Volunteer Spotlight: Diane Guth

Diane

by Deb Marsh, volunteer writer

When Diane Guth was growing up in a suburb of Minneapolis, her parents would drive out to a local stable where she could go trail riding. Although horses have always amazed her, that was the extent of her contact with them until three years ago.

She saw an ad in the local paper for the Harmony Equine Center Open House, and she went with her husband, Jim, to see what it was all about. The facility made a good impression: Diane signed up to volunteer that same day.

The work at Harmony isn’t glamorous. Diane is part of a mucking team that forks manure and wet shavings out of stalls and paddocks every week. But, she claims, “The best part of the job is the camaraderie we have with the Tuesday morning crew, and the amazing staff!” This keeps her going, even when it’s raining buckets or the temperatures drop below freezing. That, and knowing that she’s helping horses that used to be abused and/or neglected.

Equines with a non-threatening injury can take longer to get adopted, and they’re also the ones that Diane develops a special fondness for. Take Melissa, a small roan filly who was born with a deformed foot joint and has been at Harmony for many months. “She is a sweetheart,” Diane says. Another favorite: “All the babies!”

In spite of working in two family-owned businesses and spending the last two years designing and building a new home, Diane has also found time to supervise a chili cook-off at Harmony, help at three open houses, and is training for the DFL Disaster Relief Team. She also likes to spend time off hiking with Jim and their two dogs: Chance, a 9-year-old golden retriever, and spunky 2-year-old Shiba Inu Bruce.

“I love volunteering at Harmony!” Diane says. ”It’s hard, dirty and physical work but it’s very gratifying knowing that you are helping all these horses. That is what keeps me coming back.”