I’m mixing it up a bit here and doing a post that has nothing (well, mostly nothing) to do with food. Carrots were involved, though. Sometimes I just love a place so much I want to share it with everyone, and given I have this nifty blog I felt this was the perfect way to share one such place. Plus, I haven’t been cooking much!!!! I ate hummus and veggies for 3 days straight last week. Hummus is great and all, but that’s just stupid silly.
Yes, this particular beginning-of-the-school-year has been extremely busy/stressful/cold-ridden and when I get really busy I either tend to workout or cook less. Recently, I’ve been choosing to cook less, but keep the workouts because they are essential to my good mental health. This week I have vowed to get back on track with my recipes, but in the meantime I hope you can enjoy these sweet horses and this lovely, lovely place.
Mill Creek Farm is a beautiful patch of land in Alachua County, Florida that serves as a “retirement home” for horses. Yes, horses. The farm was created in 1984 by two wonderful people that wanted to create a safe haven for old, abused, and neglected horses. I’m a bit of an animal lover, and have always loved horses, so this is my kind of place. Opening an animal sanctuary of some sort has always been high up on my list of dream life-destinations, and as a result I tend to visit any I can find. I’m not a big fan of zoos, so these places provide a chance to interact with animals in an environment I support. In college, I volunteered at a big cat sanctuary and a sea bird rescue center and had some great experiences, seeing first-hand the love and dedication it takes to create and run a safe haven for animals that have suffered (usually) at the hands of humans.
This beautiful farm is open to the public and allows you to roam the property petting, and hopefully, providing carrots for the friendly horses. I often see families here with kids sitting in wagons and running along the pastures. It’s a beautiful place to visit with your family, friends, or just for a good dose of solitude. There are a variety of horses, with all kinds of stories, some incredibly heart-breaking.
These guys are blind, but still love a nice nuzzle and a carrot from a friendly visitor. One thing I think you can easily notice (if you want to) when visiting animals in captivity of any sort, is how they are treated, and you can get a sense of happiness from those that are treated properly. It is very evident that the horses at Mill Creek are treated with love and respect.
Once placed at the farm, the horses are never ridden or worked again. They are free to live out their lives in peace – rubbing against the fence, grazing in the fields, gobbling up carrots, just being horses.
And clearly, the other animals lucky enough to call this place home are happy campers also!
When I get the chance to visit my mom, we love to make a morning trip to the farm weighed down by several pounds of carrots. It is such a peaceful, beautiful place and makes you so thankful that there are people out there that want nothing more than to keep animals safe and let them live with dignity.
If you ever get a chance to visit the area, do check this sweet place out.
And don’t forget carrots! 🙂
Or, this dude will get gnarly on you.
You can also check out the website for other ways to help support this beautiful little animal haven.