Jessica has been an OPEN Volunteer since 2016, shortly after moving up to WA from Louisiana with her family's five horses. She grew up caring/training horses on the farm and she has been working with Minis since 2006. She prefers mini horses due to their versatility and small size. Jessica was scrolling Facebook when she saw the post about rescuing a miniature horse and mule, so she headed out to OPEN the next day to help out with the new horse/mule and ended up fostering the miniature horse until adoption and naming her Nikki after a family friend who passed away several years ago, and had the same attitude as her.
Nikki was rescued by OPEN in June of 2017, her owner had Alzheimer's disease and forgot he even had equines. She was aggressive towards the rescue team, and had a mat the size of a basket ball in her tail. She was assumed pregnant but lost the foal. She had to be taught how to walk because her feet were so torn up. Nikki was adopted by a loving family in August 2017, and her Handler Jessica Clark has worked with her to be the ambassador horse for OPEN, and Jessica's family is very involved with OPEN today!
Sharon was nine-years-old when she had her best Christmas ever. That was the Christmas the horse trailer showed up and brought her a horse.
Sharon enjoyed her horse for eight years. She moved on in life and earned a bachelor’s degree in biology, which led to a career doing research on ornamental grasses and plant breeding.
She ended her professional life working for a company in Ventura, Ca. She found her way to Sequim about a year and a half ago, and now lives just up the road from OPEN’s barn and pasture.
“I took one good sniff and knew I was home again,” she said. “I come down here to be with the horses and help.”
Sharon is easy going, smiles a lot and is quick to laugh, an attitude that probably has something to do with being home again.
Claudia has never found much satisfaction in scooping manure, but she has done more than her share. It started when she was a youngster growing up on a family farm in Colorado, where taking care of animals and cleaning up after them was part of everyday life.
Claudia will tell you there is an upside to this work that some people might overlook. If a little scooping is all that is required to get near a horse, Claudia will be there with her rake.
“Naturally growing up on a farm meant we had lots of animals, and we had horses,” Claudia said. Our community had about 600 people. There wasn’t much to do, but we could do a lot of riding and we did.”
Living in Sequim doesn’t give Claudia much chance for riding. But OPEN does give her a chance to scoop, and when she finishes the scooping, it’s time for the horses…time to enjoy the company of horses, take care of them, just like back on the farm.