farm works very hard to care for senior and infirm horses. The staff and volunteers are extremely dedicated to the mission of giving an at risk population of equines a safe and secure home for the rest of their natural lives. Animal welfare at its finest!!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have only been volunteering at Mitchell Farms a few months, but I find it so rewarding. I find being around the horses and doing the barn chores so calming and enjoyable. working with the other volunteers is like being with family. We all have the same goal in mind, which is the welfare of these sweet horses. Dee and Melissa keep everything running smooth.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been volunteering at Mitchell Farm for about 9 months because I have always loved horses and wanted the opportunity to be around them and hopefully help make a difference in their lives. What I have seen at Mitchell Farm far exceeds my expectations in so many ways. I have met a group of dedicated people who work together to give senior horses the opportunity to live out their lives in peace, being cared for and loved. The selfless dedication to the horses and the spirit of giving that is so evident among staff and volunteers cannot be described in words but is felt every time I am there. It is truly a magical place and I feel so fortunate to be a part of it!

3 Robin175

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Being slightly afraid of those big beautiful animals, I would sit in the car and watch my daughter volunteer at Mitchell. Dee very gently taught me how to be comfortable and actually fall in love with the old boys and girls. From mucking to grooming to feeding to admiring, I volunteered right alongside my daughter for a couple years. The "old folks" have a lovely place to be in their golden years and nothing is expected of them but to remember what it is to be a horse. They are given special feed, meds, and vet care when needed. Dee has an amazing heart for these horses and shows it through her laughter and her tears as they come and go. And while it breaks your heart that they do go, you know their time at Mitchell was special for them.

1

Board Member

Rating: 5

One of the greatest strengths ofMitchell Farm is its volunteers and staff. The horses lucky enough to spend their later lives there are well cared for but the cadre of volunteers and staff make the place a wonder. Being associated with such caring and hardworking people can't help but make for happy horses and their human helpers.

Board Member

Rating: 5

I had heard about Mitchell Farm from a riding friend, and short after that I bought a wonderful 20yo school master. I immediately put his name on Mitchell farm's long list. Within the year I had the honor to become a board member and helped with finding ways to raise $$$. My horse retired a year ago at the age of 27yo (Dee had a spot for him when he was 23yo but he still wanted to compete!) and I went to visit him today. What a wonderful life these horses are given to finish their life! Dee is so aware of everything that is happening with each and every horse. The horses look health and happy!!!! PLUS the volunteers are wonderful with a smile on their faces as they clean stalls and water buckets each day.
My only regret is that I live nearly 1.5 hours away and I cannot come to volunteer for such a great cause.

1

Volunteer

Rating: 4

Great fun and exercise! I came to Mitcell Farm with no horse experience but with their patience and wonderful teaching, I am enjoying and learning a lot. I am very comfortable volunteering there. Being a retired nurse, it has been fascinating to learn about how diseases and old age progress in horses. They are a friendly group of people from the owners, to the staff, to the other volunteers. It is a fantastic place to volunteer and for the horses who are well cared for by kind and loving people.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

My horse is now at Mitchell Farm and I have started volunteering there also. Honestly, placing my horse at Mitchell Farm is one of the best things I have ever done for him. The care is superb, the attention to each horse's well-being is consistent, and the human-equine interaction is respectful, compassionate, and nurturing. The horses are relaxed, happy, and comfortable. As a volunteer I see how well the horses are fed, how well their stalls and buckets, and paddocks are cleaned, and how safety is a top priority for horses and humans at the farm. I also see how staff and volunteers truly care about each horse. The staff knows the unique personalities, needs, and preferences of the horses. Mitchell Farm has exceeded all of my expectations for the well-being, happiness, care, and comfort for its horses.

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have been a volunteer at Mitchell Farm for about three weeks now and I already feel like part of the family, all the volunteers and farm owners are so friendly! It didn't take a long time to realize that being a volunteer at the farm would be one of the most rewarding things that I have taken part in; you get to spend time taking care of the sweetest horses, and working alongside the other volunteers who you become great friends with. The horses are taken care of so well here, Dee and Melissa go the extra steps to make sure that every one of the horses is treated with care and respect. I go down to the farm a couple days a week and help with feeding and barn chores, while meeting new people and being outside in the fresh air (it feels great to be outside after being in the office most of the day!) Any time you are able to give to the farm is so appreciated by everyone there, and bringing comfort and care to the horses is extremely rewarding!

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I can't say enough good things about Mitchell Equine Retirement Farm!
Volunteering there gives me purpose and it will for anyone who opens their heart and loves to work in a beautiful barn pasture setting. People nature and animals what is better than that!

Client Served

Rating: 5

My horse was lucky enough to be able to retire at Mitchell Farm. He was given all the time he needed to become acclimated to retired life. Dee was very patient with him, as were all of the wonderful volunteers at the farm. You cannot find a nicer group of people to care for your horse or to volunteer with. I became a volunteer about 4 years ago because my horse was there. However, I will continue to volunteer because of all of the friends I have made during that time. It is a very rewarding experience to say the least.

Client Served

Rating: 5

My horse was allowed to retire at Mitchell. Dee and the Mitchell family took great care of him. When his time to cross was near they helped me through it so gently and with such kindness. The farm is well run. Efficient and clean and peaceful. The horses are truly cared for in a most wonderful careful way.

3 Mary446

Board Member

Rating: 5

I have been involved with Mitchell Farm since the very beginning in 2004. First as a boarder and volunteer, then as a retiree "mom" and volunteer and now as a president of the board of directors. Our founder, Dee Doolittle, had a wonderful vision 12 years ago to start a safe sanctuary for an unwanted segment of the equine population - the senior and/or infirm horse. Since that time Dee and our wonderful army of volunteers have fulfilled our mission and vision statements of offering a beautiful and humane alternative to the sometimes perilous life of the senior horse. This organization works very hard to give each and every "resident" a peaceful and dignified life to their very last day. Every donated dollar is extremely well spent ( less than 2.5% administration costs) to care for the horses left in our care. I can't think of a better animal welfare organization and I KNOW my own retired horses could not have had a better home to spend their last years. Thank you Dee and all of the volunteers for making the dream of MFER a reality.

2 bornagain711

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Amazing staff and property! Volunteering is a pleasure, everyone is friendly and helpful. Events are organized and well run. Horses are happy, well cared for and live in the most comfort possibe. Awesome experience - donation dollars are well spent here!

1

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Through word of mouth I was interested in spending my time volunteering for Mitchell Farm Rescue. The owner, Dee, and her husband are both kind hearted people who are truly doing an amazing job making a difference in each horses life. The volunteers are very kind, and the barn manager is very patient and helpful dedicating herself to this great cause. The farm also provides music overlooking the picturesque landscape that is pleasing for all ages.
Sarah

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Where one gives of their time volunteering, doesn't matter as much at first. Then comes the ah ha moment, when you realize that even though sometimes the work can be tough, nature is beautiful, though many times a force to respect. Receiving what animals have to offer us humans; a sense of oneness with animals, barn mates, peace, gratitude, joy, and dignity for life well lived - gives you more than you could have ever imagined. That sentiment sums up my experience as a volunteer at MFER. It starts with Dee and Hank, but extends far and wide.
Thanks to Tommy and Easy for showing us how horses show affection! It makes me smile!!

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

Six years ago while volunteering at a therapeutic riding center, two of their horses retired and came to Mitchell Farm. I was told I could volunteer there and maybe be with my barn buddy Poncho and Filly. I live three minutes away and never knew this place was here. So I went, met the owner and now volunteer three days a week. I have developed friendships and increased my knowledge of geriatric horses. It also keeps me in shape. If you love horses, beautiful scenery, concerts, lipizzan shows and not afraid of getting your hands dirty, this is for you. Check Mitchell Farm out! You won't be disappointed.

3

Volunteer

Rating: 5

It's the best decision I ever made to step out of my comfort zone and become a volunteer at MFER! At 60yrs. old and having no experience working with equines there were days when I though "you must be crazy"! Making mistakes, feeling stupid, etc. but loving the work and being in the presence of these beautiful animals made me want to come back and keep learning. Dee has been a wonderful teacher to us all and always willing to share her knowledge. Having patience do deal with newbies like me is a big plus on her part also! Now after 3 years and still learning, I will tell anyone "it is the best part of my day"! The horses are of course the best part but mucking stalls, the smell of the barn, beautiful fields, good friendships, hard work, getting dirty and being close to the earth is very rewarding. The horses at MFER are in the best of care under Dee and being part of it makes me look forward to my next trip down the driveway!

4

Volunteer

Rating: 5

I have volunteered at Mitchell Farm for the past 4 or 5 years and I have to say, Mitchell Farm is quite the place. Dee Doolittle runs the farm with her husband Hank and they are two of the hardest working people you will ever meet. Dee works 7 days a week and she has been at it for over ten years! And the volunteers are the most devoted volunteers you can find. Mitchell Farm is Dee's vision, a retirement farm for horses to live out their golden years, relearning how to be a horse, to relax in the sun, roll in the mud and graze, graze, graze. But this comes with a price tag. Without the volunteer staff and creative fundraising it would be impossible. We are lucky enough to have a barn manager now, Melissa, and hopefully Dee can get a day off once in a while. I just wish I didn't have to work to pay my bills, I would be at the farm everyday too.