Wendy Barber - November 2022
Started February 2018
Wendy started in February 2018 and initially came to WindReach Farm to be with the horses and animals. “I needed that connection for my own mental wellbeing, and I fell in love with the farm in so many ways. I feel the magic of the Farm every time I am here, and I know what an impact it makes,” says Wendy.
She helps out in the Stables and has for several years, gone to muck out stalls on Christmas and New Year’s Day, as well as on Sundays. These tend to be the times that many volunteers need to be with their own families, but she feels the horses are her family, so she is happy to be there. Wendy also helps with Beyond the Farm Gate off-site tours and is a member of WindReach Farm’s Board of Directors.
Like many volunteers, Wendy says she gets more out of volunteering than she gives. It is a real gift to volunteer! Wendy brings so much to the table. “My heart, my injured broken heart, which most people don't see as a "disability" but I am pretty sure that Sandy, our Founder would understand this. As a successful Professor, no one sees this except the horses,” says Wendy. She feels she offers an openness, kindness, and love when she volunteers.
Wendy enjoys meeting ‘the regulars’ in the Stables. Instructor Steve and volunteer/staff Dave are some of the people who show up when riders need them. She feels it is such a privilege to meet these extraordinary individuals.
In her regular life, Wendy is a University Professor, so she understands learning very well, but when you ask it personally, she feels she has also learned. Wendy has learned that it is okay to be broken hearted, because there is a horse that will heal you, there is a dog or a stable-mucker-friend who you just met who will hear your story, and you will be okay. “One day, a kind ‘Pat’ will let you actually ride Gracie, and that was just freaking awesome,” exclaimed Wendy. She looks forward to meeting Sandy (Gracie’s off-spring), the new therapy horse when she comes back to WindReach.
When asked about a meaningful story from WindReach, Wendy recalled seeing Miss Gracie the night before Sandy the foal was born. Wendy was at the farm and Gracie backed up her haunches to Wendy. She thought she could feel and see the foal's head....it was extraordinary! The timing was amazing as Wendy was going for an important surgery the next day. She felt Gracie's strength and promised her that she would get the funds and volunteers so that as a "breeder horse" Gracie would finally get to keep this one. Wendy also recalls both Pat and Kendra saying that they thought Gracie is going to be great, but they just needed some funds to get her to the Farm. Gracie initially came with the name Ruby, but we already had a Ruby. Wendy asked if she could rename her Gracie (after her mom Audrey Grace, a kindergarten teacher who changed the world and made Wendy the confident woman she is today).
Every day Wendy is grateful for WindReach, a place she sometimes just drives to and walks around, because it gives her peace.
Thank you, Wendy, for all that you do at WindReach Farm.
One person CAN make a difference!