Interview by Zoe D’Angelo Nomination & Photography by Catherine Cella of Joyful Reflections Photography Texas
The Nomination: Marisa loves horses. She wanted one but couldn't afford it. So, she approached a horse barn. When Marisa offered to do farm chores in order to ride and care for a horse, the owner graciously accepted. It's been 6 years. Marisa and Melody truly connect. See, dreams do come true!
How did your liking of horses begin? I began with my interest of horses when I was in kindergarten and participated in a summer camp, but I started taking regular lessons at Newberry Farm in Columbia in 5th grade. I am now a senior in high school and I love it just as much as I did when I was a kid!
When you offered to do horse chores, what were some of the things you had to do? I begged to start helping! I started with putting hay outside to our feeding area and it took me all day to complete because I wasn’t very strong. Now that I have been working here for about 6 years, I can finish things a lot faster. Other tasks that I had to complete was cleaning out the fields that the horses live in, filling all the water tubs, and other jobs would be to keep up the general cleanliness of the farm. I’ve begun teaching children that attend lessons at Newberry Farm and some of these kids are a part of our therapeutic riding program.
How often would you do those chores? I started out with helping on Saturdays, but last year I started working there on Tuesdays too. Ever since I have started volunteering there on Saturdays in 5th grade, I have spent almost every single Saturday there.
Tell me a little bit about Melody. Melody is a is very headstrong horse but is also a great to work with. When riding a horse, you are working to achieve something as a team and learn how to work together. She has things that are difficult for her to do physically, but she has been getting a lot stronger in the past three years that I have been working with her.
Do you plan on continuing to work with horses as you grow up? I would love to continue working with horses as I get older. It isn’t an activity that you can really grow out of. I would eventually like to own my own horse and either have it live at my house, or board it at Newberry Farm. I love all the aspects of taking care of a horse and being outside. I’m not sure if I would like to continue teaching as a profession though.