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!
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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.
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.
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!
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.
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!!
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.
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!
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.