Jen Manix, Horse Volunteer

I made the decision to volunteer my time at Mahala’s Hope because I strongly believe in the mission that Sandy and her staff at Mahala’s Hope practice. It is a wonderful resource for our community to have, and I believe that the equine assisted therapy aspect of it offers a cutting edge and effective tool that sets them apart from other programs in their field. The horses are amazing beings that have their own unique way of teaching individuals about themselves. Sandy’s ability to analyze a session between the horse and a participant and use it as a teaching opportunity is top notch! I find it fascinating how she translates what the horse had displayed, specific to that particular participant, and then how she uses that information as a chance to teach the participant about themselves. Those sessions offer a moment for reflection with the purpose to promote and create positive personal growth on so many different levels. Very fascinating work!

My favorite part of volunteering is assisting with the care of the horses and hearing the success stories that come from Mahala’s Hope. I love helping keep the horses healthy and happy! By helping keep them healthy and happy, I know that it helps to keep the full experience of Mahala’s Hope in motion. Hearing the success rate and the transformative stories is so uplifting! To know that there is healing and growth happening for those that need it, it is really heartwarming.

On a personal level, volunteering has been a fulfilling experience for me. I feel like I am contributing to something bigger that has such a great purpose. I believe that Mahala’s Hope and their program creates a ripple effect that extends from the participants, to their families, to our community, and beyond. I consider myself fortunate, knowing that I am part of such a fantastic program that creates so much positive change in the lives of people. I also love the knowledge that I have gained on the human and horse levels. I have had horses my entire life and have learned some very valuable things from Ariana and Sandy. From gaining a more in depth understanding of the messages that the horses display, to nutrition and the more holistic approaches that they use for healing ailments. Mahala’s Hope is so unique and I feel so blessed for this opportunity to be a part of their team.