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MaryJo S.

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3 reviews

Review for STEPPING STONE FARMS SCHOOL OF HORSEMANSHIP, Franksville, WI, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I met Lia in Oct. 2008 when I fresh out of in patient recovery/detox for severe Alcoholism. I needed to fill my "drinking time" with a now positive, non-drinking activity. Stepping Stone Farms was having their annual Open House/Fundraiser at the old barn in Mukwanego and I went to check it out. I so enjoyed watching the kids with the horses and meeting Lia for the first time. I took many photographs and told Lia I would print copies of them and drop them off for her. I had an amazing time and couldn't wait to get the pictures developed for her. I came out to the farm several days later and that was the beginning of my friendship with Lia and my now tangible love and admiration of horses. That day I came to the farm Lia was there by herself(very common as not many volunteers around during the cold, dark winter months), feeding and turning horses out. We jumped in the tool cat (Bobcat) and were talking. I told her of my past (Former 20 years in Law Enforcement , that I had moved back to Waukesha after a divorce and my struggle with Alcoholism) I told her I wanted to volunteer and could help her in anything she needed me to do. Within minutes she put me to work, dropping hay in the paddocks. She showed me how to halter a horse, lead the horse out of the stall through the barn and into the paddock. She showed me twice and next thing she told me to get a horse. I thought to myself, "what by myself?" I did not have much experience with horses and was a bit unnerved but I did it, under her watchful eye. It was exhilarating.I soon realized this was where God wanted me to continue my journey of healing (both from divorce and living a sober life). The horses saved my life and helped me through those first difficult months of sobriety. I began to learn so many things about horses through Lia's teaching. I never worked so hard (dirty, sweaty, covered with mud and hay in all places on my body)in all my life and loved every minute of it. I still do.

I became Lia's right hand gal (helping with chores ,several days a week doing back to back shift at times, with events, helping her start her Veterans programs and helping in the move to the new farm). Although I have moved back to Florida (we had a going away party for me at the Farm in Sept. 2012) I continue to support Stepping Stone Farms and Lia is my best friend. Whenever I come home to Wisconsin for a visit I stay at the Farm with Lia and jump right into chores within minutes of arriving. Lia has come down to Florida to visit and has gone out to the horse rescue where I now volunteer.

I have watched countless times how the horses and Lia have helped so many individuals (
"at risk youth" those suffering from Autism, those with developmental disabilities, individuals and groups suffering from PTSD and our Veterans as well as families that are in crisis) identify life issues that paralyze them with pain, fear, anxiety and stress and learn how to finally tackle those issues into a manageable life. I am living proof of the healing power of horses and the support and unconditional love found for all at Stepping Stone Farms. I am still a volunteer and cannot express my gratitude enough to Lia and the horses for saving my life. MaryJo Spencer

Role:  Volunteer
 

Review for RVR Horse Rescue, Plant City, FL, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I have been a Volunteer for RVR Horse Rescue since 2013. I see firsthand the love, care, and 24/7 compassion that takes place at this rescue. Shawn and her team of volunteers answer the desperate calls for help everyday. The transformation that takes place for these once at deaths door horses to the vibrant and happy thriving creatures is amazing. Although, there are times when the horses do not make it, Shawn and the team are there through their final hours before they cross over the Rainbow Bridge. RVR Horse Rescue is the real deal and one of a kind in its commitment to being the voice for abused and neglected horses. MJ Spencer

Role:  Volunteer
 

Review for RVR Horse Rescue, Plant City, FL, USA

Rating: 5 stars  

I became a volunteer at RVR Horse Rescue in October 2013. The moment on step foot onto the property I was greeted with unconditional Love and Acceptance. I met Shawn Jayroe and the volunteer staff and was so impressed with the passion they have for these horses. I began to assist whenever I could with chores, feeding and anything else that needed to be done to help these horses. I have seen firsthand the transformation of these abused and neglected horses as they transform into healthy beautiful spirits.
I have been on two rescues and have seen how these horses go from an abused or neglected state to recovery with the proper love and care. I continue to volunteer with RVR and I am so proud to be part of this incredible organization.

MaryJo Spencer

If I had to make changes to this organization, I would...

n/a

Would you volunteer for this group again?

Definitely

For the time you spent, how much of an impact did you feel your work or activity had?

Life-changing

Did the organization use your time wisely?

Very Well

Would you recommend this group to a friend?

Definitely

When was your last experience with this nonprofit?

2014

Role:  Volunteer