Volunteer Spotlight – Melissa Thompson

How long have you been a volunteer?
I have been a volunteer for three years.

What brought you to Stockhands?
I brought my daughter to Stockhands through the Make It Fit program. She made so much progress in six weeks that I really wanted her to continue with lessons. Tim let her ride Bailey independently on her last session and I was amazed! She started riding on Thursday evenings and I started volunteering on Sunday.

What brought you to Stockhands?
I brought my daughter to Stockhands through the Make It Fit program. She made so much progress in six weeks that I really wanted her to continue with lessons. Tim let her ride Bailey independently on her last session and I was amazed! She started riding on Thursday evenings and I started volunteering on Sunday.

What do you love most about being a volunteer here? What I love most is seeing how much riding a horse can help a child with a disability. I also love when the parent gets excited about their child’s progress because I know how exciting it is to see your child being successful.

Was there anything that surprised you about being a volunteer here?
What surprised me the most is how much volunteering has helped me personally. Before I came to Stockhands I was hiding out from life. I didn’t come here expecting to make friends and then for those friends to feel like family. I am also surprised that from being at the barn with my friends I have got my confidence back.

Do you have a favorite memory or story about your volunteer experience?
My favorite memories come from e-club and helping Brooke. I can’t believe some of the things I have experienced through e-club. The day we took Bailey’s temperature, the first time we did join up, putting shoes on Sailor. These were not things I would have ever thought I would do. The first time I helped Brooke she wouldn’t even let me touch her. She would only look at Courtney. After working with her for a while she will come in and hug me. She gives me great eye contact and has been using so many words. Helping her learn vaulting was amazing! Every time I get to be her side walker she does something new that amazes me.