updated August 2, 2021
Hinchinbrook Farm is always looking for new volunteers who like to work with children, with horses or both! We also have some places for people who would like to work on therapeutic riding skills with adults who have mental or physical challenges. Here are some of the current 56 volunteers who call us their Tribe.
Alexia Armato is originally from Montreal and moved out East for school. She has a brother with down syndrome who would accompany her to the barn sometimes to play with her horse, Meeka. Around the same time as she got her mare, she started learning about Natural Horsemanship, and her interest in therapeutic riding and the horse-human connection grew! “I’m really looking forward to learning from everyone and being apart of this amazing team.”
Cirrus Ball became a volunteer in January 2021. He volunteers on Saturdays in the mornings to help out with the lessons. Cirrus attends the local French language highschool. He began volunteering weekly at Hinchinbrook in January 2021 as part of a school civics program. He was drawn to Hinchinbrook by his love of horses and his desire to contribute to a worthy cause in his community. Cirrus has spent the past few summers at Foymount Farm in Eganville where they host a farm immersion camp with an emphasis on Relationship Based Horsemanship. In addition to horses he helped mind their resident donkey, sheep, goats, chickens and pigs. At home Cirrus helps tend to a flock of chickens and makes good use of skills learned at 4H. He also enjoys the company of his dog Milo.
Katherine Barrett became a volunteer in January 2021 and currently volunteers on Wednesday mornings. She is a writer, editor, and mother of 3!
Melissa Bishop became a volunteer in January 2021. She is the mother of three kids and is always looking out for others! She volunteers on Thursday mornings and is ready to lend a helping hand wherever needed.
Brianne Boudreau has been a regular volunteer since early 2016. She helps with lessons, is a regular at the Horse Boy play dates and will do any of the chores that pile up quickly with 12 critters at the farm. Brianne graduated from Parkview, is studying to become a nurse and a favorite mentor to all the Hinchinbrook families. Extra bonus: She rides like a dream!
Juliana Boyd joined the Hinchinbrook volunteer team in 2020. Juliana is married and lives in Halifax with four children, a cat and a dog. Juliana also owns 2 horses. She grew up in PEI on a small farm and was lucky enough to have ponies to ride from a very young age. She attended Pony Club, obtaining her C2 level before she went off to university to become a nurse. Juliana’s first nursing job was at the Nova Scotia Rehabilitation Centre. There she cared for patients with brain injuries, strokes, amputations and many more physical and cognitive challenges. Six years ago, Juliana had to retire from nursing to care for her busy household. But then was able to get back into horseback riding when two of her children showed an interest. Juliana is currently working toward obtaining her NCCP license in order to become a riding instructor. “I absolutely love horses but especially what they can do for people and I want to be able to share that with others.” Her background is in show jumping and eventing but she also thoroughly enjoys groundwork and many other aspects of life with horses. “Thank you to Hinchinbrook Farm for the opportunity to learn from and participate in a fantastic program!
Stephanie Bullock became a volunteer in October 2020. She has taken riding lessons all throughout school and now she has a 4 year old who also loves horses. She lives in Chester but loves the farm and comes back every Monday!
Kristian Burrows lives on the South Shore and is very grateful to be a part of this amazing volunteer family! She has worked in many domains from owning her own business in the skincare industry, producing TV commercials, caregiving, personal trainer/nutritional coach and one of her favourite career choices was being a resource counsellor for adults with special abilities. Kristian is very curious and tries to live life to the fullest with a positive attitude of encouragement. Kristian is finishing up a reflexology certification to start her own practice as she believes self-healing is something everyone can benefit from. “As an avid equestrian for over 40 years I believe whole heartedly that horses have a magical ability to enhance the lives of people.”
Pauline Cameron grew up in Halifax and recently moved to Riverport district, where she spends her time teaching English as a second language and writing music for fun. She has worked alongside children and youth for over ten years, and has had an outsider’s curiosity about horses for longer, so the volunteer opportunity at Hinchinbrook Farm felt perfectly timed with her arrival in the area. Previous volunteer experiences include Halifax Public Libraries (English Language Learning), the SPCA (Christmas treat sales) and community radio. Pauline became a volunteer in November 2019.
Lily Carrigan Lily became a volunteer in 2020 within days of her 14th birthday. She is familiar with Hinchinbrook from her summer experiences taking lessons when here from California. When stranded in Nova Scotia by COVID-19, Lily decided to join the volunteer crew. Lily is now back in California, but still a volunteer in spirit and when sh returns in 2022 for her regular summer in Nova Scotia.
Kassidy Cavicchi became a volunteer in June 2021. In her spare time she enjoys drawing different things such as manga, animals, and dragons. Kassidy also plays both electric and acoustic guitar and likes to listen to rock or metal music. Some of her favourite bands include Green Day, Avenged Sevenfold and Metallica.
Stephanie Chipman has been volunteering at Hinchinbrook Farm since 2016. “Tuesday morning has been my regular spot and I really enjoy the time with clients and the critters. It’s incredibly rewarding to be part of the “magic” that happens there.” Her daughter Charlotte is a rider in Hinchinbrook’s therapeutic riding program. They enjoy riding so much that in 2019 they moved to their own horse farm in Hebb’s Cross and own 4 horses, including Buddy who retired from Hinchinbrook’s program last year. Stephanie is currently working on starting a pony club for kids at their farm and enjoying life as a wife, mother and grandmother. She loves learning new things every day about horses and farm life.
Carolyn Collicutt, the Past President of the Hinchinbrook Farm Society, is a mom who served on the Board from 2011 to 2019. She came to HF in 2008 through First Steps Intervention and is a founding member of the Society (in 2010). She has created a resource list for special needs families and arranges special visits by local resources such as the RCMP, Search and Rescue Canine and EHS ambulances at play dates. Carolyn is also a leader with the local Sea Cadets and the Scouts.
Jaime Collicutt started at Hinchinbrook Farm as a rider when she was just eight years old, and we were just starting up. Jaime still rides but also volunteers at Horse Boy Play Dates and events. Jaime graduated from Parkview and has been a sea cadet for several years. She is now our paid summer student camp assistant. Her organizing skills are very welcome in a tack room that gets tossed after just one lesson!
Growing up with horses, they were always my passion and I was constantly being told I should do something with them, like be a vet, but I liked them being my hobby. I didn’t want to “work” with them all day and end up resenting them like I did my other jobs. I felt this way until almost 8 years ago (2014) when I started volunteering at HFS. I loved it and could not get enough of it.
In 2017 I resigned from my full-time position as a CCA in Long-term Care to work casual so I could gain other volunteer hours to start my certification as a Therapeutic Riding Instructor. In doing so I also have my English Rider Level 1 & 2 and my Western Rider Level 1 which I intend to continue to complete. I started my certification through CanTRA but am transitioning over to PATH Int.
In my time volunteering for HFS I took a trip to Horse Boy in Elgin, Texas. I’ve taken a 2 day Movement Method Course. I’ve done many trainings with Olga Comeau doing TTouch and TTeam Lead.
I am married to a wonderful guy and we have a son who is almost 4 years old. We have some 4-legged children too, a dog, a cat, 2 goats and 2 horses (for now, Lol!). I enjoy competing with my horse occasionally, who I’ve had for 15 years, we mostly did Gymkhana, but thoroughly enjoyed a trail class as well. But I have been more into attending clinics with him, especially ones that will help better my connection with my 4 legged friends.
Peter de Vries has in the past participated on the Board of Directors and at the lessons and events. He now helps out when and where he can, travelling from Liverpool where he has settled in to retirement from a career in medical writing. This makes Peter a great resource for information too. Peter has taken on some poster making and event photographer work for the farm.
Steve Dyer is the President of the Hinchinbrook Farm Society. He is a retired Oil & Gas Professional, having spent nearly half of his 30 year career working overseas. Steve loves boating and fishing at every opportunity. A home handyman by nature, Steve helps out around Hinchinbrook with the facilities projects and repairs. A zip-line enthusiast, Steve regularly volunteers to support this activity. He is Cheryl Dyer’s number one supporter, and typically supplies coffee and donuts on Thursday afternoons.
Morgan Flemming has been riding horses since 2009 and purchased her horse Cobalt in 2012. She is an aspiring therapeutic riding instructor and has been volunteering with Hinchinbrook since July 2020. When Morgan is not at the farm she works at the Chester Basin Animal Hospital. She is continually expanding her equine knowledge through workshops and courses; and her riding skills through trying new types of riding including hunter/jumper, voltige, gymkhana, trail riding and mounted archery.
David Friendly joined Hinchinbrook Farm Society as the grant writer in 2013. He took over as our Webmaster in April 2014 and Bookkeeper in 2015. After a career in the oil industry as a safety and emergency response professional, David and his wife relocated to Lunenburg to take in the quality of life the area offered to retired people looking to stay active. David has volunteered over recent years with the Lunenburg Folk Harbour Society and the Lunenburg Doc Fest. He is a former trumpet player and currently band leader for the Mahone Bay Legion Swing Band and plays flugelhorn in the Chester Brass Band, were he also serves as Treasurer. David has been Sound Director for the South Shore Players and Producer for several of their Christmas shows. He also created the slide show used in the Summer Troupe production of Glimpses and produced the official DVD of the show in 2017. A former hobby was leading groups to Ecuador and the Galápagos Islands. It had a brief re-emergence in 2012 when he took a group of 15, mostly from Lunenburg County, on their ‘trip of a lifetime’ for their own private tour of Ecuador and chartered yacht excursion in the Galápagos. While living in Calgary, David made a point of taking a 3-day horse trip into the Rockies at least once a year. He likes the fact that, at Hinchinbrook, he will be able to keep a link with these gentle creatures.
Katie Fuster started volunteering in March of 2021. She is an animal lover as well as a bookworm. She is working at a bakery that makes fantastic sourdough bread!
Sebastian Haumering began volunteering at Hinchinbrook Farm as a Grade 9 student at Bluenose Academy in September 2017. He has recently graduated from Parkview Education Centre in Bridgewater. Sebastian is a skier, mountain biker and junior firefighter with the Lunenburg Fire Department. He is planning on becoming a paramedic and work for life-flight air ambulance.
Kéla Laroque was on the Board of Directors from 2018 to 2021 in the role of Treasurer. Kéla was a volunteer from 2013-2015 then took time away to study and get her MPT at Dalhousie U. Now she is a very busy Physical Therapist in Bridgewater. Kéla helps with horses, children and activities at Ther-A-Playdates and at special events. She is also known by the tribe for her homemade baking. Kéla is a life long equestrian and hopes to start training in Hippotherapy.
Emma Leigh is a mother of 4 kids as well as a massage therapist. She always comes to the farm with a positive attitude and is willing to work at a moment’s notice. Sometimes to playdates she will bring her kids as well as her baby chicks for the riders to play with!
Claudia Loferer works at Equine in Balance and is the equine massage therapist for the farm. She has been a member since 2018 and is always ready to help!
Alex Lynch grew up in Lunenburg County, yet it somehow took him 20 years to become a volunteer at Hinchinbrook Farm. When he’s not working in the world of broadcasting, he enjoys spending time outside with good people, a perfect fit with Hinchinbrook. Alex has also produced several videos for the Farm. (See one here>>).
Melody MacQuin became a volunteer in June 2021. She is a mom of 3 and has been a registered nurse for 20 years! In her free time she does competitive weight lifting and has a cat and a dog. Melody is always ready to lend a helping hand.
Lexie Mawhinney became a volunteer in November 2019. She grew up in Lunenburg Nova Scotia. Lexie is currently learning online, taking a Bachelor of Science (Major in Biology) in the Pre-Vet Stream at the University of Prince Edward Island. She really enjoys working with the horses and children. “Gaining experience is my ultimate goal. All my experiences at Hinchinbrook Farm have been so great.”
Sarah McCarthy is a psychology student at St. Mary’s University with the hopes of becoming a clinical social worker. Her mother Kathryn told Sarah about Hinchinbrook Farm, and she has been a steady volunteer since the summer of 2018. Sarah was certified at the Movement Course 1 & 2 in July of that year. Sarah is a budding horsewoman and picking up routines because she has volunteered 3 full days a week all summer long. She will continue learning about the Horse Boy Method throughout her formal education with the dream of incorporating the two and becoming an Equine-Assisted Therapist.
Devin McDow-Reeves is a former rider who is now old enough to volunteer. Devin joined the volunteer team at Hinchinbrook Farm in the summer of 2020. She enjoys working with the children who come and take part in the Horseboy Playdates. Devin loves all animals and has six pets of her own; three dogs and three birds. She plans to continue her work with children as a future early childhood educator.
Kathryn McMillan has been volunteering at Hinchinbrook Farm since the summer of 2014. She brings her life experiences as an equestrian and grand mother. Kathryn comes early to groom and lunge the horses then helps with the kids and critters every week. Kathryn came during the BIG snow winter of 2015 hauling water and walking horses in the corridors of snow for exercise when the ring was shut down for 3 months. She knows the equipment, the kids and the horses making every lesson safe and open for adventure.
Melissa Muse is a recreation therapist for people with disabilities as well as mental health challenges. She brings riders from Emerald Hall.
Hunter Parks: “Hi my name is Hunter, I am a student at Bluenose Academy and enjoy dance, music and volunteering. I started riding at Hinchinbrook in 2015 and started volunteering in 2018. I am looking forward to doing more volunteering at HFS!” Hunter is especially helpful in tack cleaning and unhooking zip liners at the end of their run. He was hired on as one of our three summer students in 2021.
Carol Rolfe-Higney is a mother to 2 boys, one grandson and 1 stepson. In June 2018 she retired from 36 years of nursing and was President of Hinchinbrook from 2019 to 2021. She and husband Mark live in a cottage on Indian Lake. Her goal is finding that healthy balance between volunteering and caring for herself and her extended family. Working with youth and being around animals have always been a major part of her life. She is grateful to have the opportunity to provide support at the farm and to receive so much back from the gifts that children and animals often provide. This picture captured one of her happy moments with Mark and her late horse, Babe.
Terese Silver has been an employee of the South Shore Regional Centre of Education for 23 years and spent many of those years trying to help find ways to meet the educational needs of the students outside the classroom setting. She began getting involved with Hinchinbrook Farm while bringing participating students from the Middle Level Connect Centre (MLCC) and saw first hand what a difference a farm visit made in their day. Terese felt that she needed to become more involved and act as an advocate for both the farm and the student participants. So, she also joined the Board in 2021 and is Treasurer.
Amanda Teal’s day job is in an office but she is also a hard working volunteer for Syrian refugee families. Inspired by her daughter, Evelyn, Amanda joined the tribe at Hinchinbrook. She feeds her newly discovered passion for horses, and learns as much as she can at Hinchinbrook Farm. Amanda looks after the horses and helps monitor children at Ther-A-Play Dates. Amanda certified in the Movement Method, courses 1 & 2. Amanda occasionally brings her family to operate the chipper for trail maintenance. She has been on the Board since 2019 and served as Treasurer for 2 years.
Katrina Twanow found Hinchinbrook Farm through our school outreach at Bayview in Mahone Bay. She became a volunteer in April 2021. She volunteers at the playdates and is very much an animal person, especially around horses. She loves to help out and is always smiling when at the farm!
Sylvio Vaca-Talbot recently graduated from Citadel High School and will be studying Engineering at SMU. His family started attending Saturday playdates several years ago and Silvio was inspired to become a volunteer. A lifelong fan of the outdoors, he loves working with kids, has a big personality, and has attended training both at Hinchinbrook as well as leadership training at Big Cove Camp. He looks forward to contributing to Hinchinbrook again this year.
Megan VanderWal: Hi, I’m Meg and I’ve been a volunteer since October 2020. I am a recent graduate from Park View and I am taking a bachelor of medical science at Dalhousie University in hopes of becoming a pharmacist! I took the job as the 2021 Hinchinbrook summer student and I look forward to my time at the farm every single day. I am a highland dance teacher and have always loved working with children and animals, so naturally being a volunteer at Hinchinbrook Farm was the best decision I ever made!
Kerenza Verburgis a Medical Sciences graduate. She is also a dance instructor, and has developed the Inclusive Movement Program that will be starting in September 2021 at Kinship Performing Arts Centre. Kerenza started volunteering at Hinchinbrook Farm in the spring of 2019, and fell in love with the place (and critters) right away. Kerenza grew up in Europe, where she learned to ride, and ever since she moved to Canada, she’s been wanting to get back into horse riding. Kerenza is grateful that Hinchinbrook Farm has provided her with this opportunity. She is also grateful Hinchinbrook Farm has further fostered her love for working with individuals with special needs and her passion for promoting inclusivity.
Kara Wilson Kara Wilson has been a veterinarian at South Shore Veterinary Services since July 2018. A lifelong equestrian, she grew up always in the barn with her horse Kolumb (pictured). They competed together for many years in dressage and eventing. Prior to veterinary school Kara taught lessons and summer camps to young equestrians and trained students for their Equine Canada rider levels. She went on to complete an undergraduate degree at Dalhousie University and then qualified for her Doctor of Veterinary Medicine degree at the Atlantic Veterinary College in PEI. After graduation she completed an extra year of training at the Vermont Large Animal Clinic to specialize in equine medicine. She currently sits on the Hinchinbrook Farm Society Board of Directors as the secretary and is happy to be providing veterinary care for all the furry creatures at Hinchinbrook Farm.
Gillian Wu volunteers Thursdays, May through October while staying at her Liverpool home. She winters at her other home in Toronto. Gillian is a retired dean and researcher, and is a wealth of information (so every one asks Gil). Coming since mid 2015 to the farm she takes care of the horses and facility, helps riders, works at special events and at group visits. Before coming to Hinchinbrook Farm, Gillian was not a horse person but she is quickly chalking up experience.
Lesley Peddle is a new volunteer having just started in January 2022. She lives in Bridgewater with her spouse Justin and two children Clover and Max. Lesley joined the Canadian Armed Forces in January of 2012 and is currently employed at the Reserve Unit in Pine Grove, NS. 12 years ago Lesley rehabilitated a standardbred mare but had to pass her on to the Maritime Standardbred Pleasure Horse Association when she enrolled in the Forces. She is excited to get back to working with horses again and learn all about Equine Therapy at Hinchinbrook Farm.
Laura Herritt is a born and bred Nova Scotian who became a volunteer in January 2022. The mother of two is no stranger to the farm and first came to the farm back in 2011 with her then 6 year old son for therapeutic riding lessons. When Laura is not busy with her teenagers or volunteering, she can be found with her new found love Pippa the horse, in Northfield.
Ava Herritt started volunteering at the farm in January 2022. Ava is a student of Kings Edgehill school in Windsor with a love for horses and kids. Ava and family purchased a horse in 2022 and is eager to broaden her horse knowledge. You’ll see Ava at the farm on Saturday’s or any spare chance she gets.