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Horsin’ around at Equest

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By Emily Purwin
Collegiate Staff Writer

On Saturday, October 8 numerous students from GRCC volunteered at Equest Center for Therapeutic Riding. Which according to student volunteer Margaret Helmer “is a place for people that are injured of disabled to and get treat.”
At Equest, there are many donated horses that help heal the disabled, mentally or physically, through horseback riding.  “Volunteers run this place, and the horses have healing power for these people by just being a horse,” said Helmer. “It’s very inspiring.”
Helmer said she volunteered to work at Equest because it was required for her communications class. She said she received more that just a good grade in her class, she gained the sense of happiness knowing that she helped someone who was in need.
Some of the classmates painted fences as well as cleaning equipment, stalls, and pastures. While she was at Equest, Helmer said she cleaned out a shed and organized different materials that Equest uses throughout the entire year.
“The experience is what I expected and much, much more,” said Helmer. “ To see that many people working together and not really having to negotiate what needed to be done and just got going was very inspiring.”
Helmer said her group was very diverse, especially in different work ethics, but they got their tasks accomplished.  “Along with that, I was upset about how egotistical some people are,” said Helmer, who told about the negative attitudes of some students.
“I was very satisfied afterwards,” said Helmer about her volunteer work. “Just full of joy; wishing that I could have done even more.”
Helmer said the owner of the Equest Center helped her group finish their jobs and then gave them a tour of the land. The owner was thrilled that so many people came out to help and make a difference.
After the day’s work on the ranch, students received a free lunch and chatted amongst themselves about their experiences. Many students, who had not heard of Equest, were happy they helped out. “I would do it again, and very thankful it was required for my class,” said Helmer. “It was an opportunity that I’m glad I didn’t miss.”
This just goes to show, as Helmer said. “A little act of kindness and a little bit of work can make a huge difference.”