Love Horses? A Horse’s Friend Might Be For You.
The end of the year and the start of a new one often have us looking back at what we accomplished or failed too, as well as making plans for the future. Among the items that struck me hard for failing to do were not being around horses and not doing any volunteer work. While I am not a great rider, I do enjoy trail rides. I genuinely enjoy just being around horses. My answer for 2023? Volunteer at A Horse’s Friend!
Being in the Boy Scouts growing up, volunteering became a part of my life. It is safe to say, that for much of my life, volunteering has been something I did. Not so much over the last few years. My goal is to change that in 2023.
Since moving back to the Rochester area, I volunteered at Lollipop farms in the equine department. Sadly, other than feeding the horses, there was not much time spent with them. I also helped out a trainer at a standardbred training facility, which ended up not working out as well as I hoped. I did a few trail rides, one location did horse rescues. It was a nice place, but a little distant. The other place was A Horse’s Friend (AHF). They were initially located near Mendon Ponds Park. When the owner of the facility they rented sold the property, they moved to Rush. I did a couple of trail rides while they were there. While I was impressed with A Horse’s Friend, I was not impressed with the location. Late last year, they moved to another location in Rush.
A Horse’s Friend in Rush
The Rush location is at 6565 E. River Rd. The farm is located on the 215 acres Rush Riverside Refuge, which was formerly the BOCES 1 agricultural campus. If you use Google Maps search the address as searching for the refuge will direct you to another nearby park, 100 Acres Park.
A Horse’s Friend is an exciting organization. Founded in 2004, it is an outreach program that brings the world of horses to disadvantaged youth of the inner city. The program provides an alternative to street activities and a chance to find success while developing their full potential. The primary program is a Saturday activity, however, they also have summer day camps and after-school activities. They can frequently be found at off-site encounter events, to promote their programs and to allow children to meet the horses.
AHF has other activities that are used to support its mission. The new location on River Road in Rush gives them access to miles of well-maintained trails. Great for trail rides. The farm has an outdoor riding ring which is perfect to learn how to ride.
A Horse’s Friend is primarily a volunteer organization, driving the programs, maintaining the facilities as well as taking care of their 19 program horses. I have only been a volunteer for a couple of weeks now. While I do have a great deal of experience handling horses, there are a few things I will need to adjust to so that I fit the way they do things. The biggest is learning the names of all the horses.
What Is Your Volunteer Project This Year?
If you enjoy being around horses, take a look at AHF’s website and possibility volunteer yourself. Even a half day a week would be a help. Or you could help sponsor an inner-city child to join one of their programs