• Laurel Contributor

Horsing Around in Magical Ways

by Sue Blair

The potential for Carpe Diem Farms took shape on October 18, 1997, but the enterprise took on an even deeper meaning with the arrival of a pair of horses, Delta and Gracie.

It’s hard to imagine that Carpe Diem Farms, the idea, began on January 27, 1992 when we received our tax exempt status. It took us five years to find the place, which officially opened October 18, 1997. The first horses, Delta and Gracie, didn’t move in until Thanksgiving the following year when my father and brother completed the stables and the first paddocks were built.

We had a vision to, “Empower individuals through life changes to see the opportunities and possibilities that abound.” Our mission to provide a safe space for quiet reflection, growth and development.

The Lodge became the hub of activities. We offered private counseling, a wide variety of body workers provided massage therapy, reflexology and more while classes in tai chi, self-help book studies, wild edibles with Marie Mellinger, didgeridoo, dousing, labyrinth construction and walks through our continued participation in the World Wide Labyrinth Project, musical concerts, Native American studies, dog training and so much more.

When the horses arrived, we were finally able to begin “Exploring the Human Potential Through Equines.” We shifted focus to the horse-human bond. After school, summer camps and one-on-one sessions have given opportunities for 21 years of working with more than 4,000 youth and adults. Today we do primarily individual work and host occasional groups.

Carpe Diem has been driven by volunteers and a small staff. We are blessed by individuals wanting to give back, care for the horses, the place and help with the production of Easy’s Slipper.

Fifteen year-old Madison Smith from Evans, Georgia, recently volunteered for a week while visiting Highlands. When she was six she visited with her parents and now wanted to give back! You never know what a moment in time to a child with the horses will lead to. She will be back!

And the circle continues.

Carpe Diem Farms is an Experiential Educational Foundation.

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