Updates & uplifting tales
Volunteer Spotlight: Mark Slota
by Elizabeth Pearson
Mark Slota has been a volunteer with Harmony Equine Center for a few years—although he isn’t quite sure how many! He thinks he began volunteering shortly after Harmony opened. He became a volunteer after hearing a news story about some horses being rescued from Morrison and brought to Harmony. He knew right away that he wanted to help due to his desire to work with horses and to stay active.
Mark certainly stays active as a volunteer. At Harmony he does a little of everything. “It depends on what is left to do after the morning volunteers,” he says. Generally he cleans the stalls, which can be a very large task due to the facility’s huge size. During the summer, Mark often mows the lawn. On days when most of the work has been completed, Mark enjoys grooming the horses.
Besides staying active, Mark enjoys volunteering because of the quiet. “As someone who works in HR and is constantly working with people all day, it is really nice to just be quiet on the weekend,” he said. Mark also enjoys seeing the progress of the horses: “It is fulfilling to see scared and timid horses get better over the weeks and to be more trusting with humans.”
Mark has definitely learned a thing or two about being around horses. For instance, there was a horse who had come up to Mark the previous week and spent time with him. The next week he went up to it and it backed away from him. Another person there explained to him that the horse didn’t like his sunglasses. As soon as he took off his sunglasses, the horse was okay with him again.
When Mark isn’t volunteering or working, he enjoys staying active in a variety of ways including playing volleyball in the summer.