I Can Make a Difference by Volunteering
by Erin Lee Christner
I can make a difference by volunteering at the Horse Protection Society (HPS).
At HPS they have just under forty horses. All of them have either been abused, neglected or given up by their owners.
Some of the horses gallop away in fear when you approach them. Others, like Padre, can only hobble slowly to the barn
at feeding time.
Every Saturday that my father is off, we go to the HPS and muck stalls, help feed or
simply brush the horses. To muck stalls we have to get the tools. We go to the tool shed and grab a push broom,
two rakes and a wheel-barrow. Then we begin to clean out all un-occupied stalls. A few of the horses, Amigo or
Oswego for instance, come and "inspect" our work. After we're done with our mucking, we carefully wash our tools and
pick an easy-going horse to brush. Padre is the horse I like best. Poor, sweet old Padre has very bad arthritis
in all four legs and can only hobble slowly and painfully along. Although Padre doesn't like it, walking truly helps
After Padre's coat is shining, we begin to bring in all the horses for feeding.
I usually bring in Wrangler, Fire Breeze or Willow. As soon as they're done we let them loose.
It's wonderful to see the horses that could have died painfully, cantering playfully
through the paddock. As another volunteer said, "How we treat our fellow creatures is only one more way we bring the
world light and life and add to its joy." I know that I can make a difference in these horses lives as they have made
a difference in mine.