Lori Harrington had some great news for the group of Girl Scouts visiting Freedom Hill Horse Rescue in Owings.
“You’re going to go for a ride,” said Harrington, who greeted the party of 35 scouts and troop leaders earlier this fall who came from several towns in the Washington, D.C. metro area.
Talk about riding tall in the saddle. These young women were the top sellers of Girl Scout Cookies in the organization’s Nation’s Capital region.
Freedom Hill was one of two horse rescue facilities to be beneficiaries of donations from the region’s GSA from the 2021 cookie sales.
Anna Bradford, the regional GSA’s product program manager, told Southern Maryland News that scouts were given a “cookie reward” for the sales. A portion of the sales were set aside for a donation. The Nation’s Capital council this year chose Freedom Hill and the Equine Rescue League in Lovettsville, Va., as the recipients of the money made in excess of the goal.
Freedom Hill Horse Rescue was established in 2004 and in those 17 years has assisted and re-homed over 350 horses.
“Some are here for a short time,” said Harrington, noting that some of the animals will remain permanently but play an important role in teaching visitors about properly caring for them.
While a few of the horses are available for adoption, four “sanctuary horses” remain at the farm to be used for the facility’s educational programs.
In addition to touring the farm, the scouts received lessons in proper grooming and all-important safety lessons when around the equine, most of whom weigh over 1,000 pounds.
“You’ll have lots of help,” said Harrington.
Indeed, Freedom Hill has a group of devoted volunteers but is always looking to expand their ranks of human hands of help.
“You don’t need ‘horse experience’ to volunteer,” the farm’s literature states. “We need help with direct horse care and behind the scenes.”
That includes working feed shifts, barn maintenance, grooming, events, training marketing, social media and even photography.
For more information, go to www.freedomhillhorserescue.com