As a volunteer who helps care for the therapy horses I have grown as a person. I was raised on a dairy/hog farm but didn't have horses. Getting involved in Hunters Brook Farm and Opening Gates has given me the opportunity to learn about horses and myself. Although all the horses have different personalities, they all require human assistance; they need food and shelter, grooming and medicine, pasture and stall maintenance. It's the personalities which amaze me. Bear, the largest horse, is probably the gentlest. Cletus and Lady are practically inseparable. Bucket and Sparky get nervous when one of them is out of sight, but can be comforted by other horses. Coke is the queen of the farm and is proud of it.
I am not a horse specialist or a counselor so I don't participate in the counseling but I have met a few of the clients who, upon completion of the counseling, volunteer with the farm chores. They were great supporters of the work done at Opening Gates. I have found that horses can cheer, irritate, and comfort me. I am cheered when Mikey "laughs" at me, irritated when Deuce swats me with his tail or refuses to be led, and comforted when Rascal can still run in the pasture even with steel rods in his leg.
Opening Gates accomplishes its goal of providing "equine assisted counseling and learning" everyday whether to clients or volunteers.
Review from Guidestar