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Volunteer Spotlight - Laura Maffitt



Laura Maffitt has been in love with horses her entire life, starting from her early days galloping around her yard to eventually owning her own horse in Tahoe as a teenager. However, about 20 years ago, feeling a void in her life without the close connection to horses she had growing up, Laura began leasing horses to rekindle that passion. When the COVID-19 pandemic struck in 2020, leaving her jobless and with ample free time, Laura found her way to Between Horses and Humans (BHH).


Laura started out volunteering at the barn and quickly became an instructor. After going back to work she found less time at the barn and now serves on the board as Director and member of the Fundraising and Outreach committee. She still finds time occasionally to get to barn and reconnect with the students, horses, and other volunteers.


The mission of BHH deeply resonated with Laura.


“I just really loved it,” Laura said. “Volunteering at BHH became my happy place.”


The BHH philosophy of partnering with and listening to horses rather than controlling them aligned with her evolving approach to horsemanship. Volunteering at the barn quickly became Laura's sanctuary, providing solace from life's stresses whenever she turned onto the dirt road leading to BHH.


Though her involvement with the children has lessened over time, Laura cherishes memories of witnessing the profound impact of horses on the kids' lives. One student showcased remarkable memory and learning comprehension skills at the barn, receiving praise and encouragement instead of criticism. Witnessing shy children transform into confident leaders through their interactions with horses has been especially rewarding for Laura.


Laura found immense joy in witnessing children transition from initial shyness, hiding behind their parents, to confidently taking charge, grabbing the halter and rope, and eagerly saying, “Let's go.” She emphasized how special it is to see a child succeed in partnering with a horse as their confidence and leadership skills progress.


Reflecting on her own experiences with horses, Laura emphasizes the indescribable healing power of the connection forged between humans and horses.


“For me, I know what it's like from working with horses myself,” she said. “When you make that connection, it's indescribable how it heals your heart and how it makes you feel. It’s so rewarding to provide that for kids that normally wouldn't have any opportunity to do something like that.”


Laura's hope is to shed light on the transformative impact BHH has on children's lives and encourage support for their mission. For those interested in volunteering with BHH, Laura directs them to contact the volunteer coordinator, Kristin Moffit, at volunteers.bhh@gmail.com.

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