Horses and Helping Hands: A Day at Equest

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There was no horsing around for the Consilium Cares volunteers on the brisk Saturday morning in early March. Instead, they spent their weekend at Equest, a sanctuary where the healing power of equine therapy transforms lives in Dallas. From stable cleaning to walking ponies, Consilium’s volunteers were ready to stirrup some fun and make a difference.

A Morning of Meaningful Engagement

The day began with introductions to the four-legged residents, including Taco, the mini mule, who, with his endearing demeanor, quickly became a favorite among the volunteers. Several tasks needed to be done, from the essential upkeep of cleaning the stables to the joyous responsibility of walking the ponies. Each volunteer, brush or broom in hand, contributed to the well-being of the magnificent creatures and, by extension, the individuals who benefit from Equest’s therapy programs.

Paintbrushes swirled and shovels dug in as the team immersed themselves in the upkeep of the facility. The vibrant atmosphere was a testament to the organization’s ethos of “fun with a purpose.” Fallon Hilliard, one of the participants, summed up the sentiment beautifully, saying, “The experience was far greater and will stick with me longer than the smell!” Her words echoed the mix of humor and heartfelt commitment that characterized the day.

Cindy LaBarge shared her awe and joy, marveling at the opportunity to work alongside such “ginormous animals” and witness the transformative power of equine therapy. “The best Saturday morning ever,” she declared, emphasizing the deep connection and camaraderie felt among the Consilium teammates.

Learning and Growing Together

The volunteers didn’t just give their time; they received invaluable insights into the world of equine therapy. Equest, a pioneering non-profit in this field since the 1980s, has been a haven for those in need, offering services ranging from physical therapy (PT) and occupational therapy (OT) to counseling. With 38 horses and a host of dedicated volunteers, Equest stands as a testament to the power of community and compassion.

Susan Liepins, one of the volunteer coordinators at Equest, expressed her gratitude, noting the significant impact of the volunteers’ efforts on the day-to-day operations. “Your help is greatly appreciated,” she stated, extending an open invitation for their return, a testament to the lasting bond between Equest and Consilium Cares that started just a couple of years ago.

A Spot on the Carrot Wall

In recognition of their spirited contribution, the Consilium Cares team was honored with a spot on Equest’s Carrot Wall, a tribute to the organization’s valued volunteer partners. This accolade is more than just a token; it symbolizes the mutual respect and appreciation between Equest and its supporters, and it stands as a reminder of the joy and fulfillment that come from helping others.

A Call to Action

For those inspired by the stories of Taco the mini mule, the dedication of the Consilium Cares volunteers, and the life-changing work of Equest, the invitation to join this community of hope is open. Visit Equest’s website to learn more about how you can contribute to this extraordinary mission of healing through equine therapy.

Reflecting on a Day of Service

As we reflect on the day spent at Equest, it’s clear that the impact of such volunteer efforts extends far beyond the tasks completed. It’s in the laughter shared, the bonds formed, and the lives touched. Equest’s commitment to meeting clients “where they are,” combined with the unwavering support of organizations like Consilium Cares, continues to weave a tapestry of community, care, and compassion that enriches us all.

In the words of the volunteers and coordinators alike, the essence of the day was beautifully captured — a testament to the power of community, the therapeutic grace of horses, and the enduring spirit of service. It was, indeed, a great Saturday morning, filled with purpose and fun.

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