Hey – for horse lovers this is a great way to spend non-riding time with horses.  Here are two programs with great volunteer programs that are very rewarding:


Red Bucket Horse Rescue – Chino Hills

In July of 2008, Susan Peirce found a starving thoroughbred filly at a run-down and dilapidated stable. Although it was evident that the horse had been beaten and abandoned, the barn manager did not feel obligated to feed her since he wasn’t being paid. Instead, he was planning on calling a meat wagon to pick her up. He felt no responsibility and certainly no empathy for the terrified horse. Unable to turn her back, Susan went to the local feed store and bought 50 pounds of carrots and a “Red Bucket.” It took her 6½ hours to catch the emaciated filly, but once she caught her, she never let go. She named her Harlow and made her a promise of a loving, forever home.

In January of 2009, Susan returned to that same stable where she found nine additional abandoned horses. Again, the barn manager was not feeding them, and they were clearly starving, suffering and in a horrible state of neglect. One horse in particular was endangered. Susan, along with a friend, spent the next 36 hours trying desperately to save her. Unfortunately, she was so sick and emaciated that the emergency vet recommended they offer her the only gift that they could…mercy. They named her Gracie, and that was the defining moment that changed Susan’s life. Looking around at the eight remaining horses that were also suffering, a line was drawn and Red Bucket Equine Rescue was born. Eight more Red Buckets were purchased, and eight additional promises of second chances were made.

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The Shea Center  – San Juan Capistrano

The J.F. Shea Therapeutic Riding Center is dedicated to improving the lives of people with disabilities through therapeutic horse-related programs.  Shea volunteers willingly offer their time, talent and treasure. Serving from the heart, they are readily rewarded by the smiles and daily accomplishments of their riders. To learn more about becoming a member of The Shea Center’s volunteer team, please watch our video Introduction to Volunteering and see what it means to be a Shea volunteer.

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