Have you ever wondered if something you’ve said or done has impacted a person’s life? I am here to say to each person who sponsors or contributes their time, energy or money to the James River Horse Foundation, YOU have impacted my life forever. My name is Wendy and I am an inmate at SRWC and in the James River Horse Foundation program. I’ve been incarcerated for 13 years and been blessed with many opportunities such as the dog program at VCCW and I received my cosmetology license there. But the biggest blessing is being chosen to participate in this program. At first I wasn’t sure that I could even “do” the program. Horses are a lot bigger and more intimidating than dogs. But with the help and patience of Ms. Weldon, I am getting so much out of working with these amazing horses. The trust and respect that I have gained working with these horses is beyond anything that I could have hoped for.
I love all the horses, however Poccazone and Kong have made a permanent home in my heart. Pocca is one of the largest horses in the herd and I am one of the smallest handlers which makes for an odd pairing but a perfect match. Size doesn’t matter. Kong is like having a two-year-old who gets into everything, and he is so curious and just plain nosey that it makes me laugh.
Being a part of such an amazing program has given me a sense of peace and lowered my anxiety and stress levels greatly. I have a renewed sense of purpose and can finish my incarceration with pride of what I have accomplished. Unconditional love is what these horses give and they deserve to be given that back in return. They deserve nothing less than exceptional care and handling, and that is what we give them. I look forward to caring for these horses every day, no matter how hard the work is just being in the presence of these gently giants is worth it.
I encourage anyone who is curious about the James River Horse Foundation and how the horses and inmates interact and bond to attend an event, sponsor a horse, adopt a horse, make a donation or just volunteer your time which can keep this program running, giving inmates a second chance and a horse the love and care they deserve.
Thank you for this amazing opportunity.