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Marylynn H.

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1 reviews

Review for Brook Hill Retirement Center for Horses Inc, Forest, VA, USA

Rating: 4 stars  

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, and please help us! Thank you so much!

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Role:  Volunteer