Volunteer Spotlight from Allegiance Ranch
Allegiance Ranch & Equine Rescue is a 501(c)3 non-profit organization rescuing at-risk horses and offering equine-assisted support programs for veterans, first responders, and their families. Allegiance Ranch was born out of love for rescue horses and a desire to honor our country's veterans.
David Usher is a Marine veteran who began volunteering at the ranch in July 2018. From the beginning he felt right at home since he had horses of his own in the past. Dave does the morning feeding at the ranch every single Friday morning. Rain, sleet, snow, or below zero temps do not deter him! Not only does Dave support the ranch by giving his time, he provides financial support through a monthly sponsorship.
Dave, what initially drew you to Allegiance Ranch?
My wife's friend and her 6-year-old daughter were volunteering at Allegiance Ranch. She told my wife about the ranch and my wife told me about it. I have been wanting to get a horse since I moved to Colorado and I figured this could be an opportunity to be around horses until I eventually get my own. I went out for a visit to see what it was all about. When I met Gloria and Dan, they were so nice and I listened to their story and felt the passion they have for Veterans and rescuing abused horses. Being a veteran myself, I felt Allegiance Ranch was a great cause and my love for horses fit right in with the rescue effort.
What do you find most meaningful or enjoyable about volunteering your time at the ranch?
Being around the horses is such a relaxing feeling. It’s a great way to decompress after a long week at work or a bad day. I also enjoy the way the horses always seem happy to see me when I show up... I'm sure some of it is because I feed them on Friday mornings but just the way they all want attention from me and it’s a feeling you have to experience to understand.
I think the meaningful part is making a difference in the horses’ lives from being abused to total love and caring, which will help them get adopted out to a good family one day. I also like the events for veterans and their families.
Do you have a favorite horse?
Livy. She captured my heart from the very first time I saw her. I'm so proud of the progress she has made since she arrived at the ranch and it’s because of the great people that work with her.
What would you tell someone who’s thinking about visiting or volunteering at the ranch?
If you love horses and want to be a part of a great cause, this is the place for you. It’s like being part of a big family that all comes together to do something good, and in turn you feel good about yourself.