Abigail Popple – Review

Do you feel you made a difference, how?

Yes, we cleaned the stables, observed the mustangs for any problems, helped with the vet visits and prepared the food for the horses.

What did you do for fun?

Went to most of the local attractions, the space centre was for me the best.

When was your most enjoyable experience, do you have an interesting story?

Working so close to the horses and seeing how they interact with people and like human company. The lady who runs the sanctuary can actually speak to the horses which was inspiring.

Would you considering going again or perhaps to another project with Original Volunteers?

Yes I would love to do another project and stay for longer next time as I don’t think 2 weeks was quite long enough, for me anyway.

What would you say/recommend to a friend who was interested in volunteering?

Just do it. You’re not on your own as there are lots of other people doing the same thing and everyone is going through the same thing. When you get there it sounds like a cliche but it does feel like home because everyone lives and works together, unlike hotels where it’s hard to make friends. I am still in touch with everyone who was there with me.

How much money would you suggest you take per week?

You don’t need any if you stay at the sanctuary, it’s just when you do the attractions you’ll need about £120 a day for transport and the tickets for each one which can be expensive but most volunteers when I was there did at least one of the parks.

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Shelley Nicoll – Review

Why did you want to volunteer?

I had been to Florida before on holiday with my family but I wanted to go back and experience Florida as a local.

Do you feel you made a difference, how?

Yes we made a big difference by being there. There is only so much a couple of people can do looking after so many animals. I think we played a vital role in supporting the project.

What did you do for fun?

We sat around in the evenings chatting, having fun, playing games. There’s nowhere local to go in the evenings without getting a lift but we made up for it and made friends with each other!

When was your most enjoyable experience, do you have an interesting story?

Learning to ride for the first time. I hadn’t been on a horse before the project.

Would you considering going again or perhaps to another project with Original Volunteers?

Yes I would like to return to the States but I think I would like to visit another area next time.

What would you say/recommend to a friend who was interested in volunteering?

Definitely go for it! – there’s simply too much to do! I had already done the parks when I was younger but for other volunteers who haven’t it’s a real bonus in your free time.

What items would you suggest future volunteers pack?

Old clothes are essential, some of my favourite clothes got mucky so I had to buy some new stuff, but America’s cheap to buy clothes and anything else you need.

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Sofia Crew – Review

My time at the sanctuary

My time at the sanctuary was amazing, it’s about the horses but it’s also the people you meet and get to know. I have made so many friends and will be keeping in touch with everybody!

Every day was the same but different but the usual routine was have breakfast, then clear and muck out then go out riding. My favourite time was reading to the horses which was funny the first time but I think they liked it!

I would recommend this project to anyone who wants a project where you work in a team and live altogether like a big family.

The hardest part was leaving!

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Martin French – Review

Why did you want to volunteer?
I am studying equine studies at college so wanted to get some experience by working at a stables.

Best bits about free time?
Saw lots of things, epcot centre and the space centre.

Tips for future volunteers?
Expect to work hard at some times and relax at others as it depends on what the horses and staff need.

What was your day like?
Worked in the morning and then in the afternoon with a break in the middle.

What was the most rewarding?
Seeing the staff work so hard and know you are really helping them out.

What was the hardest part?
Saying goodbye.

What is your best memory?
Riding to the beach.

Top tip for future volunteers?
Take old clothes as they will get dirty and smelly working with the horses. I wish I had taken more clothes for working.

Would you volunteer again?
Yes definitely!

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Gemma Arnold – Review

The most amazing thing?
Aside from volunteering, definitely the space centre.

Best memory?
Riding to the beach and walking along with the horses in the water.

Best bits about free time?
There was so much to see and you get time to get out and about, just make sure you allow enough time, I think 2 days away from the sanctuary makes it easier although some volunteers managed things in one long day.

Tell us about the people
The local people are so generous and patient with us and explained everything we needed to know. I made some good friends with local volunteers.

Would you consider volunteering again and where?
I would like to try something adventurous next time,perhaps India as it’s always been a country I’ve wanted to visit.

Tips for future volunteers?
Go with it and enjoy every minute of it!

Read more about our: Volunteers in Americas