It’s always been a little bit odd…drive about thirty to forty-five minutes outside of south Tampa and you’ll end up in somewhere a bit more rustic, somewhere like Odessa.
I consider myself to be a city girl, but then again I’ve always loved rural spaces, more specifically horses. Like most little girls, I grew up fascinated and in awe of them. Soon enough, I was in the saddle learning how to ride. Fast forward about twenty years (give or take) and I find myself having graduated college and embarking on that all too-familiar quest – job hunting. Between updating my resume and clicking refresh on LinkedIn yet again, my mother suggested volunteer work -and I figured it would alleviate the madness I was experiencing.
Driving to Quantum Leap, I look out my car window to see an alpaca farm as the road curves, taking me farther and farther away from the main road. I make it to Quantum and am greeted by several smiling faces. “We’re so glad to have you here,” Rebecca says to me. “Let me introduce you to some of our horses.” She leads me through the barn and I know I’m going to fit in here. Flash forward a few weeks and I’m now walking alongside a shuffling horse named Idaho. I glance up into the bright eyes of a young boy smiling and laughing. He may not be able to walk on his own, but Idaho gives him the opportunity to move freely. I can’t help but be filled with joy watching these two connect with each other.
It’s those moments of pure bliss that I see on the riders’ faces that are why I’ve fallen in love with Quantum Leap Farm. Since my initial visit three weeks ago, I have only come to look forward to volunteering at the farm more and more. Being in the company of such powerful and large animals has such a soothing effect, and as someone who has plenty of experience with depression and anxiety I can say with certainty that equine therapy is powerful. I usually leave the barn exhausted, but I also feel so privileged to be able to participate in this restorative and beautiful program.
Written By: Elly Carrere